Letters to the Editor, March 13-16, 2013
Dear Governor Herbert,
Thank you for recognizing publicly that Utah’s present concealed carry permit process should not be eliminated, as HB 76 would do. The current process includes the safeguards provided by a current criminal background check and some teaching of familiarity with the law involving use of firearms. A key role of government is protecting the public. The present system of background checking is necessary to keep guns out of the hands of felons and mentally unwell. Lives will be saved by maintaining this law.
A new poll commissioned by the BYU Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy found that 82 percent of Utahns support universal background checks for gun purchases. Utah citizens know they deserve better attention to public safety from gun violence. It is comforting to know that you are not inclined to approve the changes suggested in HB 76.
This bill is an inappropriate response after the massacres of Newtown, Aurora and our own Trolley Square. Giving up permitting is not only a giant step backward, it will also increase the unnecessarily high rate of homicide, suicide and domestic violence. Our liberal gun laws paint Utah as an unsafe place for new businesses to relocate; these laws could also decrease tourism and affect our ability to attract important business conferences.
HB 76 relies on the assumption that people who will choose to conceal carry are law abiding citizens, and that having many of these gun owners in public will make us all more safe. Vigilantism is no substitute for laws that help prevent gun violence. The conversation among many legislators at the State Capitol is currently about crossfire in the classroom, and crossfire in the general public. The conversation should be about public safety and prevention. Children in Utah deserve much better.
Please help us keep Utah schools and neighborhoods safe and let the Legislature know that you will veto this bill, because it would eliminate one of the important protections against guns in the hands of the wrong people.
Executive Director, Alliance for a Better UTAH
on behalf of Utah Parents Against Gun Violence, Alliance for a Better UTAH, League of Women, Voters of Utah Rape Recovery Center, The American Association of University Women, Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah and Gun Sense: Action for Gun Violence Prevention
A great teacher
I am a senior this year and I have done a lot throughout my high school career. I have joined and led many organizations in and outside of school and I am a Sterling Scholar this year. If it hadn’t been for a small group of teachers, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am e-mailing you to let you know how impressed I am with one teacher in specific; Mr. Danny Fisher.
This past Wednesday and Thursday a group of 13 went to Layton to compete in the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) State Competition. I hadn’t planned on joining FBLA this year because of time, this year however I decided to take financial literacy in school and by some fortune I was placed in Mr. Fisher’s class. Mr. Fisher allowed me to expand me knowledge beyond a "textbook" way and gave me different challenges than other students. While in his class he recruited me into FBLA and I am very glad he did. He has always had faith in my interviewing skills and has been encouraging me to represent our school in the competition. It is one of the most competitive events in FBLA since each high school sends one representative. I was disappointed at region with second place but Mr. Fisher kept encouraging me and working with me. I ended up taking 7th in a test that over 300 people competed in and placed 1st in state for the Job Interview event which automatically qualified me for nationals this summer in California. Mr. Fisher encouraged me all the way. If it had not been for him I would not have done this well and I contribute much of my newfound confidence and skill set to him. I know that when I land my first job some day, he will be the one to thank.
I think that it is important to note the teachers who do make a difference. I believe that Mr. Fisher is a great teacher, mentor and person. We need more teachers like him.
Morgan N. Mitchell
Park City High School Senior
Another dog attack in Round Valley
Hundreds of Parkites love to walk, run, bike through Round Valley. As second home owners, my wife and I are regularly found on the trails, where we encounter all sorts of people, kids and their pets.
But on Sunday, March 10th things took an unexpected turn for the worse when my wife, walking alone, was attacked by an unleashed pit bull, which took a running leap at her, and bit her just below the armpit on her torso, going through two layers of clothes and making puncture wounds that required a tetanus shot.
Incredibly, the dog’s owner, who was lagging far behind, eventually told my wife "you should have kicked him when he ran at you." Perhaps it would behoove all Round Valley users to carry a walking stick or ski pole, to fend off future dog attacks of this nature.