Tom Smart, Deseret News
Matthew Chappel holds on to his rifle as thousands demonstrate at a pro gun rally sponsored by Guns Across America at the Utah State Capitol Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Salt Lake City.

I seldom see eye-to-eye with Gov. Gary Herbert, but two recent decisions he made have inspired a renewed confidence in me that perhaps he really does have the best interests of Utahns at heart. Either that or he capitulates on core Republican principles in the face of citizen opposition for the sake of re-electability. But I'm willing to give credit where it's due.

First, the governor did the right thing by vetoing House Bill 76, a bill that would have preempted background checks and safety courses for any adult wishing to carry a sidearm for self-defense. This flawed bill would have allowed any "Dirty Harry" wannabe and Second Amendment zealot to pack a gun, including borrowed, stolen, or privately purchased weapons with virtually zero accountability. But for now, the existing concealed-carry-permit protocols will remain in place. Thank you, governor.

Second, and even more important, the governor prevented the irresponsible giveaway of Snake Valley water to Nevada and the consequential devastation of the Snake Valley, its citizens, wildlife, agriculture and ecology. Well done!

If the governor really wants to earn my respect, he'll stop salivating at the thought of confiscating our public lands for corporate consumption.

David E. Jensen