Deseret News
Letter to the Editor

Reading about the death of Memorez Rackley and her son Jase Rackley in Sandy, Utah, this summer made me question how firearm violence affects Utah. Firearm violence has been an issue that has long plagued the United States, and the state of Utah has also been adversely affected by firearm violence. Reducing firearm violence is a responsibility of gun owners and non-gun owners alike.

I believe firearm violence is on the rise and society has the tools to change it. These tools are proper gun ownership, gun safety and effective local legislation proposed by citizens and enacted by elected legislators.

Gun violence has and will continue to affect Utah, and these are some solutions. Proper gun ownership includes keeping your firearm out of the hands of persons who do not own the firearm or are barred from owning any firearms. Gun safety is a major responsibility of those who own guns. By practicing gun safety we can reduce accidental deaths by firearms. We need to propose legislation such as refresher courses for concealed and open carry permit holders, mandatory gun safety classes, and more widely available suicide intervention and mental health services.

Utah has a high suicide rate by firearms. This has affected many families across all socio-economic borders and all geographical parts of Utah. By working with citizens, local government and law enforcement can change and propose solutions that reduce firearm violence in Utah.

Nathan Brakey

West Jordan