Start a fire and you'll pay, Utah's governor warns

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  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 26, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    These wildfires wouldn't be nearly as dangerous or worrysome if we'd stop building in remote areas just because we can.

  • Abe Sarvis Cedar City, UT
    June 26, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    The idea that target shooting is in any significant way related to 2nd Amendment rights is just silly. Yes, we all have a right to keep and bear arms - and when necessary, that has been interpreted to include their use in self-defense. Target shooting is useful if you think you might ever need to use a firearm in self-defense, but you don't need the ability to target shoot anytime and anywhere in order to be sufficiently prepared.

    If there is anything that might give the founding fathers a reason to reconsider whether it is wise to allow self-governance, it would be the realization that perhaps we aren't even smart enough to not set ourselves on fire.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 25, 2012 10:57 p.m.

    Tabuno is pretty much on target there.

    The trouble with laws to legislate common sense is that they always fail. Stupid people will always do stupid stuff. Even an after the fact fine, or even a bill for $$$$$ for the consequences of their carelessness do nothing to prevent their acts.

    A better approach is more education to get through to people that in extraordinary weather conditions some activities enjoyed in normal times must be postponed.

    Example- "You don't lay outside to get a sun tan when it is raining. Well, when it is hot, extremely dry and very windy you don't go out and do anything that may create a spark."

    Also, state and local governments need to look at establishing more places for informal shooting activities that are kept clear of flammable materials so people will be less tempted to just look for the first bit of desert with a hill and no one around. Again, education will help funnel shooting activities into safer areas. However, these need to be numerous and widespread, even if rather primitive. Not multi-million dollar money pits run by DWR that are too inconvenient for most people to use.

  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    June 25, 2012 10:30 p.m.

    Governor Herbert's cautious approach to gun control when it comes to gun-related fires is consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court's approach to addressing the issue of fundamental Constitutional Rights. The same approach has been used in First Amendment cases in which efforts to avoid infringing such rights must be made first before considering further drastic action. Nevertheless, the Second Amendment isn't absolute and if the government can make a compelling or preponderant case to justify restricting gun use in the public interest, such course of action is likely to be permissible under the Constitution. Yet it is premature to consider gun restrictions until other legal means are attempted, unless there is an urgent and compelling public emergency that is directly and indisputable attributable to gun use.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2012 9:30 p.m.

    It's time (past time, actually) to be fanatical about fire prevention, and if the threat of financial ruin as a result of having to pay for fire damage caused by reckless behavior leads folks to think twice about said reckless behavior, then I'm all for it.

  • Sophie 62 spring city, UT
    June 25, 2012 8:26 p.m.

    If you cause people to lose their homes and all their possessions, pets, livestock and the habitat around them because you are too careless and selfish to be smart about fire, then why should you not lose everything that's important to you? Maybe people who do these stupid things should spend some time in prison for felonious idiocy.
    What is it about target shooting or any of the other things that can cause devastating fires that makes it important enough to put everything at risk? And not just your own self and your own stuff, but other people, the firefighters, the guys and gals flying the copters and planes. Sure, target shooting is fun, but really?
    For right now, people should just stay out of these super dry areas. Find something else to do or somewhere else to go.
    Everybody knows now how dry it is. Go to the movies, read a book, get a wading pool for your kids, go to a waterpark, think of something fun to do that doesn't involve going up in the hills for a while. You could even pray for rain!

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    June 25, 2012 7:44 p.m.

    It is a bit over the top to ask a single citizen to "pay" as they would be paying the rest of their life. It would be a fiscal life sentence.
    Rather than the tough talk we need a solution. It might be a steep fine for firing weapons or fireworks during burn season.
    Pay for this enforcement by cutting back on drug enforcement, especially the marijuana task forces doing nothing at all in the "war on drugs."
    Enforce laws that we care about, and that actually help people.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 25, 2012 7:34 p.m.

    Good! Now let's actually do it.