Governor tells lawmakers not to let emotions control gun debate

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  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    Do we have "preemptive" laws restricting speech? Do we have to have a document from the government allowing us to speak? Sure, almost everyone knows that shouting "fire" in a crowded theater is going to result in prosecution, but do we have to have permission from the government before using our guaranteed right to speak?

    Those who tell us that the government has the right to restrict us before we do something had better think long and hard about their 1st Amendment right to speak without permission from the government. They are demanding infringement from the government on one right. Why would they be surprised if the government trampled all over another right?

    There is no option for the Governor. He is either for the Constitution or he is against the Constitution. If he is for the Constitution, he will defend our right to keep and bear arms. He will demand that the Federal Government respect our right to keep and bear arms and that it leave the citizens of Utah alone regarding that right. He will also demand that the Federal Government restrict itself to those duties authorized by the people.

  • lket Bluffdale, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    i can protect and stay free with a 30 30 or a model 870 shot gun i dont need assault rifles, and dont know what all of you think is happening here anyway. you would shoot a federal officer that took your 30 round magazine? maybe you are who you should be protecting yourself from. killing ruins the soul. these people are americans too. ive served in the army, and i like my country. and its people lets talk things out not shoot it out.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    To "Moderate" like others have already said. Why not enforce the laws that we already have?

    There are thousands of forms filled out each year for background checks, and the criminals lie on the forms. The Federal Government, which is supposed to prosecute those people, does not do anything about it.

    What good will it do to put more laws on the books, if the government isn't enforcing the laws that they already have?

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    @Robin sounds as though you are in the right State.Please atay there. All semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines would be banned, all guns would be registered and no ammunition could be bought without a special permit in California under a sweeping list of bills rolled out Thursday by state Senate Democrats.

    The 10-bill package constitutes the single largest gun control push in decades in the Golden State, which already boasts some of the nation's strictest gun laws. It joins equally controversial proposals from Assembly Democrats that would regulate and tax ammunition sales and consider taking the state's 166,000 registered assault weapons from their owners.

    Fred44NO ONE is trying to take that right away. Really! Please read above.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2013 11:02 a.m.


    I do not own guns, and really don't pay that much attention to different weapons. Because of that I would not presume to enter the discussion of which weapons should be allowed and which should not be allowed. My point is very simple, the second amendment provides a right like the the first amendment does. That right is not absolute, there are limitations. I would like to think that sensible people could come together and reach sensible solutions to the growing problems with gun violence we are facing in this country.

    I think the NRA should be a key player in these discussions, but not with the current stance and the paranoia that their spokespersons are trying to create. By talking about mental health (which I agree should be part of the discussion) and violent video games and movies (which again I agree should be part of the discussion)but taking guns and ammo and ammo clips and tightening background checks off the table completely in the discussion doesn't give them much credibility outside of gun owners who are paranoid (not all gun owners).

    I would like to see a dialogue that leads to real solutions.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    Mike Richards says: "Innumerable laws on the books enable the State to prosecute anyone who commits a crime. That's the proper way to handle lawlessness - after a crime is committed."

    And that is EXACTLY the problem. How many dead at Trolley Square? How many dead in Connecticut? How many dead in Aurora? How many dead in gang shootings?

    As it stands now, ANYONE can go to a gun show, contact a "private seller" and walk away with a gun.

    As it stands now, people with long histories of violent MISDEMEANORS may purchase guns legally.

    It's pure nonsense to oppose efforts to restrict gun possession by people who shouldn't have them.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 10:16 a.m.


    'The second amendment simply gives you the right to bear arms. It does not say you have the right to bear any and every weapon you choose without anyone monitoring.'

    If you are implying that because 'military style' assault weapon possession and ownership, because it isn't expressly included in the right to bear arms, is not protected by the Constitution, then I have to disagree with you in the strongest way. I have no desire to accumulate tanks and howitzers, but if you think I don't have the right to arm myself with the most basic defense weapon, the AR-15, then we do not see eye to eye on this, in any way. Regardless, I simply will not subject myself or comply with such a false and warped interpretation of The Bill of Rights.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    DNSub - You have fallen for the "Background checks will steal our guns" lie.

    It was a pleasant surprise to see a comment from the governor with some good common sense in it.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    What is the Governor's duty? Is his duty to support both the Utah State Constitution and the United States Constitution? He cannot tell us that he supports the U.S. Constitution if he wavers on "gun control". He knows, just as every citizen in America knows, that the right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Constitution. Even if it were not specifically stated, it would still be a right held by the people because gun control is not a duty that was assigned to the Federal Government; therefore, it falls to the States and to the people to handle that assignment. Because it is listed in the Constitution, it is beyond the scope of the State.

    A State cannot infringe on a right guaranteed by the Constitution. The PEOPLE are responsible to handle gun control. That right is left to each citizen to act responsibly. No law can be passed that infringes on our right to keep and bear arms.

    Innumerable laws on the books enable the State to prosecute anyone who commits a crime. That's the proper way to handle lawlessness - after a crime is committed.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." James Madison, The Constitution of the United States of America

    "Disarm the people-that is the best and most effective way to enslave them." James Madison

    Words have meaning.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 9:54 a.m.


    I don't care about accumulating nukes or any other weapons of mass destruction. I'll bet if you ask the above posters, or any other defender of the Bill of Rights, they don't either. If this discussion really were about banning weapons of mass destruction, we wouldn't be making a deal out of it. But, of course, it isn't. This discussion is about the proposed legislation to ban 'military style' assault rifles. Quit trying to make this argument something else. It just simply isn't.

  • Moabmom Moab, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." I'm not sure what part of that Gov Herbert is not understanding. He is too wishy-washy on this issue (and on education ). I have lost a lot of respect for Gov Herbert on several fronts lately. Instead of making decisions based on what the people of Utah want, he seems to be basing decisions on the loss or gain of Federal dollars. Thank God the Sheriff's Association has a better understanding of the US Constitution and the Utah Constitution than the Gov does.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    Mokat you said, "The Second Amendment is cast in stone. It and the rest of the Amendments are also. Are you familiar with the 18th amendment and the 21st Amendment?

    Many on here fail to read the 2nd Amendment. The second amendment simply gives you the right to bear arms. It does not say you have the right to bear any and every weapon you choose without anyone monitoring. NO ONE is trying to take that right away. All our rights have limitations, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly. Why would anyone think that the right to bear arms is the only absolute and unrestricted freedom the constitution provides.

    The idea that a Utah lawmaker would proposed that we make enforcing federal laws a felony should be frightening and is an example of out of control paranoia. I applaud the governor for trying to bring some level of common sense to this topic.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 15, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    Making assault weapons illegal does not infringe on your second amendment rights any more than making rocket-propelled grenades illegal does. Why aren't the second amendment quoters fighting for those?

    Unless you favor letting people own nukes, then you understand there's a line that has to be drawn regarding how much weapon is too much. Where we disagree is where that line should be drawn. I think an assault rifle is too much weapon and you don't. Fortunately for me, my side is going to win this debate.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    None of the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights is absolute. You remember the "shall not be infringed" part of the 2nd amendment, but you forget the "well-regulated" part. How can something be well-regulated without regulations? Even Justice Scalia, in his majority opinion in the District of Columbia vs. Heller case said: "nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms." It is legal to regulate firearms, and simple things like required background checks to make sure that all gun owners are not felons and not mentally defective are legal. I believe that it would be legal to rescind the right to own firearms if a person has been shown to be negligent or reckless with them.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    @ Moderate- You have fallen for the "Background checks protect us" lie.

    Criminals seldom get guns from legitimate sources to start with. 70% by theft or trading with drug dealers, or "straw purchases" where someone with a clean record (or fake ID) can pass a background check.

    2,000 people a year fail current background checks in Utah, but less than 5 are prosecuted, so they are not used to punish criminal acts. Why? Who is letting felons go unpunished?

    "Universal background checks" are code for "registering all guns and gun owners" which has nothing to to with preventing or solving crimes- ask the Canadians who scrapped a decade long $2 billion gun registration program that did nothing worthwhile.

    Registration is ONLY needed for eventual confiscation- and confiscation has been mentioned by Sen Feinstein, NY's Cuomo, and a Missouri legislator, and already happened in NYC and California after previous registration mandates, so this is not some paranoid hypothetical fear.

    It's not the guns, it's the criminals! Enforce the existing laws and that will do more than passing any new ones.

    I respect your freedom of choice not to own a gun, but want one to defend my freedom and family!

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    Enforce background checks on all gun sales. The 2nd Amendment is restricted to Americans only. Without background checks, how will you know that you're selling a gun to an American?

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    Too late, Guv. These people are already convinced that the sacred 2nd Amendment can't be touched -- as if it's legal now to own every weapon out there from nerve gas to atomic bombs. You can't even begin to get them to understand that we've had limits on the 2nd for ages now.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Feb. 15, 2013 8:23 a.m.

    The Second Amendment is cast in stone. It and the rest of the Amendments are also. They are our guarantees of freedom. I am not willing to trade my right of freedom to protect myself guaranteed by the Second for a percieved safety mine or yours or anyones. I am also in favor of any legislation or statement that lets the Obama bunch know that Utah stands for Freedom.

    George Orwell wrote:
    Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

  • jlglex Provo, UT
    Feb. 14, 2013 11:26 p.m.

    Recent events in New Orleans prove that judicial review is a wholly inadequate remedy for citizens whose firearms are seized by federal troops or federal agents. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, federal troops seized many firearms from innocent, law abiding citizens. This expensive federal intervention left many law abiding citizens unable to protect their home and property from looters, during that unstable time in New Orleans. Just when the People needed their arms the most, they were disarmed by the feds!

    Even after winning lengthy court cases that successfully challenged the constitutionality of those gun seizures, some citizens were still unable to retrieve their firearms. The firearms had been stolen while they were supposedly being kept "safe and sound" by the federal troops.

    Instead of the traditional process of judicial review, America needs to embrace nullification as a means of protecting the Constitutional Rights of citizens. The enactment and enforcement of such legislation would not be just an empty "message" to the federal government. Rather, it would be a civil, legitimate, peaceful, and proactive effort to establish a new precedent, with regard to the relationship between the federal government and the States. Utah should lead the way!

  • NT SomewhereIn, UT
    Feb. 14, 2013 9:40 p.m.

    Its actually "emotions" that overpowered facts resulting in a really decent bill from leaving committee earlier this week in Wyoming.

    To be Conservative does not mean to be weak and meek and yielding. Quite the opposite - it means to stand boldly for conservative principles, which includes doing what is necessary for States to protect themselves from the Federal Government usurping 2nd Amendment rights.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 14, 2013 9:08 p.m.

    I vote to protect our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms! The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they put this in the Constitution. This is the right to protect and defend ourselves (not necessarily just for hunting season).