About Utah: A gun nut, and a safety nut too

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  • BHall South Jorday, UT
    Dec. 6, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    I was able to take the Hunter safety class from both Robbie and his brother Lee in 1965. Over the 50+ years I've been involved as a Boy Scout leader, teaching gun safety to young boys. I'm also an active competitor in the shooting sports and a certified range officer. Robbie was my scout leader and started me on years of enjoying the shooting sports and the love of outdoors and hunting.

  • Waldomountainman Blue Ridge, GA
    Sept. 8, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    "You have accepted the NRA nonsense that there is a criminal class in America armed with guns."
    Beverly If you are a law enforcement officer as you claim you would know there is a criminal class in America armed with guns and some of them do intend to do bodily harm to those who do not have the same protections. "Yes, there are bad people in the world, but the vast majority of gun deaths are in the home - and the readily available gun has contributed to this national disgrace. Adding more guns to our society is adding more problems for the community and our police officers".How you could make such a statement is unbelievable and absurd, please tell me where you get your facts.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    Should gun and nut go together?

  • Anonyme Orem, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    Manuretruck, can you point out the place in Beverly's comments where she indicates a desire to “strip away the constitutional rights of americans [sic] nationwide”?

    Your personal anecdote about 10 years of gun safety is statistically insignificant. Data from a US mortality survey show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home (see the current issue of American Journal of Epidemiology).

  • Anonyme Orem, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    The truth said, “It can be refuted. The quote gave [sic] is just utter nonsense.”

    Refute away. Show us the statistics that prove that having a gun in the home is of greater benefit to a family's health and safety than not having one.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:44 a.m.

    Dear PeanutGallery:
    There is substantial research that clearly shows that homes with guns in them are over 6 times more likely to have the gun used against a family member or close family friend than homes that don't have guns in them. Over 30,000 people in the United States are killed with a gun every year. Most of these gun deaths are suicides, accidents, and domestic violence. Should we ignore the deaths of 30,000 people dying every year from guns in America? If this was a new illness, like a new flu strain, stop and think about what we would do, but we chose to ignore 30,000 deaths based on a culture of fear formed by the NRA. It is a serious problem, but even our political leadership is afraid to address.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 10:27 p.m.

    Re: Beverly: Actually, a gun in the home is much more likely to be used to prevent crime and protect lives. Studies show that this defensive use of guns happens between 1 million and 2 million times a year. Most such incidents don’t get much press coverage, and therefore many people are not aware of this valuable role that guns play, over and over again.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Sept. 2, 2013 9:03 p.m.

    I concur with Mr.R. about keeping your weapons LOCKED UP. And it would not be a bad idea to keep the ammo locked up somewhere else.

  • Jim Hippen Palmyra, NY
    Sept. 2, 2013 8:59 p.m.

    This brings a fond memory. I was part of the very first hunter safety class taught by his brother Lee Robertson just before I got my first hunting license. The gun I used to qualify at the Utah Fish and Game shooting range was an old single shot .22 rifle that my dad had bought as a young boy. It had a problem that made it blow gas back in my eyes occasionally. Lee loaned me some shooting glasses so I could finish. He then offered to buy the gun from me and replace it with a new rifle. He put that old rifle in the Fish and Game gun collection as an example of an early sporting rifle.

  • manuretruck St. George, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 7:00 p.m.


    Incidents like the Draper shooting also create fear in people like you who believe that such incidents are reason enough to slowly strip away the constitutional rights of americans nationwide. The increasing unjustified militarization of our police force and their tactics (no-knock warrants in full SWAT gear for simple marijuana violations being the worst), the erosion of our civil liberties, and the constant battle against gun rights by people on your side of the fence are all a result of government capitalizing on fear and the effect it has on the ignorant.

    A gun is most likely to hurt yourself or a family member only if you are irresponsible with it, whether in use or storage. I have had a loaded gun either on me or in a safe for the last 10 years and I have never even come close to having a negligent discharge of any kind. It's about the people, not the gun. The failures of individuals are not reason enough to strip away the rights of those who do not fail at basic responsibility. "THINK OF THE CHILDREN" is also no longer a good enough reason to strip civil liberties. It's played out.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 5:58 p.m.

    Dear Mountainman:
    Isolated incidents like you have described create fear. Making decisions based on fear generated from an unusual event is often misguided. Yes, there are bad people in the world, but the vast majority of gun deaths are in the home - and the readily available gun has contributed to this national disgrace. Adding more guns to our society is adding more problems for the community and our police officers.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 5:19 p.m.


    It can be refuted.

    The quote gave is just utter nonsense.

    Guns have been around hundreds of years providing protection. Not considered dangerous as people even children carried them to schools and town and everywhere, with unquesti0oned safety. noy mention many other weapons.

    IF there is problem in society it not the fault of a hunk metal, an inanimate object, but of people no longer being taught morals and gun education.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 2, 2013 2:18 p.m.


    there will always be tragic and sad stories such as yours. But, when looking at the big picture, one cannot refute the facts as Beverly stated

    "in reality the gun they purchase will more often be used by a family member to kill them or they will use it to commit suicide."

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    Shakespeare told us: "A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once."

    Those who believe that government is here to protect the individual will "die a thousand deaths". The purpose of the Federal Government is to insure that our mode of self-government will never be erased from the earth. The Federal Government has no duty to protect the individual. Those who think otherwise only have to look at Bengahzi.

    Mr. Benson told us that bad things can happen to good people. The childish will blame others or "guns" as the cause of those "bad things". Adults will realize that we are responsible for our own actions and that a moment of carelessness can lead to a lifetime of regret., not the government

    Mr. Benson wrote an article that we need to read and to understand - without wringing our hands about 'evil guns', but with gratitude that our Creator, not the government, is the source of all "rights".

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 2, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    Dear Beverly. With all due respect let me tell you about a family that lived near me not many years ago that was brutally murdered by a criminal who moved here from another state. He had a long criminal record and was released from jail by a judge. He cased the home of this family and finally broke into this home one night while they were sleeping and brutally killed the mother and father with a hammer. He raped and killed the young son and kidnapped a teenage daughter whom he raped repeatedly for weeks. Eventually he was apprehended and he now sits in prison exercising one appeal after another. I have guns in my possession to insure that NEVER happens to my family, I will take that risk because if I didn't I could never live with myself. I could not call myself a father or a husband. You may feel differently and that is your choice, mine is different.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    Dear Mountainman:
    You have accepted the NRA nonsense that there is a criminal class in America armed with guns. This fantasy is destroyed by the facts. I have been a police officer for many years. From U.S. Department of Justice Research and my experience, I know that guns in the home are used against family members on a consistent basis in domestic violence. Distraught teenagers with immature minds, commit suicide with a readily available family owned gun. These senseless deaths are the end product of guns in the home.
    Many police officers, including myself, spend their entire career never having to use their duty weapon for protection. Please research your opinions and rethink this issue.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    To DN Subscriber 2:

    Gun safety was taught in my high school 55 years ago when I was a student at Davis High. But it was only taught to the members of the "rifle club." These were the students who carried 22 caliber rifles up to the rifle range there in the school, through the hallways of the school at the end of the day when the rifle club met.

    Can you imagine students carrying rifles and ammunition up and down the halls and stairways of our schools today?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 2, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    Unfortunately, this will be the only instruction that many will take before they carry a loaded weapon in public.

    And, while I don't know specifically about Mr Robertson's class, actually shooting a gun is not required to obtain a concealed carry permit.

    I wonder how Mr Robertson feels about the prospect of people in his class, with no additional training, carrying in public.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    Beverly, you’ve misunderstood the column. Mr. Robertson and the NRA are on the same page. Their safety rules are worded a little differently, but the underlying principles are the same. The NRA has been preaching gun safety for decades. They have taught many thousands of courses, to children and adults, emphasizing the importance of gun safety.

    Maybe you need to personally look into what the NRA really does. They have a political wing, which works to protect our Constitutional rights, and they have an education wing, which works to educate millions of people on the safe and responsible use and storage of firearms. If you check into the NRA with a truly open mind, you may be pleasantly surprised. I was.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Sept. 2, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    Remember what Richie Havens(may he rest in peace), sang...
    "Guns are not the answer".

  • Anonyme Orem, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    Mountanman, I don't see anything in Beverly's comment to suggest that she's trying to make any choices for you. She's just saying that since the health risk of having a gun in the home outweighs any benefit, it's sad to see Utahns continue to take that risk.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 2, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    @ Beverly. All you need to know about gun control is that the police carry guns to protect themselves from criminals with guns, not to protect you from criminals with guns! Criminals will not obey laws, including gun laws, that's why they are criminals and we need to protect ourselves because a gun in my hand is better than a cop on the phone. If you don't want to protect yourself or your family, that's your choice, but you can't make that choice for me or others.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    It is refreshing to see gun safety as a lead in this story. The instructor's statistics are on target. The NRA attempts to sell the idea that Americans need a gun for self protection when in reality the gun they purchase will more often be used by a family member to kill them or they will use it to commit suicide. Being shot by a family member or committing suicide is not a good selling point for the NRA. The instructor's statistic don't help sell guns.

    A good Draper police sergeant, with a wife and child, was killed this weekend by a guy with a gun. Why do we continue to worship firearms in Utah? Tragedy after tragedy - it is a shame.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    Very good story, aside from the pejorative gun "nut" used in the headline.

    Mr. Robertson's views are not unique and his message is pretty much what the National Rifle Association and its (mostly volunteer) instructors have been teaching for decades.

    It is good to see this in the media where some gun owners who are not well educated on safety might learn a few things. Although, they really should take a class, from Mr. Robertson, or many other instructors in the state. It used to be that gun safety was part of the school curriculum, (and still is authorized by state law) but seldom done any more.

    The Boy Scouts, 4-H, and JROTC programs all teach gun safety, as well as hunter education, and concealed carry classes.

    Thank you Mr. Robertson for doing so much to help so many. Keep up the good work.