Day by Day cartoon

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I'm a political activist today!

That's right, in response from the Utah Shooting Sports Council's call for URGENT ACTION, I took some action this morning. Here's what showed up in my email last night-

SB 251 is now in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee. Members are listed below, and only one or two seem to support your gun rights. This Committee can kill this bill entirely, or we will have to fight it for the rest of the session, so ACT TODAY! You can read the full text of the bill here.

In a nutshell, the University of Utah, having already lost their case in the Utah Supreme Court, to ban legally owned and properly concealed firearms on all of their property, are now trying to push through more particular laws, restricting firearms in offices or workcenters of most any kind and supposedly installing security lockers for gun storage when an armed person needs to enter one of these designated, "gun-free" zones. There's lots more involved, including routine inspections of students that have concealed firearms permits to ensure they are not armed and segregation and banning of licensed gun carriers in the dormitories.

So, I wrote this letter:
Dear Senator Bell, Hillyard, Madsen, McCoy, Romero & Valentine,

Sirs, I urge each of you to vote AGAINST SB 251 (Higher Education Concealed Firearms Restrictions).

In light of last night’s tragedy at Trolley Square, and the report that it was an off-duty Ogden police officer that halted the young criminal’s destructive killing episode, I must ask you to vote against SB251. Last night’s tragedy only reinforces the fact that criminals can appear anywhere- at the mall or at the university, without warning and without time to summon law enforcement. In a moment of terror and destruction such as this, only the ability to defend oneself through legal firearms carry can provide any semblance of security to self or family. An off duty police officer is nothing more than an armed citizen, like any of us that have applied for and received a Concealed Firearms Permit.

Restricting law abiding permit holders makes no sense on campus or anywhere else, with minor exceptions. It has been made abundantly clear that CFP carriers are far more law abiding and take their personal obligation to act responsibility very seriously. I’ve not seen or heard, or found through research any data that says anything except that permit holders are more law abiding and less violent than the average citizen. That said, no further legislation is required and the university should be given the message that their facilities are in no danger due to legally carried firearms.

Any further imposition of discrimination against law abiding citizens at the university must be halted, exactly as it would be stopped if it were discrimination against any other group of people. Consider how quickly this discrimination would be shut down if similar plans were put in place to halt members of any minority group. It would not be tolerated and the university management would be quickly put in their place for such considerations.

If allowed to impose any restrictions at all, you can expect that the Universities will manipulate their rules to create a de facto campus-wide ban on LEGALLY carried self defense weapons.

Please defeat SB 251, and use your valuable time on bills dealing with real problems and real solutions.

Nate McCord, Ogden UT
I emailed each of the senators and faxed the letter to each of them at the capital building. If I thought I could find a couple buddies to go along, I might just attend the meeting later this afternoon and show my disdain for bad laws in person. It will be interesting to watch the outcome of this bill and committee. Now, after all this activism, I need some lunch!

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