Letter: Gun deaths are significant

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  • Finn11 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 6:28 a.m.

    @ Zabilda

    Karen R. here. Was hoping you could provide support for your contentions. I've found nothing so far that suggests that a definition change was made. I think the best you can say is that it would be incorrect to say that the ban "caused" the decrease. Suicide and suicide prevention are far too multi-factorial to be able to do this. So we look at correlation, and in this case, it's a strong one. Also, the decrease has been statistically significant.

    @ wgirl

    Identity and fear. Yes. Both marketed by today's NRA, which for 100 years prior to the 1970's had consistently been pro-gun control.

    I also wonder if contributing to this shift is the anxiety we are seeing very clearly now on the part of many white Americans who see their domination waning. Obama notoriously quipped that many conservatives have responded by clinging to their guns and their religion." It certainly wasn't PC of him to say this, but I think a strong case can be made to support it.

  • Finn11 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2017 9:31 p.m.

    @ Redshirt

    Karen R. here.

    Apparently the actual availability of firearms in Canada has risen despite the legislation, so this may be one reason the rate hasn't decreased more than it has.

    By the way, you said the decrease isn't significant. Are you speaking statistically or is this your opinion? One way I do know it's significant: In the lives of those who aren't dead. And their families.

    "their rate should have dropped by 50% if the problem was guns because guns are used in 50% of suicides."

    Only if all suicides by gun are done on momentary impulse. This is the portion that can be saved, not those determined to die. And the data shows that those acting on impulse are more likely to succeed if the method available to them is a gun.

  • wgirl Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2017 9:30 p.m.

    I grew up in a hunting family. There are several hunting rifles in my parent's basement back home. What has become a mystery to me is how guns became such a part of people's identity? My dad had guns, but he didn't have gun shaped bumper stickers, NRA hats and he didn't feel the need to carry a gun around with him. We didn't go shooting every week-end. He didn't buy any kind of gun he didn't need - and he certainly didn't need a semi or fully automatic machine gun! Guns were not "boy toys" or status symbols.

    A gun was a tool. That's it - it wasn't part of your identity - you were not "proud" to be a gun owner any more than you were "proud" to be a lawn mower owner. Things have changed. Was it fear?

    We have paid a high price, in our society, for transforming something that was a tool - guns - into something that is part a persons identity. I think we were all better off when a gun was something that sat in the basement until you needed it to put dinner on the table.

    There is a guy in our ward that has those stickers on his car - the cute family ones with the Mom, Dad, their children and maybe the dog - except instead of stick people, his family is represented by gun shapes.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 15, 2017 2:50 p.m.

    To "FJSL" lets look at suicide rates before and after a gun restrictions are imposed. In Canada they put tighter restrictions on guns in 1977. According to the Canadian Vital Statistics Death Database and their data on suicides, the suicide rate was increasing until 1982, and did not see any significant drop until the late 1990's. That means it took nearly 20 years for their to be any appreciable change. If they had similar stats to the US, their rate should have dropped by 50% if the problem was guns because guns are used in 50% of suicides.

    Since the rate didn't change that much since the ban, the only logical conclusion is that the people used other means to end their life.

  • FJSL Houston, TX
    Sept. 15, 2017 8:45 a.m.

    @ Redshirt

    "Therefore, if they have higher suicide rates than the US, and access to guns is next to impossible the problem isn't guns. The problem is something else in those societies that is resulting in suicides."

    Exactly. And that something else wouldn't be expected to change, gun or no guns, so it wouldn't be surprising to find that the rate was even higher when ready access to guns did exist (if it ever did). Again, until we have this info, your conclusion is speculation only.

    @ Zabilde

    I hope you can find the citations. I'm interested in seeing them.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 15, 2017 7:26 a.m.

    To "FJSL" so you want a system that will breed mistrust of cops and miss most suicides because most suicides occur without sufficient warning for cops to do anything.

    Actually the suicide rates in other nations does tell us a lot. As I stated, in Japan and Korea they have significantly higher suicide rates than in the US. They also have extremely strict gun laws that prevent most people from owning a gun. Therefore, if they have higher suicide rates than the US, and access to guns is next to impossible the problem isn't guns. The problem is something else in those societies that is resulting in suicides.

  • Zabilde Riverdale, UT
    Sept. 15, 2017 5:55 a.m.

    FJSL that study you cited about Australia reached that conclusion by ignoring one key fact. In 2001 the Australian government redefined the criteria for calling a death a suicide. This introduced a significant drop in the suicide rates by reclassifying many suicides as accidents.

    Prior to this change and to the 1996 gun confiscation the suicide rate had been on a decades long gradual downward trend. That trend did not change after the gun ban. Firearm Suicide virtually vanished but the overall rate did not experience a significant drop.

    Then in 2001 they redefined the standards and a significant drop occurred that disrupted the long term trends the report you referenced was tryin to point to. Of note the suicide rate actually spiked for two years after the ban then returned to the long term levels. I am trying to find the sources again to post. I studied this out years ago, but have lost the links I was pulling from.

  • FJSL Houston, TX
    Sept. 14, 2017 9:51 p.m.

    @ Redshirt

    "How would the government know if a person is suicidal?"

    Cops are the government. They get called when people threaten suicide.

    "...the suicide rate in Europe using trains is higher than the US."

    I bet it's higher in NYC than in Houston, too. (More trains.) But, hey, if you're right, I'm sure you can produce the research that concludes that the reason is due to the absence of guns.

    "If guns are the problem how do you explain All of developed nations with higher suicide rates than the US..."

    You're repeating yourself. As already explained, other nation's suicide rates don't tell us anything unless we know what their suicide rate was before they restricted gun access. Maybe they were higher.

    By the way, the experience in Australia since its 1996 gun reform doesn't support your assertion that suicidal people will simply find another way. A 2016 study found suicide annual death rates (gun and non-gun) were increasing before the ban, but decreased after it. (Association Between Gun Law Reforms and Intentional Firearm Deaths in Australia, 1979-2013, JAMA)

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 3:19 p.m.

    To "FJSL " you have made a huge jump. How would the government know if a person is suicidal? Wouldn't they have to set up a massive monitoring system complete with psychological exams of people to even know if a person is suicidal? How expensive would that be and how many people would have to be qualified to make such a determination?

    I know that it is trains and other means are used when guns are out of the question. For example, the suicide rate in Europe using trains is higher than the US. In Japan there is the Suicide Forest where people hang themselves or overdose. The worldwide data shows that in countries like Japan and Korea where guns are nearly impossible to get that people do in fact resort to other means when then want to kill themselves. (Korea, Japan, and Europe have much higher suicide rates than the US). If guns are the problem how do you explain All of developed nations with higher suicide rates than the US where gun ownership is only a fraction of the US?

  • FJSL Houston, TX
    Sept. 14, 2017 2:46 p.m.

    @ Redshirt

    "...the key to preventing suicides using guns is family and friends asking for the guns."

    So if a stranger removes the gun (or the government*), the suicide isn't prevented? Come on. The key is the removal of the gun, not who removes it.

    "They make owning a gun very difficult, but they end up changing the method of suicide."

    How do you know this, or that trains are being substituted for guns? If this isn't speculation, please provide citations.

    How to regulate guns after they're in people's hands? Yeah, difficult. But one thing gun owners haven't had yet is truth in advertising. Think about what happened when tobacco was required to place warning labels on its product. The gun lobby understands that information (and absence of fear) is their worst enemy So they get legislation passed to restrict government's ability to investigate the issue. And they sell the heck out of fear and government paranoia.

    *I used to live in a state where, if a person threatened suicide, any guns were confiscated and s/he lost the right to own a gun thereafter.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 1:39 p.m.

    To "Karen R. " if you read the Forbes article, the key to preventing suicides using guns is family and friends asking for the guns.

    Can you tell us how you could ever regulate something like that.

    We all want to reduce suicides, but regulating guns is not the way. Just look at the statistics out of Europe. They make owning a gun very difficult, but they end up changing the method of suicide. For example, the number of people committing suicides by jumping in front of trains is becoming a problem throughout Europe.

    I don't think you understood the Forbes article very well. If, rather than taking away guns, you make it acceptable for family and friends to ask to hold onto the guns of a suicidal person you can prevent the use of a gun. What is still unknown is how many suicides are prevented through the intervention.

    So again, how do you regulate people to ask to hold onto the gun of a suicidal person?

  • FJSL Houston, TX
    Sept. 14, 2017 1:08 p.m.

    @ RedShirtHarvard

    Karen R. here.

    "Since guns are merely a tool, and suicidal people will find another way, what is the issue you are concerned with?"

    This isn't what the research shows. It shows that access does matter because many suicides are done on impulse. These are the ones that are less likely to be deadly if there's no access to a gun. As the Forbes article notes, only 10% who use a gun survive. Other methods have lower rates of deadliness.

    Also, think about the significance of the Forbes article. If restricting access to guns doesn't save lives, then why bother trying to figure out how to tailor a message to gun owners? And why would these gun owners take the message seriously (once it was tailored to their values) if they didn't recognize that gun access is a factor?

    Re: other nation's suicide stats, they don't tell us anything about guns as a factor unless we know what their suicide rate was before they restricted gun access. That's the stat we should compare to ours.

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 8:22 a.m.

    Majority of gun violence is in places with strict gun control laws. Criminals will always find a way to own one if they want it. Look at those cities (Chicago, Baltimore, D.C, etc) with most of those gun related deaths, they have strict laws on gun ownership. By the way, why haven't we made an issue of automobile deaths, which is much higher? Every vehicle is registered, licensed and is required to have insurance. Those laws are not reducing automobile deaths. Small government, not nosy government, is what we need. The government knows just about everything about us. We must insist on keeping that little privacy we have. Being armed to the teeth for my protection is part of my constitutional right for my pursuit of happiness. America, what a country!

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 14, 2017 8:18 a.m.

    To "Karen R." so does that mean that you agree that more government regulation and control of guns is not effective?

    The Forbes article demonstrates that it is individuals and neighbors who are most effective at reducing the suicide rate using guns.

    Simply reducing the access to guns will NOT reduce the suicide rate. For example most of Europe has more strict gun laws than the US, yet their suicide rate is 14.1 compared to the US with 12.6.

    As many others have pointed out, the background checks are not effective at preventing guns from getting into the hands of the wrong people.

    Since guns are merely a tool, and suicidal people will find another way, what is the issue you are concerned with?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Sept. 14, 2017 7:07 a.m.

    @ L White

    "I did not answer your 'ethical' question."

    I know. You went to other countries/cultures (and didn't offer citations), ignored data from states in our own country, and then (inexplicably) brought in the subject of abortion. None of which address my question. To me, this suggests a desire to avoid it, which is an answer in itself.

    Here are a few references to studies of *American* behavior with respect to guns:

    Suicide in the Home in Relation to Gun Ownership, N Engl J Med, 1992
    Access to Firearms and Risk for Suicide in Middle-Aged and Older Adults, Am J Geriatr Psychiatry, 2002
    Suicide, Harvard Injury Control Research Center (includes references to multiple studies of the topic dating back to 1999)
    [Article] To Reduce Gun Access For Someone Suicidal, Respect Gun Owners' Values And Beliefs, Forbes, July 2017

  • Zabilde Riverdale, UT
    Sept. 14, 2017 3:16 a.m.

    As to Universal Background checks. It is well established that background checks do not stop anything. Those in states that try to have them just go to the black market, or plan ahead and find a way around them (as the San Bernardino shooters did with at least one weapon). Second the only way to impose effective Universal Background checks is to require a national registry of all firearms with frequent verification of location and ownership. You simply can't enforce Universal background checks if you don't know where every gun is at all times, otherwise the government can't tell when I sell a firearm in a private transaction.

    As to the number of deaths, 60% or 20,000 of those deaths each year are suicides. Removing firearms does not cut suicides. In 1997 Australia banned and confiscated about 1/5 of the weapons in the country. Suicide by firearm virtually vanished, but the overall suicide rate didn't drop one bit, it actually spiked for two years before returning to the long term trend levels. Suicide rates there didn't drop significantly until the Gov redefined the criteria for declaring suicide in 2001.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Sept. 13, 2017 8:58 a.m.

    Thompson / Richards / White:

    You note the word "infringed". Do you have a problem with a law which prohibits seven year olds taking a loaded gun to school for Show and Tell? Please note that the Second Amendment has no age restriction.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 8:40 a.m.

    RE: "if you google abc news Obama black on black violence you will find an article, and a video, of Obama discussing the issue"...
    Was that speech televised? I didn't hear it.

    I would have loved to hear what he had to say, anything he had to say to help solve America's racial decide (like he promised he would do).

    I waited 8 years to hear his speech and call to end the racial divide. I'm sorry I missed it. I really wanted him to solve the racial divide.

    I never got the feeling it was a top priority for President Obama once he got in the White House.

    He spoke about race a couple of times I remember, but it was always in response to a crisis or an incident (which is the wrong time to try to fix it, people are angry).

    I remember national media covering his response to the professor arrested when police called out for a burglary found him climbing in the window of a house (it was his own house). I remember Obama saying the police acted "stupidly". Later apologized saying he didn't have all the information.

    Also after the Charleston church shooting. But again threw gas on the fire, widening the divide, instead of calming America and narrow the divide.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Sept. 13, 2017 1:23 a.m.

    The number one cause of death is abortion. I dont think getting shot is as high as a car crash in numbers. What me worry.

  • wgirl Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:17 p.m.


    if you google abc news Obama black on black violence you will find an article, and a video, of Obama discussing the issue.

    I'm sorry, but he did address the issue, and he used coherent statements, correct grammar, and demonstrated an obvious understanding of various points and perspectives. You might not agree with everything he said, but he at least sounds like a reasonable, intelligent person.

    As you seemed upset that he "never" addressed the issue, I would encourage you to watch it.

  • liberal larry Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 7:15 p.m.

    I see were Australia is enacting strong gun controls, and registration requirements.

    I'm betting that there won't be any jack booted, government thugs, going house to house taking the registered weapons!

    I would also bet that the low Austrailian gun death rate (about one fifth of America's) will go even lower!

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 6:49 p.m.

    @ No Names Accepted

    As someone who has a fairly pronounced hearing impairment, I appreciate your explanation about silencers. You're right, facts are important. You corrected me and you made it interesting. Cheers.

  • L White Springville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 5:57 p.m.

    Karen R.,

    I did not answer your "ethical" question. I posted the fact that the United States is far down the list of nations where suicides take place. On that list, MANY nations that have higher rates of suicide ban firearms to the masses, including England. The people who committed suicide in those countries did not need easy access to firearms. In Finland, according to their medical records, suicide rates for women who had had an abortion were 34.7 per 100,000 while the suicide rate for women who gave live birth were 5.9 per 100,000. The average suicide rate is 13.26 per 100,000. Over 45% of women who had had an abortion had suicidal thoughts.

    The leading cause of death in America is heart disease, followed by cancer. Suicide is number 10 on that list. Any person can connect the dots. Reducing suicide among women has nothing to do with gun control.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 3:56 p.m.

    Do some research. All of the following shooters passed a government background check to get the gun they used...

    Orlando, San Bernadino, Umpqua Community College (Oregon), Charleston church shooting, Newtown. Aurora. Columbine. Tucson. Virginia Tech... all of them passed a legally required background check.

    Did it keep them from getting the gun they used? No.

    That's the problem with relying on background checks. But I still want them. Because at least they do catch people who are felons, or have warrants, or have a criminal background (except the shooter in the South Carolina church. He had a criminal record and still passed the background check).

    They just don't work well enough to stop people like those listed above.

    The government has no way of knowing you are depressed, radicalized, or suicidal. Only your family knows.

    Maybe we should not let family members who are mentally unstable have guns, and not rely on government to do it for us?

    I know when someone in my family is mentally unstable, depressed, radicalized, or for some other reason should not have access to guns.

    The government has no idea they have these problems.

    Still do them. But don't rely on them

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 3:56 p.m.

    you want to see gun deaths check out Chicago. Black on Black gun murder is in the thousands every year leading the nation and many of the guns are illegal. Nobody seems to care. You never saw Obama or Sharpton or Jackson or any of the other race hustlers there protesting against the Black on Black violence. NEVER!! What the writer of this post fails to realize is that guns also protect women from assault or worse. Guns protect families from those who aim to do them harm ..in their home or perhaps out on the town. Guns sure have protected me and my family while camping or backing against a Black Bear who indeed wanted to do us harm. Thankfully I didn't have to kill the bear --- just shoot over his head was enough. Using harsh words probably wouldn't have changed the bears mind. Yes the 2nd amendment -- unique among all nations of the world....just like the rest of the US constitution....thank heaven!!

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 3:46 p.m.

    @Utah Girl Chronicles: "If silencers.... had ... been used that day, those congressmen would not have known where those bullets were coming from. No one would. "

    It is clear someone has never shot a suppressed firearm. It isn't like the movies.

    A typical gunshot is 140dB or louder. That is loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage with a single exposure. Sounds at 125dB cause ear pain. A suppressor (the technical and accurate name for what movies call a "silencer") will reduce sound pressure levels (ie "volume") by about 30dB, maybe 45dB in ideal cases.

    This brings the volume of the gun down to 95dB if you are really lucky because that is the limit at which hearing protection is required. The real reason for a suppressor is not to silence a gun but to avoid hearing damage to the shooter (or his hunting dogs) if he isn't wearing ear protection.

    A 95dB gun shot is very easily localized. Everyone would still know where the shooter was in the DC incident.

    In England, those few who can get a permit to own a gun are expected to use suppressors just as we expect drivers to use mufflers on their automobiles.

    Laws should be based on facts, not movie fiction.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 3:42 p.m.

    I have no problem with universal background checks. Problem is... you guys never stop there.

    If you could guarantee us that universal background checks would be enough to make you happy... I'd push for it. But we all know you want much much more than that. So don't keep throwing universal checks out as if nobody wants that, or pretend that if you got that you'd be happy.


    The only problem I have with background checks (and I still want them, but this is a problem with them) is... they don't work.

    How many of the gunmen in mass shooting in the US passed their background check, or stole a gun from a relative who did?

    List them... you will find almost passed a government background check to get the gun they used.

    The government just doesn't know our state-of-mind. There's no way for them to know our state-of-mind over the phone. Unless we've been to a doctor and been diagnosed with a disqualifying diagnosis. And most people who shoot weren't on that list (with diagnosed mental problems that would prevent them from owning a gun).

    But even though they don't work (because they can't know our mind)... I think we should have them. So criminals can't get guns (in theory).

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Sept. 12, 2017 3:14 p.m.

    @ L White

    Your response to my ethical question seems to suggest that, if I were right, you would agree that we should accept responsibility for the part we play. I think we should too.

    Like unrepentant progressive, I think how we handle gun issues in this country illustrates very plainly our lack of concern for how many people die from gun violence. I think it demonstrates that we really are willing to accept this as a trade-off for keeping our gun rights pristine. I’d just like us to admit this instead of pretending that no harm is being done.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 12, 2017 3:11 p.m.

    First of all, the numbers are misleading. Less than 12,000 of those are homicides or accidental discharges. The other 18,000 are suicides and other reasons. If you want to compare this to drunk driving, you have 10,000 deaths due to that. There are 88,000 deaths due to alcohol each year. Seems like we should regulate alcohol more than guns. Motor vehicles accounted for 33,736 last year alone. Why aren't cars regulated like guns?

    To "Ron Molen" we already have laws requiring background checks. Even if you sell the gun yourself. The laws in Utah state that you cannot sell a gun to somebody who cannot legally own a gun.

    To "Husker2" but you can't walk into a gun show and walk out with a firearm. Unless somebody does something illegal.

    To "Roland Kayser" you are ignoring some industrialized countries like Brazil, Russia, Puerto Rico, and many other industrialized nations. You are also ignoring the simple fact that there are 94 nations, many with more restrictive gun laws, that have much higher homicide rates.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 2:49 p.m.

    Don't be shocked he had the audacity to mention "God given rights", without specifying which God.

    Our nation's founding documents mention God given rights. The Declaration of Independence says, "people’s rights were given to them by their creator". "Creator" is another word for God. And they didn't explain what God/Creator.

    Declaration said, "What God has given to man is not enjoyed at the sufferance of any monarch or government"...
    Similar to what this Representative said.

    It said, "Liberty is the inviolable birthright of all".

    Declaration mentions, "Laws of Nature and Nature’s God”.
    Didn't explain which God.

    Also mentions "the Supreme Judge of the world”... and "firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence"...
    References to God.

    The Declaration of Independence is an apology for revolution. Our founding fathers felt it was their God given right and obligation to rebel against a tyrannical government taking their God given rights.

    We can read the words “Nature’s God”, “Creator”, “Supreme Judge”, etc and understand them without explanation. They are generic terms.

    This representative pointing out "God given rights"... seems to be in good company to me.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 1:30 p.m.

    @ barfolomew

    "The fact that silencers are illegal is not what kept him from using a silencer."

    Everything I said was factual. You are not disputing any of my facts. If silencers were legal, and had one been used that day, those congressmen would not have known where those bullets were coming from. No one would. Who in their right mind would support legislation where only snipers would benefit?

    These NRA arguments that gun shots stress out wildlife ... do you think if that gunman was more accurate ... would the widows and surviving family members of those congressmen be more concerned about stressed-out wildlife or lives that were snuffed out for no reason?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 1:17 p.m.

    Why would ECR present a non-valid snapshot of history unless he supposed that those who read his post were illiterate? Obama could not grant us the right to keep and bear arns, as ECR suggested. His entire premise was faulty. He depended on ignorance to further his idea. I called him on it. Do you find fault with me for standing up for truth?

  • Husker2 Odessa, TX
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:54 p.m.

    Universal background checks will not deny law-abiding citizens from buying a gun. It will delay the process a few days but they will still get the gun...as long as they really are a law abiding citizen.

    I'm as conservative as anyone on this board, but I have worked in a gun shop and I have seen what certain weapons can do to the human body (military veteran). I believe the old saying "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"...and that's exactly why we need background checks.

  • Edgar Samaria, ID
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:36 p.m.

    Hey J Thompson - Don't you think asking ECR a question like "Do you really think that we are illiterate?" is a little bit over the top? Did he suggest that you were illiterate at any time? I don't think so.

    I believe all of us on both sides of this issue just want a safe place to live and raise our families. I think those who are advocating the loudest to maintain our 2nd Amendment rights would be the first to say they don't want guns in the hands of criminals who might hurt them or their children. But they fear ever more, a government that oversteps its bounds and might use registration of all guns as a step towards confiscating those guns. I get that. But where should we start in the process of making our country safer.

    The facts are that the only countries with more firearm homicides that the United States are third world nations and those who we most identify with have a fraction of our death rate. For example the U.S. has 3.6 homicides per 100K population while the UK has 0.06 per 100K. How do we get to that number? What are your honest thoughts on that?

  • L White Springville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:22 p.m.


    Do you really think that your ideas would reduce suicides? The United States is listed as number 43 on the list of highest suicide rates. If you closely examine each country, you'll see that those ranked higher had very restrictive gun control laws. Their gun control laws did not stop suicides. People who have decided to kill themselves will find a way. Access to guns will not stop them from killing the selves.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:19 p.m.

    J Thompson - By your reference to CNN to support your 'facts', I'm assuming you are giving them some credibility.

    All right then, it might interest you to know that a CNN/ORC poll taken in June of 2016 showed around 90% of Americans support background checks.

    The support for tougher gun laws rose to 55% in their poll -- the highest number since just one month after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in January 2013. But support for specific gun control measures was very strong, with 92% saying they wanted expanded background checks, 87% supporting a ban for felons or people with mental health problems and 85% saying they would ban people on federal watchlists from buying guns. Among Republicans, that number is even higher -- 90% say they favor preventing people on the terror watch list or "no fly" list from buying a gun. That number is at 85% for Democrats.

    Now that kind of blows holes in your assertion that "very few Americans" support gun control, doesn't it.

    And one more thing, you stated in a previous comment that "The carrying of a firearm is not a crime." Just consider that next time you walk through the TSA line at the airport. Some restrictions make sense.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:55 a.m.

    As I said before, and will keep repeating till hoarse.

    Americans don't care how many people die from gun violence. We don't care. Period.

    That other western style 1st world democracies don't suffer this kind of national trauma is inconsequential to those who support the NRA and their relentless drive to arm the country to its teeth (and also make tons of money for gun makers). And increasing majorities vote for the party tied closely to the NRA. The public has spoken, and we approve of gun violence.

    Gun violence is now as American as apple pie. Maybe more so.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:37 a.m.

    Do you really think that we are illiterate? On January 5, 2016 Obama called for gun control, as reported by CNN. Gun control is an infringement of the Constitution. No person in government can ask for gun control without violating his oath of office to protect the Constitution. Obama called for gun control. He violated his oath of office. He abused his office. He nullified his right as President to act in the office to which he had been elected. In a perfect world, he would have been impeached and convicted. This is not a perfect world. He was allowed to break his oath of office and to stomp all over the Constitution. A very few Americans support his actions. They seem to think that he gives us our rights. Shame on them. They should know better. Shame on you if you are one of them.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:23 a.m.

    @ Mike Richards

    "It is unfortunate that 15,000 people per year choose to use bullets to kill themselves, but if they are truly intent on suicide, they will find alternative methods."

    If this isn't true - if the truth is that using a gun makes it far more likely that the attempt will be successful (and this IS the case (it's also the reason more males than females complete suicides because males are more likely to use a gun)); and

    if we still decide it's more important to have untrammeled gun rights than to try to prevent many thousands of suicides;

    then shouldn't we at least admit that we bear some responsibility for that 15,000 number? Because it wouldn't be as high if our priorities were different with respect to guns, right?

    By the way, no one I know who has been impacted by suicide would deem it merely "unfortunate." Using that term comes across as unfortunately cavalier.

  • booshway Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:11 a.m.

    When the Constitution was written "regulated" meant something like "trained" or "exercised" or some such. It did NOT mean what it means today - rules and laws and restriction - which is what the libs are pushing. Also, I do not see in the writings "common sense restrictions". Common sense would tell you that criminals do not obey the laws therefore gun "control" laws are not meant for criminals. They are meant to control the law-abiding. There are too many laws that criminalize ordinary behavior making more people criminals, thus allowing "common sense" gun control to take more guns away from the people.
    Remember why we have the 2nd amendment - self protection, and protection from a rogue government, based on personal experience of the Founding Fathers.
    "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." George Mason

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Sept. 12, 2017 11:01 a.m.

    J Thompson - Let me see if I can make this simple. President Obama signed a bill that allowed those who had an open carry permits to carry their guns openly in a national park. Prior to his signing that bill, that was against the law because of a bill that President Reagan had signed during his time in office. President Obama could have vetoed that bill and without a vote to override that veto, the restriction would have remained the same. All the pontificating about God-given rights wouldn't have changed that fact. It was the law of the land. And rather than hold a protest against President Obama, it seems those gun owners who liked to flash their guns in a national park should have been holding a rally to thank him.

    "We receive all rights from our Creator, as is clearly written in the Declaration of Independence." But a group of thoughtful men who differed on a thousand issues signed The Constitution and because they differed on so many things, they left provisions in the Constitution that would allow for different interpretations as our national history progressed.. Thus, the Supreme Court.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:45 a.m.

    of the total deaths by guns roughly 50% to 60% are by suicide. Of the remaining upwards of 80% are related to gang violence and criminal killings. That brings it down to about 3,000. Of those numbers about 300 are reported as justified self defense. 650 were accidental shootings. So we are down to about 2,050 un determined.

    Choking (Approximately 2,500 deaths per year) hot dogs as the top choking hazard for children. Choking hazards include balloons, marshmallows, gooey gel candies, grapes, nuts, chewing gum, carrots, chunks of meat and peanut butter, apples, hard, round candies and small toys.
    Fires (2,700 annual deaths)
    Falls (25,000 annual deaths)
    Poisoning (39,000 annual deaths)
    Motor Vehicle Incidents (42,000 annual deaths)

    These are the top five accidental death causing factors. Note guns don't make the top five.

    Why are we not outlawing hot dogs.
    Even with out the choking issue they are slowly killing millions that eat them.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:40 a.m.

    @Mike Richards

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:29 a.m.


    You've asserted twice that Obama GAVE us the right to keep and bear arms. That is false. That ideology is false. That premise is false.

    Government cannot distribute rights. We receive all rights from our Creator, as is clearly written in the Declaration of Independence. Furthermore, government is prohibited from infringing on our right to keep and bear arms. In addition, in America, every citizen is innocent until proven guilty. The possession of a firearm is not a crime. The carrying of a firearm is not a crime. Only after illegally using a firearm can anyone be charged with a crime. Only after being convicted can anyone lose the right to keep and bear arms.

    Regardless of your feelings towards Obama, he is not the keeper of our rights. He is not our Creator. All he could ever do was to infringe on our God-given rights.

    Now, here's a question for you. Which person in Trump's administration do you want to decide whether you can keep and bear arms? Yes, that's correct. If government is to control our right to keep and bear arms, someone in Trump's administration would be assigned that task. That makes a difference, doesn't it?

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:17 a.m.

    Mr. Molen's desire for "universal background checks" is the gun grabber's pseudonym for universal gun registration.

    If he wants background checks, he should first be outraged at the fact that criminals caught trying to buy a gun and stopped by a background check are almost never prosecuted, despite their signed false statement, known address from a government ID and an eyewitness.

    BCI reports that in the last 12 months 1,929 people failed background checks trying to buy guns in Utah. (More than 108,000 people passed with no problem). Of those 1,929 crimes probably less than 5 were prosecuted. That is a real outrage!

    Mr. Molen needs to follow up on why the feds and state authorities are not prosecuting criminals buying guns instead of wasting time trying to force non-dealers into a gun registration scheme.

    DOJ studies of criminals in jail repeatedly show that less than 1% of guns used by criminals come from "gun shows" so any attempt to expand background checks to private sales at gun shows is a waste of effort, especially when criminals are not prosecuted.

    It's not the guns, it's the criminals!

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:10 a.m.

    "The GOP is owned by the NRA. End of story." LOL.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:48 a.m.

    The GOP is owned by the NRA. End of story. Neither organization has a clue about what the Second Amendment actually says. And the Supreme Court has misinterpreted it recently to overturn 200 years of correct understanding.

    As for gun-toting being a God-given right, I don't recall that Jefferson included that in his list of unalienable rights.

  • azcowboy Gilbert, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:45 a.m.

    According to data collected by the PEW Research Center, since the CDC began publishing data in 1981, the majority (62% to 65%) of those 30,000 gun deaths you reference, or approximately 20,000 of those deaths each year, are self-inflicted suicides.

    If you remove the self-inflicted suicides from the data, more people were killed by drunk drivers in 2015, than by guns. Nearly 6 times as many people died from a drug overdose in 2016 than were killed by guns. So, why aren't you accosting lawmakers about drunk driving and drug abuse?

    I know... I know... "facts" and "the truth" are inconvenient, aren't they? Especially when they get in the way of a (false) belief you want to promote. So, like the congressman you assailed with your nonsense, I'll also leave you with a virtual hand shake and a "have a nice day".

  • barfolomew Tooele, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:35 a.m.

    @ Utah Girl Chronicles

    "The debate never took place. Had that gunman used a silencer, those congressmen likely would have been running directly towards the bullets."

    Holy cow! I am so amazed at how naive you folks are! Do you really not get this?

    The man who brought a gun to a ball field in Virginia with the intent of murdering Congressmen, was committing a crime. He had no intent of obeying the law. The fact that silencers are illegal is not what kept him from using a silencer. Murder is illegal - that didn't seem to stop him. Had he needed one, he could have gotten a silencer illegally.

    Criminals break the law - that's why we call them criminals. So, regardless of how many gun laws you impose, you're only serving to remove guns from the hands of law abiding people who would only use them to defend themselves and their children from these ................CRIMINALS.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:30 a.m.

    "The Constitution is very clear:

    A well regulated Militia,"


    So why do we not have anything that is well regulated?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:28 a.m.

    "That leaves 15,000 homicides. That is about the same number of deaths as from DUI. Shall we have stricter alcohol control laws?"


  • ECR Burke, VA
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:27 a.m.

    J Thompson - Thanks for proving my point about the futility of trying to talk sensibly about gun control.

    The point of my story was that the gun lobby has been so successful that their followers don't even understand when they've been given rights by the very people they accuse of wanting to deny them their rights. The fact is that those people protesting in Bull Run Park had the right to be there, openly carrying their guns, only because of a bill recently signed by President Obama, the person they have painted as the devil incarnate. Previously, President Reagan had signed legislation that limited their use a carry of such weapons in national parks. If you don't see the irony in that fact then you aren't paying attention.

    The reason that gun laws in Chicago and Washington DC were helpless is because they are neighbors to Wisconsin and Virginia, where there are virtually no gun laws. That's why we need a national standard.

    I'm not against your right to bear arms. I only ask that we add some common sense to who we allow to purchase guns. Currently loopholes at gun shows and in private sales allow the bad guys to buy guns. Do you want to allow that to happen?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:27 a.m.

    It seems that packing a gun is a great way for some men to compensate for a lack of testosterone.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:20 a.m.

    "If every American carried a firearm, do you honestly think that the lawless would risk their lives to rob us or to rape us? "

    The problem with this is it completely distorts the reality of the world and America. That you in Springville are in need of constant deadly force protection from "lawlessness" and physical assault is absurd, and blatantly false.

    Even the most "lawless" areas in America that are constantly touted out by gunnies are only two zip codes in size.

    Mr. Richards continual comparison of love of life with abortion and guns is ridiculous. Killing a functioning self sustaining human is illegal, with few exceptions (death penalty, self defense, and life of the mother) whether that person is in the womb or not. Get over it. Libs do not betray their love of human life with the support of Roe v Wade.

  • barfolomew Tooele, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:14 a.m.

    @ 1aggie

    "The correlation of gun ownership with firearm homicide rates was substantial."

    And the correlation of car ownership and automobile accident rates is also substantial.
    And the correlation of of knife ownership and stabbing rates is also substantial.
    And the correlation of people who have feet and foot odor rates is substantial.

    So, what's your point? That people who don't own guns don't shoot other people?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2017 9:03 a.m.

    L Liberal,

    What part of District of Columbia v Heller did you not understand?

    Law.gov stated:

    "In the majority opinion authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court first conducted a textual analysis of the operative clause, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The Court found that this language guarantees an individual right to possess and carry weapons. The Court examined historical evidence that it found consistent with its textual analysis. The Court then considered the Second Amendment’s prefatory clause, "[a] well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," and determined that while this clause announces a purpose for recognizing an individual right to keep and bear arms, it does not limit the operative clause. The Court found that analogous contemporaneous provisions in state constitutions, the Second Amendment’s drafting history, and post-ratification interpretations were consistent with its interpretation of the amendment. The Court asserted that its prior precedent was not inconsistent with its interpretation."

    Your assertion that I must belong to a militia is false.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 8:53 a.m.


    Could you have twisted the truth any more than you did? Anyone who owns, who keeps, or who carries a firearm does it despite Obama's best efforts to take that freedom from us. It was not Obama who "gave" us that freedom. As we all know, all liberties are bestowed on us by our Creator, as written in the Declaration of Independence. Obama had nothing to do with "granting" any liberty or any freedom. All he could do was to restrict our God-given freedoms. He tried. He failed.

    If every American carried a firearm, do you honestly think that the lawless would risk their lives to rob us or to rape us? If those hoodlums knew that using a firearm illegally would cause their deaths, do you think that they would break the law? Only liberals think that criminals obey laws. Only liberals think that restricting firearms means that criminals will not have firearms. DId that work in Washington, D.C.? Did that work in Chicago? Why would anyone think that criminals obey the law?

    Criminals use firearms illegally. The honest among us use firearms to protect themselves and their families.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 8:11 a.m.

    The day after that shooting at the baseball field where several GOP congressmen were shot, Republicans were going to debate whether gun silencers should be legalized. "Noise abatement devices" if you want to get cute about it.

    The debate never took place. Had that gunman used a silencer, those congressmen likely would have been running directly towards the bullets.

    Maybe that legislation has been dropped. If so, credit has to be given to these legislators for realizing some of the NRA-inducted madness has potentially lethal consequences. It says a lot, however, that common sense did not prevail until bullets were literally whizzing past these GOP legislator's heads.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Sept. 12, 2017 7:47 a.m.

    It's interesting to experience the futility in trying to suggest common sense into the Second Amendment issue when so many want to twist facts, create strawman arguments and general voice hostility towards those who only want a safer society. One specific incident comes to mind:

    - I remember back in 2009 some gun rights activists with open carry permits gathered in Bull Run Park, not far from my home here in Virginia, to protest President Obama for his perceived intention to take away their guns. These self proclaimed upholders of our constitutional rights failed to understand, or at least to acknowledge, that they were legally their with their guns only because President Obama had recently signed legislation allowing them to do so. A bill that Obama signed that May permits licensed gun owners to bring firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as state law allows it. The new law replaced rules from the Reagan administration that generally require that guns in national parks be locked or stored in a glove compartment or trunk.

    Such is the futility of arguing wit fear mongers who claim the government is out to get them instead of protect them.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 7:24 a.m.

    @Mike Richards - South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 11, 2017 7:19 p.m.

    The Constitution is very clear:

    A well regulated Militia...


    What 'militia' do you belong to Mike:

    You ALWAYS ignore that part of it.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Sept. 12, 2017 7:07 a.m.

    "Citizens have a God-given right to have a gun..."

    "Government has no more business tracking my private firearms than it does tracking how many Bibles, Korans, Torahs, or Books of Mormon I have."

    The pairing of gods/religion and guns reminds me of the insult many felt at Obama's "clinging to their guns and religion" comment. But IMO the above comments illustrate once again how easy it is to get this impression. Maybe this is precisely the picture being projected.

    Also, re: the "law-abiding gun owners" argument, there are plenty of formerly law-abiding gun owners in jail or dead right now. They didn't have a prior criminal history. They WERE law-abiding. Until they weren't. And then ready access to a gun easily turned a weak (irresponsible) moment into a deadly one too.

    What some seem unable to acknowledge is that we're all susceptible to these moments. No human is immune. So if we start from this reality, and assuming ethics is our guide, then IMO the question becomes, "Do we want to make it easier or harder for that moment to become deadly?"

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 7:01 a.m.

    @Mike Richards;

    The Constitution is very clear:

    And "well regulated" being the operative term.

    "They want the freedom to "infringe" on that right - as if they were not specifically prohibited from infringing by the 2nd Amendment."

    --- Once again, Well Regulated is not "infringing".

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 7:00 a.m.

    The accident and murder rate of those with concealed carry permits is practically zero.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 6:33 a.m.

    "The correlation of gun ownership with firearm homicide rates was substantial."
    (The Relationship Between Homicide Rates and Firearm Ownership NIH, American Journal of Public Health 2013)

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 5:52 a.m.

    I would wholeheartedly agree to universal gun registration in exchange for the following: stop and frisk where gun crimes are more than 5 per 10000 and life in prison (with no parole) for any crime involving a handgun (including illegal possession).

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:56 a.m.

    "well regulated militia"
    Those are the exact words. Notice the word "Regulated"

    Letting anyone buy a gun is setting us up for terrorist attacks on our own soil. Whether from white nationalists or muslim extremists, it will just keep happening. Universal background checks wont prevent all violence but it should make it more difficult to carry out.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 12, 2017 12:04 a.m.


    U.S. Supreme Court D.C. v Heller
    "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.."
    (Justices Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito)

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 10:42 p.m.

    I am not sure a universal background check would solve anything. It is already illegal to buy a gun from a dealer with the sole intention of selling it to someone else.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 11, 2017 8:55 p.m.

    There is little concern about death or killing in the United States. One political party demands that destruction of life be kept legal - then they complain because criminals don't obey the law when those criminals use guns to kill others. Their solution is to have politicians decide who owns firearms. That is exactly why the Constitution forbids Government infringement with our right to keep and bear arms. They want the freedom to "infringe" on that right - as if they were not specifically prohibited from infringing by the 2nd Amendment.

    It is unfortunate that 15,000 people per year choose to use bullets to kill themselves, but if they are truly intent on suicide, they will find alternative methods. A gun does not introduce suicide anymore than a bottle of pills or a car's exhaust introduces suicide.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 8:38 p.m.

    Here are the homicide rates for major developed countries, per 100,000 population.
    U.S. 3.82
    Finland 1.72
    Canada 1.44
    France 1.20
    Australia 1.07
    UK 0.96
    Norway 0.92
    Sweden 0.92
    Korea 0.84
    Italy 0.81
    Germany 0.70
    Spain 0.63
    Japan 0.29

    Please note that all major developed countries have far lower homicide rates than we do. They all have gun control too, but I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Sept. 11, 2017 7:23 p.m.

    It abundantly clear that the people of the US don't really care how many death by firearms happen each year.

    Conservative politicians, the NRA and their fellow travelers have all convinced us that gun control of almost any sort is not only unConstitutional but also a violation of "God given rights" (though were in the Bible this is said fails my understanding).

    So, we just have to accomodate ourselves to death, death, death for the rest of our lives. And the hope that we or our loved ones are not a victim. Oh, and BTW, owning a gun does not a victim unmake.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 11, 2017 7:19 p.m.

    The Constitution is very clear:

    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.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 6:25 p.m.

    How many deaths and shootings in Chicago this year to date? One of the most restrictive gun control in the nation. You say but, they were illegally bought, exactly. Criminals do not obey gun laws. Does not matter what controls you put on law abiding citizens.

  • barfolomew Tooele, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 4:34 p.m.

    What Mr. Ron Molen fails to understand - or what his ideology refuses to let him see - is that tightening gun laws will only serve to remove guns from the hands of law abiding citizens. Those who would be law breakers will break these laws also and still be in possession of their guns. The more you restrict legal gun ownership, the more the armed criminals are going to prey on the innocent. Believe me, Mr. Molen, if guns are taken away from law abiding citizens, leaving only the criminals in possession of them, that 30,000 per year number will skyrocket. But as long as the idea of a "gun free America" makes you feel good and a hero in the eyes of your liberal friends, I guess all those additional deaths won't matter much - at least you tried, right?

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 4:10 p.m.

    Let us be clear, what the letter writer wants is a universal gun registry.

    There is no way to operate a universal background check whereby all private sales, private gifts, and private lending of firearms are subjected to government control without also having a universal firearm registry.

    How does the government prove I didn't run my used gun through a background check if it can't prove I haven't owned the gun since before the background check was implemented? So every gun will have to be registered.

    Gun owners and other law abiding citizens hate the idea of letting government have such a registry because registries allow for confiscation as was done in NYC, England, and Australia following the registries implemented there. So significant penalties will have to be imposed simply for having a gun that is not registered.

    Government has no more business tracking my private firearms than it does tracking how many Bibles, Korans, Torahs, or Books of Mormon I have. Government doesn't need to know what newspapers or websites I read. I expect privacy in my personal papers and effects.

    I won't register my guns and I won't surrender them peacefully.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 4:05 p.m.

    Utah adheres to federal law. Ever purchase of a gun through a gun dealer requires that a background check be run and passed. Of the 124+ million NICS checks that dealers have done over the years just under 821,000 have been denied. That means every time someone buys a gun there’s a 0.6% chance they’ll be denied.

    It is a felony for a prohibited person to try to buy a gun. And there is a signed document attesting to the crime. So you'd think these would be easy convictions. Good luck finding more than a literal handful of prosecutions and convictions over the years.

    So, either 800,000 dangerous criminals were not prosecuted and locked up who should have been. Or, 800,000 law abiding citizens had their rights infringed. "A right delayed is a right denied," said the Rev. Dr. MLK.

    Of the 30,000 annual gun deaths, about 15,000 are suicides. That leaves 15,000 homicides. That is about the same number of deaths as from DUI. Shall we have stricter alcohol control laws?

  • Husker2 Odessa, TX
    Sept. 11, 2017 3:05 p.m.

    It's tragic that someone can walk into a gun show and walk out with a firearm. Limitations do not infringe on rights. That's why I also support voter ID laws and greatly improved border security.