Perspectives: No clamor for new gun laws is a good thing

OPINION – What on earth is wrong with the people of Utah? A public servant, looked up to by children and adults alike, negligently discharged a firearm and suffered a non-life threatening leg wound.

The fact that this incident occurred in a learning environment with innocent bystanders nearby who could also have been injured is all the proof we need to justify more laws regulating the safe use of firearms. The gun nuts were warned this would eventually happen and, sure enough, it did.

So where is the public clamor and outrage?

Why aren’t the citizen’s of Utah taking their state lawmakers to task and demanding that gun-toting members of the public be subjected to stricter laws and regulations? Are we really going to let this incident go unanswered without taking action?

If you’re under the impression that the above incident refers to the elementary school teacher who accidentally shot herself with her concealed carry piece while in the restroom–guess again.

I’m actually referring to an incident in 2008, when Riverdale Police Chief Dave Hansen, accidentally shot himself in the ankle during a gun safety class.

I use this example to illustrate that the unfortunate experience of 6th Grade teacher Michelle Ferguson-Montgomery is hardly the harbinger of gun-related doom that some have tried to make it.

There were no cries for stricter training requirements for law enforcement following Hansen’s accident. No one suggested that this was the inevitable consequence of the presence of a firearm. But if a seasoned, trained law enforcement official can make a firearms handling mistake, then it should be clear that so can anyone else.

Both accidental shootings are powerful object lessons to concealed firearm permit holders and police officers alike.  They serve as a solid reminder that people handling firearms cannot afford to let their minds wander. Sometimes the best lessons we learn are from the experience of others.

That’s really as far the fallout from either accidental shooting needed to go.

But in our current risk-averse society, every accident, mistake, or tragedy seems to be a dog whistle of sorts for those intent on rescuing society via legislation. Following Ferguson-Montgomery’s negligent discharge, there was no shortage of indignant huffing and puffing by the usual suspects who have long hated Utah’s common sense concealed carry laws.

The Salt Lake Tribune wasted no time in positing that the Taylorsville teacher’s experience was definitive proof that their unshakeable opposition to guns on school campuses was on target. Of course, they’ve been predicting an impending concealed carry bloodbath for nearly 20 years now.

But with hundreds of thousands of Utahns having obtained and used concealed firearms permits since 1995, there is a conspicuous lack of incidents of accidental shootings or other mischief. Statistically, the number of Utah’s nearly 200,000 resident concealed carry permits that are revoked in a given year, for any reason, represent the tiniest sliver of a fraction of 1 percent.

This means that 99.84% of permit holders are conducting themselves safely and responsibly whether on a school campus or not.

One teacher’s unfortunate mistake does not justify revisiting or revamping the state’s concealed carry laws just to assuage the concerns of those who have never trusted their fellow citizens. When it comes to guns in the hands of the citizenry, these are the folks who will continue to fantasize about their predicted mayhem, even in the face of decades of evidence to the contrary.

Fortunately, it appears that not everyone is clamoring for new gun laws.

It’s reassuring that a recent Utah Policy poll by Dan Jones found that, of 395 Utahns surveyed, 64% of respondents said that concealed weapons in the classroom has a positive influence on school safety. Under current Utah law, teachers are not required to notify school administrators or the parents of students that they possess a concealed weapon.

There’s still a fair amount of hand-wringing over whether concealed firearm permit holders have sufficient training to protect themselves or others. This is a red herring that distracts from the primary reason that most permit holders choose to carry concealed in the first place.

They do so because they understand that, in their moment of need, there will not be a policeman there to save them.

This isn’t because the police won’t come running when they’re called and bring training, equipment, and plenty of friends with them. But they will not be there at the moment when immediate action is required.

Armed citizens don’t need to chase down criminals, we just need to be capable of protecting ourselves until help arrives.

For this reason, the vast majority of concealed firearm permit holders have chosen to arm themselves and become trained.

They don’t need to be reined legislatively in for the mistakes of others.

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and opinion writer in Southern Utah. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • Koolaid September 25, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Remember how the Republicans, Fox News and other Republican Party oriented (or anti-Democrat) radio & television propaganda programs used to spin how Obama was going to take away your guns? Has he taken away your guns? Of course not! But those gun manufacturers have made record sales/profits because of that spin! How stupid can people be to believe those spins? Obviously pretty stupid!

    • jar September 25, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Obliviously Koolaid absorbs the news in a bubble to his liking. All he has to do is listen to other news outlets to hear their anti-guns chants. Leave Obama out of it for a minute and listen to his troops who toll the socialistic line.
      What do you think the reason is that gun manufactures are leaving ‘blue states’ KOOLAID? Any clue? A line from Forrest Gump states: ‘Stupid is what stupid does’ Pay attention KOOLAID.

    • Abraham Collins September 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      He attempted to and we defeated him. You cannot deny that he intended to confiscate firearms after the Sandy Hook massacre. Failure does not cover up his original intentions.

      • Koolaid September 25, 2014 at 7:03 pm

        Did CONGRESS take away your guns? No. Now shut up about it.

        • SWEET ICE TEA September 26, 2014 at 1:43 pm

          KOOLAID…..actually Obama has been very good for the gun industry. Obama has been awarded the Best Gun Salesman of the year award 6 straight years, and continues to reign supreme as the #1 salesman in the country. Thanks to him, I have been able to accumulate a nice little arsenal for my now growing armory. Also, thanks to him, the government and/or Congress will NEVER be able to take any guns away from anyone. And he still has two years left to try to do it. As you may be aware of, AG Eric Holder announced yesterday that he will step down as US AG. Holder was asked by reporters if he had any regrets of his service as AG. Holder stated the his “one regret, was not being able to get more restrictive gun laws passed” during his tenure. Liberals DO WANT to take guns away from the citizenry. Good luck with that libs.

    • makkie September 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      hmmm……not true,but then most liberal double speak is not true.
      -a quote from diane fineswine-
      “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States, for an outright ban, picking up everyone of them (every gun) Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in. I would have done it.”
      -Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky says that “an assault weapons ban is just the beginning. She also says that a complete ban on handguns could be possible through state and local action”.
      -NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a radio interview in late December (audio below), “Confiscation could be an option…mandatory sale to the state could be an option.”
      -According to, San Diego’s [police chief] Lansdowne, who plays an active role in the western region of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), said in the interview it may take a generation, but guns will eventually be taken off the streets through new laws.
      -Former top Democratic mayor Ed Koch said he wants to ban all guns for everyone except law enforcement.
      -Attorney General Eric Holder
      The Obama administration’s Attorney General Eric Holder doesn’t suggest banning or confiscating guns. He just thinks we should brainwash the American people into wanting to get rid of guns.
      Video is on youtube.

      In United States v. Emerson, (270 F.3d 203 (5th Cir. 2001) ) The Government actually argued, “there is absolutely no right of an individual to own firearms!”

      Quotes from other liberals-
      “My view of guns is simple. I hate guns and I cannot imagine why anyone would want to own one. If I had my way, guns for sport would be registered, and all other guns would be banned.”
      – Deborah Prothrow-Stith (Dean of Harvard School of Public Health)
      “I don’t care if you want to hunt, I don’t care if you think it’s your right. I say ‘Sorry.’ it’s 1999. We have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun, and if you do own a gun I think you should go to prison.”
      – Rosie O’Donnell (At about the time she said this, Rosie engaged the services of a bodyguard who applied for a gun permit.)

      -And heres one directly from the horses mouth-
      “I don’t believe people should to be able to own guns.”
      – Barack Obama (during conversation with economist and author John Lott Jr. at the University of Chicago Law School in the 1990s)

      DO NOT be deceived.No matter what you hear, confiscation is the ultimate goal.Mark my words.

      • Maggie September 25, 2014 at 9:20 pm

        Yep to everything!!!!!

  • Bobber September 25, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I left one of my guns in my car unlocked one night. In the morning it was gone. I know for a fact it was Obama that stole it!

    • jar September 25, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      The NSA knows exactly when you leave your car unlocked. (Also your top speed for the week). ‘NSA to Eric Holder/ Obama’: ‘The coast is clear Sir’. One Daisy Red Ryder BB gun left unattended.

  • Beerbelly September 25, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    It is my understanding that Michelle Ferguson-Montgomery did not shoot herself. She shot the toilet and was wounded by porcelain shrapnel. that makes it a little comical if you ask me.

  • Shawn September 25, 2014 at 3:12 pm Cop hits Motorcycle with his car. Should No one be allowed to drive a vehicle either Mr Hyde? A trained Cop operating a vehicle hit a guy on a Motorcyle. Accidents will always happen.

  • TruthSeeker (original, returned) September 25, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    To Kool-aid, you say there isn’t an agenda to take our second amendment right, yet you admitted to the govts and media spin on the gun control issue in the second part of your comment. That’s Orwellian double speak ha. The spin isn’t for no reason. It’s careful programming by the ones behind the scenes running the show. The same ones that want a disarmed population. Wake up!

    Abraham Collins comment is right, the intent is there. It’s been apart of the globalists agenda for a long time around the world. Staged events (mainly shootings) will continue to happen and disasters will be exploited to try and confiscate guns and pass more draconian laws and the use of emotional triggers lacking logical statistical basis will be spewed by your mainstream media.

    MAKKIE makes very real and classic example of the statements we’ve heard. Great post.

    Good job to the writer Bryan

    To Shawn, I think you got confused from the first part of the article. Bryan is pro Second amendment and believes in the right of self defense.

  • Koolaid September 26, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Meanwhile, a guy in Parowan shoots and kills his step-daughter.

  • Marine September 26, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    You’ve never had an accident?
    Nice perspective sir. All men are not the same.

    Your firearm is the only means to uphold the constitution of the United States of America.

  • SWEET ICE TEA September 26, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Would not be surprised if Obama’s financial portfolio is heavily invested in gun and ammo companies as well. Obama is making a killing on the sales of guns. The man is a certifiable hypocrite and liar.

  • TruthSeeker (original, returned) September 27, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Kool-aid, a guy shoots his step daughter. What’s your point? If he wanted to kill her he could have easily used a knife. Oh Oh should we ban knives now? – they’ve proposed it in the UK. What a joke…
    If she was armed she could have protected herself. For every crime committed with a gun, there are 80 crimes deterred or stopped with a gun.

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