Short takes on issues
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Living in the wild • Three majestic mountain lions were killed in a rural area of Summit County after two pets were attacked by a big cat. That's a shame. People who choose to live within the habitat of wild animals should accept the dangers and keep pets inside during winter when mountain lions follow deer into the valleys. If they don't choose to protect their pets, they should accept the consequences. After all, there are many millions of dogs and cats in this country but not many mountain lions.

Protecting children • The Washington State Legislature will consider a bill aimed at protecting children and named after Charlie and Braden Powell, the dead children of Utahn Susan Powell, whose 2009 disappearance has never been solved. The boys' father, Josh Powell, a "person of interest" in the West Valley City case, took his sons to his rented house in Puyallup, Wash., where he killed Charlie, 7, Braden, 5, and himself last February in a premeditated fire. The Braden and Charlie Powell Act would bar child custody awards to suspects in active murder investigations. West Valley City police never officially listed Josh Powell as a murder suspect. The bill would require law enforcement agencies to provide information on a murder suspect to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, if it's relevant to a child dependency case. Utah should consider doing the same.

Sales pitch • National Rifle Association President David Keene is making the rounds in Washington, D.C., essentially lobbying for gun manufacturers. He said the NRA would fight against universal background checks, which Keene called a "hindrance" to gun purchasers who want to follow the law. It seems law-abiding citizens who want to keep all people safe would agree to a small inconvenience. But anything that might discourage the continuing massive sales of guns in this country can't be tolerated by the NRA, which purports to be a grass-roots association of gun owners but is more an arm of the industry that makes billions from selling all types of guns to Americans. Since guns don't often wear out, the only way to maintain the market is to make people believe they have something to fear — the government, their neighbors — and thus need to be armed.