This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among American youth aged 10 to 24 (after unintentional injuries and homicides). Guns are used by nearly half of young people who commit suicide. Nearly one-fifth of youth who a recent study found to be at risk for suicide live in homes where they can get a gun.
I firmly believe in the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. With every right comes responsibility.
It should be a law that any adult gun owner who resides in a home with children or youth must keep their guns and ammunition secured under lock in separate places. There should be a serious fine if they are found breaking that law.
And if an owner's unsecured gun is used by a youth in a suicide (or homicide), he or she should face a mandatory prison term of at least a year. With rights come responsibilities … and consequences.
This proposal doesn't limit people from owning guns, but it well regulates those who do, as the Constitution mandates.
Leonard J. Nemeth
Salt Lake City