This is an archived article that was published on in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I am stunned by Rep. Jason Chaffetz's assertion in "Chaffetz says he'll likely carry weapon more" (Tribune, Jan. 9) and the opinion of Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, in "Gun permits, who needs 'em?" (Tribune, Jan. 13).

I'd barely trust myself with a gun (and don't carry one). I am certainly uneasy being among strangers, even elected ones, who are armed with lethal weapons.

That's the trouble with liberalizing gun access and presence. If I have a right to carry a gun, then you and everyone else should, too. Which doesn't make any of us feel safer, does it? And, of course, we're truly not safer: More guns mean more gun violence.

I hope our elected representatives will work to reduce our strange and dangerous obsession with guns and vigilantism. There are alternatives. To deter an intruder, try motion-activated lights, a barking dog or a disabling technology like pepper spray (works on grizzlies, too). Except for hunters who truly need the meat for food, consider shooting game with a camera. Outrageous? No more so than an increasingly armed, angry and paranoid citizenry.

As for the Second Amendment, even the Founding Fathers didn't walk the streets carrying loaded sidearms.

Al Forsyth

River Heights