This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, and other gun enthusiasts are worried that the fire crisis will lead to a crackdown on firearms ("Don't single us out, say some Utah shooters," Tribune, July 4).
First, the holy Second Amendment guarantees "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" for "the security of a free State," not for the pleasure of target shooting, which in tinder-dry conditions threatens the security of our Beehive State.
Second, the Second Amendment follows the even more holy First Amendment that guarantees "the freedom of speech," yet even that freedom can be limited for the public good, so why not the right to shoot arms? If you don't have the right to falsely shout "fire" in a crowded theater, you don't have the right to endanger others by target shooting in parched brush.
Aposhian wants the state to mount an aggressive education campaign about the common-sense dangers of irresponsible target shooting, but he doesn't want a ban.
We don't have education campaigns about libel and slander, we have laws; the same should exist for irresponsible gun use. Or are guns even more sacred than speech?
Salt Lake City