Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ban Sharia Law in the US while we still can

The US Constitution is the supreme law of the land. All federal, state, and local laws must comply with the supreme law of the land.

Sharia law does not comply with the US Constitution and is therefore invalid anywhere in the United States. Presumably, immigrants (including Muslims) come here for the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

That being the case, one would assume that those immigrants would leave behind the tyranny (Sharia Law) from which they flee. Yet, many Muslims insist on practicing Sharia Law in the US.

Alaska State Representative Carl Gatto has introduced a bill that would prohibit Alaska courts from applying foreign law (dunno why he wouldn't prohibit applying foreign law altogether) if it would violate an individual's rights guaranteed by the Constitutions of the United States or of the state of Alaska. That sure makes a lot of sense to me, yet Gatto's bill is meeting a bit of opposition not only from Muslims, but from Alaskan legislators and citizens (all Dumocrats, oddly enough) who don't seem to respect the Constitution they've sworn to defend.

See Time to Unmask Muhammad

Monday, March 28, 2011

A few minutes with Dennis Prager

In the YouTube clip below, Dennis Prager eloquently describes a problem I've repeatedly addressed in my blog and elsewhere: the voters are idiots. Over the past 100 years, progressivism (the movement toward big-government control over all aspects of life) has corrupted schools and churches. The consequence is a nation of spiritual, cultural, intellectual, moral, and civic illiterates and cowards. That is exactly what the elites want and need in order to micromanage the lives of us commoners.

In his final farewell address (1796), George Washington said:
Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in the Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the opposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle....Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens....Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government....A primary object...should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing...than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?...Promote then as an object of primary importance, Institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
Only when the people know, understand, and insist on the principles of a constitutionally-limited government that is beholden only to the people and when the people cherish and safeguard their God-given rights will they remain free. Progressivism in government, schools, and churches have steadily weaned us from those principles.

The individual liberty guaranteed by the Constitution is what enabled the United States to become the most prosperous and charitable nation in history and to share that charity and prosperity with the world. Because of horrid spiritual, cultural, intellectual, moral, and civic education, this nation is rapidly loosing its prosperity and its dedication to charity. The entire world is the loser. In an 1862 address to Congress, Abraham Lincoln said it best:
We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.
Ezra Taft Benson, a member of the Eisenhower Cabinet and religious leader added,
[The Constitution] will not be saved in Washington. It will be saved by the citizens of this nation who love and cherish and women who will subscribe to and abide the principles of the Constitution.
How are we doing on that?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

HR.822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Bill, has been reintroduced with the hope that the new Congress will be more enthusiastic about passing it following the McDonald Supreme Court decision regarding gun rights. HR.822 provides that anyone who has a valid firearm carry permit can use that permit in any other state that issues concealed weapon permits. Anyone carrying a concealed firearm would be required to comply with rules and restrictions of the state he is visiting (magazine limits, gun-free areas, etc). This bill also covers The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other US territories.

Congress is empowered and charged by the US Constitution to enforce the Constitution and all amendments, including the Second. Therefore, this bill is not an overreach of federal power.

I support this legislation, although I believe it does not go far enough to protect the rights of traveling gun owners. Following is why and how I believe this bill should be improved:

The Constitution requires all public officials at the local, state, and national level to swear an oath to the US Constitution. It seems to me that this obligates all those same officials to acknowledge, and remove restrictions from, the right of all responsible Americans to own and carry arms without infringement. Therefore, all local, state, and federal restrictions on the responsible and reasonable use of firearms are invalid.

Many states have preemption laws which retain to the legislature all authority to regulate the ownership and use of firearms. This restricts local governments and state bureaucrats from creating their own laws, rules and policies regarding firearms and wisely ensures uniformity of gun laws throughout that state. So, a gun owner need not worry about unknowingly violating an arbitrary gun law simply because he crosses an invisible political boundary. I argue that the Second Amendment is the nation's preemption law. It clearly states that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Therefore, I believe that HR.822 should be amended to reaffirm the Second Amendment's prohibition on infringing gun rights and to establish uniform uninfringed concealed and open carry of arms throughout the nation and its territories.

In addition, I am disappointed that HR.822 is worded to allow or permit a constitutionally-protected right. It was the opinion of the founders that rights are endowed by our Creator -- not something government allows! We, the people who established the Constitution and the government it describes, should never allow the government to presume that it has authority to allow anything! HR.822 should be reworded to remove restrictions on those rights rather than to allow an already guaranteed right.

Nevertheless, even if HR.822 is not so amended, I urge Congress and the acting president to ensure that it becomes law immediately.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stop the tracking of multiple gun sales

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) is seeking authority to require all of the 8,500 firearm dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report all sales of two or more semiautomatic rifles within five consecutive business days, if the rifles are larger than .22 caliber (bullet diameter) and use detachable magazines. (Even a Ruger 10/22 rimfire rifle at .223 caliber -- the same caliber as an AR-15 highpower rifle -- would seem to fit that criteria. See photo at right.) The BATFE already tracks multiple sales of handguns nationwide. I suspect that this new move by the BATFE is to get its foot in the door for a nationwide registry of multiple long gun sales.

The irony in this move by the BATFE is that the bureau has been encouraging the flow of thousands of firearms to Mexican drug cartels -- something this new regulatory move is supposed to stop! This is evidence that the BATFE doesn't really care if criminals or agents of foreign gangs buy lots of guns -- they only care if responsible Americans buy more than one gun.

Under existing law, the bureau has full access to every record of every firearm transaction by every licensed dealer, whether during a bona fide criminal investigation or simply to enforce compliance with record keeping requirements. This new reporting scheme would create a registry of owners of many of today's most popular rifles--firearms owned by millions of Americans for self-defense, hunting and other lawful purposes.

The renegade BATFE must be brought under control if not disbanded altogether. Both the President and Congress have a responsibility to do so immediately.

Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.) introduced S.570 -- "a bill to prohibit the Department of Justice from tracking and cataloging the purchases of multiple rifles and shotguns." The bill would prohibit the use of federal funds for a multiple sales reporting scheme proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Last month, the US House of Representatives adopted an amendment with similar language. That amendment passed the House with broad bipartisan support.

I would make one change S.570, however -- prohibit the tracking of multiple handgun sales as well, since there is no evidence that this tracking has solved or prevented any crime that could not have been accomplished with other existing laws and tools.

I urge immediate enactment of legislation to bring the BATFE under control including S.570 and HR.1093 -- the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform Act).

Friday, March 18, 2011

More alternative energy nonsense

The Bureau of land Management and the US Department of Energy are holding public meetings to accept public comments on so-called solar energy zones in six Southwestern States, including Utah. These zones are areas that have been identified as suitable for for "utility-scale solar energy development." The following are the comments I submitted at

Regarding alternative energy development, I oppose government taking a role in any way other than necessary regulations and enforcement to protect the rights of the people and to protect wildlife and the environment. I therefore urge the total rejection of using public funds to study the impact of any proposed solar energy zones or to prepare any form of impact statement. I urge the total rejection of any government subsidies for any form of alternative energy development and production. All those costs must be born entirely by the commercial and/or private entities that intend to profit from solar energy. If "green" energy is such a good idea, why hasn't any power company already established significant wind or solar farms entirely at its own expense?

Experience shows that alternative energy technologies (ie solar and wind) are not profitable without government subsidies. Consequently, the government and the developers must anticipate that the equipment installed in the proposed solar energy zones will break down long before they break even, let alone make an unsubsidized profit. I therefore demand that prior to approval, any entity that installs any alternative energy system on public land be required to set aside sufficient funds to promptly remove and properly dispose of all obsolete, unused, damaged, and worn out equipment and restore the land to its natural condition. The California countryside is littered with broken-down wind turbines because they don't even produce enough reliable electricity to pay for repairs or removal. We must stop that taxpayer-subsidized nonsense!

Because the sun doesn't always shine and the wind rarely blows at optimum speed, both solar and wind power are so unreliable that conventional power sources (coal, gas, hydro, nuclear) must be sized to provide 100% of the energy needs of the customers. Therefore, to protect the consumer's expectation of constant, reliable, on-demand energy, any entity that installs any alternative energy project on public land must also install, maintain, and operate a conventional energy source to ensure that the facility, as a whole, always produces at least the rated output of the alternative energy source.

Any alternative energy project on public land must have no adverse effect whatsoever on other historical uses of that land such as wildlife habitat, grazing, hunting, recreation, mineral development, logging, etc.

Since alternative energy advocates consider conventional energy sources to be evil, I demand that any alternative energy development in the proposed solar zones be done entirely without using carbon-based fuel or other conventional sources of energy. That includes not using any energy whatsoever that is derived from carbon to manufacture, transport, install, and maintain any of the equipment, wiring, foundations, and other structures associated with the project.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I am outraged that Congress does nothing to establish English as the official language while a majority of the people still speak that language.

I am outraged that most Congressmen have their official website published in Spanish.

I am outraged that Congress and the Whitehouse have done nothing to stop the twisted interpretation of the 14th Amendment that gives "anchor baby" citizenship to children of invaders.

I am outraged that congressmen and the acting president call for "comprehensive immigration reform" (amnesty for invaders -- potential Democrat voters and cheap Republican labor) when what we really need is simple immigration policy reform -- establish the policy that existing immigration law is sufficient and will be aggressively enforced (see US Constitution, Article IV, Section 4).

I am outraged that US territory along our border with Mexico is off limits to Americans to make room for invaders.

I am outraged that Americans are being murdered on their own property along the border with Mexico by Mexican smugglers.

I am outraged that the Whitehouse has the gall to sue Arizona to stop that State from identifying illegals as such when they are caught committing crimes in that State. (Utah is surely next to be sued.)

I am outraged that government bureaucrats are requiring border patrol officers defend themselves with mere bean bags. (If bean bags are good enough for men and women who are trying to protect US sovereignty, then surely bean bags are good enough to protect the acting president.)

I am outraged that government bureaucrats (and probably presidential appointees and even the acting president) are involved in smuggling guns to criminals in Mexico.

I am outraged that, even while it is involved in smuggling arms to Mexican drug cartels, the Whitehouse has the gall to blame law-abiding citizens and gun dealers for the prevalence of machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades in the hands of Mexican drug gangs.

I am outraged that Congress cannot find time or courage defend the nation against these outrages, yet it has time for unconstitutional legislation such as to tell me what kind of light bulb I am allowed to use, to bailout failing and corrupt businesses, to pay for somebody else's electric car with my money, and to usurp power over the best health care system in the world.

I am most outraged that Congress is complicit in all of this because it is doing absolutely nothing as a body to stop any of this.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Support US Senate Bill 251

For may years, I've been disgusted by the decades-long entitlement mentality that has accompanied the rapid growth of our welfare state. This plague has included the attitude that we can't let failing people and institutions fail. So, we bail out every failure in the nation. These failures include:
• paying generations of women to have children out of wedlock,
• generations of families with no father in the home because his presence reduces the flow of money from the government,
• generations of people who don't work -- and need not because they know Uncle Sam will pay them anyway,
• financial institutions that can't or won't manage assets prudently -- and don't have to because they know Uncle Sam will bail them out, and
• countless corporate welfare programs and subsidies to protect businesses (ie "green" energy and poorly-run major corporations) that can't survive in a free market.
Perhaps the most egregious part of this madness was the recent massive bailouts that dumped trillions of dollars on corporations that can't survive in a free market just to save over-priced union jobs.

For too long, we have demanded that big government fix every little problem that we should be resolving at the individual and family levels. Worse, we allow big government to fix problems that don't even exist and which they have no constitutional authority to address.

Consequently, local, state, and federal bureaucracies have grown to the point where it seems like every employee in the private sector is supporting his own bureaucrat who makes more than he does. For example, had the number of state and local government employees remained proportional to population growth since 1946, nationwide, there would be 12.4 million fewer state and local government employees today! The growth of the federal government is even worse!

The cost of state and local government rose from 6% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in 1946 to 18% today. Much of that growth is a result of federal mandates and regulation. But it's also due to voters and taxpayers who allow and even demand that their local and state governments do more than they should as well as the ugly public union mess that is tearing Wisconsin apart at this moment with many other states to follow. Again, the federal government is even worse. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government took about 15% of GDP in 1950. Today, the federal government hogs nearly 20% of GDP and is projected to take 40% of GDP by 2075!

So, today government consumes 38% of GDP and is projected to continue to grow rapidly. If we, the people, don't stop this runaway government growth, it will soon consume over 60% of the wealth that Americans create. Due to this massive growth in government at all levels, the cost of government is rapidly reaching the level of unsustainability and bankruptcy.

We, the people, own this nation -- not politicians or bureaucrats or political parties or labor unions! We voters and taxpayers must unite to stop this madness. This includes demanding that:
• governments at all levels stop the wild spending
• each level of government conduct a comprehensive audit to identify and purge all laws, regulations, policies, agencies, and judicial rulings which violate the limits on government described by federal and state constitutions and local charters,
• the federal government stop imposing mandates on state and local governments,
• the federal government stop funding state and local projects and agencies in any way,
• local governments stop seeking or accepting funding from the state and federal governments,
• state governments stop seeking or accepting funding of any kind from the federal government,
taxes at every level be cut to the bare level necessary to fund its constitutional duties, and that
• governments at all levels restrict their projects (schools, recreation centers, parks, etc) to what their constituents can afford without "free" money from above.
To force state and local governments to restore some fiscal sanity, Senator David Vitter of Louisiana has introduced S.251 which would prohibit the provision of federal funds to state and local governments for payment of obligations and to prohibit the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from financially assisting State and local governments. I am pleased to learn that my senior senator, Orin Hatch is a cosponsor.

This legislation must be enacted immediately. If not, the taxpayers of sensible states will soon be bailing out irresponsible states such as California and Michigan. The beneficiaries (residents) of the largess of irresponsible local and state governments are the one who need to be suffering the consequences -- not those of us who do a better job of keeping our state and local politicians under control.

Raising the debt ceiling

The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife. — Thomas Jefferson (letter to Spencer Roane, 1821)

Words (and marriage) have meanings

Today, the Deseret News has an article entitled, "10 areas where the struggle to define marriage is being waged." Note that the headline refers to the "struggle to define marriage."

That issue has always been settled since man was created until very recently. Until the past few years, marriage has always been defined as a formal relationship between a man and a woman (in some cultures and religions, more than one spouse of the opposite sex). Webster gives a typical definition: "the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law."

The Deseret News headline should have referred to the "struggle to redefine marriage because presidents, politicians, judges, and editors are moral cowards."

Words have meanings.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Representative Evan Vickers and gun permits

Utah HB 129 would remove the requirement for responsible adults to obtain government permission to exercise a constitutionally-guaranteed right -- to possess and use arms. If passed, adults who are not restricted from possessing firearms would again be free to carry loaded concealed firearms in most public places.

Regarding HB 129, our local State Representative, Evan Vickers wrote to a fellow citizen:
I appreciate your opinion on this bill. I am having trouble with it. I have a concealed weapons permit and enjoy the use of a number of guns but this seems like it goes too far. I know that law enforcement has some real problems with it and I know of a number of legislators that are also concerned about the unintended consequences. There are some amendments forthcoming that may improve the bill.
This statement confirms my fear that Representative Vickers continues to need very careful watching when it comes to gun rights. While still a candidate for the legislature (Oct 9, 2008), he told me that although he owned guns and hunted, he favored gun registration:
Law Enforcement needs to be able to know where most of the guns are....I do not believe that it is appropriate to have a large number of unregistered guns floating around....
I still have a copy of that email. History shows that his is a very dangerous position for a politician to take. Clearly, a politician's pride in gun ownership is no measure of his respect for either the US or Utah Constitutions -- both of which clearly prohibit infringement of the right to arms. To these same constitutions, every public official at the local, state, and federal levels swear faithfulness.

As for "law enforcement [having] some real problems with it," they also have sworn faithfulness both the US and Utah Constitutions. The same goes for the other legislators "that are also concerned about the unintended consequences." Vermont, Alaska, and Arizona have had absolutely no "unintended consequences" from unlicensed responsible adults carrying loaded concealed firearms. While Arizona and Alaska are relatively new to this segment of liberty, Vermont's track record of safety spans decades. Wyoming just joined that club.

HB 129 is very clear in that it simply restores the right of responsible persons to carry a concealed firearm just as our forefathers did. A permit would still be required in some cases such as on public school property (also an unreasonable infringement of rights).

Both state and federal law will continue to wisely prohibit firearm possession by those who have demonstrated an unwillingness or inability to responsibly handle firearms (felons, addicts, the insane, etc.) Instead of looking for ways to put law-abiding gun owners in chains, these are the people Representative Vickers and law enforcement should be concerned about -- and these restricted persons already, and will continue to, carry guns without a permit regardless of any law any legislature can dream up!

I have one major concern about HB 129. This involves the "amendments forthcoming that may improve the bill." It was amended in Committee to include a requirement to notify any law enforcement officer with whom one comes in official contact that he is carrying a firearm. I unalterably oppose this poison-pill amendment. HB 129 must be rejected so long as it has this amendment for the following reasons:
• No person with criminal intent would volunteer such information -- by definition, criminals do not obey the law.
• The US Supreme Court has ruled that prohibited persons are not required to register firearms because gun registration laws violate their 5th Amendment rights. I suspect that the ruling would be relevant to requiring a restricted person to disclose firearm possession to law enforcement.
• If the behavior of a law-abiding adult is such that he is no threat to the cop, himself, or anyone else, it is none of the cop's (government's) business whether he's carrying a weapon of any kind. That said, I believe it might be prudent to make such a disclosure, but I oppose a mandate to do so.
We have more than sufficient laws to address behavior which violate natural law (mala in se crimes). There is no reason to create or retain any law that arbitrarily criminalizes behavior that harms no one (mala prohibita crimes) -- such as the carrying of a concealed firearm by a responsible adult. If laws stopped crime, we wouldn't have any.

HB 129 must be cleansed of its poison-pill amendments and then enacted immediately.

Gun-rights legislation (such as HB 129) constitute my favorite litmus test because it measures, better than most other issues, how faithful a politician is to our precious constitutions and how much he trusts the judgement of the people who elected him.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ban unions for government workers!

What happens when government employees learn that they can't keep looting the public treasury? Here's what:

The really disgusting part of this story is that much of this mob consists of presumably educated, disciplined and cultured educators, many making making six-figures. A reported 40% of Wisconsin public school employees called in sick to participate in this mob. Alleged doctors (who presumably also called in sick) were on hand to handout apparently fraudulent sick excuses to the teachers and other government workers. Their students surely must be impressed!

As is typical of liberals, these people are slobs, leaving litter and damage in their wake.

Why all the fuss? Wisconsin (like many States, cities, and the federal government) is going broke paying wages, benefits, and pensions that far exceed what most people make in the private sector. Government employees reportedly average almost 50% more than their counterparts in the private sector. Why do they make so much? Because politicians can easily buy their votes with fat compensation packages at taxpayer expense. In the private sector, on the other hand, employers have a bottom line. If they overcompensate their employees, company profits sink and the company can even fail.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters [government workers] discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage. — Attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler, a Scottish historian/professor on the fall of the Athenian republic in The Cycle of Democracy, (1778)
In the private sector, businesses must make a profit. If a business doesn't provide the owner(s) an attractive return on their investment, they close the doors. Businesses generally have competition and must provide equivalent or better products at equivalent or better prices to attract customers. Business that can't compete in a free market go out of business (unless the government provides some sort of subsidy or other bailout). When the workers of these businesses unionize the result is an adversarial relationship. The workers want more money and benefits, job security, and better working conditions. The owner(s) want to make a profit for themselves. The give and take between the two parties eventually results in a compromise.

In the public sector, on the other hand, the government has no competitors -- they have a monopoly on the services they provide (and we don't have a choice whether to pay for services we don't want or don't use). The owners are the taxpayers whose interests are often ignored by the government -- unlike the owner(s) of a business. One would think that elected officials are beholden to the voters and taxpayers. In reality, far too many politicians are beholden to those who give them the most money and other campaign support. This is where unions -- particularly public sector unions -- come in. Public employees are in the unique position to elect their own bosses and the persons with whom they will negotiate their own compensation and working conditions. The presence of public-sector unions has been extremely visible around certain political campaigns (ie Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and other ultra-liberal Democrats). When politicians are voted into office with this help of the public sector unions, there is little or no adversarial relationship between management and union as explained above for businesses. Hence, public sector employees typically have substantially better compensation package and significantly better job security than their employers -- the private-sector taxpayers.

I've been a union member for 25 years -- in the private sector. The greed, corruption, and ugly behavior of members of public-employee unions over the past several years makes me ashamed to be a union member.

Public employees should never be unionized. They work for the people and should never be paid more than their employers. Many of them, however, seem to believe that the only reason taxpayers exist is to provide a comfortable lifestyle to government employees and politicians.

I warn the taxpayers of Wisconsin (an all other States) to remember what Governor Walker and the Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature are doing to protect the taxpayer's interests because the unions will certainly remember. If taxpayers do not support every politician who fights for the citizen's rights, the politicians who fight for the unions will invariably win.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

No permits to carry guns!

Utah State Representative Carl Wimmer has introduced HB 129, "Firearms Modifications." This "constitutional carry" bill would restore the right of persons 21 years of age or older who are not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm to carry a loaded and/or concealed handgun without a permit in any location where it's currently legal for such a person to openly carry an unloaded firearm without a permit.

A permit would still be required to carry on school premises and in certain other places.

Persons who are currently prohibited from owning firearms, such as drug users, convicted felons, and spouse-abusers, would continue to be prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition -- as they should be.

Politicians and gun-control advocates justify the permitting process by saying, "we need to know who are carrying guns," as if it is any of their business to know. The need-to-know-who-are-carrying-guns concept is fatally flawed in that criminals cannot qualify for a permit, will not apply for one, by definition don't obey laws (including permit requirements), and carry guns anyway! Gun crime is almost always caused by persons who don't care about formalities such as getting a permit. So why require responsible adults to have a permit if the criminals don't?

One opponent of the bill said, "Check me if I'm wrong, but if we make it legal to conceal carry without a permit, then gang members can't be prosecuted - they won't be breaking the law if they carry heat just about anywhere they want to." Wimmer's bill does not allow gang members to commit gun crimes -- or any other crimes. It does not change any law prohibiting felons and other restricted persons from possessing a firearm. If we want a permit process just so the cops have something to charge a gang member with, we're taking some very dangerous steps toward tyranny directed at all of us.

Vermont, Alaska, and Arizona have already removed the requirement for a permit to carry a loaded and/or concealed firearm. These states have shown that requiring permits of responsible gun owners has no effect on gun crime or negligence. Because of this demonstrated history of safety, several States are working on legislation to remove the permit requirement for responsible gun owners.

We have more than sufficient laws to deal with harmful behavior. There is no need to regulate behavior that is not harmful, such as the possession of the best tool for self-defense -- a firearm.

Since I teach the Utah Concealed Firearm Course (among several firearms courses), I have a selfish interest in preserving the permit requirement. But, as a freedom-loving American who has sworn to support and defend the US Constitution, I am opposed to this mandate. That said, carrying a deadly weapon is serious business. So, I encourage all responsible Americans to voluntarily receive competent training in the safe use of firearms and the employment of deadly force.

I urge the legislature and the governor to enact HB 129 without any adverse amendments such as that proposed by Representative Lee B. Perry. All other States should do likewise. The criminals need to know that their occupation is extremely unhealthy!