Thursday, May 14, 2009

Don't mess with us

An article in the local paper shows folks why you don't mess with anyone from Utah. It's now legal to carry a gun--even without a permit--in one's car in Utah. A car is an extension of your domicile, private property, so having a gun in your glove box or under the seat is perfectly legal.

Now if the guy next to you on the freeway is annoying you with loud thumping music, or the girl in the other lane is chatting on her cell and putting on false eyelashes while traveling at 75 mph, you can pull out your gun and shoot them. Really. I wouldn't kid about such matters.

My favorite local cartoonist, Pat Bagley, shows the general local attitude about the subject.

Recently a family member approached me at a holiday get-together and put a semi-automatic assault rifle in my hands. I glanced at it politely and handed it back. I hoped it wasn't loaded. He's one of the folks who worry that Obama will take away his right to own that rifle, so he bought one before some ban took effect. The way he tossed around the name Obama made me wonder if he thinks the President of the U.S. is personally going to come to his house and go for his weapon. There are steps to take before such a thing would happen, like a bill passing Congress and the Senate, then being signed into law. Lots of things the President desires and asks for don't come to pass.

Fortunately for my assault rifle-packin' family member the gun lobby is right there in Washington looking out for his right to carry around some major firepower, and now the local legislature has said he can carry weapons in his car. Well, I believe he already carries weapons in his car, because he has a concealed weapons permit. The law about having a gun in your car, if you're over 18, has nothing to do with a concealed weapons permit, which you can't get until you're 21. So for those three years before young Wyatt Earp can get his concealed weapons permit he can at least carry a gun in his car.

I wonder how people in other states view Utah and its gun laws? I've written about it a couple of times, here, and here.

Incidentally, in the story where I tell about the Trolley Square shooting and the Ogden Police officer who first responded I need to make an update. That officer recently left his job and went to jail for forcing an underage girl to perform oral sex on him. Apparently his gun wasn't the only deadly weapon he had on his person.


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