News roundup: Passion overtakes facts in gun control debate
Published: December 18, 2012 07:46AM
Updated: December 18, 2012 07:46AM
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This Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 picture shows part of a cache of seized weapons displayed at a news conference in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Obama, Boehner make progress. Shurtleff joins international law firm. UDOT rethinks flex-lane lights.

Happy Tuesday. The specter of gun control, especially after mass shootings like what happened in Sandy Hook last week, often make for passionate arguments that overlook the facts:

-> "The problem is that opposition to reasonable gun control is irrational," writes author Mitchell Bard. "What I mean is that the arguments of opponents come from a subjective place (feelings, tradition, paranoia, etc.) with no basis in empirical reality. The arguments I'm seeing on social networking sites and in news stories since Newtown are evasive, looking to push the discussion away from facts and figures and toward appeals to emotion." [HuffPost]

-> Despite the fears that President Barack Obama would curtail guns, he's actually presided over a rise in sales, so much that manufacturers are struggling to produce enough for the demand. [AP]

-> Tim Carney offers some advice for journalists covering the Connecticut shooting: writing "semi-automatic rifle" is like saying "gasoline car." [Examiner]

Topping the news: Utah's electors on Monday offered up their votes to Mitt Romney in the official vote for president but Obama still won nationally. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Obama and Speaker John Boehner are making some headway in averting a drive over the fiscal cliff, meeting again Monday after the president dismissed Boehner's offer to hike taxes on millionaires only. [AP]

-> AG Mark Shurtleff will leave office in January and walk into a new gig with an international law firm. [Trib] [DNews]

-> South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced that Rep. Tim Scott will replace Sen. Jim DeMint who is leaving his post to take the reigns at the Heritage Foundation. Scott will become the only African-American serving in the Senate. [WaPost]

Tweets of the day: From @chucktodd: "Very little coverage of today's actual presidential election. Imagine if today's media covered the Jefferson-Burr tie vote."

Happy birthday: To Holly Richardson.

In other news: Rep. Carol Spackman Moss has started the conversation in Utah about jettisoning the law that allows guns on K-12 campuses. [Trib]

-> A new vacancy for a Utahn has opened up on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals after Judge Michael R. Murphy has decided to take senior status. [Trib]

-> A week after UDOT turned on flex-lane lights, it's now turned some off because drivers found too many of them too confusing. [Trib]

-> Tom Wharton pens a tribute to Utah's oldest conservation organization, Great Salt Lake Audubon. [Trib]

-> Zion National Park rangers are holding a winter solstice party and "Not and end of the world" party. [Trib]

-> Services were held Monday for W. Rex Black, a Democrat and golf enthusiast who spent 24 years as a Utah state senator. [Trib]

-> Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss their No. 7 top story of the year: the election of newbie Chris Stewart to Congress. [UtahPolicy]

-> Services were held Monday for longtime state Sen. W. Rex Black. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on gun control. [Trib]

Where are they?

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard
Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/betsyblanchard