Letter: More gun research to make smart policy

First Published      Last Updated Aug 06 2016 08:59 am

With acts of violence the debate soon turns to the question of firearms and their role in society. Often the argument is framed as two opposing ideas; are you for gun rights, or are you for gun safety?

This is a false choice. There is significant evidence to argue that the intent of the Second amendment was to protect the individual's right to use firearms. However, during the American Revolution and early republic, cities and states had gun safety laws that included gun registration, safe storage and restricted use. Many today would shudder at these laws, but the founders understood the need to balance rights and safety.

I am not promoting the laws of the 1700s, but I do believe that gun rights and violence prevention can co-exist in our laws to the benefit the public.

Gun violence is a problem in the U.S., but what will help? Many have gut feelings on this question, but without data, politicians miss the mark. To our harm, Congress has blocked research on how to prevent gun violence. I encourage readers to tell their representatives to lift this prohibition so that we can get the answers to make smart policy decisions.

Andrew L. Chalmers

Salt Lake City