The Second Amendment is alive and well in America and, despite what boogeyman the NRA may invent, the number one threat to Americans is themselves.

Per the CDC, there were over 33,000 gun deaths in America last year. Of those, almost 22,000 were suicides and another 500 were accidents. We could cut those numbers significantly with two common sense reforms.

First, we need to increase funding for mental health care in our country and link that information with background checks for every gun purchase. Linking mental health screenings and background checks to gun purchases would lead to the largest decrease in gun deaths. Background checks on all purchases would also limit the ability of domestic abusers to obtain weapons, improving safety for women and children trapped in that destructive cycle.

Second, we need to mandate safety training for first time gun buyers. Many first time buyers do not have the luxury of family members or friends who are experienced handling firearms and can teach them to properly use, clean and store their guns.

By mandating this training the first time someone purchases a weapon, we can ensure a more safety-educated class of gun owner and limit accidental deaths.

Jason Chandler

Salt Lake City