With the latest gun-rights frenzy promoting fears the government is going to take all our weapons, the National Rifle Association's assertion that we all need to be armed, and Utah sheriffs promising to protect us against the feds, one enterprising Utah Highway Patrol trooper saw an opportunity to make some money.
He just got a little too rambunctious about it.
Trooper Jason Marshall, who patrols the Carbon County area, bought advertising in local newspapers and on radio stations offering a concealed-weapons class for $25 per person.
The only problem is the classes were being held in UHP's Section 9 field office in Price.
After I asked the Highway Patrol if that was appropriate, UHP spokesman Todd Johnson replied that the administration "has recently become aware of this situation. The use of a Utah Highway Patrol facility to conduct a for-profit concealed-firearms class is a violation of Department of Public Safety policy. Action has been taken to correct the issue and ensure that further use of any UHP facility is in compliance with DPS and state policy."
Perhaps, now that gun-rights groups have shot down legislative attempts to restrict target shooting in areas where they might start fires, Trooper Marshall could move his classes outside this summer, in a dry-timber area.
Capitol protection from moms • Several protesters swarmed the state Capitol on Wednesday to bring attention to the air pollution along the Wasatch Front and call on government to do something about it.
Among the groups was Utah Moms for Clean Air.
And while allowed to peaceably assemble at the Capitol, the group's online presence was not.
The Capitol's Wi-Fi system has blocked access to the group's website, saying it is a pornography site.
That must be because of the group's focus on "dirty" air.
Two-year supply? • Former legislator and wannabe congressman Carl Wimmer went on Facebook recently to solicit help so he could get $700 worth of free food.
The tea party favorite and champion of self-sufficiency headlined on his Facebook page: "Vote for Carl and Sherry Wimmer! We need you. Vote for our photo."
Facebook friends then were directed to click onto the photo of the Wimmers' pantry and hit "like." The most "likes" in the contest would get $700 worth of freeze-dried food from Food Storage Chef.
And (ta-da!) the Wimmers won, as Carl proudly announced on the page. They got more than 360 "likes."
If only those voters could have been Republican delegates last year. He would be getting a congressional salary, not to mention lunches from lobbyists, and wouldn't need the free food.
GOP reveals Matheson is a Democrat • Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson is barely one month into his new term and the National Republican Congressional Committee is already running against him, assuming he will try for an eighth term in 2014.
The NRCC has issued a news release awarding Matheson the "Camouflage" badge "for his outstanding work trying to hide his true support of the Obama-Pelosi agenda."
Didn't they already try that?
If you will recall, television ads last fall urged viewers to defeat Matheson in his race against Republican Mia Love because, basically, he is a Democrat. It didn't work.
The NRCC's news release repeats the message. "[Matheson] can't deny that Obama has endorsed him and gave thousands to get him re-elected," said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek.
What a revelation: A Democrat president endorsed a Democratic congressman.
And he doesn't even have an opponent yet.
Back to its roots • The Highland City Council passed a resolution Tuesday declaring it will not bend to tyrannical federal officials trying to take away its citizens' constitutional rights to keep and bear arms.
That would make one of the city's founders, a member of its first city council, proud, since he, too, took a strong stance against the government interfering with his rights, including the right to violate speeding laws.
His name: Ron Lafferty.