Kirby: Thank heavens for this straight-shooting Utah cop

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Robert Kirby believes Davis County Chief Deputy Ty Berger makes more practical sense than any major D.C. power player or lobbyist.

A lot is going on currently in the upper stratosphere of U.S. politics, business, diplomacy and jurisprudence. Much of it is confusing, opinionated and about as useful to the average American as a cardboard sandwich.

President Donald Trump blusters about this, Sarah Huckabee Sanders blabs that. Omarosa Manigault Newman claims this, Vladimir Putin says … hell, I don’t know. I don’t speak Russian. I wouldn’t pay attention to him even if I did.

Forget all that right now, and let’s focus on who is actually the smartest person in America today.

According to a recent poll conducted in my personal office, the honor goes to … Davis County Chief Deputy Ty Berger.

[Applause, screams, hoots, whistles.]

Right now, Berger makes more practical sense than any major D.C. power player or lobbyist. Forget news pundits, network noise holes, Twitter, even Facebook. Here’s why this chief deputy is absolutely brilliant.

After the arrest Monday of a certified idiot for getting drunk and accidentally striking a public bus multiple times while shooting at a peach orchard in Fruit Heights, Berger told reporters — drum roll, please — “alcohol and weapons are not a good combination.”

Berger further urged residents (read: “any other idiots”) not to shoot at peach trees within a city or in other high-traffic areas.

Unlike most of the national news, these are words to heed. You don’t need to be politically astute, highly educated or even sober to understand them. I understood them by the time I was … well, through puberty anyway.

Berger’s admonishment is particularly important now with the approach of hunting season(s). The hills soon will be alive with the sound of musketry, some from people of questionable intelligence, and some from chemically altered morons.

It’s been a long time since I hunted. One of the things I remember clearly is that the main point was to come home without a bullet or an arrow through my neck. It was, like, oh, No. 1 on my wife’s list of hunting conditions.

The second thing was not to shoot another person even by accident. There’s some other stuff, of course, but I’ve forgotten most of it. I think bringing home whatever I was hunting ranked around No. 17.

Even if it’s not hunting season, Berger’s words still apply. Boiled down, it’s safety first whenever a weapon is involved.

I’ve been shot three times — twice by small-caliber firearms (including a ricochet) and once by an arrow. I don’t count empty tranquilizer guns, Tasers, pepper balls or rubber riot slugs.

My takeaway from these three shooting incidents is that they could have been avoided. I should have either been paying attention or been with smarter/sober friends.

Unlike politicians, news knobs and even columnists hogging all the news coverage, there’s no arguing with the importance or the logic of Berger’s words of wisdom.

There’s no fact-checking needed when someone says, “Never give a gun to a drunk monkey.”

Firearm safety doesn’t come naturally. It’s not built into the human psyche, particularly those in altered states of awareness.

Safety has to be a deliberate thought, something along the line of “I am not going to shoot into those trees just to see if something screams,” or “Hey, I know. Let’s not just pile all the rifles in the back seat with the kids.”

It could be that this column — like Chief Deputy Berger’s advice — is just a waste of time. But unlike celebrity tweets and political posts, he offered words to live by.