We’re always curious as to why anyone thinks we must “defend” the Second Amendment, but whatever the reason, Utah’s Sen. Mike Lee is all over it. “We write to express our grave concern over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ (ATF) continued pattern of enforcing secret guidance,” he and 19 other Republican senators wrote recently. Apparently, someone somewhere received threatening letters about buying or owning certain firearms accessories, none of which are illegal. It was unclear whether any action had been taken, but the emails seem to reference silencers, which are legal but regulated. Still, it’s comical to think the Second Amendment is in some kind of jeopardy from this “secret” guidance, which seems to be not-so-secret.
Here’s the thing. The war in Ukraine has highlighted a critical issue facing Utah and the rest of the nation—how to produce energy when all else goes wrong. President Biden has stopped all Russian imports of oil in another attempt at hobbling Russia’s economy. This, of course, led our Republican delegation to hyperventilate because—gee whiz—we can activate that fossil fuel pipeline in an instant and not look to countries like Venezuela for help, the Deseret News reports. They have a point in that it seems self-defeating to turn away from one dictatorship to another. On the other hand, this could be an opportunity to fund and support clean energy alternatives. At the same time, The Salt Lake Tribune ran a story about preparing for wildfire “season.” That season has been exacerbated by climate change and an unwillingness to look for alternatives to fossil fuels.
Don’t Fence Me in
Does anyone in the Legislature think before they mess up a good thing? Well, at least we know Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, doesn’t. Listen to this leap of logic: “Who controls the land, controls the economy, they control the people,” said Lyman in a Salt Lake Tribune story. We know Lyman is all about the land—and control. Still, it’s a stunning statement in a time when many people can barely afford an apartment, much less land. This, however, was Lyman’s way of scuttling a land swap deal between the BLM and the state institutional trust lands. It happens all the time in a win-win scenario where land is consolidated, and the proceeds go to Utah schools. Lyman stopped the latest bill because: “If you take these sections … and move them to a more ‘productive place,’ then in 20 years, you can take the kids out of that county and send them to that more productive place to get jobs. It’s not fair.” And so under Lyman logic, children should not be able to seek better opportunities.