Good Guys With Guns
It's no exaggeration to say there's been a mass shooting in the country almost daily. In fact, there have been more mass shootings than days so far in 2023. Whether you have been shocked or numbed by the carnage, you should take heart that the Legislature is doing something about it. Or is it? Lawmakers no doubt have been feeling a certain pressure to act, although their Second Amendment mindset often ties them in knots that prevent any real action. Now, Gov. Spencer Cox is calling a special session to deal with what might be a legal problem. He wants to tackle flooding and its costs—and while they're at it, fix a gun law. The gun bill itself is hard to understand, but we'll assume it's benign to require background checks when returning a firearm to someone from evidence. But something went awry with a provision about a person with a nonimmigrant work visa, the Deseret News reports. Like so many Utah laws, changes to the law will probably make it easier to carry a gun. We can at least hope for a robust dialogue.
Who knew so many people—and so many parents!—would come to the defense of PornHub? Certainly not Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, who nonetheless is gleefully posting tweets from his detractors since he ran a bill requiring age verification on adult websites. The New York Times found the whole kerfuffle newsworthy, even as Utah lawmakers try haplessly to save the little children, if not from banned books and the ravages of alcohol, then from porn. Turns out it's not that easy. We're talking about the internet and how you'd verify age. Privacy? PornHub, meanwhile, is blocking Utah users. A message from adult performer Cherie DeVille warns that the law will send kids to other sites with fewer safeguards. Weiler jokes now that he's sold a lot of Virtual Private Network subscriptions since the law. Take a page from China, where VPNs open the door to the banned internet.
Housing development is an ongoing and contentious issue in Salt Lake City, where scarcity and prices are pushing people out. The city is hoping new incentives will help, but maybe the city should call it greed? The latest idea is to allow taller buildings and speedier approval in exchange for incorporating some share of affordable dwellings in new developments, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Watch for more duplexes, triplexes, backyard cottages, row houses and other smaller housing typesin your neighborhood. Planning Commissioner Brenda Scheer is alarmed, saying it could open a Pandora's box in neighborhoods. Mayoral hopeful Rocky Anderson sees the issue being framed as a battle between the wealthy and housing advocates. He suggests that better planning could preserve historic neighborhoods while protecting from predatory institutional investors. It's hard to know, and Salt Lake continues to throw buckets of water at an out-of-control fire.