We WILL Vote: Gun Control in Utah

Monday night I step out of the bathroom to find a text on my phone.

Shooting on campus. Secure in place.

Phones immediately started blowing up, with friends and group chats anxiously trying to figure out what was going on. Alerts continued into the night, and the University informed the students that a student had been shot on campus near the main residential halls. The sadness and shock that followed was almost stifling. We said never again, right? All those news reports and Facebook posts, but it still happened. Another shooting in an American school.

Many students in high school and college have participated in marches over the past year, and it’s time to take that action to the polls. Without laws on the sales and regulation of guns, how can we expect anything to change?

                                                          Image: March For Our Lives

Legislation is already being drafted in the Utah to ban assault rifles and close loopholes in gun sales. Rep Elizabeth Weight of West Valley City is working on a bill to require safe storage of firearms. "Having some reasonable safety measures isn't too much to ask," Weight said. "We want to encourage a safe and thoughtful culture around guns and ownership."

With the rise of school shootings, conversations about guns and gun rights have been rampant on the news and social media. But the issue is still considered a partisan divide- both Republicans and Democrats want to keep kids safe but disagree on the best way to do so. "We all know a gun is the answer to a bad guy with a gun" says Kevin Wilson of Saratoga Springs. Wilson participated in a pro gun rally last March in response to the “March for Our Lives” Rally held at the Utah State Capitol. March For Our Lives Utah is a student and community led group that advocates for gun control- namely in the form of requiring background checks for all gun sales and banning assault rifles and bump stocks. They argue that common sense legislation and prevention are the only way to stop the “bad guy with a gun”.

The March for Our Lives group will hold a rally on November 9th at the Utah State Capitol to encourage people to vote about gun control and their rights. Meridian Wappett, a senior at Logan High school, says she is going to make her voice heard. “My birthday is two days after the midterm election, so I will be unable to vote. However, I believe that every voice matters, no matter your age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or background. This march is my opportunity to make a mark on this election. Each person deserves to be heard, and this march is a perfect opportunity!”

What do you believe, and will you make YOUR voice heard?