For the last 40 years, America has averaged about 33,000 firearm-related fatalities a year. As we have seen the number of homicides decrease, the number of suicides have taken their place. Our population has increased, become more diverse, and yet we see 33,000 firearm deaths a year: year in, year out.
Utah’s legislature and Second Amendment advocates have set a national standard in how they’ve addressed firearm violence. We’ve used data. That data is starting to shape public policy and we are seeing results.
The vast majority, nearing 90 percent, of Utah’s gun-related fatalities are suicides. Utah’s Legislature, led by Rep. Steve Eliason and others, have made it their life's work to address and respond to this crisis. They are to be congratulated and thanked. But still more work must be done.
This upcoming legislative session, Utah residents can expect multiple bills aimed at another problem — domestic violence. Utah’s Legislature, specifically Rep. Cheryl Acton, Rep. Susan Pulsipher, Rep. Lee Perry and others, will have legislation responding to and helping prevent domestic violence-related homicides.
I’m grateful to live in a state where our legislative leaders, our governor’s office and attorney general have joined together to respond in appropriate and absolute ways to address these issues.