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Opinion: We need people-focused action, not gun control

Reforms need to start with ‘education ... not legislation.’ Gun safety training and mental health measures will help heal our community more than gun control

SHARE Opinion: We need people-focused action, not gun control
Two high schoolers hug in front of a school while one holds a sign that reads “Let us learn safely.”

East High School students held a walkout at the school in Salt Lake City on Friday, May 27, 2022, to protest gun violence. Now many are debating how we can safely protect children with gun regulation, mental health checks and education.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

I am heartbroken over the evil that occurred in Uvalde, Texas. And I, as part of the Salt Lake community, am outraged that our system has continued to fail us. Over the last 20 years, we’ve taught kids to hide, protect and wait for help. More must be done. 

Gun-free zones are dangerous, and it is time to protect schools like we protect airports, hospitals, courthouses and banks. We must stop threats with equal or greater force. I support the Second Amendment and believe that education is the key to gun safety, not legislation. In an era of increased crime, reduced funding for police and long response times, I must be my own first responder to protect myself, my family and my community, which is why I carry a firearm. 

The evil in Uvalde was not caused by a gun, it was caused by a broken system that continues to push paper, policies and legislation instead of solving the root issue. We must heal the pain in our communities, strengthen families and improve economic opportunities. Most importantly, it is time to fund meaningful programs that address mental health, safety, and firearm awareness and training.

Cynthia Zumwalt 

West Jordan