Gun-toting Oda’s imagined enemies

In 2011, Utah earned the distinction of becoming the first state to name an official gun. It’s the Browning M1911, if you happened to be living under a rock during the recent legislative session. Utah is gun-friendly, and much has been done to ease the process of purchasing a weapon, obtaining a license to carry, and broaden places where gun owners may legally do so.

And yet, despite a clear and consistent lack of support from Utah voters, the Utah Legislature and Rep. Curt Oda continue to fight a one-sided war against fictional gun foes bent on banning guns entirely. It makes for great copy, but — unfortunately for Utah voters — bad governance in the real world, as we have seen recently in Oda’s comments in response to the Brady Campaign.

The mission of the Brady Campaign is to free America from gun violence through the promotion of sensible gun laws. It is named after Jim Brady, press secretary for Ronald Reagan, who was shot in the head with a .22 Röhm RG-14 revolver during a 1981 assassination attempt. The shooter, John Hinckley, Jr., would not have been able to purchase the weapon had background checks been mandatory at the time.

The Brady Campaign gave Utah, Arizona and Alaska gun laws their lowest possible score — a zero. In response, Oda, a concealed weapons permit instructor, said, “I’m glad we got a zero from that group. I actually wish we would get a negative score from them — like an F-minus-minus.” Oda continued, “These anti-gun people are really anti-self defense … . We continually push for safety and education. But the ‘antis’ don’t want education. They just want an all-out ban. Their mission is to get rid of guns all together.”

This is incorrect. The Brady Campaign and Alliance for a Better Utah simply advocate for common sense gun laws that keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally unstable, and away from schools and churches — places where our children…

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