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Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

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The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Utah Holds 'Guns to Gardens' Event

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Monday, June 12, 2023   

Over the weekend, Utahans in Salt Lake City held one of the many "Guns to Gardens" events across the country, which aim to show people how to safely dismantle unwanted firearms, with the materials to be used to make gardening tools.

Nancy Halden, communications director for the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, noted there are more guns than people in the United States. Her group pointed out more than 120 Americans of all ages lose their lives each day in incidents involving firearms.

Halden acknowledged many people believe owning more guns equates to them being safer., but she begs to differ.

"We do a lot of research on gun violence, and we will tell you that the numbers say that you are not safer with a gun in your home," Halden emphasized. "It's much more likely to be used in a suicide or in an unintentional shooting, or a domestic violence homicide, or to be stolen and used in a crime, than it is to protect your family."

Halden added if you have an unwanted firearm, her organization helps people year-round. She stressed it is important to be clear they are not taking guns away from people who want or need them. They simply do not want to see guns falling into "unsafe hands."

Halden said in talking with Utah parents and kids, many are frustrated at how slow policymakers seem to be to adopt what she calls "common-sense" gun safety laws. She noted this past weekend's event is an innovative way to address the lack of action, and also help spread awareness. If you have a gun lying around the house, it may be what Halden termed a "liability."

"You don't want to be that family tragedy. There are just too many of them," Halden asserted. "You don't want your grandkids to get hold of that gun. You don't want someone who is going through a rough time to, in a rash moment, pick up that gun and take their own life. This is a way to just say, 'I'm just going to make sure that it doesn't cause any harm out there.'"

According to the group Everytown for Gun Safety, in 2020, 84% of gun deaths in Utah were suicides. Across all states, Utah has the eighth-highest rate of gun deaths by suicide in the country.


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