H.B. 329 Programs for Youth Protection (Rep. Eliason, S.)

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H.B. 329 Programs for Youth Protection (Rep. Eliason, S.)

Postby David Nelson » Thu 06 Feb 2014 11:19 am

According to H.B. 329 Programs for Youth Protection (Rep. Eliason, S.) (http://le.utah.gov/~2014/bills/static/HB0329.html):

This bill modifies programs to protect youth.

This bill:
. provides money for schools to implement evidence-based practices and programs, or emerging best practices and programs, for preventing suicide; and
. imposes requirements regarding a parent seminar on youth protection offered by school districts, including:
. the number of parent seminars to be offered annually; and
. the curriculum.

And, would require specifically:

105 (2) The State Board of Education shall:
106 (a) develop a curriculum for the parent seminar described in Subsection (1) that
107 includes information on:
108 (i) substance abuse, including illegal drugs and prescription drugs and prevention;
109 (ii) bullying;
110 (iii) mental health, depression, and suicide awareness; [and]
111 (iv) Internet safety, including pornography addiction; and
112 (v) home firearm storage safety[.]...
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Re: H.B. 329 Programs for Youth Protection (Rep. Eliason, S.

Postby DaKnife » Thu 06 Feb 2014 12:08 pm

The schools have no business preaching how to store or not store firearms. In fact firearm storage has no place in suicide prevention education. Australia proved that when you remove firearms from the equation, suicidal individuals just pick another way to do it.

I can't support this bill and have already emailed the sponsor about this.
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Re: H.B. 329 Programs for Youth Protection (Rep. Eliason, S.

Postby sarahbn » Thu 06 Feb 2014 4:36 pm

There are 15 million ways to kill yourself and 45 million ways to try to do so. Only one of them might possibly be prevented by safe storage of firearms in a place where kids can't get into. If kids can get into the gun safe, let's say maybe they're teens, then safe storage won't help. It sounds like just one more solution in search of a problem which it can't solve, won't help, and will just take up valuable learning time that could otherwise have been wasted on things like, you know, learning.
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Re: H.B. 329 Programs for Youth Protection (Rep. Eliason, S.

Postby DaKnife » Thu 06 Feb 2014 5:00 pm

Amen. Sara. Most of growing up our parents firearms were not locked up. Once dad did get a display cabinet, he made sure we knew where the keys were. When he got a more secure cabinet later on he gave me a Key. The weapons were secure but that wouldn't have stopped me or my brothers as we either had keys or knew where they were.

Now on this I emailed Rep Eliason, he responded back asking for clarification on a couple points of my opposition and so I explained a little better. Love state level legislating. You can converse directly with the legislators even if you are not in their districts.
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Re: H.B. 329 Programs for Youth Protection (Rep. Eliason, S.

Postby bagpiper » Thu 06 Feb 2014 5:37 pm

I share the same concerns expressed by others on this one. Let me add a few other concerns.

Obviously, we all favor education on firearms safety. We've been trying for years to get schools to provide access to NRA Eddie Eagle type safety instruction on equal footing as they provide to UTA and Union Pacific for train crossing safety, Rocky Mountain Power for power line safety, MADD for DUI and alcohol safety, the fire department for fire safety, and the local police for DARE and other anti-drug, anti-violence, and stranger danger instruction. The schools have always opposed any kind of even "ownership neutral" instruction on gun safety, much less anything that might actually presuppose that guns in homes are a good thing. So I have natural concerns about how any school district would handle this from the get go.

And even if a school were to have the NRA or shooting sports association provide material, unless very carefully worded, what prevents the Brady Bunch, Utahns Against Guns, or other such groups from proposing material to be included in these lessons/discussions/presentations?

I think there is great value in providing some instruction to parents about how to assess risks and store guns properly for the situation. What is proper for a family with small children may be different than is needed for a single young adult who never has children in the home. A gun owner with a family member with mental health problems might need different storage options than would a family with perfectly healthy, well-adjusted teenagers who are active in the shooting sports. An urban family whose children's friends include many not familiar with proper gun safety might need something different than would a rural family living in a culture where everyone knows as well not to play with guns as they do not to put bobby pins into electrical outlets.

But I very much oppose singling out guns for special legislation. Guns are dangerous. So too are car keys, household chemicals and drugs, gasoline, and a host of other common household items. While I support education I vigorously oppose any legal mandates (criminal or civil liability) that treat constitutionally protected small arms more stringently than every other dangerous item in a home. I believe current negligence laws are sufficient to cover all of these items.

I fear (an excess of paranoia perhaps) that any kind of formalized government instruction on safe storage sets the stage for someone to come along and suggest that if the recommendations are good enough for formal education, they should be made mandatory in law.

I also worry about any setting that deals with this kind of instruction too easily including polls or questionnaires of children regarding what guns are in their homes, how they are stored, etc.

I recall some very graphic and frank anti-suicide presentations when I was in high school. I think they were a good thing and can admit they have had some positive influence on me personally if for no other reason than reminding me that while life can be very fragile, it can also be annoyingly tenacious when you don't want it to be. The images of the fellow who survived an attempted suicide by eating a shotgun barrel left a lasting impression. (He survived. But the condition of his face was enough to make any sane person not want to be alive.)

But these were presentation. There was time for students to ask questions. But nobody was asking any questions of the students. Nobody was gathering any data. And nobody was being referred to a shrink or put into some database based on what he said or asked. And of course no attempt to find out who owned guns though in 1980s rural Utah you could just about have taken every name from the white pages as a gun owner. I just don't trust today's schools and government not to violate the privacy of students and their parents.

Like sex ed, and suicide, gun safety is a topic that could benefit from some sound educational presentations in schools. But given the highly divergent views and politicization of these topics, any such discussion under the direction of government has the real possibility of moving into a violation of rights or undermining of one set of family values or another.

I think the bill is well intentioned. But I think a one line addition to code is likely to cause far more problems than it fixes.

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Re: H.B. 329 Programs for Youth Protection (Rep. Eliason, S.

Postby David Nelson » Fri 14 Mar 2014 8:43 am

This bill was passed by the Utah Legislature and has been prepared for the governor's signature or veto.
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