Utah Was Right To Take "Saber-Rattling" Seriously

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Utah’s Republican-dominated legislature passed a sanctuary resolution on Wednesday. It’s not quite a sanctuary law, being just a resolution, but it’s yet another state giving warning to the federal government that gun control isn’t as popular with much of the country as some would like to believe.

However, there are some who seem to think the threat isn’t nearly so dire or that there’s no threat at all. Then again, there are also some who think gun control is a wonderful thing and sanctuary status is undesirable because of that.

Some seem to think that Utah acting in response to mere threats may not have been a good move.

Utah lawmakers in an “extraordinary session” on Wednesday approved two resolutions to declare support for Utahns’ Second Amendment rights and support for “exploring the possibility of declaring Utah a Second Amendment sanctuary” state.

The resolutions, approved separately by the House and Senate, came in response to growing concerns from constituents that the federal government under President Joe Biden’s administration would infringe on their Second Amendment rights.

“There’s been significant public outcry,” Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, said in a media availability earlier Wednesday afternoon, before the votes. “The Legislature is concerned as well.”

But when asked by a reporter which federal policies Utah lawmakers are concerned about, Vickers said, “right now, admittedly, there are none.”

“But unfortunately, there’s been some saber rattling in Washington, D.C., and people are concerned in Utah about someone coming in and taking away guns and restricting the use of guns on the federal level,” Vickers added. “So this simply sets up a process where we can be in place and have a policy in place that we can protect those rights if and when that happens.”

I can’t help but get the feeling that the take on this is that somehow responding to saber-rattling is an overreaction. If anyone thinks so, they’re wrong.

Especially since this was just a resolution, not even a true sanctuary law such as the kind a number of states have already passed and as exist in numerous counties throughout the state.

See, there are degrees of saber-rattling. On one level you’ve got the tiny voice with no influence pushing for something everyone knows will never happen. Acting in response to that is little more than grandstanding.

Yet what we have here is something quite different. We have the majority leaders for both chambers of Congress actively supporting gun control bills and pushing to get them passed and we have a president who has actively championed gun control in the past and has said he will gleefully do so in the future.

That’s a real threat.

Right now, the only thing that’s keeping gun control at bay is the filibuster. However, it would only take a few to cross the aisle to create real problems, and some are already considering it. How much wheeling and dealing will there be to get folks to step across?

Well, maybe none. Senate Republicans may stay firm and hold the line.

Then again, they might not.

The saber-rattling may sometimes mean nothing, but it also proceeds actions as well. People are absolute fools if they think there is no threat at all. When someone says they want to take your rights, are in a position where they can take your rights, and are actively trying to take your rights, it might be a good idea to take the threat seriously.

Of course, this is a newspaper in Utah. They want to pretend these lawmakers are silly for wanting to preserve gun rights at all, but they can’t get away with that and they know it, so instead, they try to downplay the risk.

Luckily, most others can see the threat plain as day.