Illustration by Marcus Jones / UVU Review

Illustration by Marcus Jones / UVU Review

The American Bar Association claims, “There is probably less agreement, more misinformation, and less understanding of the right to keep and bear arms than any other current controversial constitutional issue.” Our very campus experienced a dustup last March when the many-titled Nick Moyes, Club President/Chair/Captain of the UVU College Republicans, was, as reported by the “Deseret News” on March 9, told that “he would need written permission from campus police to openly carry a gun on campus and that such permission had never been granted.” Moyes agreed to conceal his handgun, a Sig Sauer P226 9mm; probably out of shame that it wasn’t a Glock, but that’s just this writer’s brand preference.

I once heard an unsubstantiated anecdote that Ted Nugent carries around a laminated copy of the Bill of Rights in his pocket and refers to it as his “gun license.” However, if the American Bar Association’s acknowledgment of the massive ambiguities regarding such an important issue are as accurate as their authority and expertise would lead the American people to believe, what should we do?

Last week, the UVU College Republicans sponsored a class on concealed carry permits for the slightly-below-average cost of $45. A concealed carry permit is something that I personally have wanted for some time, and not necessarily in order to actually carry a firearm with me. A lifelong interest in firearms along with an almost habitual dedication to the films of Clint Eastwood has given me a fascination with guns in general, and any concealed carry permit class worth its salt is largely based in safety and education regarding guns and their use. As a staunch proponent of knowledge in general, I considered signing up for the College Republican’s class.

But I don’t want them to have my money, even if it’s only the cost of dinner for two at a moderately good steakhouse.

In the “Deseret News” article, Moyes claims that he is “not an activist,” yet on March 5, he posted a lengthy diatribe of his encounter with law enforcement on www.UtahConcealedCarry.com, a Web site that describes itself as “Utah Premier Gun Talk Forum.”

In his post, titled “UVU cops detained me for OCing [open carrying] on campus,” Moyes, who posts under the username “MajorNickmo,” wrote that the police officer that initially spoke to him was “…BEHAVING LIKE HE [was] ON THE VERGE OF TAZING ME!” Moyes’ capitalization remains unchanged.

This is not a group of folks with which I care to be associated. I have known former Boy Scout leaders, religious authorities, family members, neighbors, and countless supporters of firearm rights that carry quietly and legally, not making a fuss over what they believe to be a personal political issue. They are trained, well-versed in safety and purpose, and don’t let a hip-held sidearm declare to the world that they’re a Big Tough Man.

So I’m going to get my concealed carry permit at Rangemasters in Springville, where, for $29.99, you receive your training, passport photos, range instruction, and safety/reference letters, all while in the educating hands of professionals. Sounds like a better deal to me.