Hearing Protection, Sex Ed, Public Lands | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Hearing Protection, Sex Ed, Public Lands 

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Hearing Protection
We certainly don't want our hunters hassled, especially in the rain, and that is good reason to loosen Utah's already liberal gun laws. Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, wants gun-toters to be able to slip a coat over their open-carry guns—just in case it rains—The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Not to worry. If someone whips it out and kills you, then they can be charged, probably with murder. But maybe just illegal concealing of a weapon. Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed a similar proposal in 2013, based on a false story about a hunter in the rain. As we have learned in this past election, stories—especially bogus ones—are really persuasive. The landscape has changed since 2013, and now Donald Trump wants to make it easier to buy firearm silencers, the Washington Post reported. Can you guess why? It's to protect your delicate hearing. No, you can't make this stuff up. It's even called the "Hearing Protection Act."

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Sex Ed
The Deseret News did something slightly unexpected. It ran a front-page package on sex education. Yes, "sex" was even in the headline. It couldn't have come at a better time. Forget the pregnancy rate, think about chlamydia and gonorrhea. More than half of those reported cases hit 15- to 24-year-olds. And if you have to ask why, then you haven't done your sex ed homework. Republicans and House Speaker Paul Ryan are giddy at the prospect of repealing Obamacare and, along with it, defunding Planned Parenthood, which mostly does breast exams, pap tests and STI screenings. The D-News noted that abstinence-only programs are a zero-sum game at best, and that there are many effective sex-ed programs out there. Of course, the paper talked about parental involvement. And, hey, it even did a feature on father-son conversations.

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Public Lands
What hasn't been said about Bears Ears? Probably very little, but that doesn't mean that the public understands the issue or is anything other than polarized by it. Jim Stiles' article in the Canyon County Zephyr takes an up-close-and-personal look at a very contentious issue and drives through the long and complicated history of public lands. While Utah's attorney general gets ready to sue the feds over the designation, the real challenges remain. It's what Stiles calls "industrial strength recreation." After years of being ignored or unheard, the environmental community changed course and partnered with groups under the umbrella of recreation. Now the real issue is whether Bears Ears will become another Moab—over-populated and teeming with gas fumes from ATVs.

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