by Max Orston
Day 12 started off with the shuffling of feet off the bus as our 7 hour overnight ride was coming to an end; we had reached Salt Lake City! While we were all excited, some of us, actually all of us were pretty tired. We headed to the local JCC, and let me be the first to say how absolutely welcoming and humbled I felt upon arrival. Jerrad, who the Youth and Teen Director at the Salt Lake City JCC, offered us a room to stay and sleep, as well as food and sports activities to enjoy. Frankly, it felt good to have a place where we could all relax for a bit; we all needed it after the overnight bus ride.
After we left the JCC, we headed to the Utah Shooting Sports Council meeting for our pro gun side of the gun debate which would require all of our attention. Some of us, including myself, believed the man presenting to us would just be another gun-crazed fanatic, and we were pretty much right! However, I really did enjoy his whole presentation on the true effectiveness of gun regulations and why he enjoys the limited gun restriction laws in Utah and the laws that are already in place. In the end, we all thanked him and his crew for an amazing time, but not before we got to see some real live action! We even got to see Earle, our beloved bus driver, go to town with an AR-15 on the range.
Afterwards, the group headed towards Temple Square, the headquarters for the Mormon church, and we partook in an intriguing tour that involved the history and the meaning behind the Mormon religion, which I came to appreciate in the sense that it took a lot for the church to get to where it needs to be. Did you know, that unlike most Christian and Catholic churches that use the cross to resemble Jesus’s sacrifice, the Mormon church chooses to celebrate his revival, and therefore they use no cross symbols? As the day was heading towards an end and the sun started to duck behind the mountains, we all headed back to the hotel to grab dinner and retire to our rooms. Between the JCC, the Utah Shooting Sports Council, and the tour at Temple Square, Day 12 was a fun and informative day all around.