Last post from PHOENIX, AZ: While most of the attention lately has been on the reactionary immigration law passed by the legislature, another unfortunate and reactionary Arizona law went into effect yesterday.
From the Arizona Republic:
Arizona is now the third state, behind Alaska and Vermont, to allow people to carry a concealed weapon without having to get a permit.
And not needing permits means no background checks or gun-safety classes.
Get that? In Phoenix, a massive metropolitan area, folks with varying degrees of mental stability and spotty obeisance to the law can hide weapons in their pockets and purses and head to Sam’s Club for a 30-pack of very expensive Keystone Light, and you, a connoisseur of that fine, if pedestrian, brew, would never know they were packing.
Unless, of course, you grabbed the last available copy of Glenn Beck’s latest book (I think it’s called, “How I Made Millions Peddling Paranoia,” or something like that.) and pissed off a pistol-packing paranoiac.
Or maybe while rushing for the sample cart, featuring the latest incarnation of chicken-on-a-stick, you accidentally brushed up against Arizona’s version of Sarah Palin, knocking her loaded-but-not-locked piece onto the floor, discharging it in the direction of that 50-inch flat screen you had your eye on.
In any case, there is a serious lesson to be learned here. Politics—more specifically, political philosophy—can very quickly change the landscape of any city, state, or nation. When President Obama selected Democrat Governor Janet Napolitano for his cabinet, a Republican took over, and with her came a certain political philosophy.
From yesterday’s concealed-weapon story in the Arizona Republic:
During her time as governor, Janet Napolitano vetoed at least a dozen different weapons bills – several similar to the law going into effect today – that would have eased restrictions on gun owners.
But Napolitano’s departure and the appointment of Gov. Jan Brewer in January 2009 gave the Legislature and gun-rights groups an ally in the executive office. Brewer signed the law April 16.
Like the governor switch in Arizona, the election this November and in 2012 could have major consequences for America. The worst of those consequences could be the restoration of a failed political and economic philosophy, still advocated by right-wing zealots hell-bent on crystallizing the economic inequities exacerbated by the Bush years.
Such a philosophy, like that which led to unfettered gun-toting in Arizona, will eventually move us back to the 19th century, a time in which guns were necessary for survival, and a time in which there wasn’t much of a middle in the middle class.