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Raising Arizona

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Someone sent me a joke by email. It said Disneyland was opening up a new theme park called "Redneckland." (beat) They're putting a fence around Arizona. (shi-di-boom!)

It would be funnier if it didn't seem that Arizona was suffering some kind of state-wide nervous breakdown. It began with the strangely permissive new gun law, which Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law earlier this month, allowing citizens to carry concealed, loaded firearms without a permit or background check. This is the same governor who in 2008 legalized the right to carry loaded guns into bars and restaurants, as long as the person brandishing the weapon wasn't drinking alcohol -- which makes you wonder why they were in a bar to begin with, right? Or who was supposed to verify that the person drinking at the bar had a concealed loaded gun or not? Oops -- there goes that pesky logic again.

In Phoenix last year, a man was legally able to carry a loaded semi-automatic assault rifle to an anti-Obama/pro-Second Amendment rally outside the venue where the president was giving a live address. Under the new law, the same individual would have been able to legally conceal that weapon. Remember, this is the state of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a state that fought the law that would honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a state holiday and has a current state legislature that officially questions the birthplace and legitimacy of president Obama.

These elected representatives are nuckin' futz. Which raises interesting issues of sanity regarding the people who voted them into office. (Wait . . . wait . . . I live in Georgia . . .!)

One week after signing the concealed-carry bill into law, Brewer signed a law making it a crime under state law to be in this country illegally, sparking state-wide demonstrations and protests from citizens who fear that Arizona is becoming a police state in which racial profiling is not only accepted but required by law, as police are required to ask for papers if they have "reasonable suspicion" that the individual might be an illegal immigrant. In other words, if they look Hispanic. In . . . Arizona.

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Immigrants unable to produce these proper papers would face a fine of up to $2,500, six months in jail, and would be turned over to federal immigration officers. One can only wonder if the governor of this financially troubled state is prepared to pay the lawsuits that are certain to come from legal citizens who are locked up because they were unable to produce immediate proof of their citizenship. If you look a little swarthy, you're now a criminal suspect in Arizona. As expected, the backlash against this law has become intense. Earlier today angry protesters -- on which side? -- smeared refried beans in the shape of swastikas on the state Capitol's windows.

For a state that is obviously up in arms (pun intended) over illegal immigrants, does the concealed-carry law make any sense whatsoever? It seems this legislation actually would make it easier for undocumented persons to obtain and conceal a firearm. With this one-two legislative salvo, is Brewer hoping for some kind of return to the ol' fashioned, gun-blazing Wild West showdowns in the streets?

If Arizona has its way, both the President and random innocent-yet-dark-skinned people on the street would have to prove their legal citizenship status, but it's perfectly fine for a 21-year old to carry a loaded, concealed semiautomatic assault weapon into Joe's Pool Hall. Or for that matter, Chuck E Cheese. Or an anti-Obama rally. Or an anti-immigrant protest.

So . . . do you suppose the residents of Arizona feel safer today?

I'm with the email jokester -- put a fence around it and call it a day.

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www.mikemalloy.com
Kathy never expected a career in radio as a talk show producer. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Kathy was completing her nursing degree when in 2001 - in an emergency - she was asked to fill in as the producer of Mike's program. Within a few (more...)
 

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