I posted about this last week. Second Amendment absolutists in Arizona Lege go nuts.
Neo-Confederate Tea-Publicans in the House have now completed their vote to take away your constitutional right to citizens initiatives and referendums by joining an unconstitutional
interstate compact Confederacy to prevent any voter initiatives for gun safety laws by surrendering state sovereignty and allowing citizens of other states to exercise a veto power over your constitutional right. Legislative Briefs:
Without debate the state House voted to try to restrict the rights of Arizonans to propose new restrictions on the sale and transfer of firearms.
HB 2524 requires the state to try to enter into binding agreements with other states, each one agreeing not to allow any additional laws. That would cover not only what the Legislature could enact but would effectively override the constitutional right of initiative, at least on the subject of weapons.
Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, admitted the measure is aimed at initiative drives being promoted by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He is supporting efforts to require background checks any time a weapon is sold.
Current federal law applies that requirement only when a gun is sold by a licensed firearm dealer. Thorpe said he opposes measures that would impose the same mandate on person-to-person transfers, including weapons sold at gun shows.
The 35-24 vote sends the measure to the Senate.
How they voted:
Every legislator who voted for this bill should be removed from office for violating their oath of office.
The Arizona Daily Star editorialized on Sunday about these gun bills. Republican Arizona lawmakers trying to take away your rights:
Arizonans’ constitutional right to pass laws by ballot measure is under attack by Republican lawmakers who prioritize the ability for anyone to buy a gun without passing a background check over the voters’ ability to decide such important matters for themselves.
The bill, HB 2524, sponsored by Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, would also surrender Arizona voters’ rights by entering into a compact with other states. The compact would be up for reconsideration only once a decade. Giving other states’ authority over Arizona decisions should be anathema to right-wing lawmakers who often talk about what they see as federal interference in state decisions. But, because the subject is guns, their outlook is different.
The epidemic of gun violence requires every tool available to prevent people who shouldn’t have firearms from easily obtaining them, as they now can. Background checks won’t stop every shooting, but it that doesn’t make doing nothing a legitimate option.
Consider this: As of Feb. 26 there have been 34 mass shootings (where four or more people have been shot and/or killed, not including the shooter), in the U.S. this year. Two of those were in Arizona. Nationwide, there have been 7,472 shooting incidents in the same 57 days of 2016, which includes 1,925 deaths (not including by suicide). Eighty-one kids under 11 years old have been killed, and 415 teens ages 12 to 18.
These figures are from the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks shootings nationwide in real time.
Thorpe has said he is afraid that someone on a national scale, like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, could come to Arizona and try to get a referendum on the ballot that allows voters to decide if almost every gun sale should require a background check to ensure the buyer isn’t a felon, been convicted of domestic violence or adjudicated as severely mentally ill by a court.
“It’s problematic, it’s troublesome, that a person with lots of cash in their pockets could come into Arizona, put a referendum on the ballot and have the money to really market that referendum to the point where it might be passed, where folks who are not paying a great deal of attention might help pass it,” Thorpe said, according to a story by Capitol Media Services.
Thorpe presents it as an easy process — a wealthy person shows up, waves a magic wand and uninformed voters are so dazzled by a publicity campaign that they vote for something without knowing anything about it. Arizonans who supported Thorpe should take note of his opinion of voters.
Thorpe insults voters’ intelligence while also misleading them. To get a referendum on the state ballot, organizers must gather a large number of valid signatures from registered voters. It’s not a slam-dunk process.
The referendum is included in the Arizona Constitution to give residents an alternative way to propose laws when the Legislature fails to act. It’s for purposes such as this — the Republican majority is dead-set against any change that would require background checks for every, or even most, gun purchases.
Republican lawmakers have a history of trying to put measures they support, with the help of outside national groups, on the state ballot. For example, in 2014 they pushed, with the backing of the American Legislative Exchange Council and the conservative Koch brothers, to ask voters to approve a measure that would assert Arizona’s sovereignty and ability to reject federal laws and regulations. [Unconstitutional]
This isn’t the only issue involved in Thorpe’s push, however. At its root is the conflict about whether the deadly epidemic of gun violence merits action. Most Americans support background checks for all gun purchases, as do we.
But Republican lawmakers in Arizona are behaving as if they’re afraid of common sense. They don’t want an answer they don’t like on background checks, so Thorpe’s bill would take away voters’ right to even ask the question. It’s a cowardly move.
You, the voters of this state, are responsible for sending these lawless Tea-Publicans to the legislature. You have a moral obligation and civic duty to remove them from office. Stop the insanity!