False IdolsThe ammosexual gun fetishists and gun worshippers are back with their annual bill to allow them to carry concealed weapons in any public building unless the building contains a metal detector and security guards — moving the goal posts from providing gun lockers in previous versions of this bill in past years — that Governor Jan Brewer vetoed three times. Guns in public buildings OK, House committee says:

HB 2320 (.pdf) would overturn existing law, which says a public agency can ban firearms guns simply by posting a sign and making lockers available for people to check them.

Instead, buildings could be kept gun-free only by ensuring that all people are disarmed, which would require government agencies to install metal detectors and security guards at all entrances.

Dale Wiebusch, lobbyist for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns put the cost of a metal detector at $45,000. And with two guards at each entrance, presumably armed, Wiebush said that’s $136,000 a year.

Multiply that by every door in every public building, he said, and that gets real expensive.

Here’s a novel idea: if you want government agencies to incur these expenses to accommodate your “issues” you can pay taxes to pay for it. Otherwise, STFU.

Teabagger Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley and Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert went the full on crazy in their comments:

“Whenever the government abridges a citizen’s right, I think it should be expensive,” Fimchem said.

Anyway, he said, there’s an alternative: Don’t buy the metal detectors, don’t hire the security guards and let law-abiding citizens bring in their weapons.

“A well-armed citizenry that is able to protect itself does not need to have government protect it,” Finchem said.

And holding up a copy of the U.S. Constitution, he declared that it is “not a debatable document.”

“It says very clearly that you have the right to protection,” Finchem said. “Under the Second Amendment, that is God-given, nature’s God and nature’s law, not up for debate.”

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That sentiment was shared by Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert.

“We have a God-given right, as reaffirmed by the Second Amendment, to defend ourselves,” he said. “If the government wants to take away the right of the citizen, then doggone it, you’d better protect them.”

I’ve grown exhausted by this unhinged, idiotic nonsense: the Second Amendment is “God-given” from nature’s God, and “nature’s (natural) law”?  Really? Prior to the American Revolution, European governments believed in the divine right of kings: a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving the right to rule directly from the will of God. The American Colonists rejected this in the Declaration of independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

This is what Americans did when they adopted the U.S. Constitution:

WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

In America your rights are not “God-given,” they are derived from the consent of the governed in a democratic system of government. Any attempt to elevate the right to do whatever, whenever one wants with his or her precious gun to a “divine right” not subject to any laws by  the consent of the governed in a democratic system of government, is to deify guns. Maybe these wingnuts should read the Second Commandment instead.

And the U.S. Constitution is “not a debatable document”? Seriously, Dude? Lawyers, judges and courts exist to argue constitutional law and to decide what is and is not constitutional. I’ve done this for years. This is why the U.S. Supreme Court exists. The Constitution itself provides for a method of amendment, and it has been amended 27 times — which involved quite a bit of public debate.

This idea that the U.S. Constitution is divinely derived from God is how one can readily identify a theocratic Dominionist. Sarah Posner recently reported on Dominionist Judge Roy Moore, Close Encounters With Roy Moore:

That Friday night in Severn, [Judge Roy] Moore was speaking to a gathering of the Institute on the Constitution, a fringe educational group run by Maryland lawyer, former Constitution Party presidential candidate, and current member of the Anne Arundel County Council, Michael Peroutka . . . The Constitution, they claim, is a divine document designed only to protect the rights conferred by God, not to create “new” rights by way of jurisprudence. For all you law school graduates shaking your head as you read this, Peroutka, Moore, and their followers claim that the law schools are teaching it all wrong—that’s why they’ve created their own law schools.

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In presenting Moore with a “Spirit of Daniel” award for courage, Peroutka gleefully noted that he was doing so on Jefferson Davis’s birthday. (The award was given because Moore “resisted a government that thought it was God.”)

That showdown between God and government is at the heart of Moore’s claims that he is on the side of righteousness and the federal courts on the side of an anti-God, unconstitutional “tyranny.”

This is not really about guns, people. The psychosis of these right-wing fringe wingnuts runs much deeper and swifter than this.

Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, sponsor of the legislation . . . pointed out the legislation does have some limits: Only those with permits to carry concealed weapons, which requires a background check and some training, could carry them into buildings without metal detectors and security guards. Others who carry guns, whether in the open or not, would still have to surrender the weapons at the door.

This is not entirely true. Since Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1108 into law in 2010, U.S. citizens 21 and older can carry a concealed firearm without a permit in Arizona. SB 1108 eliminated the requirement for a concealed-carry weapons permit, but does require gun owners to accurately answer if an officer asks them if they are carrying weapon concealed. Arizona’s concealed-weapon law takes effect. So how does Barton propose that governments identify individuals with or without a concealed carry permit, and those who open carry? And aren’t these gun owners going to challenge this on equal protection grounds?

There is this final bit of insanity from Dave Kopp, lobbyist for the Arizona Citizens Defense League:

“Folks get CCW permits not because the card makes them law-abiding but because they are law-abiding already and that’s what makes them get the card,” he told lawmakers.

“That’s why they see the sign and check their gun in the locker,” Kopp continued. “Bad guys are bad guys and that’s why they don’t” and ignore the signs, making them the only ones in the building who are armed.

If one can purchase a gun, he or she can carry a concealed weapon without a permit in Arizona. The assumption that a lawful gun owner magically possesses the training, skill, weapons proficiency, and the sound judgment to use a firearm in public for defense is a ridiculous fantasy. Even highly trained, highly skilled law enforcement officers have difficulty in such situations. This is one reason law enforcement tends to oppose these laws. Law enforcement has enough to deal with identifying the “bad guy,” without having to identify the cowboy with a Superman complex.

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