by Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
One of the interesting tidbits arising from the opening of the legislature last week was the story of a number of legislators carrying firearms with them on the floors of each chamber. One of them, Sen. Lori Klein, later confirmed to me (and others) that she had a gun with her both in the Senate and in the House when she attended the Governor's speech that day.
While some might attribute this turn of events to the recent shooting in Tucson, where six people were killed and more than another dozen were wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, but a gunman who attacked a "Congress On Your Corner" gathering, this is hardly the first time in recent memory that a legislator has bragged about "packin' heat" at the Capitol, usually followed a by a statement in a belief that legislators are exempt from the law.
Anyway, after the shootings and the p.r. mess that was the opening of the legislature, the Republicans resisted any efforts to pass sensible firearms safety laws, preferring instead to maintain their embrace of the gun fetishists.
And now, they've doubled down on the insanity.
Sen. Ron Gould has introduced, with "luminaries" such as Sen. Russell Pearce, Sen. Rick Murphy, Rep. Carl Seel, Rep. Jack Harper, and others signed on as sponsors/cosponsors, SB1201.
It's rather innocuously labelled "firearms omnibus," but it is anything but innocuous.
If enacted, it would –
– Remove the section of the law (ARS 13-3102) that makes entering a goverment building while possessing a firearm a crime
– Changes the section of the law (ARS 13-3107) regarding the unlawful discharge of firearms by replacing "with criminal negligence" to "knowing" in the definition
– Removes the provision in the same section as above that allows local police chiefs to evaluate and set policy in "hunting areas" within their jurisdiction
– Changes the law (ARS 13-3108) to disallow the state or any of its agencies from enacting a "rule or ordinance" relating to firearms, with certain exceptions, and GREATLY restricts those exceptions
People in other parts of the country hear talk about the "nuts" in Arizona, and they think we are talking only about people like Jared Loughner.
They have no clue about the cultural insanity here that enables people like Loughner.
Given the timing of this, as in how long it takes to get a bill idea through the Legislative Council and turned into an actual bill, did Gould et. al. even wait for the end of the funerals in Tucson before spawning this abomination?