Bill signed preventing Tucson from destroying 'buyback' guns.
I want you to have the visual as you read and weep. For weep you surely shall, even if your political leanings tell you that big government is bad, that the individual's rights are supreme, that local control is a self-evident good.
I've written about the background on this bill before. I'll reward regular readers by resisting the urge to regurgitate the facts. As a quick reminder, here's how I described it in March:
This bill will require ALL police departments in the state to sell to gun dealers, and put back on the street, ANY and ALL GUNS acquired by the departments including those surrendered or voluntarily turned in.Yes, I know. Guns have feelings, too. There's no reason I can think of other than that to spare them from the smelter. The proponents of the bill say that government funds should not be used to promote a partisan political agenda. I'm going to remember that the next time energy and money is expended to declare the Colt Revolver our State Gun.
These are not confiscated guns. These are guns turned in by citizens who want to remove them from use. Local government provides hazardous waste recycling; can't the same point be made about pollution and a political agenda? Where's the outrage over all that possibly-reusable paint and motor oil? I'm just sayin'.....
But, there's more to this story, denizens. According to TPM (a political blog I read from time to time), "(t)he governor’s office said it received nearly 2,000 letters, emails or phone calls about the bill, with only 25 opposed." I sent one of the emails and made one of the phone calls. I wonder who the other 23 people might be.
That's the larger point I'd like to make. The Governor's Office didn't make it easy to comment on HR2455. Her phone was not taking messages over the weekend. Her Send Me an Email program had no drop down box that seemed relevant. There was no hope of a reply. Still, I was angry and ashamed and embarrassed for my state, so I remembered to call on Monday, though the email reminder arrived on Saturday. I'd made calls to all the representatives involved in the decision making process back in March, when the bill was under discussion. I guess I'm alone, crying in the wilderness.
I can't emphasize it enough - the other side is hollering and we are not. Politicians count calls and emails and letters and Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and the NRA are motivating their constituents to make their voices heard. My loved-but-deluded relative is still filling his Facebook page with calls to action and cries of outrage. My less wing-nut friends post love and concern and thoughtfulness, but that doesn't get the job done.
We have to get involved. We have to take a stand. We have to make our voices heard. Remember, Governor Brewer received 25 comments opposed to the bill that puts donated-for-trash-weapons back out on the streets. Sure, it saves the local municipality some money, but is that where your heart goes when you read the phrase? Save that feeling and go to the phone or the laptop and announce your presence with authority.
Nothing will change if you do nothing. You are more important than you imagine.