Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It Never Ends

Just when I think that I can take a deep breath and enjoy the view, I open the newspaper and find this:
Bill signed preventing Tucson from destroying 'buyback' guns.
Who signed this bill?  Here she is, our governor, Jan Brewer.

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.  





23 comments:

  1. I wrote letters last night via our Moms Demand Action tool. It's actually quite easy. http://action.momsdemandaction.org/page/speakout/how-many-more-rounds/

    AB, you are right though... the energy spent consoling should be spent contacting our representatives. And that includes local representatives. I almost fell out of my chair yesterday when I saw that she had signed this bill. It's not like the guns are being put to sleep FGS. They are being taken off the streets and that's a good thing. What is wrong with these people? Is their agenda more important than the safety of our communities?

    I'm off to make more phone calls and write letters. I'm going to be royal pain in the ass to these people, but I don't care. They will hear us!


    Megan xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Polite people never get anything done! You go right on being a pain in the ass....
      a/b

      Delete
  2. It's also about voting and who you support with your dollars. IF those who want gun regulations only do something right now and the NRA does it by giving dollars for running, we will continually get those in office like Brewer who know the 'folks' will be onto something else while the NRA will not. Be consistent. Vote for those who claim they will do something about gun regulations. If like Flake, they do not, then don't forget when he runs again. This thing about turning in guns has always been dicey to me. IF I want to destroy my guns, why not just do it. The gun buyback was about dollars and it's not too surprising the gun dealers figure out that they could profit from it. Maybe there has to be a private gun buyback program, separate from tax money where the end of the guns can be guaranteed. I was never against the gun buyback but always felt it wasn't much of a solution other than publicity. People who use the guns the worst ways, the stupid ones who give a 5 year old a gun, they weren't going to turn theirs in. Lefties or those who needed immediate cash maybe but most likely it would have been those who didn't use theirs anyway. I do though also see what the states have done and not just Arizona as I understood it is a slap in the face to the police and the public who really want all guns out of the hands of the public. It was nasty and mean and so like a Limbaugh type that it's irritating even to me who didn't believe in the program to begin with. All I can say is donate to those who will do otherwise. Work for them. Vote for them. Don't forget. They are counting on it that the anti-gun crowd will.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love my denizens!

    Rain and Megan are right - it's mean and nasty and needs to be met with money and documentable outrage. I set aside five minutes in the morning, after reading emails, while the oatmeal is simmering, and I make a call or two. I know you have the time for that.

    There are so many worthy causes that deserve your financial contributions, but if you have some cash that can go to the cause, there are links on the sidebar and at the top of the blog to help you distribute your wealth.

    Rain is right - "Don't forget. They are counting on it that the anti-gun crowd will." Let's prove them wrong.
    a/b

    ReplyDelete
  4. WTF is wrong with her?! There are NO words...she needs to GO. We will rise up & be heard, Suzi.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We have an opportunity to change who is Governor of Arizona. Elections in 2014. Vote for Fred DuVal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He has an interesting bio. I'll be investigating him further. We must make a change, that's for sure.
      a/b

      Delete
  6. Jan Brewer exemplifies everything that is wrong with Arizona politics. Unfortunately, I don't see it changing. While in Phoenix in a shoe store, we listened to two retired people going on and on about how they couldn't buy any bullets. Every morning, they, and many others, line up at Cabela's before they open, and within an hour they're sold out of bullets. We could not believe what we were hearing. Fifteen minutes later, we saw a really old guy at Trader Joe's wearing suspenders with his shorts and a gun. I honestly don't think there are enough people who think like you in the state to get rid of the wingnuts in the state house and THAT WOMAN. Given the demographics of the state, I don't know how this can be fixed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be fixed if those of us with functioning brains and a clear sense of what danger looks like open our mouths, our pocketbooks, our hearts to embrace the need for change.

      Personally, I'm with Chris Rock. Let them have all the guns they want. Make bullets cost $5000 each.
      a/b

      Delete
  7. Here's another avenue to think about. One of the most under reported aspect of this whole thing is the fact that weapons manufacturing is big (BIG) business. The reason it's really hard to get the most heinous weapons off the street is that those are the ones that generate the highest profit margins for those companies. Check out this article http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/19/us-financial-calpers-gunmakers-idUSBRE91I17420130219 about CALPERS (the California State employee's retirement fund) and how they talked with their money.

    Now I'm not a member of a major institutional investment fund, but if you are (most government employees, if you went to a school with a massive endowment, etc.) it's probably worth contacting that fund and asking if they're currently investing in these companies, and if they are, express your discontent. Talk to your friends who are also in the fund who share your opinions and ask them to pass their disquiet along as well. If enough investors in the fund speak out then the managers will listen, and if they don't then vote those managers out - yes, you can do that. Votes in elections absolutely matter as well, but hitting the merchants of death in their pocketbook is another, viable, avenue to take.

    -Billy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love when my acorn falls close to my oak <3

      This is an interesting way to proceed. More research will be done and a post will follow. There are many ways to attack this issue. Thanks, Big Cuter, for showing us another one.
      a/b (mom)

      Delete
  8. I just wrote to Gov. Brewer to tell her that I'm not a constituent, I will be contributing to her opponent in any election she is part of, and I will contribute to Mayors Against Illegal Guns so that big money also can oppose her.

    Earlier today I sent the same message to Sen. Kelly Ayotte (NH) after reading on CNN that she told Erica Lafferty, daughter of the Sandy Hook Elementary principal who was killed, that she voted against the background check legislation because...ready for it?...it would be a "burden on gun store owners". Holy crap.

    The Acorn has a great plan!

    ReplyDelete
  9. PS! When I send these messages, in the drop down section to select a topic I choose "Other' and when there is an opportunity to write in a subject I type "Your Next Campaign!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Your Next Campaign"... I love it! Sometimes, I click "Health and Safety" but what I really want is a "Promise Not To Be An Idiot" box.

      You are certainly making your voice heard. I, too, called out-of-state Senators and left that same kind of message. It's empowering, in an "I'm ignoring the fact that my comment will probably be ignored" kind of way.
      A/b

      Delete
  10. I came back today 'cause I just had to read the other comments. Stewing all day about this. You have to admire people like Bloomberg. He's putting his own money into Mayors Against Illegal Guns. I was reading a story about how the NRA killed the background check bill. I'm so damn tired of this organization having so much say in the way this country is run. I will also donate to any person that opposes the jerks that voted against common sense gun reform. Big Cuter is also right in that the gun manufacturers hide and let the NRA do their bidding. These are the truly evil people behind the gun lobby. http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/16/behind_the_nras_money_gun_lobby

    We go after the NRA, but we also need to go after the root of the problem and that's the manufacturers. They are the ones that truly want to sell as many guns as possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to do some research and post on this topic, Megan.

      Bloomberg is my hero in this. I even have a "Bloomberg for President" tshirt from that brief moment when it seemed he might run.

      I'm loving the conversation, too :)
      a/b

      Delete
  11. I am also pessimistic that things in AZ will change, because as Allison says above, there are way more voters who have terrible values and ideas, and who vote, than those who feel like us and will vote. We are way outnumbered in AZ, and I hate it. Also in Indiana, my other state. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's both pieces, Laura. One is fixable (getting "us" to vote and make noise) but the other, the nastiness in Arizona politics, the lies, the self-serving stupidity, Al Melvin's telling us that 37th out of 50 in reading was "right around the middle and that's just fine" (that afternoon in Saddlebrook).... I can't believe I live here.
      a/b

      Delete
  12. Well, as a recent citizen of Texas, I experienced what they called "gun day" last weekend. The legislature voted to let college students carry weapons in classrooms, amended the state constitution to ensure no one could ever deny them assault weapons, and above all make sure no one could ever run a background check. I lament my vote my never count for anything during my time here. It also makes me deeply regret my commitment to live here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The disconnect between where you live and how you think is my blog post prompt for tomorrow, Meg. I know.... I know....
      a/b

      Delete
    2. I look forward to your post Suzi. It helps me to know kindred spirits are out there! It's a tough row to hoe here...

      Delete
    3. Thursday... tomorrow's a birthday post for my son :)
      a/b

      Delete

Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails