Charles Heller and his friends want to turn Arizona into Colorado's bitch. And Idaho's and Montana's and that of lots of other states. They've managed to convince some Arizona legislators that it's a really good idea to hand over our state's sovereignty to other states in an effort to keep at bay the boogeyman that is background checks for gun purchases. And they want to pass a law that can never, ever, EVER be changed.
I like Charles Heller. He and I agree on a couple things and disagree on most things, but he's a good guy. It's just that Charles is to guns what Keith Richards is to drugs. There's never enough—both in terms of variety or sheer quantity. Anyway, the bill is so cockamamie and so obviously unconstitutional that it's only the 10th craziest thing coming out of Phoenix these days.
The other nine:
9. The Legislature wants to eliminate health care for hundreds of thousands of people even though the cost of that care is borne almost entirely by the federal government. They'd rather let people die than admit that Obamacare is working.
8. Like a bunch of six-year-olds, Arizona lawmakers continue to pretend that they don't owe the public schools an avalanche of past-due money. The courts have told them repeatedly that they owe the money and even the Governor has suggested that they try to negotiate a settlement with the schools. Ducey hopes that they can get away with paying pennies on the dollar while the dim bulbs in the Legislature have settled on the three-pronged strategy of stall, then ignore court orders, and then take the novel approach of arguing that the courts—the powers of which are clearly delineated in the state constitution--have no say in determining the constitutionality of something THAT IS IN THE CONSTITUTION!
7. The Legislature continues to do all it can to make sure that (among many, many other embarrassing designations), Arizona is the gun-totin'-est state in America. The phlegm-wads in Phoenix won't rest until every Bubba and Bub-ette will be able to take a gun into movie theaters, restaurants, schools and churches.
6. Republicans think it's the greatest idea ever to encourage people to exceed the speed limit by making a speeding ticket cost only $15.00. And here's the best part for all you butthole drivers: You can speed and get a bargain-basement speeding ticket every day for months at a time and your insurance company will never find out just how thoughtless and dangerous you are.
This is surprising because insurance companies usually have legislatures by the collective scrotum (and/or the female equivalent thereof). They can't be happy knowing that lawmakers just gave all of Arizona's bad drivers (and there are lots and lots of them) a license to speed and, perchance, a license to kill.
5. Tucson Values Teachers. Unfortunately, for the rest of the state, it's Arizona Values Prisons.
4. The accelerated gutting of Arizona's public schools could not have been accomplished without the vote of one Carlyle Begay, a state senator from the Navajo Reservation who claims to be a Democrat but is instead just another pork whore. After initially opposing the vile budget bill that throws $100 million in tax breaks to corporations while taking a meat cleaver to school funding, Begay changed his vote when his Republican masters threw him a bone in the form of a paltry $1.2 million in road improvements for his neck of the woods.
Begay, who obviously doesn't give a crap about kids, said, "I vote for the best interests of my district." Yeah, a whopping $1.2 million could build a road from Window Rock to the outskirts of Window Rock.
3. I'm not really sure which, but Arizona's lawmakers either want to eliminate the state's standardized tests for students or allow parents to opt out of the standardized tests or perhaps allow parents to opt out of the standardized tests that no longer exist.
2. Arizona will be the only state in the union where it is not against the law to text and drive. Just think about how absolutely stupid that is. I'm as serious as a firing squad when I say that I wish that every legislator who voted against making it illegal to text while driving gets crashed into by somebody who is texting while driving. That's the only way they're going to understand. (As Martin Lawrence once said, "I don't want 'em to die; I just want 'em to fall hard.")
1. The funniest thing is that Governor Doug Ducey is strutting around like the cock of the walk as though he were actually running things. I have no doubt that the Governor fancies himself to be a latter-day William Wallace, leading the charge for those who love freedom and hate the evil government that dictates harsh terms from far away. What he hasn't yet grasped is that he's dealing with an out-of-control Legislature consisting of term-limited short-timers who want to get in and cause as much trouble in the name of God and cockeyed capitalism as they can before they exit.
Ducey may see himself as Mel Gibson, but he's actually more like Jon Voight at the end of "Runaway Train," facing the elements with arms spread wide and whispering to himself, "Well, so far, so good."