Wednesday, March 31, 2010

SB1168: Eliminating one more "hole" in the right to carry.

The vote totals aren't showing on the state Senate website just yet, but SB 1168 was presumably passed this Monday when it received its third reading, and will thus (if all goes well) be considered by the House.

Arizona is almost a model for liberal firearms regulation. There remain, however, "holes" in the state, areas that are not secured, where "checking" one's firearm is not an option, and where open carry is prohibited. Alcohol-serving establishments, schools and universities, and public parks are all places one must avoid if carrying openly. In two out of three of these cases, concealed carry is either prohibited outright or nearly always prohibited. This means, of course, that one must be un-armed on one's way to or from these places, as well.

ARS 13-3108 currently authorizes political subdivisions of the state to restrict carry in parks so that only those with CCW permits may carry. SB 1168--not to be confused with a 2009 firearms bill with the same number--eliminates this power. It also explicitly prevents political subdivisions from enacting or enforcing firearms laws more restrictive than those of the State.

Since the Board of Regents is authorized separately in ARS title 12 to restrict carry at the universities, this does not seem to be true "constitutional carry", as some of the bill's proponents claim. But it's a step in the right direction. Every time liberalization advances, we get to turn to those who repeat old anti-gun arguments long after they've been disproved by experience.

To my fellow academics: Are you afraid to go everywhere in AZ except the university, the courthouse, bars and restaurants with those reactionary signs, and the public park? Are you afraid, now, to go to the park, too? Is this fear well-founded? Are these dangerous places relative to less liberal states?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Arizona Senate declares sovereignty over things that do not exist.

From SCR 1050, a referendum which passed the AZ Senate on the 22nd of March:
7. The regulation of intrastate commerce, manufacturing and noneconomic activities, as it pertains to intrastate anthropogenic carbon dioxide or other greenhouse substances produced by biological, mechanical or chemical processes, including refuse and agricultural operations, is excluded from the meaning and understanding of the Enumerated Powers at the time the United States Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788, and it is vested in the states under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The harmless emission of anthropogenic carbon dioxide or other greenhouse substances produced by biological, mechanical or chemical processes, including refuse and agricultural operations, is a necessary incident of the Constitutional rights of Arizonans under the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as article II, sections 2 and 33, Constitution of Arizona.
and, while we're at it,
The intrastate emission of anthropogenic carbon dioxide or other greenhouse substances produced by biological, mechanical or chemical processes, including refuse and agricultural operations, is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, under the Enumerated Powers of the federal government. Accordingly, to the extent that such emissions can be regulated consistent with the principles of free republican government, such power is reserved to the State of Arizona or the people under the Tenth Amendment to the United States
C. Any effort by any governmental official to enforce within the borders of the state of Arizona federal laws or federal regulations purporting to restrict intrastate emissions of anthropogenic carbon dioxide or other greenhouse substances is herewith declared a violation of civil rights and unlawful under Arizona state law.
Emphasis mine all around.

"Harmless greenhouse substances" do not exist under today's conditions. Likewise "intrastate" emission of CO2, methane, and other light gases is unlikely; consider only that water vapor, of comparable molecular weight, blows into New Mexico and points beyond.

Perhaps unwittingly, the AZ Senate is trying to assert its right to regulate, without federal interference, things that do not exist. Is 10th Amendment sovereignty over the Tooth Fairy next?

Have a look at the measure's title. "Freedom to breathe act?" Something makes me think that the Goldwater Institute's scientifically illiterate, blustering fat slob Byron Schlomach is behind this. Oh, sorry, I mean "Byron Schlomach, PhD." We need a cartoon series with that title. Sort of a cross between Batman the Animated Series and Pee-Wee's Playhouse. The adventures of a fumbling propagandist hack, with especial insight into the "creative process".

The Goldwater Institute is promoting the measure; I learned about it via a Nick Dranias e-mail. More about my beef with Schlomach in a previous post. Check out the linked graph. I'm tempted to post the e-mail exchange I had with him, but that would be so...tacky. Safier is on the wrong side of very many things and probably read his econ texts upside down and backwards, but is usually on the right side of the truth, which is important. He's been taking the Goldwater Institute hacks to task for some time. Read the latest. And Ladner is a statesman compared to Schlomach!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Yet another summary execution allowed in Cochise County

Word to the wise: Don't turn your back to Border Patrol agents in Cochise County. The back is where they like to shoot people.

And the County Attorney will not prosecute. First there was the Nicholas Corbett matter, which admittedly involved hung juries. Now, according to the Daily Star, an assistant CA has ruled that the shooting of Jorge Alfredo SolĂ­s Palma was legally justified.

Let's step through this. Solis hides under tree. Solis refuses to come out. Solis flees. Solis throws some rocks while fleeing. Solis is shot and killed. Perhaps that assistant county attorney has never thrown anything in his life: throwing one way while running the other, that's not a credible attack, certainly not one that justifies shooting under most use-of-force regulations.

There's more in the Sierra Vista Herald: the above narrative is oversimplified. But reading the Herald report, two things become clear: (1) It's not at all certain that Solis wasn't shot merely because there the agents were exasperated (2) the County Attorney's office didn't get to review the recordings that could possibly establish probable cause.

Instead, the Cochise County Attorney used the Border Patrol's reports to establish whether or not to prosecute Border Patrol agents. Does anyone else see something wrong with that? Were there no objective evidence, it'd be understandable, but that's not the case.