Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Sinking Arizona

Conflicted thoughts about Arizona:

Like most outsiders, I had a negative initial reaction to Arizona’s immigration law. I can see why—although I think such words are used purposefully to inflame--phrases such as police state and Nazi have been thrown around. A command from law enforcement to “show me your papers” even under restricted circumstances recalls the days when jackboots marched across Europe.

It also wasn’t that long ago that American citizens were singled out for incarceration because of their ancestry. Japanese-Americans, in fact all Asian-Americans, are acutely sensitive to any laws that hint of racial profiling. We’re concerned that it might happen again. (Parenthetical remark: and yet we chide the Jews for being paranoid when the leaders of nations call for their death and destruction. Some people’s worries are less valid than others.)

But I also identify with Arizonans who feel that they are being overrun by drug smugglers and violent criminals. The Federal Government has done a woefully inadequate job of sealing the borders. Large majorities of Arizonans wanted protection, and what were the local authorities to do? Let’s say that they hadn’t acted--if both Federal and State law enforcement continued to ignore the problem, the consequences could be far worse.

More people may begin to take the law into their own hands. The near-elimination of gun permit requirements later this summer already signals that the Wild West mentality is taking hold in Arizona.
the new law will allow people who have had no education about Arizona's laws and no training on the shooting range to carry a concealed gun.
Whether loose concealed-carry laws reduce crime is debatable. What is certain, however, is that the prevalence of firearms will cause some people to stay away from Arizona out of fear, joining others who will boycott the state because of its stance on immigration. An economic boycott, illegal immigrants, crime, guns everywhere, and an unemployment rate near 10%….let’s just pray for the safety and well-being of ALL who live in Arizona. © 2010 Stephen Yuen

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