Let’S Stage Bizarro Tours Of Arizona

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Glad to see the Legislature’s being creative about stimulating tourism in Arizona. You gotta figure: Look what the Loch Ness Monster has done for Scotland.

Consider the allure of the Bastille in Paris.

Think about all the people who troop to Southern California to see Fantasy Land in the Magic Kingdom.

Surely, the Legislature’s on to something, with the recent rush of borderline-crazy laws. Keep this up and people will flock to tour the state Capitol from all over the country.

Maybe we could even build a Crazy Arizona Wax Museum, with a life-size replica of Gov. Evan Mecham looking for the laser listening devices shining through the windows of the governor’s office.

How else can we account for the recent spate of bizarre bills moving through the Legislature in lieu of a move to make us merely average in school funding.

For instance, our own Sen. Chester Crandell (R-Heber) continues to pay homage to the legal giants that brought us secession back in the days of the Civil War — which produced some battlefields that have been drawing tourists for decades.

Crandell has authored SCR 1016, which suggests the state can ignore any federal laws it wants should state lawmakers conclude that the federal law violates the U.S. Constitution.

Presumably, this could also save the federal government money — by eliminating the need for the whole federal court system, most especially the U.S. Supreme Court.

Crandell insists that he’s not “nullifying” federal law. He just thinks the state shouldn’t have to obey any federal laws it doesn’t like. Now, that’s a whole different thing.

Mind you, in most states, you probably couldn’t even find anyone to introduce such a creative, tourist-friendly bill. But here in Arizona , it actually won the approval of the Senate Public Safety Committee — and is headed for the Senate floor.

Meanwhile, Sen. Rich Crandall of Mesa hopes we can boost visits from the gun nut tour groups. He’s working on a law that would allow teachers and administrators to carry guns — presumably no matter what the school boards and superintendents say.

Now, to be fair — in Arizona’s hothouse of creative legislation — Crandall is actually trying to fend off more “extreme” bills. His bill would apply only to rural schools at least 20 miles away from the nearest police station with no armed school resource officer. So that means Tonto Basin and Pine schools could arm their teachers — but not poor, little defenseless Payson.

In Arizona, this qualifies as moderate, since lawmakers wouldn’t actually require teachers everywhere to carry guns. The bill has passed Appropriations.

Mind you, the bill’s moving along much more briskly than proposals to actually give the schools money to bring back trained police officers to serve as school resource officers, like most principals and superintendents actually want. That would put a properly trained protector on campus — who in the meantime could teach classes and really improve school security. But we can’t do that. Costs money.

On the other hand, bills that would allow guns in all manner of public buildings unless the hard-pressed cities and counties festoon the place with gun lockers still have a chance, in case the gun tourists get upset by even the faintest whiff of moderation.

So go for it, guys.

Nullify those silly federal laws.

Arm those civics teachers.

Let’s make the yellow-billed cuckoo the state bird!

Oh. Wait. It’s endangered. That won’t do.

Hey: Here’s an idea. How about declaring a hunting season on yellow-billed cuckoos!

That should get some headlines. We can picture those tour buses now.

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