Arizona gun store is an embarrassment to the rest of the state, and the Nation

An Arizona gun store owner has posted a sign advising individuals who voted for the re-election of President Barack Obama that their business is not welcome in his store, because “you have proven you are not responsible enough to own a firearm.”

From Gawker.com (and elsewhere):

There have been no shortage of sore losers in the aftermath of [the November 6] presidential election, but Pinetop, Arizona, may be home to the sorest loser of them all.

Cope Reynolds, who runs the Southwest Shooting Authority gun shop in the small Navajo County town of 4,000, spent his own (presumably) hard-earned money to take out a full-page ad in the White Mountain Independent declaring all Obama voters personae non gratae.

“If you voted for Barack Obama you business is NOT WELCOME at Southwest Shooting Authority,” reads the ad. “You have proven you are not responsible enough to own a firearm.”

(For the record, should Obama supporters in Pinetop heed the ad and stay clear of Reynolds’ shop, he stands to lose about a 736 potential customers.)

In an email to the Phoenix New Times‘ Valley Fever blog, Reynolds explains that he know full well that this policy is not particularly enforceable, but it’s the principle of the thing:

Obviously, this is nothing more than a political statement. Of course, it would be impossible to enforce. If they don’t say anything, we’ll never know. They could purchase whatever they wanted and they would probably get a big kick out of thinking that they are rubbing it in our face as they walk out the door. Some folks are easily amused that way.

However, if they own up to it, we will not serve them. This goes way beyond gun control, which many think is why we did this. I should have as much right to post a sign on my door as those that post “No Guns” on their doors.

Sure. And while you’re at it, why not post a “Whites Only” sign as well? That should take most of the guess work out of figuring out which of you customers is just buying stuff for a laugh.

Seriously, though, Mr. Reynolds…have you seen what a train wreck Mitt Romney has become since the election? Did you really want this man with his hand on the wheel, guiding the United States of America?

Hey, I understand that you might not like the President very much, and that’s your right as a free American. It’s also your right to run your ad. What I think you fail to understand is that–given a choice–Obama was at the very worst the lesser of the two evils. I’ve already said that I wasn’t a strong supporter of the President…and had there been a candidate that I liked better, I would have voted for that person instead. That individual could have been white, black, female, Latino, Asian, Jewish, gay, lesbian, transgender…but not the mess that Romney turned out to be and had to have been the whole time. Even his fellow Republicans advised us to vote against him!

But, getting back to political attitudes within Arizona…the state has a history of a very, shall we say–independent–streak to it.

In 1986, Arizona was one of the states that wanted to raise the nationwide 55 mile per hour speed limit to as much as 75 mph. From the Associated Press:

Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole, concluding that Arizona and Vermont have failed to adequately enforce the 55 mph speed limit, served notice Wednesday she intends to withhold up to 10 percent of the states’ federal highway money.

Arizona and Vermont would become the first states to lose money because of speeding drivers, although officials said that Maryland also is in danger of being found in non-compliance. A final decision in that case has yet to be made, however.

Popular opinion was that the state didn’t need the Feds’ money (when of course it did), and that they could take their federal highway matching funds and, well…keep all of it.

In 1990, when it looked like the state wasn’t going to honor a Martin Luther KIng holiday,  the NFL threatened to take away Super Bowl XXVII, its first. The popular opinion amongst residents was that the NFL could take back its Super Bowl, and there was some pretty colorful language used as to where it could put it:

Super Bowl XXVII was originally scheduled to be played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, the home of the Phoenix Cardinals. But in 1990, after Arizona voters rejected a ballot initiative to create a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday, the NFL voted to yank Super Bowl XXVII from Arizona under pressure from civil rights groups and from the NFL Players’ Association. The Super Bowl was instead held in theRose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, honoring African-American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr, had been observed for the first time in 1986. In that first year, after a bill to create the holiday failed in the Arizona state legislature, Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt had issued an executive order creating the holiday. But a year later, newly-elected Governor Evan Mecham rescinded the executive order on the grounds that the holiday had been illegally created. In response, Dr. King’s widow Coretta Scott King and musician Stevie Wonder spearheaded a complete entertainment and convention boycott of Arizona. Blacks across the nation supported the boycott.

By 1989, the Arizona state legislature had successfully created the holiday, but opponents forced a ballot initiative, and in 1990, Arizona voters rejected the initiative.

Meanwhile, the NFL met in March 1990 in Orlando to select the site of the 1993 Super Bowl. Civil-rights advocates in Arizona sent representative Art Mobley to Orlando to make sure the King Holiday issue was considered in the discussions. The committee voted tentatively to award the game site to Arizona, but committee chair Norman Braman met with Art Mobley after the vote and vowed that “if anything was done to dishonor the memory of Dr. King,” the committee would vote to change the site of the Super Bowl. After Arizona voters rejected the 1990 ballot initiative to create an MLK holiday, the NFL voted to hold Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California instead of in Arizona.

Two years after the loss of more the $350 million in major convention business and the 1993 Super Bowl, Arizona became the first and only state to popularly vote for and approve a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, finally opting to create the holiday by ballot in 1992, and on March 23, 1993, the NFL awarded Super Bowl XXX (1996) to Tempe.

Governor Mecham was later impeached for obstruction of justice and misuse of government funds.

In 1995, some Arizona lawmakers wanted the state exempted from the CFC ban. From the Tucson Citizen:

Some state lawmakers are thumbing their noses at an 8-year-old agreement among industrial nations to phase out chemicals suspected of depleting the Earth’s ozone layer.

The legislators are challenging the federal government to lift its ban on chlorofluorocarbons.

And another bill intends to change state law to allow for the use and manufacturing of CFCs in the state without subjecting the user to penalties.

“I don’t see anything wrong with them. I think the science behind it is flawed and until there is definitive proof one way or the other, I don’t think we should change the way the world does business,’ said Rep. Robert Blendu, R-Mesa, one of 10 sponsors of the bill to allow CFCs in the state.

“Just because a couple of people said CFCs are bad, that doesn’t necessarily make it gospel, and even if they are bad, I think a common-sense approach could be taken.’

Blendu said pesticides, for instance, could be considered “bad.’

“But I’d rather have a little poison in my house than roaches. I think the state of Arizona has the right to be the Freon capital of the world if we want to and if the majority of citizens think it’s best for them.’

The request to the federal government states the ban should be lifted because “federal restrictions . . . are based on unreliable and unsubstantiated scientific studies conducted by individuals utilizing propagandist scare tactics in support of their so-called environmental agenda.

“Any trivial benefits to be gained . . . do not warrant the economic and social costs resulting from such drastic and unnecessary measures,’’ the plea continues.

Ah, yes. Welcome to the state that I live in.

Honestly: we’re not all racist idiots here. There are many of us (most?) who are intelligent, well-reasoned, honest, moral, unprejudiced, common-sense folks.

We’ve only been a state since February 14, 1912–just over a century. That’s only like, 10 in people years. Really–we’re trying.

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2 thoughts on “Arizona gun store is an embarrassment to the rest of the state, and the Nation

    • Thanks for your comment. Although I believe it could be spam, I’ll reply by pointing out that I actually said *the gun shop owner* had the right to put up the sign that he did, as an exercise in HIS free speech…as do free people everyone. However, there is a responsibility that come with that right.

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