by Pa Rock
Fifty-five thousand out-of-towners are going to converge on Phoenix this week to celebrate and support their interpretation of the Second Amendment. Yup, the good ole boys (and girls) of the National Rifle Association will be convening here to peruse armaments and swap paranoid fantasies with wild abandon. Oh, the tales they will tell and the guns they will fondle!
This is a very big deal locally, supposedly the largest gathering ever at the Phoenix Convention Center. One Chamber of Commerce flack estimated that the visitors will consume more that 10,000 room nights in the Valley of Hell, and the spending effect will pump about $70 million into the local economy. Spend away, suckers, we'll take your money!
A billboard out by the Air Force Base proclaims that the event will have acres and acres of guns and gear for sale. I'm sure thousands of the baddest guns will be loaded into those black SUV's and quickly transported to Nogales, Mexico, and points south. This should be a real boon for the drug dealers - not having to traipse all over the country looking for massive quantities of deadly bargains! Phoenix ought to have one of these gun-shows-on-steroids every year, or even twice a year!
The NRA convention comes at an especially good time for Arizona in a political sense. Our new governor, Jan Brewer, and John McCain will both be there flapping their right wings and squawking like Rush Limbaugh on a full tank of speed.
Last night the state legislature passed an absurd piece of legislation making it illegal for property owners to prohibit their employees from keeping guns in their cars (on company property) while they are at work. A spokeswoman for the NRA said that her organization supports property rights, but the God-given Second Amendment protections trump property rights every time. (It's true! You can't make this crap up!) This probably would not be a great time to be working in one of the local post offices!
Arizona ranks 5th nationally in states with the highest percentages of gun deaths. Nearly 7,000 people died by gunfire in this crazy state between 1999 and 2006. The new armed workplace law should help to propel us to number one in short order! (I'll bet the state's funeral directors had some lobbyists working to pass that jewel!)
Our local National Public Radio affiliate, KJZZ, ran a story on this commercial madness. They interviewed an old couple who are strong NRA supporters. The man carried a card in his wallet that listed "ten ways Barack Obama threatens the Second Amendment." His wife barked about how Obama (she couldn't bring herself to refer to him as "President") was going to be the "ruination" of America. The husband chimed in that it wasn't about his color (which meant that it assuredly was!), but that he and his wife were against Obama's political policies.
So, for the next few nights, downtown Phoenix will be in full Halloween mode. The streets will be pulsing with hillbillies, hookers, soldiers-of-fortune, arms dealers, drug dealers, fascists, racists, and countless other types of miscreants and miscreant wannabes. It ought to be a real hoot. Hell, I may even punch a couple of holes in one of my good sheets and go join the party!
Phoenix - gotta love it - or leave it!