The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

JUNE  2010

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






Ashley's Avenue

Backing Arizona

by Ashley Murphy

After reading several news stories and watching this subject pop up on several news media broadcasts, I have decided that this month, I will give my take on a very touchy subject: Arizona. I could probably tag Governor Jan Brewer's name onto that as well for the scrutiny she has received.

Arizona has been, more or less, shunned for the past few weeks due to three new laws; the right of citizens to lawfully carry a firearm without a concealed carry permit, a new stringent law on immigration and a recent ban on ethnic studies in public schools. I personally don't see the big deal. It's state's rights and Arizona is enacting those rights because of the federal government lacking in the department of actually doing their job.

I was actually surprised by hearing that Arizona will now allow its residents to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. In a way, I support this new door that has been opened for personal freedoms, but I think it should be highly respected and not misused. If you are a law abiding citizen and wish to carry a weapon for your safety and protection then I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

However, one flaw I do see in the system is that it doesn't require any training. Here in the State of Tennessee, you are required to take a training class. This will include classroom time, finished with a written test, and then range time where you will also be graded on accuracy. These must then be signed by the instructor verifying that you have successfully completed a Department of Safety approved Handgun Safety Course before going to obtain a Tennessee issued carry permit from the Department of Transportation.

While Arizonans don't need a carry permit, I wholeheartedly believe that everyone who does carry should still be required to take a firearm safety test; not just for their sake, but for anyone who happens to be within firing range of the carried weapon at any given time.

Governor Brewer next tackled the issue of immigration, signing a bill that aims to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants. I agree with her move on this issue more than I have ever agreed with any politician in years past. I'm just hoping Brewer standing up for what she believes in will inspire other politicians to follow suit, instead of sitting back, kissing ends and trying to make nice with the trash currently blowing freely in the wind through Washington.

This new bill makes Arizona the first state that will demand immigrants to carry documents showing their presence in the United States is legitimate, in addition to meeting all federal requirements to carry those documents. Not carrying immigration papers will now be considered a misdemeanor in Arizona and if an immigrant is asked for his/her papers by a police officer and cannot, does not or will not show them, the officer can detain that person until their status is verified with federal officials.

At one time I read that someone believes the ability to demand documents is like Nazism. If I recall, the Nazis rounded up Jews, Gypsies and basically anyone who wasn't German and either killed them or put them in concentration camps. The people they rounded up had every right to be on that land, they weren't there illegally (under normal circumstances). Those who lived were lucky enough to survive concentration camps or they managed to hide from the brutality. The Nazis did this out of hate and despise for anyone who, basically, wasn't blonde haired and blue eyed.

Nazism can't be compared to Arizona law enforcing federal law by sending an illegal back to their home country and telling them that in order to come to America, it must be done legally. There is no discrimination, no brutality, no death. No comparison!

No, I am not racist and no, I am not against legal immigration. I do not condone racial profiling, but I honestly don't see this particular law as a path down that road... if you have the proper authority making checks when a situation arises.

Saying this bill will induce racial discrimination is about like saying bars or "21 and Up" establishments are discriminating against age. Here's the point: If I walk into an event intended solely for those 21 years of age and older and I don't "look" 21, then I will be asked for my state issued driver's license or state issued identification with a birth date to prove my age printed clearly on it. However, if I do "look" 21 and it is obvious that I am of age, most likely, I will not be asked for my ID. It is the law for these venues, to verify that you are of age and can legally enter the establishment. Most likely reason, there is alcohol involved. If you are under 21, you cannot drink alcohol, because it's against the law. Therefore, you must present your ID  if you "look" too young (even if it is required that ALL patrons' identification be checked) to drink in order to prove you are old enough. If you are caught lying, you most likely will be kicked out. My point, it's against the law to be in America illegally, if you are "suspected" of being in the country illegally, you must present documents to prove otherwise. If not, just as with the case of age and alcohol, you will be kicked out. Case rested.

The most recent to come under fire was a bill signed by Governor Brewer banning ethnic studies in public schools. I can agree with this happening as well. The bill is intended to "ban classes that are designed for a particular ethnic group, promote overthrow of the U.S. government, foster resentment toward a particular race or class, or 'advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."

What's wrong with that?

Nothing, in my opinion.

I don't think that there should be a ban on all ethnic classes, just those that target specific groups. There are several classes in Arizona schools that target only Mexican-American studies, only African-American studies, or only Native American studies. I believe that if a school is going to offer an ethnic studies program, it should be just that, a full program. Each ethnic studies class should be spread out to include different heritages through the course of a semester, not target only one in an individual class.

Disagree if you like, but I'm sticking by Governor Brewer and Arizona. All those that have already boycotted entertainment and business trips have been slapped in the face with a backlash of their own medicine.

San Diego, an already struggling city, has had several hotel cancellations by those who are also sticking behind the Governor and her state. You never know, maybe the "lesson" they intended to teach Arizona will do nothing but hurt the boycotts in the end. More people agree with these newly signed bills than the mainstream media is letting on. Unfortunately for them, they can't cover it up forever. One state is standing up, I'd personally like Tennessee to be the next.


Ashley Murphy
People News Media Assistant

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