It’s not the guns that will drive tourists away from Arizona. It’s the nuts.

20 Aug 2009 08:43 pm
Posted by: Donna

Ever since that dolt walked around with a semi-automatic rifle strapped to him at the Obama event on Monday questions have arisen about how stuff like this might impact tourism. It’s no surprise that people from outside the state find it appalling that idiots brandish their assault weapons at political events here. (And yes, gun nuts, he was brandishing it and it is an assault weapon so shut the hell up and go away with whatever you’re thinking of posting in response because I will delete it. And no, you don’t get First Amendment rights here either because it’s a private website and I’m not interested in your errant nonsense this evening.) Let me make it clear that when I refer to “gun nuts” it is to differentiate them from “gun owners”, who tend to be normal decent people who happen to like and own guns for a variety of reasons. I really don’t think I need to delve into an explanation of how a gun nut differs from a gun owner since I think y’all know know the difference.

Renowned travel expert Arthur Frommer, founder of Frommer’s Travel Guides had this to say:

For myself, without yet suggesting that others follow me in an open boycott, I will not personally travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons onto the sidewalks and as a means of political protest. I not only believe such practices are a threat to the future of our democracy, but I am firmly convinced that they would also endanger my own personal safety there. And therefore I will cancel any plans to vacation or otherwise visit in Arizona until I learn more. And I will begin thinking about whether tourists should safeguard themselves by avoiding stays in Arizona.

According to the Phoenix, Arizona, police, people with guns including assault rifles do not need permits in Arizona, but can simply carry such weapons with them, openly and brazenly, when they gather to protest a speaker at a public event. The police also acknowledge that about a dozen people carrying guns, including one with an AR-15 assault rifle, milled about outside the event at which President Obama spoke.

Needless to say there are a ton of comments to his piece, with about half coming from offended gun nuts. They come in two basic flavors: Spittle flecked incoherent rants about how Frommer is a meaniebutt who wants to deprive people of their rights or pedantic lectures from jagoffs like this guy:

Looks like Mr. Frommer hasn’t done his homework. It makes me wonder about the quality of his books.

Arizona has what is called a “Shall Issue” gun law. Here are the other states with the same gun law:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Mr. Frommer, will you be calling for boycott of the all of these states as well? If so, will you be removing your travel books on all these states? I’d guess that would be pretty bad for your publishing business.

Stick to writing your books, and spare us your political views. Your irresponsible statements can be very damaging to people that rely on Arizona state tourism.

Wow. His concern for people who work in the AZ tourist industry is truly touching. Except he’s not concerned enough about their livelihood to, you know, suggest to his fellow gun nuts that they should maybe not flash their weapons at political events and bring all kinds of negative attention to the state. Just a thought. Although honestly, as unnerving as it is to see guns displayed in the way they sometimes are in Arizona, the likelihood of being shot while vacationing here is statistically minute. The real danger to a tourist is that the prevalence of gun culture and various other types of political nutbaggery in Arizona translates to an elevated risk of being cornered by some badly dressed loudmouth with body odor who wants to have a serious discussion about Obama’s birth certificate and his Marxism/socialism/Nazism with you while you’re trying to enjoy your omelette at the Good Egg. Yeah, the risk of that is real high around these parts.

People are of different minds on boycotts, with some thinking they are a great idea and others thinking they are pointless and punish innocent employees of the boycotted companies. On the Boycott Whole Foods facebook page, there’s quite a bit of back and forth on the issue. I don’t always participate in boycotts. I pick them carefully, but I do see them as useful in sending a message to people with your pocketbook when they haven’t paid attention to what you’ve been saying to them. The Whole Foods one is obviously striking a nerve because the company is going out of it’s way to assuage angry liberal patrons. I know people who sent complaints to their website and got immediate, personal responses. I’m not so sure about how well boycotting a state works. I know there’s an LGBT boycott of Utah going on but it’s hard telling if it affected the state’s bottom line or not because tourism is down everywhere. Not that the kind of selfish immature troglodytes who strut around with guns at political rallies would care if Arizona lost money but maybe the more reasonable people here will. Let me just state that I’m not for changing any gun laws here (except that stupid new guns in bars one). But it doesn’t violate any Constitutional principle to shun and ostracize the troglodytes. Obviously, I can’t boycott Arizona but I’m officially boycotting gun nuts.

3 Comments

  1. Comment by Katie on August 21, 2009 6:31 am

    I’m not sure the people you are referring to would be caught at the Good Egg, at least not the one by my house (it’s the Gay Good Egg, right by Gay Starbucks). Although, I did once see Joe Arpaio there buying a coffee.

  2. Comment by native on August 21, 2009 12:31 pm

    Sadly, your points are well-taken, but I’m concerned about the pecan and pistachio growers whose products you may be negatively portraying.

  3. Comment by Donna on August 21, 2009 2:09 pm

    If pecans and pistachios are outlawed only outlaws will have pecans and pistachios.

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