Monday, January 10, 2011

A Guest Post from Chutzpah and Karma

I have to admit that I'm not the best at covering current events - I'd much rather be geeking out about something that isn't a situation blaring across the CNN news ticker 24/7. The tragic attempted assassination of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (along with 12 wounded and 6 killed) is something so shocking that I wouldn't even know where to begin touching the subject with a blog like this.

Lately I've been spending some quality time with a good friend of mine. She goes by many names - Jewbaby, Slice, @jewthedew, and my personal favorite - her blog persona, Chutzpah & Karma.
Rachael is one smart cookie - a 2009 graduate of the University of Oregon, she is set to take the non-profit world by storm. We are watching the BCS Bowl game tonight, which will probably be the one and ONLY time ever I root for the Oregon Ducks - quack, quack, quack! Ughhh, my inner Husky is dying inside... Her blog is a wonderful mix of politics, music, nightlife, and more. Her take on the Giffords tragedy is so dead-on I am dedicating today's post to Chutzpah & Karma. See her full post below:

I’m just going to go out there and say it, I abhor guns. To be honest, it makes me feel uneasy of the thought of a gun in general. I do support people who want to have it as protection, as that is their right.

In light of the recent events of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords from Arizona who is also a Democrat, got shot at point blank range, wounding her and 12 others as well as killing six people yesterday at a grocery store in Tucson, AZ; I felt that the issue of gun control needed to be addressed.

Every time I hear something “new” in Arizona, it makes me cringe. Nowwww what, AZ? What did you do NOW?

Congressman Giffords was making a speech at the store when the perpetrator fired off shots, seriously injuring several and putting Giffords in critical care. She may not recovery at all from this, although it is expected that she should.

I can’t help but think, but what the hell is going on down there? Maybe it’s something in that nasty, brown desert water that possesses people to shoot U.S. representatives and almost leave them for dead. Or it’s the legacy of the Sunbelt politics.

Political analyst and author Kevin Phillips coined the term “Sunbelt” back in the 1970s. The Sunbelt compromises of the Southern Area of the United States ranging from Arizona to Florida. This is not to be confused with the Bible Belt, which is comprised of some of the similar states, but what one would deem classically South, also known as the Southeastern part of the country.

The Sunbelt is an incredibly interesting and puzzling place for me. Some people would argue that California is part of the Sunbelt, but I would have to respectfully disagree, as I believe that California is part of what I would regard as West Coast Politics, including Oregon and Washington as well. Progressive, and all about sustainability.

The Sunbelt has become a driving force of today’s politics, thanks to the influx of people moving into that area. The influx of people are elderly folks looking to retire and immigrants (illegal or otherwise). Both demographics tend to vote (if not illegal) classically conservative/Republican, as it is a more blue-collar area because of the industries of aerospace, defense and oil.

I have absolutely no problem with the Sunbelt as a whole, or conservatives/Republicans whatsoever. What I have a problem with is the lax gun control laws in Arizona and the Sunbelt, and how easy it is to shoot innocent people.

In the State of Arizona, a law abiding person over the age of 18 does NOT need a state permit to possess a shotgun, rifle, or handgun. Nor is there is registration or licensing either. The only permit in Arizona required for gun control is handguns.
Ridiculous doesn’t cover for me, but I’ll refrain.

That really means that any Tom, Dick or Harry can go and get a gun anytime in Arizona. I’m all for constitutional rights and liberties, specifically the Bill of Rights, but Congresswoman’s Gifford’s shooting has brought up a frenzy of gun control conversations in Arizona. Everyone should have the right to the Second Amendment, for the right to bear arms, but action needs to be taken, as innocent lives were at stake.

For me, I’m a flaming liberal/Democrat but I’d like to think of myself as pragmatic and practical. People are taking sides, and people are forming alliances with this issue of what they believe to be right. Despite what political party you align with, it’s not about democrats and republicans, it’s about protecting our fellow person from showers of bullets. The suspect they believe shot Rep. Gifford is mentally disturbed. Precisely the reason of at a minimum putting harsher regulations on buying and owning a gun not just in Arizona, but in the Sunbelt in general.
Time for a New Era of Political Correctness, off The Swampland Blog on Time Magazine Online, said it perfectly, “There is certainly less harm being overly sensitive than overly violent.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’d rather be overly politically correct and proactive about this issue than overly violent. Violence is never the answer, especially with guns.

Here’s to a speedy and safe recovery for Representative Gifford and the other wounded people affected by the shooting. My thoughts and sympathy goes to those families affected by the shooting as well as the families who lost a loved one because of the awful turn of events.
That’s right, Arizona, you in some deep shit now (not that you weren’t before). And yes, your shit does literally reek of racism (whole different can of worms) and retro-activity. There’s still hope for you, make it a comeback. Here’s hoping for a more progressive, accepting and responsible tomorrow.

Carpe Diem.


  1. Of course! It's such a momentous and terrifying event, I had to include something...for more of Rachael's writing, follow her on Tumblr -