According to local news reports, Arizona's office of tourism is all worked up about Arthur Frommer's blog comments regarding Arizona wackos carrying AR-15s outside events where the President of the United States is speaking.
This is part of what Frommer had 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."
The tourism kingpin went on to make a very interesting point about the pack of heavily armed libertarian oafs making a spectacle of themselves near where the President was addressing the VFW convention Monday.
In case you missed it, Ernie Hancock's "interview" with gun-toter Chris B.
"Is there any responsible citizen of the United States who believes that people should carry guns to a public debate or speech?" asked Frommer. "If Ronald Reagan were delivering a political talk in Phoenix, Arizona, would they have felt it was proper for protestors with guns to mill about outside the hall from which he would leave?"
Thing is, Frommer's writing about a rather benighted patch of sand that happens to be full of heavily armed crazies with guns. Recently, I reported how the pistol-packin' nativists of United for a Sovereign America menaced a group of little children during U.S.A.'s counter-protest of an anti-Arpaio walk. In any civilized part of the country, this would be a source of outrage. Here, what you get are slavish firearm-worshippers sucking their Glocks like pacifiers and whining, "But it's our legal right under the laws of Arizona and the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution!"
C'est vrai, conservacreeps. But just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do something. And the fact that so many people in Arizona think it's cool to take AR-15s to political events should give outsiders an indication of what sort of two-legged varmints we're dealing with here in Sand Land.
Of course, we now know this whole incident Monday was a stunt perpetrated by loony libertarian Ernie Hancock and some dude named Chris B. This Chris is such a badass that he'll take an assault rifle down to where President Barack Obama is, but he's too much of a pantywaist to give out his full name.
I remember seeing Chris at Congressman John Shadegg's town hall on August 8, but golly-gee-whiz, he wasn't wearing his AR-15. Why not, Chris? Do you only wear your assault rifle when Dems are speaking? Or is it President Obama you're fixated on? After all, you told your palsy-walsy Ernie that you always wear the AR-15, 'cept when you're showering. Maybe you meant to say, "Except when I'm showering with a Republican"?
I think we know the real reason ol' Chris donned that AR-15 that day: So that his buddy, perennial libertarian loser Ernie Hancock could score some hits for his Freedom's Phoenix Web site. Not that I don't give 'em some kudos for getting the attention from the mainstream media. Hey, everyone loves a good stunt, right? This, coming from the man who's written many spoof in his day.
And of course, Ernie made sure that his fellow stuntster was a black guy. Because that immunizes Ernie from the charge of racism. And it allows Freedom's Phoenix to run offensive illos of Obama like the one pictured above, which depicts Obama as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose. I should note that FP didn't come up with this piece of racist trash on its own. Rather, it was cadged from Obama-hating forums where it's been floating around lately.
(Psst, Ernie, even if you take it down, I have screenshots and printouts of it from FP. So you can't deny it, mon. Ever. So wear it proudly like an albatross, because I'll always be here to remind others of it.)
Yet, they're not just lame-o clowns over at Freedom's Phoenix. These are your classic, moonhowlin' Alex Jones pant leg-sniffers. Or in other words, insane-in-the-membrane, Bilderberger-obsessed, 9/11-was-an-inside job, Obama-was-born-in-Kenya conspiranutty kooks. Yep, that part of their shtick is no joke. They really believe such falderol.
Don't get me wrong. I love crazy people. Without them, what else would I write about? And like a broken watch, these libertarian Ayn Rand-y, Ronulan (as in Ron Paul) nerds are occasionally right, like with photo radar and pot smoking. (Though they should do more of the latter, instead of just talking about it.)
They're not quite as bad as the nativists. How can you hate an outfit hell-bent on drumming up business for Ernie's wife Donna's real estate biz while preaching that the end of America is nigh and hawking sci-fi sites? Hancock himself once famously ran for Secretary of State, while encouraging people not to vote.
So why should Frommer care about Ernie and his fellow libertarian goofs? Because Chris B. does reflect a certain reality of Arizona, a state full of tinfoil hat-wearing, far-right, gun-wielding moonbats. This was made clear in Hancock's pseudo-interview of the craven Chris B., who, by the way, looks a lot like comedian David Cross, with one major difference.
"Even though people are frightened by it a little bit," Chris told Ernie about his big gun, "a lot of people realize this is Arizona, this is like the wild, wild, west."
About that, both Ernie and Chris are right. Ours is a state where, as I described in a recent column,someone like Harold Fish could shoot another man running at him with only his fists showing and call it self-defense. It's a state where guns are the first line of protection for yellowbellied poltroons, and where the next thing you know, lily-livered wannabe Bernie Goetz's will be packing surface to air launchers, because they want to make a point about the 2nd Amendment, and about how there should be another revolution if the U.S. Congress passes healthcare reform.
So, Mr. Frommer, you have every right to be concerned about traveling in Arizona. Our state is psycho, and often racist. We've got more guns here than the Chinese army, and daggnabbit, we may be the next Dallas, circa 1963, if you get my drift. Here's hoping Chris B. isn't employed by a local book depository. At least no one can accuse him of being racist if he pulls an Oswald.
UPDATE 8/21/09 6:02 PM: According to the Arizona Republic, 28-year-old Christopher Broughton has confirmed that he is "Chris B.," and that he's part of the same nutbar group to which William Kostric belongs. Kostric is the idiot who brought a handgun to an Obama rally in New Hampshire recently. Guess Broughton one-upped Kostric. What's next, dood? Taking pot-shots at the Prez? Whoa...
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Apparently Broughton's an even bigger loser than his dopey bro, libertarian Ernie Hancock, as Broughton was until recently working at a Tempe plastic mold company. He only reluctantly confirmed his identity to reporters, further proving that even if Broughton's unemployed, he's still a full-time wuss.
"I don't want to be Joe-the-Plumber," he told the Rep. "I don't want to be famous. I'm hoping my 15 minutes are over."
Pardon my Francais, but what a bunch of hooey. Broughton's been lovin' the spotlight. He even recently went on moonhowler extraordinaire Alex Jones' radio show. He's just chagrined his real name is out there not, and for all eternity he will be known as the geek carrying an AR-15 at an Obama event.
Isn't there a war on in Afghanistan? Can't we drop this gun-molesting dillweed over there and see how long he lasts against some real badasses? Broughton is the best argument for bringing back the draft I've seen in a looooong time.