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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : columns February 05, 2016

1/10/2013 9:59:00 PM
Friday Catchall: Local lawmakers must obey hierarchy

Tim Wiederaenders
Editor, The Daily Courier

The Friday Catchall:

• 'CULTURE OF VIOLENCE' - Former Judge Ralph Hess said at the Prescott City Council meeting on Tuesday, "One thing I think is clear is we do have a problem with violence. I consider this to be a start."

The "start" is his push for a ban of semiautomatic assault weapons in Prescott.

The council disagreed, with the mayor saying that state law would trump a local ordinance.

Whether or not Hess is right or on the right track, Mayor Marlin Kuykendall recognizes a very important point.

In my words: Too many people - some residents, politicians and candidates included - misunderstand what powers local governmental entities command.

Over the years, for example, I have sat and listened to a school board candidate saying he will have abortions outlawed; a council candidate claim he will put a halt to growth locally; and a county supervisor candidate believing he can affect federal legislation.

Of those, the council candidate was the only one who truly could have done what he said - that is, if they got the rest of the council members to go along with the rules, policies, fees and ordinances necessary.

Seriously. The others were grandstanding and grasping.

As for Hess, he is on the right track to a degree. The problem in this country is the culture - movies, music, products, social attitudes, parenting, mental health woes ... I could go on ... that combine to create a time bomb, also known as a "culture of violence."

• WHO'S RIGHT? - In the national debate of gun control, I have to wonder why the National Rifle Association and gun owners are being painted as the bad guys.

Following is a news release from the NRA on Thursday:

"The National Rifle Association of America is made up of over 4 million moms and dads, daughters and sons, who are involved in the national conversation about how to prevent a tragedy like Newtown from ever happening again. We attended today's White House meeting to discuss how to keep our children safe and were prepared to have a meaningful conversation about school safety, mental health issues, the marketing of violence to our kids and the collapse of federal prosecutions of violent criminals.

"We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be 'prejudged,' this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners - honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen.

"Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of Congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works - and what does not."

Adds a lot of clarity. And you wonder why, when visiting the gun stores, CAL Ranch or Wal-Marts, they cannot stock the ammo fast enough.

Think about it.

• WHO PAYS? - Also on Tuesday the City Council members discussed a number of possible changes in the impact fees new homebuilders will or will not pay in the future.

Because of a new state law, Senate Bill 1525, in order to collect an impact fee in a specific category the law requires the city to have detailed plans for how it will use the money. If they will not be building a new library in the next five years, for example, they cannot collect a library impact fee.

It makes sense; however, what's lost here is by the time they put a building, station or project on the books, beginning to collect impact fees for it would or could be too late to pay for it.

Ever heard the complaint question, "Why don't existing residents have to pay? They will use the new (item) too."

Now you will have relatively new residents in the same boat as the old-timers, and only those caught in the five-year window footing the bills.

And I mentioned above politicians having no power over this and policies affecting growth.


• MY PICK OF THE WEEK is the Prescott Center for the Arts production of "Harvey," which takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and Jan. 17, 18 and 19, and at 2 p.m. Jan. 13 and Jan. 19. For information, visit dCourier.com or pca-az.net.


Related Stories:
• Impact fee restructuring under way at City of Prescott
• City defers to state on issue of semiautomatic assault weapon ban
• Invisible rabbit steals the show in 'Harvey'

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013
Article comment by: Sharon Carlin

Thank you for selecting "Harvey" as your Pick of the Week. PCA is very proud of all of the volunteers that make this type of show possible. The quality of the performances reflect the commitment and talent we have in this community.

Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013
Article comment by: Pat Purdin

I understood from the article I read that former Judge Hess wants an ordinace not only to ban the guns but ban manufacturing, selling, transporting, etc. If PCC would pass such an ordinance, what will it do to Prescott's economy? Ruger is in the city limits of Prescott and several gun dealers are in Prescott. Would they all have to close their doors and relocate? What about all of the people that would become unemployed? What about the the sales tax that would be lost? Sure hope PCC has enough smart council members to vote "no" on this lame request.

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: Ghost Past

This Congress, and administration, don't care about your gun rights or controlling guns. There was a horrible crime, people are screaming for something to be done, and they will do a little something and crow about it. Look what I voted for or look what I voted against.? Then back to normal, planning for the next election.

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: TW is on right track

You're all wrong. Regular-equipped Glock 19? It holds 15 rounds, 5 more than lawmakers want to ban. Hess was on right track to a degree - read the column, the culture of violence. Semi-autos banned? I'll buy one now just because you say I should not! TW lacking education and above his station? He is one of the only clear thinking people on this topic, continuing to bring up that it is not ONLY about guns but also mental health, violence in media, etc. Don't you read this newspaper's editorials? Who do you think writes them? Try to take my guns, or prevent me from getting ammo, and you will have to pry them from my cold dead hands. Keep up the good work Tim. This is our newspaper and thankfully you are our editor. God Bless Us All.

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: Jon Ladner

I just relocated from Calif. to Arizona to get away from radical government sponsored socialism. I was a deputy sheriff in CA and in another state. I worked with ATF on several matters. One of my friends is a retired ATF agent. Flash News... Very few crimes are committed with over-the counter semi-auto AR-15 "Rifles" or AK "style" Rifles. As for local lawmakers, ever heard of the Constitution? The real Second Amendment? The Republic America is supposed to be? BTW... what is your crime stats pertaining to assault type weapons on your local level??? I can call ATF or FBI and get the realistic stats. Even in CA there were less than 2 percent of firearm related crimes with "assault" rifles. To close, I will pass on what my ATF buddy told me about gun control.
"If these idiots try this, every drug runner will also become a gun runner. Then people will get real military weapons that are selective fire along with destructive, offensive equipment. The idiots in D.C. will open a real can of worms." From the mouth of a real ATF agent. America has been fighting every "brush fire" since Vietnam to the current situation. This has trained a lot of people how to deploy "real" military weapons correctly who are law abiding citizens. Drug lords will supply real military hardware to anyone with the money. So let me get this right... You want to make an angry public even more upset? Every lawmaker needs a dose of reality and a common sense implant. Don't make things worse for the average street officer who, by your meddling, will set off an even bigger problem that didn't have to happen. Firearm stats are NOT on your side, city council. Taking legal private property is only trying to put out a fire with gasoline. If you want a perfect city & county then I suggest going to CA. Good intentions turned CA into a bankrupt, welfare state and instead of learning from their mistakes, they persevered until it became totally socialistic as well which is why I left my birthplace.

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: Judy B

The statement from the NRA is spot on. This fake "task force" headed by the Vice President is focused on one thing only - weakening the 2nd amendment to the largest extent possible. There will be no serious contemplation or action taken against Hollywood and it's disgusting attempts at "entertainment" or the video game industry - both of which are staunch democrat deep pocket supporters. There will be no discussion or action taken to address the very real problem of the mentally ill. I'm reasonably certain that no one associated with this dog and pony show would propose a national registry for anyone taking anti-psychotic drugs to insure that they are blocked from legally owning a gun. Just look back on the shooting at Virginia Tech. There were numerous individuals who had come in contact with the shooter in a professional medical capacity and yet none of them - even though they knew the perpetrator was a ticking time bomb - could legally contact his parents to intervene because his "privacy" would be violated.

If you want to diminish gun violence in this country, start seriously addressing areas that are not fire-arms related. The adage that the gun didn't kill is accurate. The guns used in the Connecticut shooting didn't drive themselves to the school, nor to the theater in Colorado, nor to the campus at Virginia Tech or the store parking lot in Tucson. Stop attacking an inanimate object and deal with the living and in some cases still breathing perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: Veritas Semper

The facts are that most crimes committed in Yavapai County are done so by addicts, alcoholics and psychologically unstable individuals. If we were to truly wish to lower the crime rate in the area we would stop doling-out permits for halfway houses and rehab centers. These institutions simply take the offenders after they are released from jail, house them, council them, medicate them and then release them back into society (after collecting a nice stipend from the govt.). The "patient" then re-enters society, and eventually (often within days) commits another crime and the circle begins again. The recidivism rate for people that fit this description is extraordinarily high. Stop accommodating these career criminals (often not by choice) and they will move-on to greener pastures and the crime rate will fall.

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: Casual Observer

"Whether or not Hess is right or on the right track,..." Say what? You mean you're not sure if he is or is not? You mean that the notion of taking away "semiautomatic assault weapons" from good, law abiding, hard working, devoted residents of this city is a matter that you're uncertain about?

How many people have been shot with "semiautomatic assault weapons" in this city over the past 100 years?

" As for Hess, he is on the right track to a degree." Really? To what "degree"? Are you kidding?

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: Timmeah timmeah

Wiederanders continues to show his lack of education and that he is waaaaaay above his station as editor of this "newspaper". trying to comment in response is to only lower oneself to his rock-bottom level.

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: I Don't Wonder

T.W. says that he wonders why the NRA is being painted as the bad guy. I don't wonder. It is probably because they are inflexible in their extreme stands. The NRA keeps saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." When in fact is the people with guns who kill people that should concern all of us. Now a new mantra for the NRA, "The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." That's not really true there is something else, why not keep the bad guy from getting a gun in the first place. The NRA wants to talk only about the violence in video games, movies, television, etc. They refuse to realize that is only part of the problem. Gun violence involves crazy people, but it also involves guns. Both gun half and the "crazy" half of the problem must be addressed. Examples of other extreme views: no restrictions on high-capacity magazines (The only reason to have a high-capacity magazine is to kill more people, more quickly. I don't need this kind of a magazine for target practice. I can do just fine with a regularly equipped Glock 19.), no restrictions on ammo that will pierce body armor (The only reason you would need this ammo would be if you wanted to kill a cop.), not willing to help close the "gun show loophole," their stand against the arms-trade treaty (They make it sound as though the UN will come in and take our weapons. The treaty has nothing to do with the private ownership and use of weapons. It deals with foreign trade. In some cases it would keep US gun manufacturers from shipping certain weapons to certain countries. Why would the NRA have a problem with that? Perhaps its because US gun manufacturers are huge financial contributors to the NRA). So, when the NRA starts acting in a rational manner, people will no longer paint them as the bad guy.

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Article comment by: Heed Eisenhower's Warning

Suddenly Americans are demanding a stop to all the violence AT HOME while continuing to ignore, if not condone, the far more violent, expensive, wasteful, damaging, and more powerful official government version abroad. What a disconnect.

As former General and President, Eisenhower warned us in his farewell address: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”

Want to stop the culture of violence? Start at the top. Demand the closure of the thousand military bases in nearly every country on earth. Stop glorifying the Hell On Earth called War and waging and rooting for it as if it were the national sport. Stop calling everyone in uniform carrying a gun a 'Hero' but not the firefighters, scientists, nurses, and teachers who apply themselves to noble causes. Stop waging terrorism abroad in a misguided effort to stop terrorism at home. Stop saddling future generations with trillions in debt to prop up the U.S. Killing Machine.

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