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Phelps, WBC and Arizona

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I really think Westboro Baptist should bear in mind that in many ways Arizona right now is a pretty lawless state (one friend likened it to Mississippi in the '60's). Tucson, where the massacre happened, is a spot of blue in a sea of red. Gun laws in Arizona, including concealed carry, are extremely liberal (in the actual, not political sense.) It put a semi-automatic in the hands of Jared Loughton. I highly doubt he is the only crazy there with access to a gun. Kansas is a very conservative state as well. When WBC protested at the funeral of a Marine in Wichita (edit: was informed in comments this was in McAlister, OK, not Wichita) they had their tires slashed. But Kansas is also a bit inured to them because they home base from Topeka and they've been around all over the state. We're used to them. Arizona is not. WBC angered a lot of people with their protests at military funerals. They agreed to drop their protest at the funeral of the nine year old (in exchange for air time on two radio stations) but fully plan to carry it out at the funerals of the judge and the Congressional aide. They frequently bring their own children to these protests. The very fact that there is a funeral for a nine year old should be a wake up call. This could be a set up for a second tragedy. Frankly, this scares me. No matter what excuses people make there is a climate of hate in this country. WBC contributes to that climate and in fact may have been one of it's first contributors. There is an old saying, "Live by the sword, die by the sword." I am no defender of the WBC but when the collateral damage is children, people who have no real control over who places them where and in what line of danger, I feel compelled to say something.

Comments

Kirk Larson 5 years, 7 months ago

It would not surprise me to learn that the Phelpsites quietly hope one of their kids takes a bullet. They know that they put their children in harms way when they bring them to their protests. So either they expect one to get hurt so they can reap the sympathy and the lawsuits or else they are cowards using their children as shields.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

Filing a lawsuit against someone certifiable, like Loughton, isn't going to get them much. I doubt it will get them much in the way of sympathy, either. People will blame them for ever having the kids there in the first place. That leaves us with option three, which is probably pretty close to the truth.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 7 months ago

They have their children stand right on the curb on a busy intersection in Topeka. Literally, right on the curb of the street that leads to the Jewish Temple there about twice a month, just before Jewish worship services are held.

Ever hear of Gage Street in Topeka? Would you let your child stand on the curb there?

Of course, the adults stand safely behind them, and they all hold signs that claim that God hates Jews. And, of course also the one that's to obscene to describe.

It's a very busy street, and it's very narrow. It's as close as you can get to forcing your children to play on the street without actually being on the street.

Nope, not on the street. Standing on the curb. If you don't believe me, go check for yourself.

RoeDapple 5 years, 7 months ago

Cait, every year there are approximately 26 children killed and 8000 injured due to school bus accidents, yet we continue to accept the risk of "collateral damage" and load our children into 440,000 buses to travel 24,000,000 miles every year. 250,000 are hospitalized and many hundreds die due to the poisons, chemicals, prescription and OTC drugs we store in our homes, apparently accepting the "collateral damage" risk of these items with children present.Birth defects, SIDS, accidents, drownings and suicides are all part of the risk we take bringing children into this world. All the above are more of a risk than the type of event that happened on January 8th, yet we continue to take those risks, doing what we can to personally protect our own. No law, regulation or 'memo' will force every parent to child proof their cabinets, keep the school bus driver from trying to beat the train or to take that 'important' phone call while the baby is sitting in the bath water. "Collateral Damage?" "Acceptable Risk?" On January 8, 2011 90,000,000 gun owners in possession of 240,000,000 guns did not kill, injure or threaten anyone, and 99.99% (or more) of them never will. I would venture your children are many times more likely to die or take the life of another by automobile than by accidental or purposeful gunfire. Thank you for hearing me out.

RoeDapple 5 years, 7 months ago

On rereading your blog Cait I see it isn't the young girl killed in Tucson you were referring to as I thought, but the children and grandchildren of the Phelps clan. I tend to agree with you, they seem to invite tragedy by placing them in harm's way. Inexcusable, my hope is the parents and grandparent(s) responsible for them will serve a life of imprisonment and burn in their own hell if anything ever happens to ANY child due to their actions.

RoeDapple 5 years, 7 months ago

BTW, maybe it's me but your blog is a little hard to follow . . .

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

I apologize, Roe. Yes it was the Phelps kids I was referring to. I have a hard time with the client that LJW uses to post to the blog. It wouldn't let me paragraph and it's rather clunky.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

Thank you thank you DIST! I know a little smidge of html but the client should have it built in. But then again I guess I got spoiled by LiveJournal's client which does have it built in.

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

All false analogies---which most analogies are.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

I have no idea if he had a license or not. Wouldn't make any difference if he did. I am saying that guns are that easy to get a hold of in the state and even if he were seen with one, no one would bat an eye. He tried to buy ammo at one Walmart the day of the shooting and because he "acted odd" the clerk refused to sell it. That clerk didn't notify anyone of the attempt and was under no obligation to do so. He then simply went to another Walmart where he succeeded in purchasing the ammunition.

Gene Wallace 5 years, 7 months ago

Would you sell ammunition to someone who looked like Uncle Fester?

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

Actually, blue, I just found out that the shooter did indeed have a license to carry. He legally purchased the gun just six weeks before the shooting. "Loughner allegedly purchased a 9mm Glock pistol used in the shooting from a Sportsman's Warehouse in Tucson on November 30, 2010."

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

I read somewhere, but can't remember where in order to verify it, that the salespeople in the store claimed that they didn't want to sell a gun to Loughner, but were required to by law. Apparently they realized he had problems.

Did anybody else see that?

KansasPerson 5 years, 7 months ago

"But Kansas is also a bit inured to them because they home base from Topeka and they've been around all over the state. We're used to them."

I'll never get used to them.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 7 months ago

Well, after a while, they become sort of a landmark.

When you get to the picketers, it's time to turn to go to the Jewish Temple for services.

irvan moore 5 years, 7 months ago

i don't think you need a license in Arizona

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

Conceal carry laws, in and of themselves, are not a problem. The problem isn't even lax gun laws in and of themselves. Lax mental health treatment isn't even really the problem. The problem is when they all come together in a "perfect storm". But even that isn't the real problem I wrote about, so don't get your knickers in a twist. The real problem I wrote about is the Phelps taking their kids into a state where the possibility is very real that they could become high profile targets. And I don't know about you but deliberately exposing children to gunfire (or using them as a meat shield) is not acceptable.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

You should know, oh master of the metaphor.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh wow! My apologies! I honestly thought it was in Wichita. They won't let me edit it :(

RoeDapple 5 years, 7 months ago

Cait, as far as having carrying concealed "legally or not" not making a difference I will say it "should". I'm not familiar with Arizona law on this subject, but in Kansas you are required to take an 8 hour class and go through a background check. Those teaching the classes have authority to deny or recommend denial for CCW permits based on observation of the student. If you have ever been around a group of shooters you don't need 8 hours to pick out those who you wouldn't want carrying concealed, no matter how pro CCW you might be. It struck me as a not very democratic process, but the affected student has the right to appeal. Add the background check to this, and most anyone with intent of wrongdoing will be caught and rejected. The other side of that coin is the person bent on doing something illegal won't be applying for a permit to do so . .If it comforts you, the national average for crimes committed by holders of concealed carry licenses is less than 10% of the average of the general public. That includes all crimes not just those involving weapons.

RoeDapple 5 years, 7 months ago

You are correct Ag. The problem I see with that is it creates issues with reciprocity. Arizonians cannot carry concealed outside Arizona state lines so I assume other states permits are not valid there. I'll do some checking and be back . .

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 7 months ago

Someday the WBC will be an interesting footnote for historians of the future, you have to grant them that much.

But on second thought, maybe their history will be considered to be just a bit of trivia instead. Sort of like the answer for a question for a game such as 'Trivial Pursuit'.

RoeDapple 5 years, 7 months ago

http://www.azdps.gov/Services/Concealed_Weapons/Reciprocity/

http://apps.carryconcealed.net/legal/kansas-ccw-state-laws.php

As it turns out, Arizona DOES honor Kansas CCW permits, although Kansas does not honor Arizona's. Not difficult to understand if no permit required in Arizona

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

"the fact remains they have some level of support to keep doing these protests"

I've wondered about that too. Have they actually received money from any of their lawsuits? And who would hire them as lawyers? Even if you supported them, you would have to be crazy to think having one of them as a lawyer would be good for you.

Kirk Larson 5 years, 7 months ago

It is my understanding that they solicit for and receive donations from like-minded conservatives from across the nation. There are people who tsk-tsk and shake their heads at Phred's cult and then send them a check in the mail.

verity 5 years, 7 months ago

I guess then, that even as a non-profit, they don't have to be transparent about their income? Or maybe that part isn't nonprofit?

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

Interesting to note that one of his kids, Margie Phelps, who actively protests with the group, is a corrections manager for the state of Kansas! http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/oct...

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 7 months ago

And I've been told that Shirley Phelps-Roper is an employee of the Kansas SRS in Topeka.

But maybe that's just a rumor.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

I added this paragraph at my personal blog: "Frankly, this scares me. No matter what excuses people make there is a climate of hate in this country. WBC contributes to that climate and in fact may have been one of it's first contributors. There is an old saying, "Live by the sword, die by the sword." I am no defender of the WBC but when the collateral damage is children, people who have no real control over who places them where and in what line of danger, I feel compelled to say something."

nepenthe 5 years, 7 months ago

It is a shame they have those kids so isolated that they have no idea what the world outside their little clan is like.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

The same thing can be said with children in fundamental Mormon communities. Research the "Lost Boys" sometime.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 7 months ago

Just found out that Kevin Smith has created a horror film loosely based on the Phelps clan called "Red State". http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1235524377/ It's being shown at Sundance this month and will go into general release in March.

beatrice 5 years, 7 months ago

Cait, have you ever been to Arizona? Sorry, but I live in Phoenix -- the nation's 5th largest city -- and I can assure you we are far from lawless. In fact, we have a lower crime rate than many smaller cities. See the people on the news at candlelight vigils? Those are the real Arizonans. It is a beautiful state and people come from all around the country to live here. By the way, today it is 72 degrees and sunny.

Yes, the gun laws are shockingly liberal here, but that doesn't in and of itself make us a lawless state. It makes us a state where people can and do own guns, similar to what you will find in all 49 other states. We certainly are nothing like Mississippi in the 1960s, even if some politicians like to demonize illegal aliens. Painting Arizona as dangerous because of one crazed individual is like calling all Kansans extremist homophobes because that is where Phelps lives.

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