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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Seeing the World Through Arizona-Colored Glasses

Once again, calls from friends and family came in over the weekend asking how it feels "living in the wild west" due to the tragic events of a 22-year old, unstable, grammar-defending, pothead who decided to take his newly-purchased gun from the local Walmart store out and kill the Congresswoman with whom he had a beef with since 2007 and a group of innocent bystanders for good measure. (Look, stories like one this are hard to even make up!)

Well, my answer is: it feels awful..........

Awful, because once again, the devil lies in the details and are compounded due to the fact that they have occurred in Arizona.  And it seems, to plain and simple me, that all of Arizona's problems are interrelated.  Without jumping on some partisan rant here, I just think that our location just north of Mexico, such a poor and troubled country, has created a weird culture for the people of Arizona.  The illegal immigrants are more prevalent, the recreational use of drugs from Mexico, especially pot and crystal meth, is heavier and more accepted in the border states and the desire to own and use firearms is more accepted here, too.  With so many crazed individuals high on meth in town, who has time to track down all the black-clothed potheads running around town?! 

I remember when the whole Martin Luther King Day was a big issue here and we were pegged as problem state.  Most of us are transplants from other states and all of us had experienced far greater prejudice behavior in the other states and were frankly shocked.  Also, we were the only state brave enough, er stupid enough, to bring it to a vote. When it passed, I thought we might hear some good news about this great state  of AZ, but there was none...

In my opinion, everyone feels weird and uneasy about the people who have elected to cross the border illegally to work here because we understand how bad it must be to live in Mexico these days.  But in our hearts, we know the nation and our state cannot afford to just let everyone in, so therein lies the problem.  And no President seems to have the balls to tackle such an enormous we suffer.  And are the brunt of the nations' jokes and comments. 

We figure out how to make due...just like in the old wild west movies.  We are on our own and we are trying so hard right now to show that we are a loving and caring tribe to the rest of the nation.  We pray every day for Gabrielle Giffords and the innocent folks who have been injured or killed by this senseless act of violence.  And, all we ask is to try to put yourself in our shoes and to be understanding of our unique set of consequences.  
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