Good News On Gun Control After the Eclipse

Good News On Gun Control and After the Eclipse

Jim Shepherd
from The Fishing Wire

We’re only hours away from the great solar eclipse of 2017, but that’s not the only thing happening in our world today (unfortunately). Although it’s still craziness as usual in Washington, it appears a ray of sanity has injected itself into Arizona’s dual-minded arguments over guns.

This is what the solar eclipse later today will look like – if you have NASA’s technology and know-how. The rest of us will likely see it in a different light. NASA photo with permission.
Last week, Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled – unanimously, no less- that cities, towns and counties have no right to enact their own gun regulations. That decision voids a 2005 Tucson ordinance that says when a police department obtains a gun through a seizure or surrender, the agency “shall dispose of such firearm by destroying the firearm.”

That’s in contradiction to state law, and the Arizona high court says that’s a no-no. Technically speaking, the ruling upholds SB 1487 a 2016 law that allows individual lawmakers to direct the Attorney General’s Office to investigate claims that run contrary to state statutes.

In fact, SB 1487 triggers an automatic investigation that can lead to the city losing half its shared state revenues. The 2005 Tucson ordinance mandating destruction of seized firearms came under that investigation after a state lawmaker used SB 1487 to complain.

Arizona state law bars enforcement agencies from destroying operable seized weapons and direct they be sold, not destroyed.

The implications for Arizona’s 19 charter cities is clear: they do not have the constitutional right to enact their own absolute laws -and in many cases the Arizona legislature will have the last word. Simply stated, except in narrow instances, in conflicts between state and local ordinances, the local ordinances fail.

Now, about that darkness…..

Emergency management personnel are on high alert across the country (seriously), preparing to deal with, well, whatever happens when the solar eclipse starts to race across the country in only a couple of hours (Actually, it’s scheduled to begin just after 9:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time).

Before it passes off the South Carolina coast just after 4:00 P.M. Eastern time, millions of Americans will have taken time out of their Monday to see what happens when the moon blocks the rays of the sun across a 14-state swath of the country. And everyone from the USFWS to the Audubon Society is anxiously waiting to see what wildlife will do when darkness happens hours ahead of schedule.

Will the birds nest? Will the fish stop biting? Will mosquitoes emerge -only to be fried to a crisp when the sun reemerges (sorry, wishful thinking on my part..nothing kills mosquitoes during summer in the south)?

Actually, no one’s exactly sure how wildlife will behave. But officials have some idea how the people who have jammed the path of the eclipse across the country will behave. They’ve ramped up emergency services, rented portable toilet facilities and agree with the advice offered by Oregon officials -especially when you’re dealing with the same kind of congestion you face during any big event.

Here’s the advice if you’re out to watch the eclipse in the path of totality: “Arrive early, stay put and leave late!”

Seriously, officials are already reporting congestion and crowds in advance of the eclipse, but it’s only expected to worsen throughout the day.

Here’s some very simple advice: make certain you have plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, have fuel for your vehicle, and be patient.

And if you’re out to observe the eclipse, we’d really like your perspective on the whole thing. You can send your images and observations to editor@theoutdoorwire.com and we’ll do some coordinating and sharing between our readers.

We’re especially interested in how the wildlife behaves, but don’t feel like you’re limited- if it’s interesting to you, it will probably be interesting to others.

One final word of caution: please don’t risk serious- and potentially permanent- eye damage by trying to watch the eclipse with your naked eye or through an unfiltered camera lens. Use the pinhole viewer, watch online or borrow a pair of #14 (the minimal safe number) pair of welder’s goggles.

Stay safe- and remember, we’ll keep you posted.

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