by Dina Hashem
With issues of fiscal policy, government administration, elections and campaigns, and, most notably, the legalization of a certain 'drug,' dominating the November 2nd elections, we'd like to take a moment to examine some of the more lighthearted issues on the ballots. Issues like hunting rights, as represented by Tennessee, South Carolina, Arizona, and Arkansas.
Each of these states have proposed constitutional amendments providing for the right to hunt, while opponents argue that there is no threat to hunting, and that the measure is 'frivolous and unnecessary.' Why, I've never heard a more superfluous and gratuitous criticism in my life! What could be less frivolous and unnecessary than an amendment which protects a right we already have? For the answer to that riddle, we turn to the people of Kansas and their Right to Bear Arms Question. Also known as Constitutional Amendment Question 1, the measure would allow the right to bear arms for lawful purposes. Well, is someone going to tell Kansas that their question was answered in 1787? Ah yes, Paul Hemke from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence stated that, "The U.S. Supreme Court in two different decisions over the last two years has determined that the 2nd amendment is applicable to the states. This is completely ridiculous and unnecessary." I and the people of Kansas beg to differ: reassuring them of their right to bear arms, a right already protected by the second amendment of the US Constitution, would certainly be to their benefit; clearly they can't read.
But enough about organisms and their rights, I want to talk about state rights. I mean the rights of the states themselves, namely Rhode Island's right to have a name that isn't stupid. The Rhode Island Name Change Amendment would change the state's official name from "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" to "Rhode Island." 'Voting for Rhode Island,' the main committee in support of the measure, claims that, "It is about collectively turning a page on a shameful past and creating a new history that all Rhode Islanders can take pride in creating." Amy Kempe, spokesperson for Governor Donald Carcieri, notes that "The historical definition of the word 'plantation' is 'settlement or colony' and is no way in reference to the most modern definition associated with slavery." Oh, well, then. Just so long as you put it that way. Not a trace of bigotry in those words! With all of the tumult surrounding the issue, state Senator Leo Blais is saying, "Everyone who I've spoken to thinks the General Assembly is insane to be dealing with this issue with all the other social and financial issues we're facing." Well played, Mr. Blais.
Finally, we come to Oklahoma State Question 751, or the "English is the Official Language of Oklahoma Act." And Kansas thought they were being flagrant and obvious with their "Right to Bear Arms Question!" Take THAT! Anyway, this measure would require that official State actions be in English. Supporters argue that the amendment would create a better atmosphere in the state by eliminating language barriers. And what better way to eliminate a language barrier than to create a wall-like gap thing between users of different word-pattern speech stuff? Representative Terry Harrison argues that, "If you looked it up in an encyclopedia or Googled 'election-year shenanigan,' this is what would come up. It is just an attempt to get more people, probably hate-filled Republicans, to come out to vote." Well, I would personally like to thank Oklahoma and the aforementioned states for spicing up this election year with all of their shenanigans, hobnobbery, and other euphemisms for 'bullshit.'
Tags: Arizona, Arkansas, Bill of Rights, Constitution, Election Day, Guns, Second Amendment, South Carolina, Tennessee