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Deanne Stillman

An Open Letter to the Arizona State Legislature: Don't Stop Now!

Deanne Stillman
Contributor
Deanne Stillman’s latest book is the "Desert Reckoning: A Town Sheriff, a Mojave Hermit, and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History," based on her Rolling Stone article, "The Great Mojave…
Deanne Stillman

Dear Arizona State Legislature:

Lately you’ve been taking a lot of criticism for “going too far.”

Actually, as a constituent and natural-born U.S. citizen who takes our rights and privileges very seriously, I don’t think you’ve gone far enough. Here are a few suggestions for how to go all the way — and no, I’m not asking you for a date. I am asking you to enact these simple, common-sense ideas at your earliest convenience. No, you don’t have to get back to me on this list. Quite simply, if there isn’t any consideration of these proposed pieces of legislation, I’m voting you out. And don’t expect any hand-outs if you find yourselves on the unemployment line. It’s for losers!

OK, here is my 9-point plan for getting Arizona back on track:

1. It’s time for mandatory English-only texting while driving. This law would guarantee that fellow citizens can — and should — be apprised of all highway threats at any given time in a language everyone recognizes. And, by texting while driving, something else would be accomplished simultaneously: We’d have one more opportunity to make the most of technology designed by corporations that get massive tax breaks and provide a lot of nice but secretly angry people with jobs in human resources departments. Let’s stop tearing these companies down and give them all a group hug. Remember, according to the Supreme Court — and Ephesians — they’re people too, except they’re really important.

By the way, the truly amazing thing about this piece of legislation is that it guarantees participation in the Bill of Rights whenever Arizonans are on the road. The simple act of texting makes the most of freedom of speech! And through that, each of us recalls the sacrifices of the Founding Fathers, instantly becoming a re-enactor of the Revolutionary War — without having to wear period costumes. Of course, there’s also the added bonus of no salaries for teachers. Who needs history in the classroom? With mandatory English-only texting while driving, we can phase out teacher salaries and really let everyone know what America is all about.

2. While we’re at it, why not consider mandatory text, drive and open carry? That way, we can continue phasing out schools while protecting ourselves with fully loaded Glocks, at the same time having another lesson in our cars. In this case, it’s civics. Motorists would exercise freedom of speech, the right to assemble and the Second Amendment, as they headed to work or the store. It’s a personal rights threefer and you can’t get more efficient than that!

3. Why are birds allowed within city limits? In fact, why do we have birds in the first place? They are noisy, sometimes fly into my windshield and don’t bring money into the state coffers. So what’s the point?

4. In fact, why do we have state parks? Defunding them was a good start, but they’re still there and, quite frankly, a haven for birds. Why not turn all state parks into open pit mines and let the blasting begin?

5. Let’s start with the Grand Canyon. I know it’s not a state park. It’s national — even worse. We could balance the state budget immediately if the park were seized and all protections immediately removed. Then the entire rim should be set aside as what a lot of people use it for anyway — a men’s room. I refer to the large numbers of unemployed broncobusters and members of traveling fraternity parties who often position themselves at the canyon’s edge and relieve themselves, convincing many a potential Thelma and Louise that they should keep going. Charging these deadbeats for the privilege of alfresco bathroom breaks would bring an instant windfall to the state coffers — solving Arizona’s fiscal crisis and paying for the filing of secession papers at the same time. So let’s set up those tollbooths and watch the Benjamins roll in!

6. Speaking of popular wilderness activities, it’s time to alleviate the widespread problem of unauthorized shooting of saguaros. The solution is easy: I propose an official open season on these giant eyesores. It would work like any regulated hunt: Interested parties would register for a limited take (or better yet, why not unlimited?), and the state could collect a bag fee for each saguaro that was mowed down. Bingo — money in the bank and nothing in the way while citizens race across the landscape in ATVs, chasing down more takes during the officially sanctioned act of hunting. Two problems instantly gone.

7. Oh no, I’m not finished with self-defense. Why is it not possible to convert a cellphone into an automatic weapon? Isn’t it time to take back our rights here? Hello? Is anyone listening? I mean phones already have a silencer, right? This is one bill that would not get bogged down in socialist debates about how to enhance a privately developed communications device and whether or not it’s even allowed. The cellphone is a weapon waiting to happen. Let’s do it!

8. Face it: First, they came for our cigarettes. Then they came for — well, pretty much you name it. It’s time to get your Smokey on for real. I’m tired of hearing from a bear that I shouldn’t start forest fires. The only thing that slogan reminds me of is smoking, which we can’t do anymore. Repeal anti-smoking legislation and let us light up when we get up. If I happen to start a forest fire in the process, oh well. God has his reasons and he wouldn’t have given us all these freedoms if he didn’t want us to use them. Am I right?

9. OK, let me wrap this up by answering the big question once and for all. Conception begins at the time of the first babysitting job. All right, not really, but come on, we’ve got to stop all the haggling because it’s simply taking up too much time, bandwidth and ammunition. This bill would eliminate any confusion about ovulation time frames, exact moment of egg to sperm contact, and whether or not “yes” means “I’m pregnant and the baby’s name is Kimberly.” Of course this law would create a number of teenage mothers, pregnant or not, but shouldn’t we be preparing young women for their preordained roles anyway?

In summary, I’d like to thank you again for everything that you have done for the state of Arizona. But don’t forget — keep going and stand firm. Case closed, problems solved. I’ll be watching!

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