Rugged mountains at sunrise.
 
Opinion
Text: The editorial voice of the Mountain Lion Foundation.

4/2/2010

Crossing the Line!

America was founded on the concept that government, any form of government--state, federal, whatever--must be based on the consent of the governed. Arizona has provisions within its governmental processes for those "governed" to be able to voice their opinions and enact legislation they deem necessary for the well being of themselves and their fellow citizens. Unfortunately, their elected representatives do not appear to believe in this constitutional right.

In 2000, those representatives placed on the ballot legislation that (if passed) would have thereafter required a two-thirds vote for the passage of any wildlife measure. Strangely, this restriction on the rights of the governed only pertained to wildlife measures--nothing else. Arizona voters overwhelmingly rejected that blatant attempt on the part of hunting interests to smother their collective voices (62-38 percent).

Now, ten year later, history is repeating itself with HCR2008--a National Rifle Association backed measure-- introduced by Representative Jerry Weiers (R-Glendale). Representative Weiers believes that hunting in Arizona needs greater protection from the public and passage of HCR2008 will achieve this in two ways.

First, the measure would elevate hunting and fishing from a privilege to a constitutional right. If passed, the "right" to hunt or fish would join other unalienable rights such as: Due process, Freedom of speech and press, Religious freedom, etc.

Second, HCR2008 would give the legislature (not the people) the "exclusive authority to enact laws to regulate the manner, methods or seasons for hunting, fishing and harvesting wildlife...." Such authority would eliminate the constitutional right of Arizona voters to indicate how they want their state's wildlife resources utilized or protected through the initiative or referendum process.

HCR2008 reflects an un-American way of thinking--protecting the privileges of the few while suppressing the rights of the many-- and is a line in the sand which must not be crossed. Unfortunately, the Arizona state legislature already put a toe across that line when, without debate, they passed the measure onto the state senate for consideration by a vote of 37 to 18.

All concerned Arizonians should contact their state senator today and tell them to VOTE NO on this measure. Tell them that the Arizona Constitution should be for proclaiming rights that guarantee fundamental democratic principles, not for protecting the privileges or recreation of a special interest group.


Click here for contact information on Arizona State Senators.


Click here to see how Arizona State Representatives voted on HCR2008.