The Arizona legislature is out to curb the activities of the Resistance (I assume), but doing it in the most ham-handed way they can without water cannons and sound weapons.
SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.
Alright. The first argument I want to make is that these crackdowns on protests are the trend and will eventually be the norm. It’s not Trump’s fault but yes, the American people are in an authoritarian mood and sick of seeing chaos beamed into their living rooms every night. This law is coming from the same place as the North Dakota law that says it’s okay to accidentally hit a freeway protester with your car (I do happen to support that one) and all of those felony charges for Inaugural rioters (okay, I liked that too).
This is a law-and-order era and all the bad and good that comes with it. We’ll talk about that a lot on this blog. Until, of course, we’re put in orange jumpsuits and sent to GTMO for pick-a-reason.
The other argument I have is that this particular measure is wrong and going to suck a lot of innocent people into jail, naturally. The real goal as I see it is that this law could potentially result in the destruction of entire movements and organizations who happen to be on the wrong side of it. Laws like these in the wrong politicians’ hands are insanely dangerous.
“What’s that? Someone was having an open-carry protest and a fight broke out? Was the NRA involved in any part of the planning? CIVIL FORFEITURE OF ALL NRA ASSETS!” I don’t think I’m exaggerating about the implications, do you?
I’m not a paranoid libertarian type, but this is too much even for me. The sinister goal here is unusually more obvious than such sinister things usually are.