Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Arizona UPRISING -- Hope for some bipartisanship in AZ

While I may be otherwise occupied and not busily blogging on the Arizona Eagletarian as much as I'd like, I do keep my eyes and ears open hoping to find out that the state legislature is doing something worthwhile at least from time to time.

Yes, there still are some kooks among the 60 members of the Arizona House of Representatives and 30 members of the Senate. But they do not seem, at this stage, to be running the show. And that's a good thing.

Even so, I was pleasantly surprised to see SB 1161 which will establish an animal abuser registry to keep track of people (age 18 and older) who have been convicted of animal cruelty and similar crimes.
The department of public safety shall maintain a central animal abuser registry that contains the names and registration information of every person who is required to register pursuant to this section. The department of public safety shall make the animal abuser registry available on its website and shall promptly answer any written, telephone and in-person requests to search the animal abuser registry. The registry shall be searchable by name and location. The animal abuser's information shall remain in the registry for as long as the person is required to register.
A very quick google search indicates that social science research has indeed linked animal cruelty as a predictor of violence and aggression toward humans. Yet much of the study seems to have focused on identifying potential serial murderers. I'm confident there are criminologists and public policy makers (and lawmakers) searching already available literature to find hints on identifying people who may commit mass shootings. 

I am encouraged that SB1161 sponsor state Sen. Steve Farley (D-LD 9) was able to get, beside fellow Democrat Anna Tovar (LD19), several of his GOP colleagues to sign on to the bill with him, including Sens. Al Melvin (R-LD 11) and Michele Reagan (R-LD23) as well as Reps. John Kavanagh (R-LD23), Phil Lovas (R-LD22) and Ethan Orr (R-LD9). 

My hunch is that in prior sessions, a proposal like this may have been met with objections based on the old "too much bureaucracy" or "too much Big Brother" notions. 

It should go without saying, at THIS moment in the history of our society that the time to establish such a registry, is long overdue. And since it is better late than never, the time is NOW.


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