Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A farmer puts down an attacking cur with a pitchfork and the dog’s owner angrily asks, “Why didn’t you use the other end of the fork and just beat him off, without killing him?” “I would have,” says the farmer, “if he had come at me with the other end.”
Fried said he was merely following the lead of those going into the building ahead of him. They were packing hand guns, which are permissible ’round these parts but not, apparently pitchforks. “Without addressing any First Amendment protections which may be applicable to the Defendant, the Court concludes that the County Manager’s decision to allow members of the public with holstered handguns to access the building but deny access to the Defendant because he had a “holstered” pitchfork was arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.”
So it’s OK to bring a pitchfork to a gun fight. After all, Arizona is where no permit is required to openly carry a firearm in a belt holster, gun case or scabbard and where concealed carry without a permit is also OK in most places if you’re over 21. And now in at least one jurisdiction, there’s no line drawn for holstered farm implements either.
Guns in Arizona.
And up until Governor Jan Brewer’s veto last Monday of a guns-on-campus bill, Arizonans might have also had the right to carry weapons in the public rights of way going through university and community college campuses.
Another gun bill, however, is still pending. It would allow people to bring their guns into all public buildings, except colleges and public schools, unless the building operators provide metal detectors, armed security at each entrance, and a firearm locker to store weapons. No word, though, on state-approved pitchforks in public buildings.
Sparky gets forked.
Here it doesn’t matter whether pitchforks invoke populist purposes or the Prince of Darkness or in the latest development, one of the local university sports teams.
Curiously, not long after Fried’s pitchfork protest, favor shined elsewhere in Arizona on a pitchfork of a different kind. Sparky, the Sun Devil mascot emblem at ASU was forked, subordinated, and rebranded by a redesigned trident-like pitchfork on the school’s football team helmet. Around here, it was the “Hot topic: ASU’s new football uniforms.”
In fact, all the ASU team uniforms were redesigned. They’re now almost entirely black, a look recently popularized by the Oregon Ducks, who like ASU enjoy the same uniform benefactor in Nike.
But as for that cute little pitchfork-carrying cartoon guy, unlike the populist protester in Kingman, Sparky’s done. They put a fork in him. See “ASU’s Sparky taking a back seat.”