Tucson has been settled several times over the last 12, 000 years and has the feel of a small town. The town has been influenced by many settlers over the years and has it's roots from the Native American, Mexican , Spanish and Anglo American cultures. The mixture of culture shows up in the local architecture, food, music and neighborhoods. There are several Spanish mission churches near downtown Tucson and the Xavier del Bac mission built in 1783 stands alone in the desert on the Tohono O'odham reservation. The south part of town hosts many Mexican restaurants, bakeries and markets. Tucson is also famous for it's 'Sonoran Hot Dog', a hot dog wrapped in bacon and covered with mustard, onions, jalapeños, cheese, guacamole, lettuce-well everything you would want.
As I was discovering the town, I noticed signs in a few yards stating humanitarian support for migrants who have crossed the border. “The Tucson sector is one of the most trafficked border crossings in the USA” and groups such as Human Borders (www.humanborders.org ) and No More Deaths (www.nomoredeaths.org) have water stations along high traffic crossing areas. The state government does not support these humanitarian efforts. This was a bit unsettling. I was also surprised when we went for a few days to the White Mountains, north-east of Phoenix and noticed a man wearing a gun in a holster at a gas station. I researched the gun laws and found that Arizona has some of the most lenient laws in the country.
On January 8th Gabrielle Giffords was shot with six people being killed and another 13 wounded. We had just returned from a trip to a grocery store about 2 miles away where we live when we heard the news on NPR. The national media showed up outside UMC (University Medical Center) and candles and memorials were emerging at the UMC and Giffords office by the next day. National newscasters Brian Williams and Christiane Amanpour were on the news daily. Tucson made headline news all over the country and the world. I was not sure how the town or people would react. Unfortunately, the Arizona Republic's headlines today stated ' New bill aims to loosen gun laws' http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2011/01/31/20110131arizona-gun-bill-aims-loosen-laws.html
The town seems to have moved on and the debate seems to be centered around the lack of resources and support for the mentally ill.
Links related to gun violence and hate crimes:
The Pew Research Center's article “No Shift Toward Gun Control After Tucson Shootings- Most Point to Troubled Individuals, Not Broader Societal Problems”
The Washington Post's headlines Tucson shooting draws attention to Arizona's mental health laws, funding further illustrates the debate of the lack of mental health support
Daily Mail UK article on anti-immigrant vigilantes:
Tucson has been settled several times over the last 12,000 years and has the feel of a small town. The town has been influenced by many settlers over the years and has roots from the Native American, Mexican, Spanish and…Continue