Escaping the Arizona Asylum

As Arizona celebrates its 100th birthday this year, Nevada has a lot to be thankful for. Dumb laws send smart people packing, and some of them find their way north, bringing business and cultural cache with them.

When Arizona passed its 2010 racial profiling law allowing police officers to detain people who aren’t carrying citizenship papers, Alpha Phi Alpha—a century-old, historically black fraternity—moved its national convention to Las Vegas. The National Council of Teachers of English also moved its conference to Las Vegas, and this January reiterated its disapproval of Arizona law when the state’s school superintendent threatened to withhold funding to Tucson schools that taught Mexican-American studies.

Now that Arizona is considering measures that would make it legal to carry guns at college campuses, libraries and public pools, we can hold out hope that more sane political refugees will head this way.

They’d better hurry. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer—the Republican who recently got up in President Obama’s face with a pointy finger—is also backing a bill that would establish a state militia to act at her behest. In theory, the militia would guard the southern border to keep people from coming in; but in time, it may need to solidify the other borders to keep people in.