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Tucsonan discovers how a severed arm can haunt you (even when it’s not your arm)

freaky cat 2Being young, drunk and stupid can come with lifelong consequences. And those consequences can come even if you weren’t drunk. Just ask a Tucson guy we’ll call Sam.

Twenty-something Sam was an upstanding person: a former soldier, an intelligent and compassionate chap who was aiming for grand things.

“I wanted to be a lawyer to help people, ” he writes in an email. Sam instead found himself on the other side of the law as a defendant in a crime that got plenty of press due to its grisly nature.

The crime involved a severed arm.

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Have gun, will use it: Welcome to Arizona?

Arizonans like their guns – or so the reputation goes. It’s a reputation backed up by incidents like Tucson’s recent road rage altercation that left a man fatally shot in a Jack in the Box parking lot and January’s tragic mass shooting.

The gun-happy reputation is enhanced even further with tales of border shootings and home invasions, armed robberies at banks and Circle K.

More bolstering of the reputation comes from the state legislature’s hesitancy to back gun-control measures. Doing so, an Arizona Republic article explains, can easily spell the end of political ambitions – or even a career.

It’s gotten to the point where Arizona is frequently viewed as a trigger-happy state full of mayhem. Former U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini, who has supported gun-control measures in the past and now travels the country on the Arizona Board of Regents, told the Republic the common line he hears when others find out where he’s from.

“Now, people will say, ‘Oh, you’re from Arizona. I’m sorry.’”

When I moved to Tucson several years ago, one of my friends nonchalantly pulled a pistol from her purse and said, “Now that you live in Arizona, you have to get a gun.”

It really is that easy, with Tucson having a wider variety of gun choices than it has latest shoe styles. Options run the gamut from Smith & Wesson revolvers to never-fired Colt semi-automatics, from military pistols issued in 1840 to the sweet yet powerful Beretta with the classy walnut grips.

Some of the shoe styles only come in beige.

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An Internet sucker born every millisecond: Falling victim to the latest online scam

Now that people have become wise to Nigerian money scam e-mails and “click here” buttons that infect computers with the latest virus, deceptive online practices are getting sneakier.

One sucked me in the other day, promising I could win $1,000 if I submitted a cute photo of my pet. Since I obsess over my dog Sawyer to the point of probably needing psychological help, I chomped on that offer with a few clicks of the mouse, a submission form, and uploading one of the 5,428 endearing photos I have of the pooch.

One thousand dollars could buy a heck of a lot of dog treats.

The junk e-mail began immediately. I was first encouraged to tell all my friends, family members and people I might have passed on the street 12 years ago to vote for my dog’s endearing photo. After all, I was told, the only way I could win that $1,000 was to amass the most votes from fellow Internet suckers.

Anyone who wanted to vote, of course, had to fill out their own submission form that disclosed their name, e-mail, phone number, blood type, shoe size and date of birth. They would then be immediately slammed with their own set of junk e-mail.

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Murphy’s laws for dogs: Guide for animal lovers in Tucson and beyond

Dogs have a keen sense of humor, so it only makes sense they would be governed by a set of laws that are equally humorous, albeit in an ironic and twisted way.

Loosely based on Murphy’s Law for the human universe that tells us anything that can go wrong undoubtedly will, Murphy’s laws for dogs share the same clear-cut philosophy. As with any set of laws, some of the Murphy laws for dogs are broad enough to cover canines across the globe while others have regional variations that stick close to Tucson – literally. Such as the jumping cholla law.

No matter how small or carefully hidden a cactus patch may be, if one exists, the dog will find it. He will not find this aforementioned patch while sniffing softly and treading lightly, either. Said cactus patch will be found while he bolts off to chase a rabbit. The rabbit, of course, is familiar with the patch and hops merrily through the little non-needled nooks and crannies along a tiny, meandering path. The dog, of course, comes back with stickers in his tongue. The said cactus patch will be jumping cholla. The vet will inevitably be closed.

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CLICK HERE to help build the U.S.-Mexico border fence: AZ begging for dollars with new donation website

When all else fails – beg. Those wise words are blazoned on one of my refrigerator magnets to remind of the successful tactic. Granted, the magnet is in the shape of a bone as the tactic works best for dogs, but the Arizona state government is also giving it a whirl.

To raise funds to help build a border fence, a new donation website is set to launch July 20. With the click of a mouse, folks from around the globe will be able to send money our way to help pay for the construction of more fencing along Arizona’s stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Since the federal government doesn’t give Arizona much help with the immigration issue, a fact exemplified by the deflation of good ole SB 1070, state lawmakers decided once again to attempt to do something on their own with SB 1406.

The fence legislation, introduced by Maricopa Republican State Sen. Steve Smith, was approved in April, giving an A-OK to build additional fencing using donated funds and inmate labor. Inmates will be paid 50 cents per hour, along with the priceless dose of fresh desert air that comes with the job.

To spur folks to donate online, one of the proposed incentives is a contributor certificate that will proclaim something like: “I helped build the Arizona fence” – although T-shirts would be much more fun.

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