Arthur Frommer Is Steering Clear of Arizona

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  08.19.09 | 2:39 PM ET

He isn’t quite calling for a full travel boycott—yet—but in his latest blog post, Frommer expresses his concerns over the recent appearances by gun-toting citizens at a Phoenix political event, and makes it clear that he won’t visit the state anytime soon.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

19 Comments for Arthur Frommer Is Steering Clear of Arizona

grizzly bear mom 08.21.09 | 5:08 PM ET

Don’t South Westerners and Southerners bring guns with them everywhere, and wouldn’t think of leaving them home except to go through airport security? Am I missing something here?

Jill 08.21.09 | 5:49 PM ET

Aside from the spectacle of gun toting Arizonans (?) outside the President’s attendance at a VFW meeting does Mr. Frommer know that our new governor has approved the bearing of concealed weapon into bars.  Of course you are not supposed to drink while inside the bar, carrying that concealed weapon.  Mr. Frommer thinks this kind of local law is dangerous for tourists visiting the state.  Ptosh!


Jubal Harshaw 08.21.09 | 11:34 PM ET

Mr. Frommer is entitled to his opinions.  He is paid for them, as a matter of fact. He should understand, though that laws are observed by law-abiding citizens.  Criminals are, by definition, people that tend to ignore laws.  Having been on camping trips throughout the U.S., I have encountered a number of ‘people’ over the years that felt felt that they did not have to worry about taking my property.  When presented with a viable, reasonable argument in .357 caliber, they were quite polite and returned my property without problems.  I sincerely doubt that the outcome would have been the same if I had complained to the Parks Service or local police.  If Mr. Frommer believes that criminals will be so polite without a visible argument, he is welcome to try.

Zenata Pierre 08.23.09 | 2:05 PM ET

Phoenix, AZ.

“Travel writer says ‘no’ to state over gun law”  Oregonian p. A3

Thank you Arthur Frommer.  I too, was unhappy that people would show up at a building where the President was speaking with side arms, as if we are still living in the wild west, purporting to be expressing their constitutional rights.  What was also extremely sad was the deafening silence in response to this behavior from other prominent people in this country and those that are in elected office.  So, thank you very much Mr. Frommer for expressing your shock and horror. 


NEPTUNE 08.23.09 | 6:05 PM ET

BRAVO, Mr. Frommer!
Who died and let the redneck cowboy wannabes take over the state of Arizona (and some other states like Florida)?
Open carry of ASSault weapons and handguns should have died after the Civil War when the USA (supposedly) became a civilized nation.
I’ll be avoiding Arizona and Detroit in the future.

suellen beverly 08.23.09 | 8:43 PM ET

Thank you, Mr. Frommer.  I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the “gun toting” at the President’s appearance in Arizona, and even though it has come out that it was a planned stunt, it was still an awful sight.  I think that I will avoid Arizona.

suellen beverly 08.23.09 | 8:45 PM ET

Thank you, Mr. Frommer,

I was horrified by what I saw recently in Arizona and am so glad that someone of your stature stood up and protested.

BOB 08.24.09 | 8:44 AM ET


Darrel 08.25.09 | 12:00 AM ET

Several people utilizing their LEGAL right to open carry arms to make a political statement hardly endangers ANY visitor to Arizona.  Many states have legal open carry laws.  Arthur chose to make a partisan political statement—not a travel related decision.  Notice that not only did the local police not care that these American CITIZENS were bearing arms - neither did the Secret Service.  Arthur thinks he is better qualified than the Secret Service to determine a threat????

Now that I know Frommer is a scared little panty waist liberal, afraid of his fellow citizens instead of afraid of abuse of power by our government, I will boycott all Frommer publications. I urge all citizens who defend our right to bear arms to boycott this liberal handwringer and all his publications.

Frommer said “I will cancel any plans to vacation or otherwise visit in Arizona until I learn more, and I will begin thinking about whether tourists should safeguard themselves by avoiding stays in Arizona,” Afraid you will wee weed your little panties if you see a responsible fellow citizen with a firearm???

TambourineMan 08.25.09 | 12:58 AM ET

Didn’t some gun-wacko show up recently with a pistol outside an Obama speech in New Hampshire? Wish I could take old Art seriously, but until he proposes a NH travel boycott, and recalls all copies of Frommer’s Arizona, I have to call bullsh*t on this one.

So, I may never be hired to write a Frommer’s book now, but that’s cool. I’m thinking of starting an “Arthur Frommer Travel Boycott Pool”; $100 buy-in. Who else is in?

David 08.27.09 | 6:37 PM ET

So, Frommer is one of those “eek, a gun” liberals.  I bought my first Frommer’s Guide, Spain on $5 a Day, in 1964.  Nowadays, there are better guides on the market.  Written by people who haven’t insulted law-abiding Americans.  He should get out and see more of the country.

Grizzly Bear Mom 08.28.09 | 12:37 PM ET

Actually the culture in the South West, particulalry among VETERANS of Foreign WARS, is to carry a gun.  Seeing guns at a South Weterns VFW meeting is like seeing Catholics at a christening.  If President Obama didn’t want to be around people with guns, he shouldn’t have gone to the still FREE (not wild) West. 

They have guns against hand guns there, but they don’t work.  When they were outlawed in DC, the cities’ crime rate went up, while MD’s went down.  MD criminals commuted into DC because they could rob the unarmed more effectively.  (Unlike Jubal, who was armed.) Crimincals aren’t stupid, just evil. Its also why I am a Libertarian.  The best law is none, because most people are reasonable. 

David, although I don’t own any weapons, I too feel my constituional rights have been insulted. 

Tamborine man, where do I send my $100 to boycott Art Frommer?

Greg Gross 08.28.09 | 4:57 PM ET

If I wasn’t a fan of Arthur Frommer before, I definitely am now. As for Arizona, if they want to secede from the Union, I say don’t let the cactus hit you in the butt on your way out.

SanDiegogal 08.30.09 | 5:46 PM ET

Well Mr Frommer just lost a customer.  If he boycotts we will too.

TambourineMan 08.31.09 | 2:34 AM ET

Grizzly Mom, I’m not suggesting a boycott of Frommer’s guide books. I don’t know anyone who buys them anyway, though from what I’ve seen, daughter Pauline’s books are actually very good.

I propose a betting pool in which we put $100 on the town/city/state/country/planet Art will boycott next. My money is on Philadelphia. The Eagles will surely start Michael Vick at some point this football season. 

Greg Gross,
Please chill. Not everyone in Arizona is a hot-tempered Obama-hating redneck. Have you ever been to Sedona, Arizona? Forget this silly country. They want to secede from this galaxy. You gotta respect that.

KEVIN MOODY 09.02.09 | 6:08 AM ET

I posted a comment questioning your views on Arizona’s gun laws that YOU DELETED.  You are a biased liberal, why can you not answer my question???????  You judged the ENTIRE State of Arizona based on their gun laws.  I Braught up the situations, Vermont vs. DC, look at it, D.C. has the highest gun violence in the country AND the strictest gun laws (with the entire D.C. area being a gun FREE zone) Vermont has the least restrictins on firearms in the country and is voted the safest place to live.  Please stick to travel and stay away from political ideals, unless you are WILLING to adress the opposition…  I am going to post everywhere I can, YOUR STATEMENT and my question along with your lack of response, therefore discrediting you from the start.  I CHALENGE YOU SIR TO A DEBATE, YOU are extremely wrong sir, and owe the fine people of Arizona an appology…PLEASE RESPOND

Dan 09.02.09 | 6:18 PM ET

When traveling, I’d suggest that you leave your politics at home and open your mind.

I agree with Mr. Frommer’s sentiment. When people carry guns to political events as a form of protest, they are clearly out to poison the atmosphere and prevent serious dialogue.

But his conclusion is to stay away from Arizona for now—maybe for safety, or maybe for his own protest. He states that the presence of weapons is “a threat to the future of our democracy.” No, not really. I believe these guys are misguided and could even become dangerous (remember Oklahoma City); but at these events, the did nothing illegal. And President Obama’s security detail left them alone, as they should have.

So Mr. Frommer needs to get over it. He doesn’t seriously believe Arizona is more dangerous than other states or large cities; and that leaves us with his own little political protest. He only punishes himself. If you’re going to avoid every place with which you disagree, you’ll never go anywhere.

Travel can be about more than sitting at a golf resort in Scottsdale. It can be a learning experience, too. There are still cultural differences between New England and the Southwest, and Mr. Frommer could learn a thing or two about this country by traveling in it—wherever he can, regardless of his feelings about a particular state’s politics. There is some risk wherever you go, but the biggest risk of travel is that you may learn something and foster a bit of understanding.

David 09.04.09 | 5:13 PM ET

If you read on-line discussion by the gun people, the goal wasn’t intimidation (and in a culture where firearms are common, their mere presence wouldn’t have been), but to take advantage of media presence to desensitize the larger public to the sight of legal weapons.  Even among pro-gunners, this was a controversial tactic and many advised against it, but after the fact some concede that it may have been successful, particularly in light of the Secret Service’s very sensible and professional treatment of the matter.  I offer this not as political commentary, but as an illustration of different cultural perspectives even in our own country, the sort of thing that a person who travels ought to be interested in.  Nowadays, in democratic societies politics is as much a part of the culture as food and more so than folk dances.  We ought go there to learn and be very modest in passing judgment and giving advice on things we have glimpsed only superficially and seen only in the light of our own cultural presuppositions.

Hubert Smith 10.05.09 | 9:07 PM ET

Man up, Arthur. Jeez.

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