I am offended by the tactics that some of the sponsors, advocates and organizations backing these bills are using to push their unpopular proposals. It is bad enough that they have poured more than a quarter of a million dollars into our state over the past few months in an attempt to influence elections and legislation. Then, at the public hearing on HB50 before the New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, it became more personal for me. The bill’s author, as well as her lead witness, both invoked the name of my late husband, Albuquerque Police Department officer Daniel Webster, to promote the measure. Along with the media, they continue to imply that had these proposed laws been in place, my husband’s death would have been prevented; in doing so, they actually remove accountability from the criminal who caused it. Focus must be placed on the individual who committed the horrific crimes. We, as a nation, have gotten too far removed from self-accountability and responsibility for one’s actions.
I am not okay with this, and I know Dan would not have wanted his name associated with this bill either. He was against expanded background checks of any kind and stood behind our Second Amendment rights with honor and appreciation. The idea of him having to go to a licensed firearms dealer, complete federal paperwork and pay a fee for a records check on his buddy at work or on my dad if he wanted to sell or loan a gun to either of them is not only ridiculous, but intrusive. He certainly did not believe this type of gun control would solve the larger problems in our communities.
Dan believed that tough-on-crime legislation, such as increased penalties and stiffer sentencing, would have the most positive effect on violence in our state.