Rep. Xochitl Torres Small was elected to Congress in 2018 as part of the Democratic Party’s blue wave, in large part because she claimed to support the Second Amendment. Small cut an ad featuring her pretending to hunt in the New Mexico desert, and she pledged that she’d protect the right to keep and bear arms as well as serve as a voice of moderation for the 2nd Congressional district. NM-02 is a sprawling district that is fairly conservative, but Torres Small has been anything but moderate while in office.
According to ProPublica, Torres Small has voted with Nancy Pelosi 95% of the time, including a vote in support of “universal background checks” back in 2019. Now that vote is emerging as a campaign issue, with the Democrat releasing a new ad that once again features her blasting away with a gun in the New Mexico desert while claiming “this is how I unwind”.
Torres Small’s Republican challenger, former state legislator Yvette Herrell, is out with a new ad of her own that challenges the freshman Democrat’s claim to support the Second Amendment and features Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace, a pro-2A Democrat who’s been a staunch opponent of new gun control measures.
Sheriff Tony Mace: “I don’t like being lied to. 2 years ago, Xochitl Torres Small promised to protect our #2A rights. But she sold us out & voted for gun control. I’m a Democrat, but Torres Small won’t get my vote. I’m backing Yvette Herrell.” Watch our new ad! #nmpol #nm02 pic.twitter.com/85zFnDkEec
— Yvette Herrell (@Yvette4congress) August 22, 2020
After Herrell’s ad hit the airwaves, Albuquerque news station KOB ran a so-called fact check, attempting to provide cover to Torres Small’s vote for the background check measure.
To suggest Rep. Torres Small is against the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution based on her vote on HR-8 is misleading. The bill aimed to close background check loopholes, which the President, at one point, also supported.
“The bill doesn’t prevent anyone from purchasing guns, it wouldn’t prevent anyone from going hunting or going shooting or purchasing bullets,” said Dr. Lonna Atkeson, a political science professor at the University of New Mexico. “I have to say this ad is somewhat misleading.”
The universal background check bill was also backed by every major gun control group in the country, so to claim that voting for it wasn’t a vote against the Second Amendment is even more misleading. It’s also inexplicable that KOB wouldn’t even mention the fact that New Mexico itself imposed a universal background check bill on gun owners back in 2019, but over the first year that the law was in effect there were no arrests made for violating the law, and the number of background checks conducted in the state in 2019 was virtually identical to the number performed in 2018.
In other words, universal background checks are a favorite of the gun control crowd, though they do absolutely nothing to prevent violent crime and are largely unenforceable. They poll well, however, which is why gun control groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and anti-gun Democrats continue to push them at both the state and federal level.
The fact is that Xochitl Torres Small sided with Nancy Pelosi and gun control activists when she cast her vote in favor of universal background checks. Not only that, but the New Mexico Democrat even hired a former Everytown staffer as her campaign manager. Second Amendment supporters are right to call out Torres Small for wanting it both ways; appearing to be a defender of the right to keep and bear arms in the district, while palling around with anti-gun activists and backing Nancy Pelosi’s gun control agenda when she’s in Washington, D.C.