Being a gun owner is in some ways like being a motorcyclist. Both guns and motorcycles are often incorrectly perceived as risky and associated with crime, and there are people who go out of their way to avoid owning them.
The vast majority of gun owners and motorcyclists are law-abiding, careful, and thoughtful in how they use their products. Unfortunately, there is a small number of bad apples in both groups, and those bad apples tarnish the image of the majority in the eyes of the public. This is not limited to America; it’s an international phenomenon.
Sometimes the bad apples happen to own both guns and motorcycles and are members of gangs that commit serious acts of violence. Recently, there was one such incident in Red River, New Mexico:
NMSP identifies suspect, 3 victims of Red River shooting
RED RIVER, N.M. –There’s new information on the shooting Saturday in Red River where multiple people had been shot and killed.
Investigators say they have accounted for all eight people involved, and there’s no threat to the community.
The shooting happened at the large motorcycle rally held every year in the northern New Mexico town.
“One thing I want to caution everyone and apologize initially to the law-abiding citizens that came to Red River to have a good Memorial Day weekend, not the gangbangers that are ruining it for all of them,” said NMSP Chief Tim Johnson.
Police say the shooting happened around 5 p.m. Saturday in the area of E. Main Street at the Red River Memorial Day motorcycle rally. It left three people dead and five injured.
State police say everyone involved was affiliated with biker gangs.
“All eight individuals have been identified as outlawed motorcycle gang members — the Bandidos and the second one is a group called the Water Dogs,” said Johnson.
Clearly, this was gang violence. The perpetrators and victims were all gang members. So, how did New Mexico’s congressional delegation react to this incident? Here is their official statement, tweeted out by Senator Martin Heinrich:
NM Delegation Statement on Shootout in Red River: pic.twitter.com/xQhsPbpwpL
— Martin Heinrich (@SenatorHeinrich) May 28, 2023
The two Senators and three House representatives didn’t wait to raise the issue of “gun violence.” They even raised a previous random spree killing by a lunatic. But they didn’t mention the giant gorilla in the room: gangs. It’s as if someone told them, “Don’t say gang!”
Here are individual tweets from other members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation:
My thoughts are with the families of those who were killed and injured yesterday in Red River, NM. I’m grateful for the quick response of our law enforcement and first responders. This was a sacred, cherished community gathering and it breaks my heart to see this violence.
— Senator Ben Ray Luján (@SenatorLujan) May 28, 2023
No mention of gangs.
Rep. Stansbury just repeated Sen. Heinrich’s official statement with a different font and text background color. How original.
I am heartbroken for the families and loved ones of those killed in last night’s shooting in Red River, praying for a swift recovery for those injured, and committed to legislation to #EndGunViolence. Our delegation statement: pic.twitter.com/mIsBw9mI6s
— Rep. Melanie Stansbury (@Rep_Stansbury) May 28, 2023
Here is Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández talking about “gun and gang violence,” falsely equating inanimate objects with the actions of criminals, pretending the former have the same agency as the latter.
We are saddened by the gun and gang violence that these rural communities lived through yesterday, but as we see these Healing Fields, we are reminded of the strength and resiliency of those who have given everything for their country. (2/3)
— Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández (@RepTeresaLF) May 28, 2023
We still don’t know the full background of the bikers, including how many of them were prohibited persons or what their criminal histories were. But when you hate the very notion of firearms ownership, every criminal act is a golden opportunity to punish non-criminals. New Mexico’s congressional delegation has proven that in the aftermath of this gangland shooting.