The last weekend has been very rapid in terms of what’s happening in New Mexico. After Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an Executive Order banning ALL carry – open and concealed – in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, both the Albuquerque city police chief and Bernalillo County Sheriff said they won’t enforce the order which is obviously unconstitutional. The Mayor of Albuquerque and the Bernalillo County District Attorney have also said they won’t enforce the order.
In the meantime, there’s already been an open carry protest in Albuquerque in total defiance of the Governor:
— Gabrielle Burkhart (@gburkNM) September 10, 2023
All of these stem from the fact that the Governor thinks she has carte blanche to do whatever she wants, even though both the U.S. Constitution and the New Mexico State Constitution have explicit protections for the right to keep and bear arms. Her pretext to make this move was the road rage killing of an 11-year old child, among other such incidents (archived links):
Lujan Grisham referenced several recent shootings in Albuquerque in issuing the order. Among them was a suspected road rage shooting Wednesday outside a minor league baseball stadium that killed 11-year-old Froyland Villegas and critically wounded a woman as their vehicle was peppered with bullets while people left the game.
Last month, 5-year-old Galilea Samaniego was fatally shot while asleep in a motor home. Four teens entered the mobile home community in two stolen vehicles early on Aug. 13 and opened fire on the trailer, according to police. The girl was struck in the head and later died at a hospital.
The governor also cited an August shooting death in Taos County of 13-year-old Amber Archuleta. A 14-year-old boy shot and killed the girl with his father’s gun while they were at his home, authorities said.
The first two incidents listed in the Associated Press article both involve criminal activity, the second one highly indicative of gang activity. As for the third incident the Governor cited, how does a tragic incident that happened inside someone’s private residence provide the basis for revoking the public carry rights of the innocent citizenry at large?
Gov. Grisham made some eyebrow-raising statements that show her complete disregard for, or if you want to be charitable, a misunderstanding of the Constitution, the rights of the people, and the limits on her power. She even brazenly admitted that she doesn’t expect criminals to follow the order.
On this anniversary of 9/11, it’s important to reflect on what Gov. Grisham’s logic and behavior would have meant if the same abuse of power had been applied after any one of the numerous Jihadi attacks that plagued the country in the past couple of decades. I wrote about this two years ago in my article, “Ban Assault Religions: A First Amendment Analogy.” The vast, vast majority of Muslims in the world, especially those in America, are peaceable people. They mind their own business and go about their lives. There is a small minority that wants to wage Jihad against infidels, and that minority has undoubtedly brought disrepute to their co-religionists.
That is the same case with gun owners; most of us mind our own business and are peaceable people. There are violent criminals out there, but out of an estimated 100 million gun owners, those are an infinitesimal minority who are already prohibited persons in the eyes of the law.
Most Americans, including gun controllers, understand and know that the violence committed by a minority of Muslims should not be used as a pretext to hinder the First Amendment-protected free exercise of their religion. Yet, the same cohort has no moral qualms foisting the acts of criminals on the overwhelming peaceable majority of gun owners and using that as a pretext to violate the Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms.
To those who say, “but guns are different from religion because they make holes in people,” I ask them to look up images of giant holes in two buildings put on this day 22 years ago. If the death toll from that attack was not a pretext to suspend the First Amendment for 30 days, the criminal activity in Albuquerque is not a pretext to suspend the Second Amendment for 30 days either.
Gov. Grisham’s ban on ALL carry by the innocent citizenry that has already passed background checks to acquire guns and get a carry permit is nothing short of tyrannical. Grisham can use all the pathetic excuses she wants, but it doesn’t change the fact that her actions wouldn’t be tolerated in the context of a ban on religion based on the actions of a minority of its followers. Her ban on the right to bear arms should be treated with the same contempt.
The good news is that the people and the political opposition are not taking it quietly. As I mentioned earlier, there are open, peaceful, completely defiant protests underway. New Mexico Republicans are calling for the Governor’s impeachment, as she rightly deserves. Grisham needs to be taught a lesson and made an example of so other elected officials watch and learn.