There’s a pattern to how things go when it comes to guns, by and large. Politicians from the larger, urban centers back gun control while the more rurally-based politicians oppose it. There are exceptions, but that’s how it usually shakes out.
That’s at least partially because urban voters see the outcome of violence and think restricting the tools of that violence is a good idea, while rural voters tend to live in a world where help could be an hour or more away. There’s more there, but that kind of sums up at least part of the talking points to bear in mind.
Regardless of why, though, urban center politicians usually back the same gun control measures their voters do.
But, the sheriff of New Mexico’s most populace county, Bernalillo County, clearly doesn’t.
The sheriff in New Mexico‘s most populous county is joining colleagues from more rural areas in pushing back against sweeping gun-control proposals pending before the state Legislature.
Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales said Friday he would support a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County.”
A dozen other counties have already passed sanctuary resolutions, including neighboring Sandoval and Valencia counties.
Bernalillo County is the home of Albuquerque, for the record.
Gonzales said there are already plenty of laws on the books to cover things like illegal possession and use of a firearm, which is a point many gun rights advocates have been making for years now.
The problem is few of those laws are ever enforced.
For example, most convicted felons who attempt to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer–and plenty try–are breaking the law by doing so. However, despite failing the background check, there’s rarely an arrest made. Do they believe that failing the check will keep these people disarmed? Of course not. They seek an alternative path, one the Department of Justice says tends to be the black market.
Yet how many lives could have been saved by making that arrest?
Gonzales is absolutely right.
He joins a growing number of sheriff’s pushing back on New Mexico’s attempts at gun control, a pushback that some in the state are lashing out at. The question is, how many of these were lashing out at Gonzales’s Bernalillo County when it decided to become a sanctuary county for illegal immigration? Didn’t the law matter then?
Frankly, I find the whole complaint hypocritical.
Of course, those who are upset at sheriffs who say they won’t enforce the law–and to be clear, it doesn’t look like Gonzales is ready to go that far–fail to see that this is a result of having established that precedence on immigration. For better or worse, by ignoring the law and lashing out at those who criticized sanctuary cities, they have laid the groundwork. Eventually, people who opposed the idea will shrug and figure if they can get away with it, why not try it themselves.
And here we are.
Frankly, seeing Sheriff Gonzales make this stand, even if he won’t say he’ll refuse to enforce the law, is heartwarming. After all, it may well signal to lawmakers that they’re pushing things way too far with this nonsense.