NM Bishop sides with Grisham over anti-gun directive

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham isn’t exactly racking up allies following her unilateral decision to ban the lawful carry of guns in Albuquerque.

We’ve noted many people who would normally cheer some kind of anti-Second Amendment law or directive suddenly backing away and denouncing Grisham’s order.


Instead of becoming a gun control rock star, Grisham has become almost a pariah. She’s on an island all by herself with few people cheering her own.

But she’s not without supporters.

Archbishop John Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in a Monday statement defended the New Mexico governor’s recent controversial executive order banning the carrying of guns in the state’s most populated county.

“I believe Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is correct to point out the crisis we are experiencing in Albuquerque and the County of Bernalillo,” Wester said, adding that “the number of gun deaths we witness here is deplorable and tragic. I hope we can come together in New Mexico to address this issue.”

“In my view, the governor has been consistent in addressing gun safety through legislation and is not now attacking the Second Amendment,” Wester went on. “She knows the law. Rather, I believe she is trying to get us to solve what has become a crisis in our state.”

“I do not see the governor’s call to action and discernment as a threat to the Constitution,” Wester said. “The focus should be on the sanctity of human life. That is the point.”

Now, if you’re not a Catholic, this means absolutely nothing. Protestants aren’t exactly swayed by what a Catholic bishop has to say on, well, anything as a general rule. Sure, there are exceptions, but it usually has more to do with the bishop as a person or speaker than his position within the church.

It should also be noted that bishops are, for the most part, not experts on the Constitution, so his assessment that there’s no threat to the Constitution is meaningless.


I get that Wester’s focus is on the sanctity of life. The Catholic Church has a long history of opposing both abortion and the death penalty on the same grounds. I have no issue with that and, in fact, is something I respect about the Catholic approach to these contentious issues.

Yet the lawful carry of firearms is about preserving the sanctity of life. It’s about making sure someone else can’t take the life of an innocent person.

It’s in supporting Grisham’s directive that Wester has lost the plot.

Again, though, it’s not like it matters if you’re not a Catholic. However, more than a third of the people in New Mexico are. Yet even then, I don’t know a single Catholic who suddenly changed their position because their bishop or even the pope took a different one.

So, it looks like Grisham’s support isn’t enough to change reality for her. She’s still on an island and there’s just a couple of folks patting her on the back while the rest of the world just shakes their head at her.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member