Bold, inspiring and blatantly illegal
The trouble with "emergency powers," even when there is an actual emergency.
Let’s give New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham: in stark contrast to politicians who are too cowed by gun enthusiasts to actually do anything when mass shootings occur, she has responded to a spate of gun violence with a long-overdue crackdown:
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared gun violence and drug abuse a public health emergency after a string of recent deadly shootings, some involving children.
The emergency order includes the suspension of open and concealed carry laws in Albuquerque…
…and Bernalillo County, temporarily banning the carrying of guns on public property with certain exceptions, according to a statement from Lujan Grisham on Friday.
Lujan Grisham cited the shooting deaths of three children from July through September, as well as a pair of mass shootings in the state.
Law enforcement in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County are pushing back against the order – even as they agree gun violence has gotten extreme.
“While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold,” Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said in a statement.
And, in this instance, they’re right.
That the United States has a serious gun violence problem goes without saying. Its rate of firearms-related crime is much higher than that of other developed countries, and there are two possible explanations:
a. Americans are just inherently more violent people than their European and Canadian counterparts; or,
b. the much larger number of guns in circulation has something to do with it.
That people who consider themselves patriotic Americans are so protective of their guns that they argue the former, which strikes me as a position so anti-American it would make the Iranian mullahs think it goes a bit too far, is striking. From my experience as a Canadian lawyer and someone who has attended football matches in Britain, I think the rate of potentially homicidal people is quite evenly distributed around the world.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial