We’re all familiar with the saying “desperate times call for desperate measures.”
That’s apparently the motivation for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s suspension of the state’s open and conceal carry gun laws in Bernalillo County for 30 days. Recent gun deaths of a 5-year-old, an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old (shot by a 14-year-old) drove Grisham to do something, anything.
What she did, though, will essentially serve no purpose.
These children’s deaths are horrific incidents, and part of a long-running nationwide epidemic of gun violence America has proved time and time again it is unwilling to do anything about.
Picture the majority of New Mexicans licensed for conceal and/or open carry of a firearm. They are typically trained well beyond the required courses needed for the license. They are fastidious and careful about their weapons and probably spent more than $100 on the perfect holster after extensive research.
They are typically not the drug-dealing criminals you see roaming Albuquerque on “Breaking Bad,” with a pistol shoved in the front of their pants. For certain, those types do exist in New Mexico, albeit most likely without the license.
Both of those extremes illustrate how Grisham’s suspension is unenforceable.
The criminal, obviously, doesn’t care about any law, regardless of its origin.
In the case of the licensed carrier, most of them won’t change either but, especially in the case of the concealed carry, what is law enforcement supposed to do? Hang out at the grocery store and public events and pat everyone down? I can’t see that happening, and neither can Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen.
“While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold,” Allen told the Associated Press. “I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense.”
Grisham announced the suspension Sept. 8, and said she understood law enforcement’s concerns. There’s a possibility by the time you read this, a judge will have enjoined it.
Surely Grisham knew the backlash she would receive, and the constitutional scrutiny her order would draw.
It is important to bring attention to these tragedies, the ones in Albuquerque, as well as the ones that happen all across America with too much frequency and too often involving children.
But it seems to me the attention is now all on the ban, and we’re distracted from efforts toward possible real solutions.