A version of this letter appeared in the June 12, 2022 edition of the Rio Rancho Observer. The author, an advocate for common sense gun laws, gave permission to the Democratic Party of Sandoval Count to use her letter.
Your editorial headline on May 29, 2022, is wrong. NO, we are not ALL at fault for mass shootings!
Some of us have been fighting for changes in gun laws since Sandy Hook, some have been fighting since before that.
Some of us have been trying to talk to our legislators about common-sense gun laws, only to have doors closed on us, while others follow us around the halls of our capitol with their long guns.
Some of us fight for things like laws which can temporarily remove guns from individuals who are acting dangerously toward themselves or others. And we fight for the temporary removal of guns from people under restraining orders because of domestic violence. Others use their votes in the roundhouse to assure those people can keep their guns.
Some of us have been working for safe gun storage laws and are training others to safely store their guns, while others come to these trainings looking for a fight and finding they agree with what we have to say.
Some of us take our protests to stop gun violence to the streets. Others bring their pistols on one hip and their toddlers on the other. Some even form networks and share with each other where we are and what they should do when they see us, usually its violence.
“Just enforce the laws we have” you say? Great, but our county commission passed a ridiculous resolution with the full support of the county sheriff, saying, no, we won’t enforce laws we don’t agree with, despite their taking oaths to uphold the constitution and laws of the state.
And what of the city council? They’re afraid to stand up to people who shoot illegal fireworks, we can’t count on them for common sense protections.
Finally, the school board. They actually put MORE guns in our schools, at great expense. Two weeks later, schools were shut down due to COVID and then we had armed guards watching while lunches were being handed out to hungry children.
Now that school is back in, have they stopped anyone from bringing a gun onto campus? Possibly, but they haven’t stopped them all, clearly. Let’s hope that none have even drawn their weapon.
But, I agree… vote them out! When these political leaders come knocking on your door, ask, what will they do about gun violence?
Do they even knock on your door? Or do they know you’ll vote for them because of the R next to their names on the ballot? Every single legislator from Rio Rancho has voted against every single gun safety bill that came before them in the last ten years.
Maybe the Observer could help. In their candidate questionnaires they can ask candidates if they support a particular common sense gun law, or they can ask what, specifically will that candidate do to address gun violence.
There is plenty of blame to go around, but not ALL of us are to blame.