Thursday, January 17, 2013
Representative Miguel Garcia Seeks To Close Gun Show Loopholes
On Wednesday Jan. 16th, Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-Bernalillo 14), once again filed a bill seeking to close dangerous Gun Show loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands and endanger the lives of New Mexicans. House Bill 77 requires background checks through the Department of Public Safety at gun shows, as well as for private transfers. Representative Garcia has previously filed similar legislation and in light of recent events is mindful of the heightened awareness surrounding gun reform issues, and is grateful to shine a light on these dangerous loopholes.
House Bill 77 seeks to:
- Create background checks by the Department of Public Safety prior to the transfer of firearms.
- Establish a procedure and funding for background checks
- Address private transfers and transfers at gun shows
- Create immunity from civil liability for lawful gun sales
- Provide exclusions from the requirements of the Firearms Transfer Act
- Impose criminal penalties for violations of the Firearms Transfer Act
Representative Garcia said regarding House Bill 77, “Our Wild West days are over. Our Wild Bill Cody and Annie Oakley days are over. Our legislation will require background checks for the mentally and criminally adjudicated at Gun Shows in New Mexico, and for a private individual purchases. These checks will help curb the flow of readily available guns and assault weapons to individuals most capable of inflicting needless injury and fatality to innocent and law abiding residents of New Mexico.”
Closing the Gun Show Loopholes and requiring background checks through a New Mexico Department of Public Safety hotline will help ensure guns do not end up in the hands of fugitives of the law, felons, the mentally ill, individuals with substance abuse issues, those dishonorably discharged from military service and individuals convicted of domestic abuse. Common-sense background checks will help provide for the safety of all New Mexicans while still respecting the second amendment and allowing law abiding citizens to purchase firearms.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Bottoming Out Culture 2012
Just as any drunk and addict bottoms out so will a culture. As much as the cold blooded killings to those beautiful children and teachers that occurred on Friday would possibly be the bottoming out of our addicted culture it will not. This one has stumped us though as a country and a culture.
Where does one start to express the anger and sadness about such an act as Sandy Hook. It is all of one piece like a tapestry. Gun laws, the making of weapons, the life of perpetual war, the senseless killings of other harmless countries children, the years of funding a war machine, killing machine. The incredible toxicities in our air and water and land, polluting our minds beyond what we really comprehend and we are not willing to fund for better understanding because of our love of weapons.
Not funding those that teach us, our teachers. Doing long days working for very little pay, their reward watching the light of learning go off in that child's mind. More funding for teachers less for war I would like to hear spoken from our politicians mouths. Teachers should be held up as high and dignified as our first responders. They were the first responders in this Sandy Hook tragedy.
How about the glorification of killing in movies and videos. These industries make billions all just making killers. The young males that get into this particular addiction should be discussed. Maybe even that the killing craze is mainly done by white males should be studied.
Greed, how about greed fellow humans. Why won't we take care of each other? Some people don't have bootstraps folks. We are continuing generations of poverty now, just so the filthy rich don't have to help others. Many good citizens now jobless, no future, no dignity, no way out, sickness hitting home, cancers. Tons of cancer, an epidemic that we don't talk about either affecting millions of people.
The planet we call home we are continuously harming. Killing off entire species. Polluting our waters so our children will be waterless. Polluting our air so our children can not breath.
It is all of the same friends. One sick addicted selfish culture.
Buy buy buy, consumerism, materialistic craze. All just band aids to a sick culture. Almost every product having some sort of plastic in it. What is plastic made of? Petroleum, fossil fuel our other major addiction. What are the hazards of plastics? Plastics are known to kill off sperm counts in males, what does it do to female eggs? Maybe that is what is causing such depravity? Ingesting plastics. We fashion ourselves an advanced culture, we could study this relationship of plastics and mental illness. But we can not as long as most of our collective money goes to the american war machine. How can we study this when we have guns to make and sell to the world.
The rant could go on. The point is it is all of one piece. We can not blame the NRA or this or that when we allow our weapons killing manufacturing buzz to continue, each of us have to consider our relationship to this massive killing machine industry. We cannot look for answers without looking at our fossil fuel oil addiction and what relationship we have to it. It is all of the same. The NRA is every military base, every nuclear weapon stored here in Albuquerque. More jobs in this country are for the killing machine then are for helping others. We are a culture based on violence and we all have a part right now.
One more thing, am I the only one that is disgusted with the vision of one of the swat military peace officers and the stupid machine gun they carry walking beside a youngster exiting the school? Is this what we have become? Ever since 911 we have funded homeland security to the tune of billions as well. For sure one of the answers to this sickness will be to have more security, instead of dealing with the problem head on. More security devices and gadgets and guns will be sold in order to protect us. Some rich pig becoming more filthy rich all with the disguise of protecting us. Maybe every school will have it's own militia like APS does now. All funded by our tax dollars.
Just like an addict we will let one day slip to the next and eventually the horror of the previous action will become distant we will forget and slip back into our addiction.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Sen. Feldman Guest Blog: Gun Control in New Mexico Has Been Lost Cause: NRA on Ascendant since 2003
Following is a guest blog by Senator Dede Feldman. Sen. Feldman has her own blog with many great articles, follow this link here.
Even before last week’s tragic shooting in Aurora, and the rush of commentary it has aroused, I’d been thinking about the legislature’s total abdication to everything NRA. There’s a chapter on this very thing in the book I am now writing about the New Mexico Senate. Now it’s déjà vu all over again in Colorado and you’ve got to wonder whether New Mexico is next. New Mexico’s gun laws are so liberal. You can carry any kind of loaded gun as long as it is not concealed if you are not a felon or are over 19 years old. No permits, licenses, training, registration or fingerprinting are required for the possession or purchasing of rifles, shotguns or handguns. And if you have a gun—you can take it almost everywhere except federal buildings, courthouses, buses, bars and pre schools. And we’re not even talking concealed weapons here. State law now enables 24,000 licensees (at least they’re trained) to carry concealed weapons into movie theatres, banks, child care centers, churches, liquor stores, restaurants and-- as of 2010-- bars which serve food.
As far as I’m concerned, New Mexico lost its way on guns back in the early 200Os. In the wake of the Columbine shooting, New Mexicans, like the rest of the nation, were much more interested in gun control, particularly given our high rates of youth suicide and homicide). In 2001, in the name of child safety, Rep. Gail Chasey and I were successful in passing a “trigger lock” bill to prevent accidents resulting from unsafe storage of weapons, especially handguns. But Gov. Gary Johnson vetoed it and the legislature instead passed a concealed carry law, which, after initially being ruled unconstitutional (the NM Constitution states “Nothing her in shall be construed to permit the carrying of concealed weapons), went into effect in 2003. The NRA has spent tons since that time to weaken training requirements, and lower the qualifying age. And they have been successful. They’ve also been trying, with the help of their allies in ALEC, to get the legislature to adopt a “stand your ground” bill like the one so famous in Florida’s Trayvon Martin case. We already have these rights embedded in the NM constitution, but for the NRA, no matter. It would be another notch in the belt.
The Democrats lost their huevos on this one long ago, on the federal level, and when pro-gun Richardson became Governor, the funding for all the advocacy efforts dried up. Moms on a Mission, the mothers of three boys killed in the East Mountains who came to help us lobby for safety have disbanded. The families of other victims are now just support groups--- not rabble rousers asking why anyone should be guaranteed the right to carry a 100-round a minute assault rifle like the ones used in the Virginia Tech shooting, and now Aurora.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side of the aisle our Governor tweets about her perfect aim and great performance on the Concealed Carry test. And the Republican stronghold of Catron County has had a law on the books since 1994 requiring heads of households to maintain a firearm and the ammunition to use it.
For the past decade there have only been about eight or nine of us on the floor of the Senate resisting the flood of guns everywhere-- or even complaining about the fact that citizens are now carrying guns in the Roundhouse. Not even the shooting of Gabby Gifford, Albuquerque’s Emcore tragedy provokes a rational discussion here in the Wild West.
What a surprise! It’s the policy of the NRA, with approximately 30,000 members in New Mexico, not to discuss shootings like the one in Aurora. After all, people are crazy and it would happen anyway. What you gonna do? Wait until we’ve solved everyone’s unresolved psychological issues, I guess. Meanwhile, it could happen to your kids.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Martinez Administration Issues New Concealed Gun Rules, Makes New Mexico Gun Law Most Restrictive in U.S.
From ProgressNow NM.
On Friday, April 27, 2012, Governor Susana Martinez’s Department of Public Safety quietly published new rules concerning New Mexico’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements with other states. Under the new rules, New Mexico now only recognizes reciprocity agreements with 5 other states (OK, ND, NC, NE, MO). This means that, of the 41 states that grant concealed firearm permit reciprocity, New Mexico now has the most restrictive law in the entire nation.
Since the law was revised in 2005, New Mexico has recognized the concealed carry laws of as many as 20 other states. Now, the only states that recognize fewer out-of-state conceal carry permits than New Mexico does are the 9 states that don’t recognize any out-of-state permits whatsoever.
ProgressNow New Mexico applauds the Martinez administration’s bold effort to stand up for New Mexico’s public safety while also standing up against the NRA’s attempts to make it easier for persons with violent histories (like George Zimmerman in Florida) to carry their concealed weapons across state lines.
“We don’t often agree with the actions of this administration, but when the governor decides to buck the influence of the NRA and responsibly stand up for the public safety of New Mexicans, we can’t help but extend our thanks,” says Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico.
Read the full post, and all the facts online at ProgressNowNM.org .
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Gov. Bill Richardson Signs New Conceal Carry Law But Orders Additional Safeguards
Governor Bill Richardson today signed SB 40, a bill sponsored by Sen. George Munoz (D-Gallup) that removes the ban on concealed carry licensees from bringing their weapons into New Mexico restaurants with beer and wine licenses. However, Governor Richardson said he is ordering additional safeguards to address public safety concerns surrounding the bill.
“My decision to sign this bill came after much contemplation and thought. I heard strong opinions from both those for and against the bill,” Governor Richardson said in a written statement. “As the Governor of a western state, I know well the deep feelings that come with such a measure, but I also understand those feelings and beliefs must be tempered by the enactment of certain safeguards.”
Under current New Mexico statute and regulation, there is no clear and explicit prohibition on the consumption of alcohol while carrying a concealed weapon. Governor Richardson announced that he is directing the New Mexico Department of Public Safety to revise its regulations to make it clear that consumption of alcohol while carrying a concealed weapon is prohibited. He's also encouraging the legislature to consider legislation that would make such a prohibition unequivocal in state statue.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
BernCo Sheriff Candidate Pat Davis Weighs in on Guns in Restaurants Bill
Pat Davis, a Democratic candidate for Bernalillo County Sheriff, issued a statement today in response to New Mexico Senate Bill 40, Concealed Guns in Certain Restaurants. The bill, which would allow those with concealed carry permits to bring concealed guns into restaurants that have beer and wine licenses, passed both chambers of the New Mexico Legislature and is on Governor Bill Richardson's desk awaiting approval or a veto.
“I’m running for Sheriff because Bernalillo County needs the right leader for right now. Leadership is more than just heading a department; It’s speaking out and doing what’s right for the people you protect.
"There is currently an unnecessary bill before the Governor that would allow concealed weapons into beer and wine establishments. While, as a long-time gun owner myself, I strongly support an individual’s right to own and operate a firearm, the simple fact is guns and alcohol do not mix.
"While each can be enjoyed responsibly, mixing the two can be deadly. In a time when we are just beginning to realize true progress towards addressing alcohol-related issues, it is irresponsible for us to open the door to new opportunities for public safety to be compromised.
"As a police officer, I carried a weapon for years, both on-duty and off-duty. However, in that same role I saw far too many needless deaths, which resulted from reckless use of both alcohol and firearms.
"In short, this legislation does not enhance public safety in Bernalillo County and I join the New Mexico Restaurant Association and the many citizens of this great state in opposition to the bill, and strongly encourage Governor Richardson to veto.”
"New Mexico SB 40 unduly places the responsibility of enforcement of the provision on the owner or manager of an establishment and, by proxy, their employees. The law aso requires that concealed weapon permit owners know the difference between beer & wine only establishments and liquor license establishments, and that permit holders know whether 60% or more of an establishment’s income is derived from non-alcohol sales. The same standards will be required of police officers and prosecutors who pursue violations.
Many permit holders will assume that they can carry unless otherwise instructed, placing many law abiding citizens at risk for unnecessary prosecution and revocation of their permits. In addition, the legislation places no responsibility on patrons to refrain from alcohol consumption while armed."
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Alamogordo Gun Rights-Tea Party Protester Hints Armed Violence to Come if Obama Doesn't Change
Video from report by Chris Dudley on NMI about protest
How many people showed up in Alamogordo, New Mexico yesterday to join an "open carry" gun display and protest against the Obama administration organized by the Otero Tea Party Patriots, the Alamogordo Second Amendment Task Force and the Sons of Liberty Riders? According to a news report on KOB-TV, there were about 200. The Alamogordo Daily News claimed 350, while a New Mexico Independent report says it was about 300.
Whatever the turnout, it's clear that many of those assembled are all about taking their country back from communists or socialists or fascists -- take your pick. They feel their Second Amendment gun rights are threatened -- although there's no evidence of any intent on the part of the Obama administration to do anything like that -- and they blame President Obama for a bad economy and the "socialist" plot represented by his proposed health care insurance reform and his actions to counteract the deep recession that began in earnest before he took office.
I can understand how right-wingers might be critical of President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. It's true that a Democratic agenda is being advanced, though many Democrats aren't pleased about the reluctance of Dems in Washington to push for deep change, instead of nibbling around the edges of the status quo. It's not surprising that Republicans, especially right-wing members of the GOP or those who support more libertarian policies, would be displeased with Democratic overtures. What IS surprising is how far out on the fringes some of the critics are about what's really going on in the federal government.
That Old Familiar Communist Threat
What year is it again? You'd swear we were back in the 1950's when Sen. Joe McCarthy was leading a witch hunt against alleged communists in the U.S. government, while the lunatic-infested John Birch Society was harping on the same issue and going so far as to claim that President Dwight Eisenhower was a "conscious, dedicated agent of the Communist Conspiracy."
Although we're now moving into the second decade of the 21st century, many right wingers apparently are convinced that communists are on the attack once again -- from within the White House and the halls of Congress. I guess they haven't noticed that the USSR is kaput, Red China really is no more and, if anything, unregulated capitalism has grown in power and impact everywhere. I have no idea how these protestors define communism -- but a Google image search on "communist Obama" turns up a wealth of imagery equating the President with Karl Marx. It would be funny if it wasn't so disturbing.
Clearly, some on the right believe that Obama is anti-American in some way and that another witch hunt or a possible armed insurrection might be necessary to preserver our constitution. Take this guy, quoted in the Alamogordo Daily News article:
Jim Kizer, of Alamogordo, carried his .444 Marlin rifle and .41 Smith and Wesson Magnum pistol to the event.
"I don't like what the Democrats are doing to our country," said Kizer. "I'm a Korean vet and I grew up in Alaska during World War II. I've fought Communists all my life, and now our government is being taken over by them. That's why I'm here."
In the video above, gun rally-Obama protest participant James of Tularosa explains why he's upset:
"I'm everything Obama hates. He's not too supportive of Israel, he's not too supportive of the Second Amendment. He's definitely not too supportive of the American flag ... A lot of the government now is intimidating people, that we're the criminals, we're the terrorists, not the terrorists."
A man from Las Cruces comments on his decision to openly carry a gun at the demonstration:
"It's a very open threat. If they try to take over the country completely as a socialist communist then they're going to have to answer. Political power comes from the barrel of a gun as their own people said.
... They're pushing us to our limits, that's why we're out here.
When asked what the limit would be that would trigger barrel of a gun type action, the same man replies,
"... I'm not saying what that is because the element of surprise is the main thing in any military victory, which we will do with the constitution if we have to. It's up to them to listen to us now to avoid that."
In other words, the federal government will have to obey the dictates of this guy and his pals or their guns will be used to strike back and get their way without the formality of an election or a ballot box.
An Unasked Question
If I had been there I would have asked the protestors if they would support a move to close down White Sands Missile Range, Holloman Air Force Base and other employers in Otero County that provide government jobs -- along with substantial spin-off money that goes directly into their communities. If they're so against what the government is and does, how do they justify so many in their communities living off the government dole, so to speak?
I wonder if they recognize that a very high percentage of the good-paying jobs in New Mexico are funded by the government with tax dollars paid by those who live outside the local tax base -- oftentimes on the East or West Coasts. According to the Otero County Chamber of Commerce, almost 30% of the jobs in the county are provided by the government. Well, there's socialism, and then there's socialism, right?
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tea Party Protesters Gunning for Attention in Alamogordo
According to "Otero Tea Party Patriot" Ralph West, guns are the next big thing at right-wing protests. "I think this will be the start of something big," West said in an article in today's Alamogordo Daily News.
"This" is an "open carry" protest being co-hosted by the Otero Tea Party Patriots, the Alamogordo Second Amendment Task Force and the on Saturday in Alamogordo. According to West, "We're basically protesting the entire Obama administration." Participants are "encouraged" to bring guns.
According to the article, pistol-packing protesters intend to highlight their weaponry to get more attention from the media -- and Sarah Palin:
“That’s what will be different (with Saturday’s protest). People will be wearing guns, which is legal in this state,” said Ralph West, a member of the Otero Tea Party Patriots. “We figured it would get some attention.”
West said he’s contacted several media outlets in New Mexico, as well as Fox News and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Carrying an unconcealed firearm is legal in New Mexico by anyone over the age of 19. A person can openly carry in most places, except a federal or state building, school or restaurants and bars that serve alcohol.
The groups applied for a permit to conduct an "open carry event" with the City of Alamogordo. Because of the firearms request, the permit application was forwarded to the Alamogordo Department of Public Safety, which is expected to make a decision on it today.
As gun advocates point out, most gun owners can be expected to act responsibly when carrying a weapon at a public rally. Critics, however, argue that it only takes one out-of-control person to get fired up at a protest and fire his or her gun -- which just might set off an exchange of gunfire with other protesters or even law enforcement officers, putting the entire crowd at risk. In addition, some who want to attend a rally in opposition to the protest can easily be intimidated by armed participants in the crowd.
Toting guns in public is a hot topic in Alamogordo of late. Earlier this month, Otero County Commissioner Ronny Rardin proposed changing the county's personnel policy to allow county employees openly carry their guns to work.
There's also been a push in other states to allow the open carry of guns in government buildings and elsewhere, and to bring guns to public events. This month in New Hampshire, for instance, activists are protesting the reinstatement of a rule banning the carrying of weapons in the New Hampshire Statehouse. Such a law was in effect when Republicans dominated the New Hampshire legislature from 1996 to 2006, but then lapsed. Legislative leaders there say the rule is needed to avoid trouble:
Both Senate President Sylvia Larsen, D-Concord, and Speaker of the House Terie Norelli, D-Portsmouth, said a group of onlookers in the House gallery this spring got out of hand, openly carrying firearms and shouting at lawmakers during debate while a group of fourth graders sat nearby.
This summer, right-wing activists made headlines by carrying guns -- including a semi-automatic rifle -- outside the convention center in Phoenix where President Obama was giving a speech. The week before, when Obama appeared in New Hampshire to talk about healthcare, a man carrying a sign that read, "It is time to water the tree of liberty" – alluding to Thomas Jefferson's speech, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants" – stood outside the meeting with a pistol strapped to his leg.
There are also ongoing controversies about whether college and university students should be allowed to carry guns on campus.
All of this is taking place against a backdrop of this summer's often rowdy and sometimes violent tea bagger protests at health care town halls and elsewhere. How long will it take for some kook to fire a weapon into a crowd or at a public official and set off a tragic chain of events? Your guess is as good as mine.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Man With Gun in Holster Shows Up Outside Obama's Town Hall in NH
... the gun-toting protestor was holding a sign referencing the Jefferson quote: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." It's a well known quote from one of the archetypal founding fathers. And in itself it's part of the American heritage, something that echoes with Jefferson's always ambivalent and frequently dilettantish attitude toward political violence. But in the context of these townhall excesses and while carrying a firearm at a presidential event, it's quite a menacing statement, in as much as it is about the need to kill tyrants.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
NM Congressional Delegation Votes in Tandem for Credit Card Reform; Split on Loaded Guns in National Parks
Yesterday the US Senate passed an amended version of H.R.627, the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2009. The 90-5 vote followed a 357-to-70 vote in the House on April 30. Today, the US House approved the Senate version of the bill by a vote of 361-64, and the legislation will go next to President Obama, who has said he will sign it.
Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman, as well as Congressmen Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Luján and Harry Teague, all voted in favor of the main bill. There was also a separate vote in the House today on an amendment included as Section 512 in the Senate-passed version to allow loaded guns in national parks. On that provision, Rep. Luján voted no while Reps. Heinrich and Teague voted yes. The House passed Section 512 by a vote of 279-147. Only two Republicans voted against the gun measure. On the Dem side of the aisle, 105 voted for it and 145 voted no.
Section 512, allowing loaded guns in national parks and federal wildlife refuges, originally got into the bill when Sen. Tom Coburn's amendment passed in the Senate with 67 senators -- including 27 Democrats -- voting for it. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall both voted against the gun amendment. Democratic leaders then said there wasn't enough time to send the bill to a House-Senate conference committee — where it could possibly have been removed without a vote — and still get it to the President by Memorial Day as Obama requested. It therefore went to the House intact, where leaders decided to hold separate votes on the bill and Section 512.
The question is, will we now feel "safer" in the national parks, or will the national parks be more vulnerable to gun violence and/or poaching? I guess time will tell. One thing that is clear is that the National Rifle Association has a lot of clout on both sides of the aisle.
Members of New Mexico's Congressional delegation released statements praising the credit care reform bill's passage.
Rep. Ben Ray Luján said, “I’m glad that this important piece of legislation will now head to the President’s desk for his signature. As I have traveled the district, I have talked to families who have worked hard and followed the rules only to be taken advantage of by unfair and predatory credit card practices. At a time when it is difficult for many New Mexicans to make ends meet, this is unacceptable. The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights is an important step toward ending these practices by credit card companies. This bill takes common sense steps to protect families from unfair credit practices--safeguarding families from retroactive charges, excessive fees, arbitrary rate increases and misleading terms.”
“Families across southern New Mexico are struggling to make ends meet and their situation is being made worse by deceptive and unfair practices,” said Congressman Harry Teague. “This bill will protect credit card holders from things like: retroactive charges, excessive fees, arbitrary rate increases and misleading terms—those are assurances every consumer deserves.”
“The Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights Act strengthens the marketplace for consumers and restores a fundamental sense of fairness and honesty to the system, said Rep. Martin Heinrich. New Mexicans have the responsibility to live within their means and pay what they owe, but the government has the responsibility to make sure our credit card industry is playing by the rules. This legislation will improve transparency and accountability in the marketplace, and give consumers confidence in the contracts they enter into with their financial institutions.”
“This legislation is an important step towards protecting the millions of American children whose futures are compromised when their parents become victims of dishonest or unfair credit card company practices,” said Senator Tom Udall. “In 2004, families with minor children were more than three times as likely to file for bankruptcy as their childless friends. More children lived through their parent’s bankruptcy than their parent’s divorce, and these children risk losing a stable home and a shot at college. Today’s vote shows that the Senate can work in a bipartisan manner to protect American families.”
A story in the CS Monitor provides a summary of what the bill does and doesn't do regarding credit card rules.
President Obama was in Rio Rancho, New Mexico on May 14th touting credit card reform. See my previous post (with photos). More photos of the event taken by Mary Ellen can be found on our Flickr account.
May 20, 2009 at 04:10 PM in Corporatism, Economy, Populism, Guns, NM Congressional Delegation, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Sen. Tom Udall | Permalink | Comments (6)