Gun control groups fearmongering about lawful firearm owners better be careful. New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham just destroyed their narrative by saying the quiet parts out loud.
Gov. Grisham spoke to Moms Demand Action’s Shannon Watts for Everytown for Gun Safety’s Veepstakes with candidates auditioning to be second fiddle to 2020 presumptive Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden. Watts, who has repeatedly stated protests are “AstroTurfed” and fake, regurgitated the tired narrative that pro-Second Amendment rallies taking place across the country involved “armed protestors that we know are fueled by fearmongering and extremism.”
Grisham must not have gotten the script.
“I’m going to give New Mexicans, even though they continue to do those protests, a shout out,” Gov. Grisham explained. “They worked hard frankly to not attack state police and others who are doing the crowd management and trying to keep everyone safe. They have not rushed to get into a public office or the capitol. They have been fairly productively managed.”
That sounds similar to other protests, especially Virginia, where tens of thousands of law-abiding Second Amendment supporters gathered to protest Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s gun control overreach earlier this year. That protest resulted in a single arrest – for someone wearing a facemask – and protestors were complimented for picking up trash once they finished. That charge for wearing a facemask in public was eventually dropped.
Gun Control Record
Though not gaining the national attention failed 2020 presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and even failed 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams garner, Gov. Grisham received notoriety for her back-and-forth-and-back-again approach to shuttering New Mexican firearm businesses and ranges.
Gov. Grisham defied early Department of Homeland Security guidance deeming firearm manufacturers, retailers, distributors and ranges “essential” and instead shut them down. Some stores refused and continued serving customers, including local law enforcement, while following safety guidelines. Gov. Grisham sent in state troopers. She was sued for the closure orders, but then issued an executive order opening small businesses, including gun stores, as long as they kept customer capacity below 25% and followed CDC health guidelines.
That’s what many firearm businesses were doing all along. She instead justified her closure orders as honoring New Mexicans’ right to purchase firearms because they could “still do gun sales on the internet.” The businesses she initially deemed essential included “if it meant those daily requirements for health and safety for human beings and family, you were essential.” Apparently Gov. Grisham doesn’t believe firearms are included, despite numerous reports of local law enforcement being stretched thin and jails releasing criminals who quickly committed crimes again.
Leery of Law Enforcement
Watts turned the conversation to 2020 politics and how political leaders can keep up the pressure for more gun control. Grisham acknowledged it’s a critical time but attempted to say elected representatives of the people needn’t actually listen to the people. Instead, government should just rule as they see fit, and in her mind, the people should act more like subjects and just accept it. That includes elected sheriffs who have publicly told the governor they won’t enforce gun control laws they believe are unconstitutional. She accused them of misrepresenting the truth.
The governor lectured, “Elected leaders need to be not intimidated by the NRA and by the efforts of some groups and law enforcement folks. When you’ve got some sheriffs, some law enforcement folks putting out false information, I think there is some trepidation that if it is somebody in a uniform, that it can’t be putting out false information.”
Biden and Bloomberg’s Millions
Gov. Grisham praised Biden for his gun control history, including his vote for the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and his strong “understanding of gun violence.” Biden notably misunderstands the Second Amendment and continues to trumpet his desire to install failed Senate and presidential candidate former U.S. Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-Texas) as his chief gun-grabbing sheriff.
Watts and Gov. Grisham rounded up the conversation by cheering the efforts of national gun control groups like those funded by billionaire and failed presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, who has bragged about buying congressional seats.
Bloomberg’s groups have endorsed Biden already and have pledged millions to help elect candidates across the country. NSSF launched the #GUNVOTE online resource for Americans to learn what candidates have said and done in the past regarding the Second Amendment so that in November, they don’t risk their rights.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.