It’s one thing to be a budding authoritarian who doesn’t care about violating state law and individuals’ civil rights. It’s another thing to be an inept, incompetent authoritarian. For that, we call all be thankful for New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Grisham isn’t just your run-of-the-mill anti-gun Democrat politician. She’s also a bumbling fool who — we can all be grateful — is terrible at her job and clueless as to how the laws and constitutions of New Mexico and and the United States work.
Think about it for a minute. If you were in a position of power as she is and you were contemplating taking a radical, unprecedented step to demonstrate how deeply concerned you are about “gun violence” in your state, you’d do a few things before going public with your plan.
Since every apparatus of state and local government in New Mexico is occupied and controlled by Democrats, you don’t really have to worry about partisan sniping. But you’d want to make sure you have your legal ducks in a row while also shoring up support from the legislative branch. Wouldn’t you?
Your first call should probably be to the state’s Attorney General to make sure he’ll support you, not only in your declaration of a “gun violence” public health emergency, but also in your more ambitious executive order suspending an important part of a lot of New Mexicans’ Second Amendment rights.
You’d also want to get the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem of the Senate on the blower. They’re Democrats, too, so you know they’re naturally predisposed limiting gun rights, but you want to make sure they’re on board with a big step like this and will keep their troops in line and behind you (or, at a minimum, quiet).
Governor Grisham, however, apparently did…none of those things. After news broke of an 11-year-old being shot and killed in a road rage incident as he left a baseball game in Albuquerque, she apparently flipped out and gave in to all of her worst anti-gun instincts.
She declared the “public health emergency” and then banned open and concealed carry in the state’s largest county including the most populous city. All on her own. Without buy-in or political support from anyone else in state government.
It didn’t take long before the inevitable blowback was felt after that kind of unprecidented overreach. And it wasn’t coming from the other party. Almost half of New Mexicans own guns. That means that even in a Democrat-dominated state, slashing gun rights and limiting individuals’ ability to defend themselves by executive fiat is going to get a lot of people upset.
Sure enough, the flak coming at Grisham was being launched from members of both parties. The mayor of Albuquerque and the city’s police chief quickly announced that they wouldn’t enforce her order. So did the Bernalillo County Sheriff. Democrats in the legislature called on the Her Imperious Highness to rescind the order.
These people aren’t stupid. They new that their qualified immunity had been taken away in during the post-Floyd furies back in 2021. They also knew that this kind of authoritarian high-handedness where people’s gun rights are limited feeds into all of the worst fears of a lot of gun owners.
If the state’s Democrats ever hoped to enact other gun control laws some day — say an “assault weapons” ban — Grisham’s edict would make that damn-near impossible for years.
As Democrat Senator Joseph Cervantes eloquently put it . . .
Having passed key gun safety laws working with her administration, I call on the Governor to rescind her order outlawing arms. An unconstitutional approach undermines the important collaboration gun issues deserve, and the important role of a Governor to lead genuine reforms.
In other words, thanks for nothing, Governor Karen. You’ve just set the cause of gun control back a decade in a solidly Democrat-controlled state.
Some of the loudest and most reliable anti-gun voices like David Hogg, Ryan Busse, and Ted Lieu publicly criticized the Grisham power-grab as clearly unconstitutional. Six New Mexico House members sent a letter to Her Highness, asking her to undo the damage.
We concur with law enforcement leaders that these executive orders violate law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights and would require law enforcement officers to infringe upon these rights, which could expose officers, police agencies, and communities to civil litigation. We agree that the Governor does not have the authority to disregard both the New Mexico Constitution and the U.S. Constitution and to create law without action from the New Mexico Legislature.
The biggest body blow to Grisham’s hoplophobic dreams, however, came from New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez when he told her that he won’t defend her against the half dozen lawsuits that resulted from her executive order.
Though I recognize my statutory obligation as New Mexico’s chief legal officer to defend state officials when they are sued in their official capacity, my duty to uphold and defend the constitutional rights of every citizen takes precedence,” Torrez’s letter stated. “Simply put, I do not believe that the Emergency Order will have any meaningful impact on public safety but, more importantly, I do not believe it passes constitutional muster.
You don’t say.
Yesterday, after arguments in a hearing for a temporary restraining order blocking the Governor’s order where heard, District Court Judge David Urias — a Biden appointee — concluded that the plaintiffs have excellent prospects for succeeding on the merits when the cases are fully heard and issued an order shutting down the Governor’s carry ban.
Grisham, who had criticized law enforcement officers for refusing to carry out her clearly unconstitutional edict, reacted to the order pretty much as you’d expect.
Today a judge temporarily blocked sections of our public health order but recognized the significant problem of gun violence in this state. I refuse to be resigned to the status quo, and I will never stop fighting to prevent other families from enduring these tragedies. pic.twitter.com/qRfSCUaNIL
— Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) September 13, 2023
When you lose the local media, members of your own party, your Attorney General, prominent anti-gun advocates, and even the the biggest gun control operations in the country refuse to speak up on your behalf, that should be a clue that you’ve gone way too far.
Declaring a bogus “health emergency” and then using that as a pretext to ban the free exercise of an enumerated civil right is something even the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex isn’t willing to get behind (publicly, at least).
This was a blunder so big it took the paid flaks at Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun agitprop outlet The Trace a few days, but even they finally found a laughably gentle way to tell Grisham that she’d f@cked up on a galactic scale, calling her order . . .
A bold move to curtail gun violence in Albuquerque has gotten a lot of attention, but less controversial solutions hold more promise.
In the mean time, while her order was a gun control and public relations disaster, the power-hungry Governor succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams in uniting the gun rights community. A couple of hundred New Mexicans showed up over the weekend in an Albuquerque park — almost all of them armed — to protest the order and, in effect, tell Governor Karen to come and take them. The protest was peaceful (of course) and no one attempted to enforce the Governor’s illegal suspension of their Second Amendment carry rights.
Grisham’s given gun owners around the country a very high-profile example of what power-hungry politicians are all-too-willing to do in the name of “public safety.” A Governor just tried to shut down gun owners’ Second Amendment rights in contravention of her state’s laws, its constitution and the US Constitution. And as she admitted herself, the order would do nothing to stop criminals and would only really affect law-abiding gun owners.
The next time Gavin Newsom, Kathy Hochul, Phil Murphy and others laughably claim that no one wants to take away their guns and say they respect gun owners’ Second Amendment rights, the first thing millions of Americans — and not all of them gun owners — will think of going forward is how Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham broke the law and tried to take away those rights.
As the media have noticed, Grisham has committed one of the worst mortal sins . . .
That kind of overreach is a gift to Republicans who want to convince voters that Democrats want to take away your guns.
In other words Governor Grisham, in her desire to exercise executive power, has done some serious damage to the cause of gun control in America. She’ll never admit it, but it’s backfired badly in ways she never expected.
There are still Democrat-dominated states that will continue to do everything possible to make manufacturing, selling, and owning firearms as expensive and difficult as possible. That likely won’t ever change. But more Americans just got an object lesson in what anti-gun politicians truly want and would dearly love to do…if the courts and the Constitution weren’t standing in their way.
For that, we should be grateful.