In response to Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s effort to infringe on Second Amendment rights as though she were the ultimate authority, more than 100 protesters openly carried firearms Sunday in a rally in Albuquerque. Remember it because their strategy might need to be used again to thwart the COVID tyrants.
Grisham, acting every bit the dictator, issued late last week an emergency order in which she suspended “open and concealed carry laws in Bernalillo County,” where the city of Albuquerque is located, for 30 days. The order is “aimed” – a curious word choice on her part – “at quickly reducing gun violence.”
As anyone should have expected, the protest was peaceful. No one was shot, pistol whipped nor, as far as we know, even threatened at the event. It was nothing like a Democrat-approved Antifa or BLM riot.
Grisham’s order is recognized as such a flagrant violation of rights that locals are refusing to enforce it. This includes Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina.
Neither will New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez participate in the persecution of the law abiding. He told Grisham in a letter that his “office will not defend your administration” from legal challenges – six, so far, with one ruling already against her – to the 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,” said Torrez, a Democrat who was appointed by Grisham.
We need exactly that brand of courage from other public officials should the COVID thugs try to subjugate us again.
The reluctance of public officials to align with Grisham was likely not a hard choice. It’s obvious that she’s violating the Constitution. But isn’t it equally as obvious that mask mandates and lockdowns are also unconstitutional?
No, there is no amendment that explicitly protects us from mask mandates, nor does the bill of rights directly prohibit lockdowns. Yet both are an offense against the principles of our founding documents that guarantee liberty and limit government interventions into private lives.
They are, as well, gross abuses of power. When agents of the government dictate how an ostensibly free people can and cannot live, they step far outside of their duties. It doesn’t matter if the orders are coming from the president, or a local unelected public health minister who isn’t qualified to run a sidewalk lemonade stand yet has control over others.
As a federal judge noted when he ruled in September 2020 on the “shockingly arbitrary” repressive pandemic rules issued by Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, “the Constitution sets certain lines that may not be crossed, even in an emergency.”
Texas Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Blacklock made a similarly reasoned statement in the early days of the COVID crackdowns when he wrote that “government power cannot be exercised in conflict with” federal and state constitutions “even in a pandemic.“
“If we tolerate unconstitutional government orders during an emergency, whether out of expediency or fear, we abandon the Constitution at the moment we need it most.”
The crisis is not COVID-19 now nor was it in 2020 or any of the intervening years. The crisis is government overreach, its boot on our necks, which always and everywhere constitutes a crisis. Oh, but what’s a small piece of cloth and maybe a couple of weeks of staying home to flatten the curve, the apologists argue to this day. What those are, in fact, are portals to even worse government behavior, as Grisham demonstrated, and as the global warming zealots will when they drop a climate emergency on us.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board
Editor’s note: An earlier version incorrectly named Albuquerque as the capital of New Mexico. That has been fixed.