It was a week ago when Farmington, New Mexico was rocked by a deadly rampage shooting that left three people dead. No doubt, it rattled some cages there.
So, I don’t suppose anyone should be surprised that now lawmakers are using that deadly shooting to try and push more gun control. Disappointed, maybe, but surprised? Not really.
Tomorrow will mark one week since a young gunman shot and killed three people in Farmington. Since then, more elected leaders are calling for stricter gun control and enhancing criminal charges.
KOB 4 spoke with state lawmakers from both major parties Sunday.
Democrats have made the most noise this week, and we asked them about plans for the next legislative session. Gun control was a hot topic during the session this year, but not many of the bills introduced became law.
While the governor signed the Bennie Hargrove Act, both the assault weapon ban and the 14-day waiting period died in committee. Now the governor is re-upping those calls.
Some lawmakers are already preparing to reintroduce bills like the assault weapon ban, while others say we need to take a different approach.
“I’m so grateful for the call the governor made, but we need to take this next step and figure out what we need to do next,” said state Rep. Andrea Romero.
Romero introduced a bill last session that would regulate the possession, sale, and transfer of assault weapons in New Mexico. That bill didn’t make it to the governors’ desk or even the House floor.
“We are seeing these perpetrated crimes with these automatic weapons of war across the country and of course we saw the weapon being used in Farmington was an AR-15, and that would have fallen under an assault weapons ban,” said Romero.
They’re not automatic weapons and, frankly, I find the idea that people who can’t tell the difference between full-auto and semi-auto making laws regulating either more than a little offensive.
Still, the world doesn’t care what I or anyone else find offensive, so I’ll deal.
Regardless, the problem that’s being missed here isn’t that the killer could get an AR-15. It’s that he wanted to kill people in the first place.
The fact that he wanted to do so for no reason just makes it more imperative that we start looking at the actual problems and quite pretending the guns are to blame.
After all, there’s no doubt the killer could have killed just as many people with a handgun or a shotgun, neither of which is being considered for new restrictions, nor should they be.
The problem is and has always been people, but lawmakers like these in New Mexico find blaming so-called assault weapons a whole lot easier than actually trying to fix the underlying societal problems that prompt these events.
Yet because they’re focused on the wrong thing, they’ll never solve the problem. Sooner or later, New Mexico will face another mass shooting and we’ll do this same song and dance without ever touching on the real issues.