Albuquerque needs to get our mobile speeding units back at our school zones. Five years ago, we used to have three speeding vans. The City of Rio Rancho has eight speeding vans, and Santa Fe is going to get their speeding vans back. Here in Albuquerque we need about a hundred speeding vans. We have drag racers on Montgomery, Tramway, everywhere. New Mexico is now number one* in pedestrian, bicycle, and hit and run fatalities. At least a couple of speeding vans at our school zones will help. Six thousand pedestrians were killed, and 30,000 people killed in auto crashes last year. If we throw in 2,000 bicyclists and 1,000 motorcyclists, we are looking at about 40,000** killed in auto-related accidents. I hope those self-driving automated cars come out as soon as possible. In the meantime, we need our mobile speeding vans and red light cameras.
* According to the State Highway Safety Office and US Census Bureau, in 2016 New Mexico was #4 in pedestrian fatalities.
**According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 there were 35,200 motor traffic accident fatalities in the US.
Out of Pocket
Oh, Susana. I could rant and rave about all of your vetoes, pocket or otherwise, but one of those vetoes is particularly troubling. SB 259 would have disallowed firearms for “orders of protection subjects.” That means that you have made it easier for those legally judged to be a danger to family members to have access to a gun.
Your 4/7 executive veto also threw away another opportunity for us to get rid of the anachronistic attitude towards gun control in this state. It’s a new century. No one is trying to do away with the 2nd amendment; however the 1789 version is obviously outdated as we refer to the archaic use of single-shot muskets vs. the large magazine weapons readily available nowadays. One can still be considered a patriot and pledge to our red, white and blue symbol of freedom while decrying the senseless gun violence that persists in New Mexico. Kathleen Parker, a Washington Post columnist, has written more than once this year about the need to reduce the number of guns falling into the wrong hands without having to surrender our 2nd amendment rights. Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords started up the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions after having survived a brutal attack in 2011. Two months ago, she urged all politicians in D.C. who have abandoned their civic obligations to have some courage by “not allowing the Washington gun lobby to threaten the safety of everyday citizens.” That includes us here in the Land of Enchantment, Susana.
The NRA doesn’t allow guns in their offices. We’ve got them everywhere here. Two months ago I witnessed a man here in Valencia County approach the driver’s side window of a person who had just cut him off on Main St; his “Wild West” gun holstered by his side. Call me naïve, but I couldn’t believe it. Susana, guns are not just staying with their rightful owners. For however brief a time, they continue to slip into the hands of those who should be denied access. We must be fearless and write and approve more laws. Why are you not able to see that the “do-nothingness” philosophy of gun control is not a policy, and it doesn’t work? Furthermore, how can NRA lobbyists continue to throw up their hands while claiming gun control is pointless since there are already so many guns out there? What about contributing more funding to the development of “smart” guns?
When Gabby was almost assassinated six years ago, we paused for a moment to review our own values as far as gun control in this country. A year later, after the Sandy Hook tragedy, we did the same. It is the gun that kills, regardless of the human being controlling it. We must quit pausing and start coming together to voice the need for change in Santa Fe. No more “same ol', same ol'” Susana.
Afterthought: Insanity, by definition, means continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different outcome. In this case, doing the same thing is doing nothing.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.