It seem's kind of funny to me that the very people who whine and complain about America and refuse to pay taxes, are the same people who enjoy the rights and freedoms preserved by America, tax dollars and the fighting men and women they seem to despise. Do they not realize that the self-righteous indignation that they spew while walking up and down the street wearing nothing but a fig leaf is both hypocritical and a disgrace. For over 200 years brave americans have fought and died for our freedom, and now we have the likes of these people. You make me want to puke, Don Schader! Shame on you, get a job!
Gun Buy-Back Fiasco
The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office hosted a “Safe Surrender Gun Buy-Back” event on Saturday, Feb. 23, at their South Valley headquarters. My wife and I went, not to turn in guns or to try to buy them from people seeking to turn in theirs, but to encourage others to cooperate with the objective of the buy-back. My wife was holding a sign that read: “Say no to private gun buyers. Support background checks.” It was an eye-opening experience for both of us.
Early on, a friendly female officer walked over to give my wife a “thumbs up,” thanked her for being there to support the event and offered her coffee. Conversely, a male officer strode over and sternly warned my wife, with no hint of irony, that she “better not cause any trouble.” (Her cardboard placard versus the guy proudly slinging the AK-47?!)
Meanwhile, the gun-buyers were doing their best to get the attention of those turning in weapons by waving signs (“I pay cash!”) and yelling (“Don’t give up your freedom for a Visa card!”). The gun-buyers would swarm around a seller and excitedly scrutinize their rifle, shotgun or pistol, right there on the sidewalk, sometimes in the street, not 30 yards from busy Isleta Blvd. Before checking to see if the gun was loaded, the barrel was often swung around about chest-high in the crowd. When a sale to the BCSO was thwarted, the gun-buyers would cheer and applaud the seller.
We were pretty much alone in terms of our viewpoint but the majority of hopeful gun-buyers seemed to tolerate our presence as an exercise in free speech. Two separate gun-buyers/owners told me of having numerous guns for personal/home protection and also of having some of those guns stolen out of their homes (again, with no irony). A number of times throughout the day a car or truck would completely bypass the BCSO parking lot, announce what they had for sale and then roll further down the street, followed by a knot of gun-buyers, in order to conduct a transaction out of sight of the officers. About midway through the event an officer sauntered over to the gun-buyer group and insisted that he didn’t really support the buy-back program, was just there because he was paid to be, and then asked if anyone was interested in purchasing an assault rifle that he was looking to sell.
We were repeatedly told, by sheriffs and gun-buyers, that “all of this is legal! No laws are being broken!” Great. But the fact remains that, if someone has not had a background check and wants to buy a weapon, they can buy one, right there in view of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. And worse, that gun, which came so close to finally being taken off the streets, is now in someone else’s hands … and we don’t know anything about who that person is.
Legislature Fails the LGBT Community Again
As Martin Luther King, Jr. eloquently said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” How long is our state going to sanction the continued oppression of an entire peaceful law-abiding population of New Mexicans who have never been a threat to anyone and who have committed no crime? What the LGBT community has done for eons is to enjoy the good fortune and the grace to simply be human beings who love those of the same sex. Let our legislators know that until all of “We the people” are respected and honored as equal before the law, no segment of the population can be truly free. Let us never fail to remind those misguided, ignorant, intransigent legislators that the founders of this country were well-positioned to create a theocracy. They did not. They created a democracy. Any attempt to continue to oppress and persecute the LGBT community in the name of whatever ignorant, fear-mongering cultural superstitions is an affront to the founders of our country and an insult to the intelligence of any truly rational human being, and is ultimately doomed to fail. YES to that extraordinary living document the U.S. Constitution, and to thralldom to foreign dominions and potentates a resounding NO.
Can’t Face the Wage?
What a coincidence: The same day that the Route 66 Malt Shop is featured in the Journal as a business that is trying to get the Nob Hill neon sign ordinance changed, it's revealed that the Malt Shop owner is refusing to abide by the recently enacted minimum wage ordinance. Let's hope the City has the good sense to refuse any changes in the Nob Hill neon sign ordinance or exemptions for the malt shop since the owner, Eric Szeman, refuses to abide by the newly enacted minimum wage law.
Unfortunately for Albuquerque's low wage workers, Mayor Barry has refused to carry out his lawful responsibilities to enforce the minimum wage ordinance, as outlined in the City Charter. I have to wonder if the mayor is more concerned about losing campaign contributions from the Chamber of Commerce (who opposes the minimum wage law) than the economic well-being of our low wage workers.