Alibi V.28 No.43 • Oct 24-30, 2019 

Letters

Gun Control, Quirky Style

Dear Editor,

I have mixed feelings about banning guns at City Council meetings. “Gun Free Zones” seem to attract mass shooters like feces attracts flies. However, there is a similarity between Council meetings and rowdy bars, where we have long banned guns. Just make sure the councilors go through the metal detectors with the rest of us.

As to “Lock Up” requirements: Why do I never see this suggested as to automobiles? Stolen cars are just as big a threat to public safety as stolen guns. There would be less threat of theft of guns from cars if there were fewer places where lawful CCW holders were nevertheless prohibited from carrying. This requires leaving the weapon in the car.

I have only seen one government program that actually and significantly reduced gun violence.

In the early ’90s, Richmond, Va. was a shooting gallery. Gang bangers were doing drivebys that left more noncombatants dead than rival gang bangers.The local cops and prosecutors got together with the federal prosecutors and federal judges, forming Project Exile. This program not only had the backing of the normal antigun groups, but also the NRA, which gave at least two $100,000 contributions to help fund it. It resulted in as 50 percent reduction in gun homicides (and even more for noncombatants) in one year, and continuing.

What was the program? Every time a convicted felon was caught in possession of a firearm, he was taken to federal court to be tried and sentenced under existing federal law, providing a minimum sentence of at least 5 years. It was also arranged that this prison time be served in a federal prison as far away from Richmond as available. If Freddy Felon missed his mommy—great! That was the idea. This program was widely publicized, giving Freddy fair warning. It made gun carrying by felons extremely unfashionable.

The same program could work here, if law enforcement and courts have the huevos to do it.

Ken McDaniel,

Rio Rancho

Situational Ethics

Dear Editor,

When the United States had a half-black centrist President like Barack Obama (who was far to the right of a socialist like Bernie Sanders), it took the reactionary editors of Albuquerque Journal six short days to write about US Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s lack of ethics for chatting with former President Bill Clinton during an investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. The editors wrote the first female African-American US Attorney General must have been “star struck.”

These editors also lashed out at the first African-American US Attorney General, Eric Holder, nine days after he was held in civil/criminal contempt by House Republicans for not releasing DOJ process documents over the Fast and Furious Program. ABQ Journal editors wrote, “Put your documents where your mouth is.”

Now that America is great again, with a white President and Attorney General, ABQ Journal editors no longer seem concerned about ethics or transparency!

In 2018, as federal prosecutors in New York investigated evidence involving President Trump’s role in illegally paying hush money to a porn star, Trump called on acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to replace the investigators. Whitaker testified under oath to Congress that Trump had never pressured him, but he told colleagues that his job was to jump on a grenade for the President. The Journal never wrote about how Whitaker was “star struck” by Trump.

In 2019 the editors of the Albuquerque Journal called for the release of the “report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election,” writing, “You paid for it." Once it was released, the Journal never followed up. When Attorney General William Barr was held in contempt over part of the report, Journal editors never wrote, “Put your documents where your mouth is.”

The report details President Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with completely ludicrous attempst to obstruct ongoing investigations. Trump and Corey Lewandowski wrote a script for A.G. Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself! “I know that I recused myself from certain things having to do with specific areas. But our POTUS is being treated very unfairly. He shouldn’t have a special prosecutor/counsel b/c he didn’t do anything wrong. I was on the campaign w/ him for 9 months, there were no Russians involved with him. He didn’t do anything wrong. He ran the greatest campaign in American history.” The sycophantic Sessions was eventually fired and replaced with William Barr, who exonerated the President from multiple charges of obstruction of justice.

It has also been reported that Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit US intelligence agencies. The President has also asked foreign leaders to work with the US Attorney General in order to dig up dirt [on] Trump’s possible 2020 opponent.

It’s now been over one month since the Trump/Ukraine story came out, but the editors seem to be waiting for more evidence to come out, despite the fact that in the last few weeks there has been a flood of breaking news stories, hourly. The New Mexico Congressional Delegation has also remained silent, and local news outlets and journalists at KOB-4, KOAT-7, KRQE-13, The Daily Lobo, Weekly Alibi and the Albuquerque Journal claim it’s not their job to ask tough questions. These Congressional offices have large staffs and communications teams and their focus on progressive issues, during a historic Constitutional Crisis is tragic.

We are living through an epistemological crisis, where citizens in safe spaces and echo chambers are literally unable to verify what is real and what is fake. National/local journalism has exacerbated this crisis by being fair and balanced.

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”—Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism

Brian Fejer,

Albuquerque
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to letters@alibi.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 346-0660. 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.