NM Sheriff’s Nix Red Flag Legislation

Sheriffs claim that if Red Flag is passed, they will not enforce it. I blame Trump for this. “If I don’t like a law, I ignore it. Tax returns? nope. Court orders? who cares. Regulations? eliminate them. Gun violence prevention? I like my guns.”

In brief,

After a couple of announcements, we provide a discussion of a Santa Fe New Mexican article on NM sheriff efforts to head off any chance of passing a Red Flag bill in 2020. We follow that with an astonishing report on the incredibly myopic, hubristic, paranoid security precautions that the US forced Iceland to employ or allow just because VP Pence decided to drop in. Helicopters hovering, snippers on rooftops, elaborate motorcade protections in the safest country in the world, where cops don’t even carry guns. Very worth a quick read.

Saturday, Sept 7, 8:30am-9am Retake Our Democracy on KSFR, 101.1 FM. This Saturday, Roxanne and I are going to talk about the just completed climate townhalls and other state and national political trends. We will spend time outlining Retake plans for the 2020 legislative session and June primary. We’ll describe plans for improving and expanding our use of the MEVO live stream platform to make panels, trainings and other presentations more accessible statewide. Roxanne and I don’t do shows together very often, so this should be fun. Tune in.

LiveStream Effort. Well, it was a panic-filled day as we got closer to the Tuesday Retake the NM State Senate Presentation and Panel. The morning of the meeting, our Livestreaming suddenly ran into serious glitches and since we’d never done this before: Yikes.

We spent hours trying to make adjustments and then finally were rescued first by Rayellen Smith, Nob Hill Indivisible, who talked me through a couple of tricky streaming settings. We had already arranged to have local musical legend, Jono Manson’s sound engineer, Tim Schmoyer, meet us at 5:30 to help with set-up. Another savior as we he was able to adjust what was initially unusable audio into something that while not great, seemed acceptable to most for a first run. The really good news is that long-term we will be able to patch the sound directly from the amp to the stream and so the sound should be perfect.

From all accounts, the content was extraordinary. And given that we had over 500 people watching live, we will definitely be doing more of this livestreaming of panels, presentations and other events. I sense this could really help us build a statewide Retake “community.” Streaming monthly events, plus using Zoom to conduct Team Meetings ought to significantly increase the degree to which folks can engage no matter where they live. We are already working on the sound upgrade and lineups for panels on Oct 1. Our November meeting is slated for Nov. 5 which is actually election day for school boards, city councils and county commissions statewide, so we may move that date one or two days.

If you were at the meeting on Tuesday or if you watched the stream, please comment. It is interesting that some folks experienced no pauses and had good sound, some even saying great sound. While others said the sound was really garbled or uneven. In any case, what about the content? Do you think with better sound, this is a good way to engage those who can’t make it in person? Ideas welcome.

SFAI PRESENTS: The Art of Change / Friday, September 6
A night of film, music, and art celebrating catalytic artists that change the world. Join us on September 6 for a provocative evening of music, art, conversation, and film! The evening will feature a pre-release film screening of the new Prince documentary, Mr. Nelson: On the North Side, and will cap with a performance by Belling the Cat of Santa Fe, who recorded the film’s soundtrack, featuring prominent musicians Brian Hardgroove, Jono Manson, John Kurzweg, and Stephen Peace. For more information and to get tickets, click here. Three fourths of this band played a series of Standing Rock benefits two years ago at the old Skylight and they absolutely smoked. If you like Rock n Roll, this shouldn’t be missed. And the Prince movie that precedes it sounds great too. The Art of Change….great title.

Friday evening September 6 and all day on Saturday 7, the 2nd Climate Disruption Film Festival is coming up Sept. 6-7. At the UNM Continuing Education Building. For more information and to register for either or both days click the link: http://www.nmclimatefilmfest.org/

NM Sheriffs Think They Make the Law and Can Refuse to Enforce the Ones They Don’t Like

Red Flag legislation is designed to protect people who are experiencing significant trauma from harming others or themselves. After the litany of mass murders and impulse killings like the one we just experienced in Odessa, one would think that the sheriffs of the world would be more supportive of gun violence prevention legislation in all forms. After all they are often first responders and see first hand the devastation the combination of guns and loss of self control render.

But according to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the NM State Sheriffs Association has their role in society confused. The Sheriffs feel they should guide what bills are passed and which are not. And then when a bill does become law, they switch from the legislative branch to the judicial. From the New Mexican: emphasis mine.

Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace, who chairs the association, confirmed the group would not support the current bill and that he would not enforce such a law in his county. ‘The general consensus is we’re not going to enforce any law that we deem unconstitutional,’” he said.

Santa Fe New Mexican, Sept. 4, 2019

In a world in which our President doesn’t feel bound to follow any laws and holds allegiance only to himself, it is not surprising that others could find justification for being selective in what the law of the land is and what it is not.

The New Mexican described a meeting with sheriff leadership, the Governor and Daymon Ely, D-Corrales and the sponsor of the 2019 version of a Red Flag bill: HB 83, Extreme Risk Protective Order. It did not go well, although Rep. Ely indicated that it was cordial. But there were five disagreements between the Sheriffs and Democratic leadership.

One Sheriff demand was that any use of the Red Flag ordinance should require a hearing to protect the rights of the individual whose gun could be taken until the person could achieve a semblance of self control. Ely pointed out that such a limitation would be a non-starter as a person mired in despair or consumed with anger and feeling compelled to harm themselves or others, is not going to put things on pause so a hearing could be conducted. The entire purpose of this bill is to protect people from others who have lost control. Rep. Ely called that objection a “non-starter.”

It is worth noting that in the just completed legislative session, HB 83 passed through the House only to die without a hearing in Senate Judiciary despite having landed in that committee with twelve days remaining in the session. Thank you Senator Richard Martinez, chair of Senate Judiciary. Yes, that Sen. Martinez, the one who hasn’t been seen anywhere in public since his DUI and refusal to take a sobriety test. Fortunately, his condition was captured on video as he tried to use his fingers to count backwards after he had he plowed his car into the car in front of him.

Those of you who attended the Retake Our NM State Senate presentation on Tuesday heard an earful about the ways that Senate Committee chairs rule the roost, preventing dozens of great bills from ever becoming law. If you missed that presentation, you can check out the video by clicking here. The video is near the top of our Facebook page and you need to skip the first 33 minutes or so, as we are unable to edit out our sound check, another thing we have learned how to do going forward. The presentation outlines a strategy for extricating justice from the grip of those NM state Senators who just love to let good bills die.

Bonus Coverage: Pence in Iceland

This was sent to me by Charlotte Lipson from Las Cruces who sends me 4-5 articles a day, many of which wind up being referenced here. Thank you Charlotte. Here we find yet another example of Trump administration hubris and failure to in any way appreciate the cultures and norms of those who live in more civilized countries than the US.

KEFLAVIK AIRPORT, Iceland (AP) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s arrival in Iceland with military jets and armed personnel set eyes popping Wednesday in a nation consistently ranked as the world’s most peaceful.

The size and standards of the vice president’s security detail also required adjustments. The guards protecting Pence got back up from a police force that only allows elite “Viking SWAT” members carry guns.

Icelandic authorities gave U.S. personnel special permission to carry firearms. Bomb-sniffing dogs were cleared to enter the country because of a strict quarantine for imported animals.

Pence is the first U.S. vice president to visit Iceland, a country of just 350,000 people, since George H.W. Bush came to Reykjavik in 1983.

The Reykjavik Metropolitan Police requested backup from police stations in neighboring towns and villages to meet U.S. manpower standards.

“This is incredibly expensive,” Police Chief Asgeir Asgeirsson told the Morgunbladid daily newspaper.

But Helgi Hafsteinsson, an employee at a gas station in Keflavik, welcomed the heavy traffic caused by Pence’s visit.

“It is great for business,” he said.

Before Pence’s arrival, U.S. Secret Service personnel spent weeks scouting locations. Icelandic President Gudni Th. Johannesson travels unaccompanied on private errands and is often spotted in a geothermal bath popular with locals.

Drivers lamented the traffic on social media. Satirical newspaper Fréttirnar mocked that “Americans intended to give every Reykjavik citizen a paralyzing drug during Pence’s visit.”

All the moving parts required for the president’s safety tied up transportation in the capital. Police closed off main roads to accommodate the convoy that drove from the airport to Reykjavik.

Helicopters hovered over the government building where Pence met with Icelandic eland’s officials as snipers perched on neighboring rooftops.

Ahead of Pence’s arrival, three CV-22B Osprey flew over southwestern Iceland, along with two C-130 Hercules and one Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

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5 replies

  1. Re: Streamed meeting. I think this is a great idea for reaching out to a state-wide audience. I tuned in, had great video, but very poor audio. It probably didn’t help that my hearing aid was doing something automatically to adapt to the changes in volume. If the slides had had enough content, I could’ve followed along by reading without the audio, but in the end I gave up. Keep improving; you’re on the right track.

  2. Paul & Roxanne,
    I allowed myself the fiction that this “off year” between campaigns would afford some luxurious in-person presence at such events as the NM State Senate discussion reported above. Silly me. So I took full advantage of the stream ending my play-back at 1AM the next morning. Well done. Don’t stop. Tech and 24-hour days double the immersion In stuff that matters. Thanks.
    Paul Dirdak

  3. I had trouble hearing the broadcast too. My advice is to get a couple of teens, to fix the problem.
    The issues with the sheriffs is a lot more pernicious than the media is presenting. Law enforcement was radicalized, by online right wing groups. Like everything else in NM, a layer of lies and denial, going back years is the response.

    People need to be connecting the dots, between local news media and the suppression and distortion of facts.

  4. The Irish had a good description of Pence’s visit too. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/05/mike-pence-ireland-shat-on-the-carpet We should not forget that two Veterans for Peace, are over there, waiting for a trial, because they protested at Shannon Airport. The US Military has been using Ireland as a stop off on their way to supplying Yemen and the atrocities there.

    Every time they talk about the Oil and Gas Windfall, people should be reminded that that is due to the misery and deaths of others. The Saudis are letting us profit, for the time being to help the Dumpf regime. The only reason that NM saw this boom, was due to the complex interactions and horrid foreign policy decisions that are destabilizing the entire planet. Sanctions on Venezuela, and Iran, that are leading to deaths, along with the destruction of Iraq, Syria and Libya. I don’t see anyone connecting the dots there either.

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