The US Is Spinning Out of Control, DC and All State Capitols Threatened: Could We Pass a Law to Ban Weapons Near the Roundhouse?

Retake is participating in a tremendous Legislative Action Expo tomorrow with a whos who of progressive organizations & most Democratic State Legislators. Details below. We also offer commentary on what transpired in DC & what is looming.

We took the day off yesterday to take a breath and try to assimilate all that has transpired in the last 48 hours. We offer our thoughts below followed by some more mundane but important information: Info on a tremendous Legislative Action Expo occurring on Zoom tomorrow. After that is a new series of very practical trainings in activism put on by a coalition led by black activists.

Tomorrow we will publish a piece on the desperate need for tax and revenue reform in NM. And while that is not sexy, it is one of the important efforts emerging for the 2021 legislative session, as addressing any of our needs requires funding and we are leaving over a billion dollars a year on the table. Tomorrow’s post will also include a video recording of a Retake Conversation with members of People Over Private Prisons, a coalition that has pre-filed legislation to put a moratorium on private prisons in NM. Read on.

We Are Spinning Out of Control

All of us woke up Wednesday euphoric; we had won both runoffs in Georgia and the world seemed a much better place. Then came the rest of Wednesday and now the US is spinning out of control. What we witnessed on Wednesday was abhorrent but what is to come may be worse. I read on line of plans to have militia rallies at state capitols throughout the nation from January 17-21. In NM’s case this would coincide with the opening of our legislative session. Thank God it is being done remotely.

I found myself contemplating the Roundhouse opening session on the 19th and if Covid had not forced us to do this remotely, and of having to walk through hundreds of angry, armed largely white militia just to enter the building. It was not a comfortable thought. And given what happened in DC, how can we be confident that won’t happen here?

It occurred to me that in the current political context it may be necessary and may be possible to pass legislation to ban open carry and concealed weapons within 1/4 mile of the Roundhouse and all venues where city council and county commission deliberations are conducted. I would guess 95% of Democratic legislators would co-sponsor such a bill. If there was ever a time to do it, 2021 is it. I do not know whether this would require a Constitutional Amendment, but if so, bring it on, whatever it takes to remove guns and threats from our democratic processes. But this is so much bigger now than just protecting the Roundhouse or other State Capitols.

I think most of us are hoping that Trump will just slink away. But that will not end the insurrection from militia and white supremacist organizations. The genie has been let out of the bottle and how we restore sanity is difficult to envision.

This morning, I saw this on Facebook (see below). How is this legal? It is one thing to protect the freedom of speech of even the most extreme perspectives, but advocating for insurrection is sedition and Scott Miller should be arrested today, along with as many of the leaders who crashed through the Capitol as possible. At some point, there needs to be a clear message that this kind of violence and terrorism is not going to be tolerated.

But here is where it gets dicey. As we watched the news last night, Roxanne and I were struck by how the people interviewed as they burst through the protective barriers at the Capitol firmly believe the QAnon rhetoric that they are taking back “their house,” and that they are “protecting democracy.” They feel just as strongly that the nation is being stolen from them as we feel they are threatening to steal it. They have been fed lies and conspiracy theories from a wide range of media. How do you stop that from transpiring without trampling on freedom of speech? But how do you prevent what is transpiring without capping the media platforms like Palmer, TheDonald, etc?

Please offer comment on this below. But Roxanne and i have a very sad, sick feeling deep in our stomachs. How did we get here? How do we restore some sense of normalcy? I doubt addresses from Biden will do the trick. I can’t imagine the amount of security that will be needed to protect our elected officials in DC and our state leaders throughout the nation. It really does feel like a looming civil war. This morning the St Louis Dispatch published a scathing op-ed attacking Missouri’s own Senator Hawley, one of the leaders who fomented the violence..

“Americans have had enough of Trumpism and the two-faced, lying, populist politicians who embraced it,” the board wrote. “Hawley’s presidential aspirations have been flushed down the toilet because of his role in instigating Wednesday’s assault on democracy. He should do Missourians and the rest of the country a big favor and resign now…. Trumpism must die before it morphs into Hitlerism.”

Trumpism must die: Agreed. But how?

2021 Legislative Expo 
THIS SATURDAY, January @ 9:30am – 12:30pm 

The third annual Legislative Action Expo will be a virtual meeting place where Democratic voters, legislators, and issue-based organizations all gather together – an ideal opportunity to explore, discuss, and promote issues of concern and actions sought. Retake has participated in this in the past and it is a tremendous event that will have a wide range of “Zoom Rooms” hosted by organizations like Retake, New Energy Economy,

As the schedule reveals, you can participate in discussions in two zoom rooms as organizations will be repeating their presentation in each of the two sessions. Then there will be six zoom Town Halls with Democratic legislators who will discuss their legislative priorities.

The event is sponsored by the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County, Progressive Democrats of America – Central New Mexico, West Side Democrats of Bernalillo County, Working Families Party New Mexico, and Adelante Progressive Caucus.

The schedule follows:

  • 9:30 am – 9:50 am: Opening Remarks
  • 9:50 am – 10:00 am: Transition to Organization Breakout Sessions
  • 10:00 am – 10:20 am: Concurrent Organization Breakout Sessions – #1*
  • 10:20 am – 10:30 am Transition to Organization Breakout Sessions
  • 10:30 am – 10:50 am Concurrent Organization Breakout Sessions – #2*
  • 10:50 am – 11:00 am: Transition to Town Halls
  • 11:00 am – 12:20 pm: Concurrent Town Halls
  • 12:20 pm – 12:30 pm: Closing Remarks

Click here to register. Be sure to update your computer to the most current version of zoom.  This can be done HERE.

Each organization will hold two breakout sessions. Please take a moment and click on the organizations below to visit their websites and preview what issues they represent. You may also have the option to download their materials. If you’re certain you want to attend their presentation at the Expo, it’s a good idea to have their presentation materials downloaded and ready in advance! We’ll do our best to get as many recorded presentations with materials onto our website following the event- we know it’s going to be tough to choose just 2!  The following organizations are hosting rooms. Retake will be describing our legislative advocacy strategy and our bills, but likely will also initiate a conversation about how we might pass legislation to ban weapons near the Roundhouse. But check out the groups organizing discussions.

Black-Led Organizations Form FRONTLINE
to Organize and Train Nationwide

Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives Electoral Justice Project anchored the launch of The Frontline September 21 and offered a hard-hitting sum-up of the project’s goals.

“We are part of The Frontline because our lives and the lives of the people that we love depend on us fighting with everything we’ve got to overthrow the Trumpism, the white supremacy, the white nationalism – all the harm that is being done by this administration to our communities. We are committed, not to fighting for a savior on Pennsylvania Avenue, but to fighting for our next target. And we will come as hard at the new administration that we hope will follow the Trump administration as we are at Trump right now.”

An initiative of Frontline is Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) Training Opportunities from BIPOC, a coalition of organizations led by communities of color leadership. They have organized a series of trainings each week that we will promote regularly. If we are to resist this madness and take advantage of windows of opportunity in NM and DC, we need skills, tools and ability to maximum use of our capacities. Time to bust out of our comfort zones, learn some skills and start viewing ourselves as activists and organizers, a step beyond being concerned voters. Below are the trainings offered next week.

BIPOC – Keys to Volunteer Management – Frontline Training Week

Virtual event · Join from anywhere. This is a training for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). This means that we ask only folks that identify as BIPOC to sign up. What does volunteer …Show detailsMountain time

Mon, Jan 11 · 12:15–1:15pm
BIPOC- Distributed Organizing – How to Scale for the Masses and Organize During a Pandemic -Training
Virtual event · Join from anywhere
This is a training for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). This means that we ask only folks that identify as BIPOC to sign up. You’ve probably come…
Show details
Mountain time
Mon, Jan 11 · 5:15–6:15pm
BIPOC – How to Host a Day of Action – Frontline Training Week
Virtual event · Join from anywhere
This is a training for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). This means that we ask only folks that identify as BIPOC to sign up. The purpose of the…
Show details
Mountain time
Tue, Jan 12 · 1:45–2:45pm
The Tools of Peer-to-Peer texting 101 – Frontline Training Week
Virtual event · Join from anywhere
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) texting is a quick way to reach thousands of contacts for turnout, voter ID, GOTV and other “asks.” Organizers new to digital, familiar with …
Show details
Mountain time
Tue, Jan 12 · 3–4:30pm
BIPOC – The Tools of Peer-to-Peer texting 101 – Frontline Training Week
Virtual event · Join from anywhere
This is a training for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). This means that we ask only folks that identify as BIPOC to sign up. Peer-to-Peer (P2P)…
Show details
Mountain time
Tue, Jan 12 · 4:45–6:15pm

Troubling times, my friends. We must stick together and advance our principles, priorities and values. And we must find a way to defuse this hatred. Please comment below.

In solidarity & hope…..and a tad of fear and trembling,

Paul & Roxanne

Categories: National Politics

Tags: , , , ,

16 replies

  1. A prophetic poem.

    The Second Coming

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    William Butler Yeats

    • Yeats wrote this poem directly after the end of WW One. Also, the Spanish flu had just ravaged the human world. Looks eerily familiar.

  2. Half the country has fallen victim to some kind of mass neurotoxicity event. 3 of the 5 people who died at the Capitol apparently succumbed to their own excitement – a heart attack, a stroke, and an unspecified collapse. I’ve been to a number of left protests; I’ve never seen the people around me jacked up to this extent. This is the result of years immersed in the steady drip of Fox, Facebook, and the lies of the Trump Republicans – Cruz, Hawley, McCarthy to name a few.

    We can fire a lot of crooked fascist cops, and replace them – this will be happening at the Capitol in D.C. (remains to be seen whether it needs to be done in Albuquerque, Olympia, and Lansing). What do we do about all the crazy people?

    • We cannot run or hide from crazy people. To back down is to reaffirm their distorted logic that whatever they think or do is some god’s divine command. This situation is an internal invasion, modeled on numerous ‘murkan invasions of countries who never attacked us and never threatened to attack us.

      We all have a responsibility to defend our values and our lives when assaulted in any way. They are incapable of facing their own fears, so they project their fears onto us so they have an escape route from the hell inside their own minds.

  3. Excellent idea Paul and Roxanne. Yes, no weapons for a five mile radius of the Capital….including state capitals.

  4. Excellent as always. Be on High Alert the next 13 days. Check out: and for starters. There seems to be a huge insurgency forming.

  5. Unfortunately, social media is directly responsible for all this violence and for the proliferation of lies and racist rhetoric we now are facing. White Supremacy has been unleashed, all due to social media and an irresponsible President. He should have been removed from Twitter and Facebook the first time he claimed fraud on our democratic electoral system.
    Right now, anyone who posts such statements as the one above should be banned from social media. Yes, yes, first amendment rights! But when does someone lose those rights? After more people die???
    Open carry of firearms should NEVER have been allowed. This isn’t the wild west!! You can have your guns but leave them at home. Why would you need to carry a gun to the Roundhouse? One reason only – to intimidate others. You surely do not need it for your own protection. Shameful to see what our country has become with our desire to follow the Constitution to the letter, when you have imbeciles claiming their rights.
    What about the rights of the society? We have worshiped at the altar of the Individual for far too long in this country.

    • I absolutely support the right of peaceful protest. However, persons who show up armed to allegedly protest are nothing but domestic terrorists and should be dealt with as such. I have in mind a good long stretch at Guantanamo, and fines that bankrupt them. The vermin that attacked the US Capitol need to be tracked down and shipped to Gitmo to await their trials.
      Seditionist Crooked Yvette should resign since she’s unable to honor the oath she swore to uphold the Constitution.
      If Cathryn Brown were in the US Congress, she’d be vying with Louie Gohmert for the title of the most stupid Congresscritter..

  6. Thank you Karen, yes social media is at fault.. Blocking any posts involving violence is the route to take.

  7. In Germany organizations white supremacy and neo-nazis Are outlawed and prosecuted as domestic terrorism. We should have a whole department dedicated to find these people and put them to jail for their crimes. Maybe new laws need to be made so this actually is recognized as a crime. It seems like most people here don’t even think it is. They call it freedom of speech here. That can only lead to trouble. We do need to establish standards of what is acceptable and make these into laws. I hope it is not too late. And yes, open carry is a perversion. No one needs to carry guns with them. The only thread comes from exactly these people who insist on carrying them in public. Laws about what is acceptable in social media have to be made too. I think letting Zuckermann and his ilk decide on that is crazy! I hope the Biden administration is going to get most of this done or we can kiss this democracy good bye. No more time to endlessly debate this with good intentions but no consequences. I feel completely helpless now…

  8. Sadly, some folks will need to die (maybe many folks!) before meaningful gun control is implemented.

    We’re in the process of complaining to Yevette Herrell about her siding with those in Congress who tried to hold up certification on Jan 6. The rioting and damage has not deterrer her!

  9. The First Amendment protects the right to free speech. However, there is no constitutional right to PROFIT from speech. There is plenty of precedence in regulating business practices. By eliminating the profiteering of propaganda and misinformation the spread will die off naturally. Case in point: Why do conspiracy theories spread so easily on YouTube? Because the algorithm gets you to view more videos that the platform can monetize. If it is unable to profit from certain videos, it will promote other content it can monetize. The same business reasons would affect other media, be it TV, digital, or social. Newsmax has a right to say whatever it wants, but if it can’t profit from it, it won’t survive and will have to change its business model.

  10. Hello everyone.

    Many months ago I began to speak out on these pages about extremely controversial and radical subjects. I know, from being outspoken for many years, that the subjects and my insights about those topics rub many the wrong way.

    I used to be, for the first half of my life, very reticent to openly discuss negative realities, no matter how firmly I was convinced of their veracity. It is no fun being a Madame Killjoy, but I have always revered this lovely planet and its creatures, and it has always pained me, grievously, that one species has, for centuries, consistently acted out a bizarre neurosis that justifies genocide and naturacide, penultimate forms of suicidal violence.

    So I reasoned, 35 years ago, that it is my responsibility to speak out, to stimulate observation, analysis, dialogue, logical problem solving via doable actions, always with the realization that if I don’t stretch the envelope in my right speech and right action that what I see in the future will absolutely come to pass.

    The fears I have expressed on these pages have consistently come to pass, including the disastrous events of the past few months, culminating in Wednesday’s insane assault on the Legislative branch of ‘murkan govt. The citizen’s chosen servants.

    The present reality is not rocket science. Using logic, historical knowledge and the analyses of science, the present is a slam dunk. With that in mind, the future looks to be full-scale tragedy.

    I see only three probable outcomes.
    1 – an accelerating slide into chaos from the escalating pressures of climate, population, disease, pollution and human violence;
    2 – an asteroid the size of Espanola hits North Dakota or Azerbaijan;
    3 – humanity faces its fears, goes inward and finds the good in itself and abandons the lie that its failures are the fault of some ‘other’ species that looks exactly like itself.

    Again, I urgently recommend that all of you find the documentary movie “My Octopus Teacher,” ponder its essence and its astounding truths, and dedicate the remainder of the rest of your life, without interruption, to practice peace at every level of existence, and defend that peace with your own life, if necessary.

    With all sincerity, the fate of Life on Earth depends upon you and me.

    You can see it as full retirement from the life of a prison guard working inside your own mind.

    Mick Nickel

  11. Not enough attention is being paid to the tech platforms role in brainwashing these extremists. They had the best manipulators, advertisers and psychological profiling, targeting people. Since no laws or regulations were made, and govt was gutted, not even having the staff to observe what the tech companies were doing, they ran wild. We have no laws about data collection, so anything goes. There was no line they would not cross, even marketing to children.

    Dealing with the tech platforms, should be a priority of the Biden Admin. They have run amok, with years of no regulation. This is not a matter of censorship, the hate and misinformation was amplified becasue it was profitable, drove “engagement” and got attention. It was clear back in 2016, something needed to be done.

    Mass media is another issue, they should bring back the Fairness Doctrine, and pull licenses of the spreaders of hate and misinformation. The lies and misinformation they spread about the Covid Pandemic cost us a lot of lives, and billions, maybe a trillion in direct costs, and costs of everything else. Broadcasters should have a direct public benefit, not misinformation and hate.

    Our country has no mechanism in place to deal with any of this. No one warned us about how this could lead to the trump cult phenomenon. Tech paid “researchers” to paint a positive picture of it all, while Zuckerberg lied to congress. The tech platforms refuse to release any information about their targeted ads or the psychological targeting that led to this. They made money amplifying extremist content, recruiting people to extreme ideologies.

    Our institutions have been eviscerated, dismantled by years of funding cuts and the removal of key people. This started before Trump, and his administration took it even further. Living in New Mexico for the Martinez administration, showed the blueprint for what trump did to our federal government. Like here in NM, it was directed by industry interests, like the Koch Brothers, Oil and Gas, religious extremists and random billionaires gaming the system.

    Our state finally has a chance to get some good legislation passed. Banning guns at the roundhouse and in the streets for protests, should be the first priority. We are being silenced by bullies, who use the guns and now the Corona Virus, to intimidate. There can be no question of their intentions after the attack on congress. Their arguments are irrational, and dangerous, there is no debate. We saw how various republican and libertarians in our state, only seek to disrupt the process, it is not about democracy. Their lies and propaganda have been amplified for too long.

    I hope that our legislature has a plan to deal with the disruption. There should be planned response to conspiracy theories and lies, and attempts to get attention or disrupt. There are serious issues at stake. I used to get the idea that they tolerated the conspiracy nuts, because they were a distraction and made it impossible to discuss serious issues.

    These are unprecedented times, the Reagan Era tax cuts, and govt dismantling led us here. There were 4000 deaths from Covid today, and we are still dealing with anti vaxers, covid deniers and people who refuse to take it seriously. I have not seen any of those clever internet influencer marketer psychologists, come up with anything to describe or deal with any of this. They were in denial for years, about the impact of lies and fake news.

    News media failed us, no warning about trump, because he was good for their advertising revenue. Deregulation is never discussed by our media either. We used to have laws against deceptive medical marketing. This was one way the lies about Covid, were monetized. No one paid attention as this problem grew. Even now there is silence about it, because it has been profitable. and a way to get attention. This is why the tech platforms amplified as it got more extreme. Even in a pandemic, there was no discussion of how this became deadly.

    Tech platforms are now de-platforming some bad actors. We saw the terrorists at the capital building, live stream and monetize their performance. They had Paypal accounts, and sold merchandise This is the behavior that the tech platforms encouraged as they encouraged hate and extremism. One of the criminals that invaded congress, was a realtor who used the video to plug her business. This is the trump reality show model. Weaponized unregulated capitalism.

    I don’t think the real horror of all of this is being conveyed, they found pipe bombs, but the information about the bomb threats was withheld. The reports of the deaths came out slowly too, lest we jump to conclusions. Plenty of comparisons were done with the Protests by Black Lives Matter, who were pepper sprayed, beaten, and shot in the face with rubber bullets, while the police helped the capital mob, and even let them walk away after the shooting and violence. Big media outlets are suddenly noticing the difference, and the obvious racism. Of course we saw this same theme play out here, in Santa Fe, too, but that topic has been co opted.


    This is really disgusting, a little positive PR for an extremist.

    “Block was one of more than a dozen New Mexicans featured on the cards. The one with his image contained a picture of Block posing with Gavin McInnes, founder of the the Proud Boys right-wing extremist group, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

    People were beaten to death and trampled by an angry mob, but this guy had a good time. They should have used his mug shot in the article, instead of his smirking face. It is really no wonder people are so brainwashed, articles like this normalize the criminal behavior. That is what they have done all along.

  12. Trump has his finger on the atomic bomb right now. We need to abolish nuclear weapons globally forever. Please support the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons forever! The United Nations Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will go into force on January 22, 2021. The USA spends more on nuke weapons than any country on earth. New Mexico is arguably the nuke bomb capital on our precious Mother Earth. The Doomsday Clock is 100 Seconds to Midnight in 2020. North Korea is about to launch a nuclear submarine and is building more weapons of mass destruction. What will the Doomsday Clock be when it is announced in 2021?

  13. Limiting the gun exclusion zone to the block the Capitol sits on paseo de peralta, old Pecos Trail, Galisteo, De Vargas is what current security officers are empowered to work now.

    Concealed carry could be exempted from this if they register with NM State Police (who teach the classes). In this way a Couy Griifth could be picked out.

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