Rallies associated with the March For Our Lives movement organized by students affected by gun violence may have surpassed already record-setting rallies that have been happening ever since the inauguration of Donald Trump. Perhaps even more important and impressive is that it is likely one of the largest collective movements of young people since the iconic anti-war protests of the Vietnam era.
New Mexicans joined by the thousands across the state, with especially large turnouts in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In Las Cruces where students were out of school for spring break, an impromptu rally was still organized after the beginning of the week saw armed pro-gun advocates take over a city council meeting specifically to derail a proposed resolution on school safety as it relates to firearms. Even Silver City students held a rally that was well attended.
Some students from Aztec High School were able to travel to Washington DC and participate in the national rally as well as speak with Senator Martin Heinrich about gun safety. Heinrich has publically denounced the National Rifle Association and called for better and smarter gun regulations and even written an Op-Ed piece about his former relationship with the NRA.
While the NRA hasn’t rated me for this election yet, if my work in the Senate to pass gun violence reform hasn’t earned me an F rating, I suspect this post will. And that’s fine by me. -Sen. Martin Heinrich
New Mexico remains a state with relatively few gun laws on the books overall. In fact, we’re in the top ten WORST states in terms of gun safety. A New York Times article from 2015 shows that many guns used in crimes around the country are purchased legally in states like New Mexico where private gun sales are not subject to background checks.
With the enormous energy behind the March For Our Lives movement, gun safety will likely be a cornerstone platform issue in this year’s mid-term elections. To find out more about where candidates stand on gun issues, be sure to follow our series on New Mexico’s statewide races for in-depth looks at the candidates running.