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Constitution Day in the Land of Enchantment

September 17th marked the 236th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution in Philadelphia. Constitution Day is a time to commemorate the signing of our constitution and celebrate the monumental legacy. Our constitution has stood the test of time and has served as a model for other countries in crafting their own governments. It has undergone many stress tests and has ultimately prevailed through trying times. I concur with a statement made by presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, who stated that the ‘Constitution was written for difficult times’ and was not to be disregarded during difficult or uncertain times.

If we are truly serious about upholding and defending the U.S. Constitution, then I believe we need to hold our elected leaders accountable in every way. It is our responsibility to make sure they act within its boundaries. One recent example of a governor that is testing the guard rails of the Constitution is Michelle Lujan-Grisham of New Mexico. On the heels of a tragic shooting in Albuquerque, Governor Lujan issued an emergency order suspending the right of licensed citizens in the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County from carrying firearms, both open and concealed. Her order suspended the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens who were licensed to conceal carry in New Mexico’s most populous county. The order has proven to be extremely unpopular, even among elected Democrats. The Bernalillo County Sheriff, an elected Democrat, as well as the Albuquerque police chief, both refused to enforce it within their jurisdictions. Many prominent Democratic state leaders were vocal in their opposition to the order.

I grew up in Albuquerque and I am aware of the high crime rates that the city has long faced. Rather than getting tough with criminals, the governor decided to go after law-abiding citizens. The state and city’s Democratic leaders have failed to protect the citizens, and their soft-on-crime approach has made the city much more dangerous. It’s not surprising that the governor felt this emboldened to brazenly disregard the protections of the Second Amendment; one needs to look no further than how she conducted herself during the COVID pandemic. Her office issued some of the harshest restrictions in the country, all under the name of issuing emergency public health orders. New Mexicans paid a heavy price for the power she wielded during the pandemic and her zeal for control hasn’t diminished. This time there was resistance, and her order was curtailed in federal court.

The silver lining in this is that the nation witnessed how ordinary citizens organized and defeated these blatantly unconstitutional mandates. Albuquerque is a Democratic stronghold; nevertheless, the citizens united and ultimately defeated the governor’s anti-Second Amendment measures. Members of Governor Lujan’s own party recognized that she over-stepped her bounds. The Constitution prevailed over tyranny. I find it heartening that she got to witness her unconstitutional mandate unravel before her very eyes during the week we commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution. How fitting.

by Daniel Lee Gardner

Feature image courtesy pixy.org.

Read more from Daniel Lee Gardner in Sunlight, The Best Disinfectant.