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Damon Martinez @DamonForNM
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I am fortunate in that I’ve never had family members who have been victims of gun violence. But my community has many. As the former chief federal law enforcement officer in our state, as a veteran, and as a 10th generation New Mexican…
...I've witnessed gun violence in our state and community in all its gruesome horror. It has decimated communities, torn apart families, and ripped a hole through the fabric of our children’s lives. And they are never the same. We know we need to take action.
But we cannot fully address the problem if we don't first understand its full scope. Ending gun violence isn’t just about making it harder for certain people to access weapons. Gun violence has socioeconomic, racial, and gender elements that cannot be ignored.
Gun violence disproportionately affects people of color. We've all started waking up more to gun violence after the Parkland shooting, but young people of color have been crying out for reform for years. Read @janaya_khan’s article on @theroot for more: theroot.com/why-it-hurts-w…
This is a racial justice issue. African-Americans bear a huge burden of death and injury from gun violence, which has been largely ignored. This is unacceptable, and it's another reason why the #BlackLivesMatter movement is so important huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-li… by @sarah_grossman
We cannot talk about gun violence without talking about its impact on specific communities, on specific individuals, and within the broader context of how society interacts with them.
Something we also need to understand is that as horrifying as mass shootings are, they represent a very small piece of the gun violence epidemic. Gun violence much more commonly takes the form of deadly aggression against an individual, and those individuals are often women.
Women are disproportionately impacted by gun violence, particularly at the hands of intimate partners. Women are targeted, threatened, abused, and shot to death by intimate partners every day, all over America.
Read this piece by Jenavieve Hatch for 11 sobering facts about women and gun violence: huffingtonpost.com/entry/gun-viol…
And as mentioned earlier, women of color are particularly at risk. Read @professorcrunk for more: salon.com/2015/10/21/the…
Gun violence is tied to repro justice, esp. critical for women of color. #Reprorights and the campaign for women’s bodily autonomy cannot be separated from the rights of parents to raise their children in safe and healthy environments.
Here's moron this from Sheldon Orgill and Kurtis Smith of @PPNYCAction in @TeenVogue: teenvogue.com/story/gun-viol…
We need a national red flag system that prohibits anyone with a domestic violence restraining order, or any convictions of domestic violence, from acquiring a firearm. It should be mandatory for all transfers of guns, including private sellers, family gifts, and gun shows.
And failing to abide by this should be punished with a federal enhancement, as well as civil and criminal liability for any crime committed with that weapon.
The loopholes in gun laws fuel violence in urban areas that have enacted strict gun reform. I was distraught to learn recently that a gun purchased in New Mexico was used to brutally murder a 9 year old in Chicago, lured into an alley by gang members wanting to punish his father.
And this was just one of the eight guns purchased in this transaction alone. We need background checks with no loopholes, and a national licensing and registry system in order to combat these straw purchases.
There’s more we need to do as well; besides common sense restrictions such as banning assault weapons, implementing mandatory waiting periods on gun purchases, and limiting large capacity magazines, we MUST finally hold the gun manufacturers accountable.
We must remove the liability shield NRA lobbyists built for the gun industry decades ago. This would incentivize gun manufacturers to improve safety and traceability through smart gun technology, engraving, and biometric trigger locks.
It would encourage guns sellers to ensure they are only giving guns to properly vetted individuals who won’t resell them to a criminal enterprise. Removing this shield would spur growths in gun safety similar to those we’ve seen in the auto industry with seat belts and airbags
These improvements in safety are particularly critical for targeting the everyday gun violence that tears apart our communities. Here in New Mexico, it’s been especially bad. @NMPGVnow has more:
And while the NRA styles itself as an organization of patriots, we know that weakened gun accountability laws have only made our communities more dangerous.
As a reminder, the @NRA represents only 19% of gun owners, and a recent Quinnipiac poll shows that sensible gun control measures are favored by 66% of Americans - Democrats and Republicans alike.
Sensible Americans who are continually outraged after each mass shooting blame the @NRA’s financial stranglehold on Congress.
But money is only part of the story. In a larger sense, the @NRA has fed and cared for a mythical narrative about gun ownership and freedom that stretches back decades, and it is THAT cultural narrative that is so well-funded.
Read this piece by Bill Scher in @Politico for more: politico.com/magazine/story….
I received an endorsement questionnaire from the @NRA just this past week. But I cannot in good conscience seek support from an organization that does not care about the safety and security of all Americans. In fact, I tore it up. .
Additionally, and this is crucial: NRA supporters and anti-gun control activists VOTE. They support elected officials and candidates who back their narrative and their values and their goals, and they do so at the ballot box.
But we have a narrative and goals too - to save lives. That children should go to school to learn, not to die. That parents should be able to raise their children in safe and healthy environments. That racism, misogyny, homophobia and hate should not be armed with weapons of war
More recently, veterans and responsible gun owners have stepped up to say #EnoughisEnough. I’ve been a member of the Armed Services for more than 15 years.
In 2012, I was deployed to Sinai, Egypt. I’ve trained with and held these weapons of war, and I know that they do not belong in our communities or on our streets.

#VetsVstheNRA @votevets
Together, our voices, our actions, our votes, and our values CAN be enough to turn the tide and end gun violence in America. That’s why I’m proud to be accepting the Parkland Town Hall Challenge @townhallproject
I’ll be hosting a #TownHallForOurLives on April 7th to talk about how as a community and a country we can end gun violence @TownHallProject. I hope you’ll join us: facebook.com/events/5552529…
We'll be at 3904 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, from 3-5pm on April 7th. All candidates, elected officials, community members, and concerned families are invited to join us! Together, we CAN make change, and we CAN keep our families safe.

#EnoughisEnough #nmpol
We're inviting @ASLforCongress @Deb4CongressNM @Lara_BetterNM @PatDavisNM @PaulMoya @JaniceforNM and Jesse Heitner to co-host with us. Let's all do this together! #nmpol #nm01 #EnoughisEnough
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