Firearms & Freedom

Guns Don’t Fire Themselves, Residents Defending Their Lives and Property Do

What the hell is going on in Albuquerque? A young thug seen driving downtown, firing a semi-automatic rifle into the air. The same man is also responsible for shooting into the Bernalillo County building at Alvarado Square, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Noah Tapia posing with firearms and the same vehicle he committed crimes from.

Shootings are a normal part of life in Albuquerque, but such brazen disregard for others’ lives and property is rarely seen in the middle of the city, let alone caught on camera. 

Local blogger Joe Monahan recently compared Albuquerque to Baghdad. His blog post earned a response from another uninformed citizen.

“Joe, regarding your post from Oct. 14th and the joy shooters downtown, you fail to mention the common thread running through all of the recent crimes: they involved guns. The suspect in the BernCo government headquarters window shootout wasn’t charged with any weapons violations, so that AR-15 (or similar type weapon) he was brandishing out the car window was apparently legal. Easy access to all manner of guns by anyone and everyone is not Mayor Keller’s fault.

And what about real estate developer Doug Peterson, a longtime critic of Mayor Keller’s, who can’t be bothered to provide security at his building, thus making it a favorite spot for downtown target practice? Shouldn’t he share some of the blame for that particular type of crime? As long as Americans have decided to worship at the altar of guns, we will reap the grim benefits.”

—Martha Hardman

That’s right Martha. Just like knives or cars, guns themselves are not illegal simply for being guns. It is the human use of a given object that makes in an accessory to crime.

The right to bare arms is protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. The amendment specifically limits the government from creating laws that infringe on the rights of citizens the bare arms.

The New Mexico Constitution also restricts the government from infringing on the rights of its citizens to keep and bare arms.

“No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms.”

— New Mexico State Constitutional Provision — Article II, Section 6.

The man firing from his vehicle is Noah Tapia. Tapia is being charged with the following crimes

  • Criminal Damage to Property, 
  • Shooting at Dwelling or Occupied Building, 
  • Conspiracy to Commit Shooting at a Dwelling or Occupied Building, 
  • Tampering with Evidence.

All the charges he is facing are felonies. 

To address Ms. Hardman’s concerns, brandishing a weapon is not defined in New Mexico law. However, New Mexico statute 30–7–4, Negligent use of a deadly weapon, makes it a crime to use a weapon in the manner that Tapia was recorded doing.

Another blow to the liberal agenda is bail reform.

The law is causing repeat offenders to be released from custody within hours of committing crimes. Leaders across the state need to put this failed experiment back on the ballot, and Liberal politicians in state congress need to draft an amendment to the backward law immediately.

We know recreational marijuana was a big enough priority to call a special legislative session. Maybe the governor could do the same thing to address the crime terrorizing the Albuquerque Metro.

AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles are available for purchase by lawful citizens. Why was Tapia able to obtain these weapons?

Tapia was charged with domestic battery in May 2021. The case was dismissed by the prosecutor. At this time, we do not know whether Tapia purchased his firearms from a legal dealer or from someone on the streets of Albuquerque. If the prosecutor had pursued the case or the family member had agreed to continue with the case, Tapia would not have been able to purchase a firearm.

Illegally obtained and illegally used firearms are a major problem for Albuquerque, but until a perpetrator commits a crime with a gun, it is not illegal to possess one. 

The mayor cannot change the laws regarding the purchasing of firearms. He can however better manage the city’s crime problem. 

The Albuquerque Police Department is short hundreds of officers, is over-worked and under-appreciated by the current administration. The only way that illegal firearms get off the street is having a sufficiently staffed, trained, and compensated police department.

Photo from Doug Peterson on Twitter, October 12, 2021

As for Ms. Hardman’s comments that Doug Peterson is responsible for crime downtown because he isn’t providing security to the area, she should think about that logic and apply it to a homeowner victimized by a burglary, or worse.

The police department is responsible for providing security, safety, and order in a community, and while we encourage individuals to possess, carry, and train in the use of firearms and self-defense, Ms. Hardman’s entire point is that we have too many guns at the same time that she’s blaming property owners for not providing their own security.

Whether you’re Hillary Clinton or an individual resident in a high-crime neighborhood, “security” literally means guns. 

The problem is not Americans “worshipping at the altar of guns,” but the liberal left insisting that violent offenders be let out of jail and allowed to run the streets. Firearms do not load themselves, aim themselves or pull their own trigger…. people do.

Citizens in Albuquerque are being forced to arm themselves because the Keller administration is unable to provide the security that society requires. The police department is too busy to respond to all calls for help. When and if that time comes, an armed citizen is going to be glad they were armed and maintained their rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Look at the recent shootings at an Albuquerque Subway restaurant and a local smoke shop, where employees defended themselves. It is always better when deadly encounters end with a dead thief than a dead employee. Unfortunately, more and more average citizens are accepting this reality as a condition of walking down the street, shopping, or dining.

Noah Tapia has been charged in the October 11th shootings at the Bernalillo County building at Alvarado Square. Some would like to imagine that this is a gun problem. The truth is, this is a people problem that Albuquerque will never solve without an armed response. Most would prefer that response be trained police, but if things continue as they have, more and more will be average citizens.

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