Excerpted from lcsun-news.com, by Algernon D’Ammassa
The Las Cruces City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Monday calling on the New Mexico Legislature to strengthen firearm regulations and background check requirements as part of a plan to improve safety in Las Cruces schools.
The resolution also calls on state lawmakers and the governor to address mental health services and “the need for places of learning in New Mexico to be both conducive to learning and secure,” and commits the city to working with Las Cruces Public Schools regarding school resource officers at school sites.
A similar resolution was introduced in March and prompted protests from gun rights activists, including several who carried firearms into city hall. That resolution was tabled. The issue was again discussed in May at a tense joint city council-Las Cruces school board meeting at Oñate High School. Monday’s discussion was tame by comparison.
City Councilor Greg Smith presented highlights from a slide presentation reflecting data on school shootings, using bar graphs to illustrate spikes in deaths and injuries in gun-involved incidents and linking higher casualty rates with weapons that fire more rounds at greater speed, and do not require stopping to reload as frequently.
“Our young people here in Las Cruces — even though we haven’t had a shooting here, and I’m very thankful for that — still have that fear in their classrooms,” he said.
At the invitation of Mayor Ken Miyagishima, 16 people offered comments on the resolution over nearly 70 minutes, with several urging councilors to focus on enhancing security measures at school sites and avoid venturing into broader debates on gun control and the Second Amendment. Several submitted bullying as another factor requiring attention.
While the city council is constitutionally barred from making laws that restrict the possession of firearms in the city, the resolution identifies “access to weapons capable of doing great harm” as a critical factor in gun-involved violence at schools, along with mental health care and building security.
The resolution calls for comprehensive background checks and a stronger criminal background check system, as well as “the need for weapons of doing great harm to be kept out of the hands of those wishing to do harm in New Mexico.”
You can read the full story here.