One professor said Americans are now alert to danger of granting someone emergency powers.Democratic New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's public health order suspending open and concealed carry across Albuquerque could endanger domestic abuse victims and serve as an unconstitutional power grab similar to the COVID lockdowns, according to experts.
Joyce Lee Malcolm, a professor at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School, told Fox News Digital that Americans are now "very alert" to the dangers of an elected official like Lujan Grisham "dreaming up" a health emergency to declare new powers, noting that it is tough to take such measures back or set proper parameters.
"She said this is just a 30-day ban. How is the 30-day ban going to change if it truly is a public health emergency? The COVID bans were supposed to be just a couple of weeks before the curve was flattened, then we had more than two years of governors picking and choosing how many people you could have over for Thanksgiving," Malcolm said. "I mean, it's a very dangerous thing to give anybody emergency powers."
Malcolm admitted that she did not think the “shocking” order would make it very far, considering the extensive public backlash across the political dial. She added that she was heartened to see public officials stand up to Lujan Grisham's order and admit they would not enforce it.
"They take an oath," Malcom said. "And I think there's no point taking an oath if you don't take it seriously. It's supposed to be a solemn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. And they are not about to violate that oath."
The Liberal Gun Club National Spokesperson Lara Smith said she is concerned that the governor has exposed thousands of domestic violence victims who carry a permit for protection to potential violence or risk becoming felons.
"I have a real issue with that," she said. "Domestic violence, for the most part, open and concealed carry isn't going to stop the perpetrators because either they don't care about the law or it's not happening when they're opening or concealed carrying in their home."
Breaking down gun violence into several subcategories, Smith said by far the most firearm deaths come from suicide, which open or concealed carry does not affect.
She said some recent studies show a possible uptick in street violence in states where open carry is allowed. While she said it is not entirely clear why or by how much, she has found no evidence that concealed carry increases any gun violence at all.
"As a matter of fact, most of the evidence shows that it decreases it because people who are concealed carry tend to have more training and tend to be more aware," she said.
Smith said that suicide prevention and mental health funding have shown to be far more successful in curbing gun violence in communities across the U.S.
Furthermore, she noted that violence interruption programs such as Project Ceasefire and the capital regional violence programs have produced “amazing” results.
The impact of gun violence on schools has also been a major topic of concern for politicians and nonprofit organizations for several decades. Smith said that "See Something Say Something" programs, wherein students are told to alert adults if they are concerned for a classmate or suspect someone may use a firearm, have been "incredibly helpful."
Regarding mass shootings, Smith said research has shown shooters are often motivated by images of violence and news they see online, something which is almost "contagious."
"If we can get the news to stop naming and putting photos up of mass shooters, that in and of itself really reduces the impulse for the next person. I would say that it helps with the contagion issue," she said.
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