New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham says Republicans should thank her for all the fundraising they are able to do as a result of her “public health emergency” order banning carry (open or concealed) of firearms “for thirty days” (subject to extension, of course) in Albuquerque and other urban areas of her state. Instead, Grisham should be thanking GOP aligned gun rights organizations Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) for saving her from possible death by execution of federal death penalty under 18 USC 242 (deprivation of rights under color of law). How? SAF and GOA each got a temporary restraining order against her stupid carry ban. Some credit also goes to extreme anti-gun leftists David Hogg and Ted Lieu, who called her out on this illegal deprivation of constitutional rights — not because they disagree with her goal of diarming Americans, but because they realize the frog must be cooked more slowly. (Really weird seeing Hogg and Lieu defending 2A on Twitter.) Due to strong bipartisan backlash and court restraint, Grisham amended her order to ban carry only in city parks and playgrounds, something the Democrat Albuquerque mayor says the City banned three years ago, which ban is already being litigated separately.
Recall the recent media buzz about Trump possibly facing the death penalty due to his indictment under 18 USC 241 (conspiracy against rights). The buzz quickly died down, but for the wrong reason. It was pointed out that prosecutors never pled the particular allegations required for the death penalty, but those could have been added later so that point was irrelevant. The chief reason Trump never faced any possibility of death penalty (assuming he is convicted under 18 USC 241, which is extremely doubtful), is that the Supreme Court has ruled that there must be some intent to kill and clearly Trump had zero intent to kill anyone. The other reason is that Trump did not cause any deaths. All of the Jan 6 deaths (despite fake news to the contrary) were caused by law enforcement. Pelosi was a more likely cause of deaths than Trump, because she prevented use of the 10,000 troops Trump requested to maintain order.
18 USC 241 and 18 USC 242 define very similar crimes, with similar provision for death penalty where a death results because of taking away someone’s civil rights. Think of 18 USC 241 as going after gangs like the Ku Klux Klan, and think of 18 USC 242 as going after fascist government officials like Nazis in nice uniforms or modern cross-dressing Democrats, any practical fascist.
The difference between Trump and Grisham is that the latter’s conduct would arguably satisfy both intent and causation required for imposition of death penalty. Grisham admitted (“Ah…no”) that criminals would not comply with her order. Whether she truly wanted to draw attention to the issue of “gun violence” or simply to herself, she knew that her order would empower violent criminals over law-abiding, defenseless citizens. She doubled-down on the idiocy despite bipartisan backlash until stopped by the courts. There is massive evidence that public carry of firearms saves lives, and virtual certainty that a death would eventually result from her order, had it remained in effect. (It’s still possible a death might be attributed to her order during the few days it was in effect, though I think we would have heard about that already.) One death, caused by Grisham, is all that is needed to impose the death penalty. There is no need to show that she specifically intended that death, as reckless disregard for life, akin to common law depraved heart murder, will suffice under the Eighth Amendment (Tison v Arizona).
Before the TRO I didn’t see anyone (except me on Twitter) propose the death penalty, although a few news show guests did hint that she might be arrested and charged with something, never specifying what exactly. There is this article from the formerly great National Review entitled “Why Not Arrest Gov. Lujan Grisham?” but the article posed the question facetiously, as if there were no legal basis to arrest her and that it would be a mere tit for tat response in a banana republic. But this is not the National Review and i think Grisham’s conduct was a serious threat to this Republic, in need of serious response.
Obviously, there is a near-term practical impediment in that federal crimes are typically prosecuted by the federal DOJ and that is controlled by Democrats, at least until January 2025. But the great thing about capital crimes is there is no applicable statute of limitations. Whenever (if ever) Republicans get in, they can prosecute. Also, I believe there is concurrent jurisdiction for most of these crimes so state officials could also prosecute, and although the case would likely be removed to federal court, you can do a lot worse than the Tenth Circuit. So eventual prosecution and perhaps conviction would have been quite possible in the near-term as well as long-term.
There is some gray in showing intent and causation. (Did the victim actually die because of Grisham’s order? Was this type of homicide foreseeable? How foreseeable (i.e., was the conduct reckless, with conscious disregard for life)? But the case against Grisham would have a much firmer footing than any of the cases brought against Trump or the other recent victims of Leftist political prosecution.
Fortunately for everyone, Grisham backed down after she was restrained by court order. But the fascist Dems showed their true colors, the more tactically astute among them freaked, and some semblance of tenuous order was restored. We must be prepared to respond seriously and quickly and terribly if this happens again.
For what it’s worth, I’m a traditional Catholic. Death penalty should be rare, but it’s highly appropriate where civil order is threatened. The Catholic Church practically invented the concept of justifiable tyrannicide, which, by the way, formed the doctrinal basis for our Second Amendment.
Death to tyrants!