Mayor Berry on president's gun control measures

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry
From - Gun control is a very heated topic as a result of several fatal shootings recently - the one in Albuquerque's South Valley is just another example.President Barack Obama laid out his measures last week on gun control.The measures  included bans on both military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He also wants improved background checks.
But some states are already fighting back. Lawmakers in Texas, Missouri, and Wyoming have filed bills that would make any type of a weapons ban illegal in their states.A similar proposal is already in the works in New Mexico. A Republican lawmaker in Roswell proposed the bill.
The measure, if passed, would outlaw the enforcement of federal firearm laws in the state. And anyone who caught enforcing them, including federal officers, would face a third degree felony. Hundreds of mayors have formed a group fighting for more gun control.
A handful of New Mexico mayors have jumped on board. The group calls themselves 'Mayors against illegal guns' and includes five New Mexico mayors from Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Tijeras, Grants and Santa Rosa.
The group is calling for criminal background checks for all gun sales. They also want a national ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines.
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry is not on board. KOB Eyewitness News 4 spoke wiht him Sunday to see where he stands on gun control and what he thinks of the president's measures. "There are some things in the particular organization that I can agree with particularly the need for federal prosecution of gun crimes, we can do a lot better than we're doing in the country, along those regards and of course additional resources for mental illness," Berry said. Read more

In His Own Words

Commentary by Paul Greenberg -Every year he grows more ceremonial, distant, symbolic, less alive. It is the fate of heroes. Their pictures are relegated to banners, their words become clich├ęs, their very names become streets and boulevards instead of a living presence. Icons. Washington, Lincoln, Lee, Martin Luther King. . . . Our familiarity with them may not breed contempt exactly, but a kind of boredom, and indifference. Haven't we heard it all before?
Maybe, but have we listened before? How long has it been since we've really heard his words and felt their force? And their continuing, insistent relevance. Instead our heroes become fit subjects for dry-as-dust doctoral dissertations and the endless re-evaluations called historical revisionism.
Listen to what he said in the midst of his first confrontation with the already crumbling power of Jim Crow. How easily he could have cast out these demons and proclaimed the moral superiority of Us over Them. But he knew better, and he tried to get those he led to understand better, too:
"A boycott is just a means to an end. A boycott is merely a means to say, 'I don't like it.' It is merely a means to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor but the end is reconciliation. The end is the creation of a beloved community . . . the creation of a society where men will live together as brothers . . . not retaliation but redemption. That is the end we are trying to reach."
His cause wasn't just a boycott. It wasn't just a political or economic or social struggle. The powers and principalities involved were of a different order, and so would be the victory.
In July of 1956, Martin Luther King would carry the same message to the American Baptist Assembly, but with a twist. The church, he proclaimed, "is the Body of Christ. So when the church is true to its nature it knows neither division nor disunity. But I am disturbed by what you are doing to the Body of Christ."
Martin Luther King went on to contrast segregation not with integration, but with redemption. If racial segregation, he said, "is a blatant denial of the unity which we all have in Jesus Christ," then reconciliation will be the proof that "in Christ there is neither Jew nor gentile, Negro nor white, and that out of one blood God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth."
Then there were the others -- the young and impatient, the proud and angry, the ideological and sophisticated. They tended to snicker at this nice preacher innocent of their dialectic, and called him De Lawd behind his back. What could he know of the world who preached nothing but love?
But whatever Martin Luther King was, he was anything but naive. If he was gentle as the dove, he was also cunning as the serpent. Indeed, he would prove far more cunning than those who thought themselves worldly wise. If by now we have forgotten the hope he preached, if his words sound strange and new when we hear them again, maybe that's because we weren't listening the first time.
Martin Luther King's time, it turns out, is all times. That is the great advantage of a biblical point of view; it does not age. That is why his words can still take us to a whole other dimension. They are words as old as the Prophets, as urgent as today.Read full column

The Speech President Obama Should Give

Commentary by Linda Chavez -President Obama's second inaugural address will be full of lofty sentiments and promises to move us forward. But I'd like to suggest that instead of eloquent and uplifting rhetoric, the president do something unexpected and brave. What if he actually spoke frankly to the American people about the sacrifices that are needed from all of us if we are to secure our future and salvage our character?
The truth is, we've become an entitlement nation. President John F. Kennedy challenged Americans, "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country." But lately it seems many of us care more about the former than the latter. Seniors feel entitled to automatic increases in their Social Security checks, even if their actual cost of living goes up less than the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners, which is what adjustments are made on now. They want better drug coverage and limitless access to doctors, even if it's for the sniffles or minor aches and pains. And virtually all seniors think they've already paid for these entitlements through their payroll and Medicare taxes, even though the average retiree today will receive $72,000 more in benefits than he contributed into the system.
The middle class wants small class sizes for their school-age children, paid for the Uncle Sam or their local government -- even though research shows little to no direct relationship between educational achievement and smaller class size. Instead of saving for kids go to college, many families now depend on government loans at low interest rates.
And more and more Americans now qualify for programs that once existed to help the poor or disabled, including food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Medicaid. In some states, food stamp recipients include families whose incomes are over 200 percent of poverty. More alarmingly, a recent Senate study of those on SSDI, found that 25 percent of the supposedly disabled had conflicting, absent or contradictory evidence of their disability. Drug abuse and alcoholism that interfere with the ability to work make many people eligible for SSI, SSDI and food stamps.
President Obama could choose to talk about what to do about these problems.Admittedly, challenging all Americans to think about what sacrifices they can make for their country's future would be an about face for this president. But if he had the courage, he'd go down in history for speaking the truth instead of telling people what they want to hear. It's called leadership.Read full column