Help us stop the surge of gun violence in New Mexico

Your voice will help make the difference as to whether an Office of Gun Violence Prevention will or will not happen in New Mexico.

Gun violence in New Mexico is an urgent public health crisis that cries out for a comprehensive public health strategy. It fills our hospital beds, destroys our communities and traumatizes our residents. This past weekend in Albuquerque was a tragic reminder, with 5 people reported shot and killed as well as multiple people wounded including a juvenile.

We are asking Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to message legislation for an Office of Gun Violence Prevention during the 2022 session. (2022 is a budget session and therefore all legislation must be “messaged” by the Governor in order to be considered.) Please contact Governor Lujan Grisham at asking for her to support this life-saving legislation.

We are fortunate to have a Governor who cares deeply about this issue and has fought to pass gun violence prevention laws in New Mexico. If anyone can get this done to change the equation by establishing an Office of Gun Violence Prevention … it is our Governor.

Why an Office of Gun Violence Prevention?

The numbers are staggering. New Mexico has the fourth-highest rate of gun violence in the nation. On average, we lose 1 person every day and 2 children each month. Per capita, more women are murdered by men in our state than any other state, but one, 40% by firearm. It is estimated that gun violence costs our state 1.8 billion dollars a year. Every death, every injury, every emotional trauma translates into a profound contributor to the challenges we all dream of solving in our communities.

We need to address the Root Causes of Gun Violence

An Office would produce holistic solutions that analyze and actually solve the problems we face by employing both an equity and a public health lens. Such an office would serve as a clearing house that focuses on the intersection of gun violence with racism, domestic violence, mental health, housing insecurity, drug and alcohol issues as well as poverty. At the same time, an Office of Gun Violence Prevention would be instrumental in efficiently enforcing the laws that are already on the books.

Let’s fund gun violence prevention as we do DWI.

More than three times the number of people die from gun violence in New Mexico each year than from DWI related accidents (472 to 149 in 2020). Our state works together and spends over 20 million dollars yearly to reduce harm from DWIs. Yet, we continue to spend little to eradicate gun violence. An Office for Gun Violence Prevention will target the issue much further upstream to address the problems long before someone pulls the trigger.

Gun violence in New Mexico is a civil rights issue.

In New Mexico, Black, Indigenous, and people of Color are disproportionately impacted. Firearm death rates are highest among Blacks even though they make up only 3% of our population. Hispanics have the third highest death rate and American Indians the fourth highest.

Working together we can end gun violence. Make your voice heard. We can’t do this without you.

Kind regards,

Rev. Dr. Harry Eberts and Miranda Viscoli, Co-presidents of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence