A school shooting on Friday at Washington Middle School in Albuquerque took the life of 13-year-old Bennie Hargrove by another student, Juan Saucedo. According to reports, Hargrove told Saucedo to stop bullying another boy, which may have led to Saucedo taking out his anger with violence.
The horrific shooting of Hargrove, despite New Mexicans from across political lines mourning his death, has sparked an opportunity for Democrats to use the shooting for political purposes.
State Sen. Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez (D-Bernalillo) sponsored an extreme anti-gun bill, S.B. 224, during the 2021 Legislative Session that would have criminalized parents for teaching their children how to shoot and brought misdemeanor charges for not locking up all guns in the house.
The extreme bill was met with backlash from across the country. The New Mexico Shooting Sports Association said of the bill that it was “entirely unenforceable, unless police will go door-to-door inspecting firearm storage in your home, it is impossible to know who is and who isn’t complying with the law. The bill [is] entirely unnecessary, it is already a crime to place a child in a situation that endangers their life. This bill only seeks to demonize firearm ownership and scare people away from choosing to protect their family with a gun.”
But the gaping holes in her anti-gun bill, which was not passed into law in 2021, did not deter Sedillo-Lopez from using the tragedy at Washington Middle School to her advantage.
She told KOB 4 in a television interview, “Right now the parent has no legal consequence for allowing that gun to be available to the 13-year-old, my wish is the parent would have understood that by law the firearm should have been secured, and it wouldn’t have happened at all.”
“That child [Saucedo] needed help and so a combination of gun safety legislation and more importantly behavioral health could have prevented this,” Sedillo-Lopez said, adding regarding the next legislative session, “Maybe the Governor would consider putting on her call. I don’t know that this was on her radar. Hopefully, this [shooting] will get it (S.B. 224) on the radar and so we can see some action.”
But the Albuquerque-area legislator did not mention that there is no evidence available right now regarding how Saucedo obtained the weapon he used to kill Hargrove. Her conclusion came so taht she could apparently politicize the tragedy. KOB reported that there are “talks” of reintroducing the bill as “Bennie’s Law,” using the slain child’s name as a vehicle to ram through the extreme anti-gun legislation.