Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Lobo The Independent Voice of UNM since 1895
Latest Issue
Read our print edition on Issuu
The night at Lobo V.jpg

Police gather outside of Lobo Village on Wednesday, Sept. 13 following the shooting that resulted in the death of an 11-year-old boy. 

EDITORIAL: A dystopian, all-American occurrence

Wednesday night, Froylan Villegas, an 11-year-old boy, died near campus outside of an Isotopes game — a dystopian, all-American occurrence.

I came back to Lobo Village, confronted by cop cars and a handful of “Are you safe?” texts from my roommates. Avenida Ceaser Chavez Rd. and University Blvd. are closed. Just before, student housing was put under lockdown by speakers blaring orders outside, my roomates said.

Yet the dinner is cooked, the music is played and my Wednesday evening continues. How disgustingly dystopian, I guess.

A year ago, the Daily Lobo covered the death of a University of New Mexico student who was shot outside the dorm halls on campus. I thought you only dealt with a tragedy like this, once, twice or thrice tops.

A week or so ago, I got photos of the Daily Tar’s front page after the tragic shooting at the University of North Carolina sent to me. How would the Daily Lobo cover death on our own doorsteps?

Tragedy has become shockingly mundane. The music played so loud, you didn’t even hear the gunshots – a whisper of “You remember the number of shots fired last summer?” So you might not have thought anything of it anyway, until the orders from the sky command you to get off the streets and take shelter. The parking lots were oddly full Wednesday night.

Now, another story on the horrors of gun violence and its impact at a University – maybe this will finally spark action. I listened to my roommates relay their nights and where they were. Everyone lingers a little longer together. Maybe we are still scared of the dark – too tired to sleep.

The Governor placed a 30-day ban on the transport of guns – a public health order. I have to say, I respect her guts. A quick, decisive action was given in response, but I wonder about the effectiveness. The police are responsible for enforcing and guns are still strapped to their belts.

Violators could face civil penalties and a fine of $5,000 – a deterrent method, certainly, for those who can’t afford the $5,000. Who will the police choose to question? The Bernalillo County Sheriff says they are wary of it altogether. The order increases overtime funding for state police in Albuquerque.

The statement the Governor made with the order is strong and clear against gun violence. However, deterrent methods only go so far. This only lasts 30 days. This needs to be followed up by a comprehensive long-term plan of action.

What that should be poses a complicated question. New Mexico’s political climate has long held a libertarian undercurrent. A long-term plan of action would have to be cognizant of this in order for it to be effective. The wide-sweeping public health order certainly conflicts with this.

Guns, ultimately, aren’t going anywhere. Leaving them exclusively in the hands of the police and security causes concern for me with the long history of police brutality, and the Albuquerque Police Department is one of the most lethal in the nation.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Get content from The Daily Lobo delivered to your inbox

The community is grieving. People have died – a child died. A ban on guns seems like the logical solution. Guns are the issue. But what the community needs is support.

In order to increase public safety, the state needs to have initiatives that are centered in humanity. Support should consist of increased funding for education, more accessibility to mental health resources, gun safety training, affordable housing and support for those unhoused.

A response centered on deterrence that angers many isn’t the solution. In order to solve this issue, there needs to be a focus on the collective. The Gov. made a statement that shows she wants to take action; now she needs to act in a way that has the support of the community behind her and addresses the systemic issues that lead to gun violence.

Who are the protectors we’ll choose to remain armed, and who will they choose to target? Who has already died? The grief shakes you awake – confused because you don’t know who, when, where, what, why, how, you just hear the echo of the shots made. The echoes that made you lose sleep.

A child is dead. Almost a thousand university students heard.

Maddie Pukite is the editor-in-chief at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at on Twitter @maddogpukite

Maddie Pukite

Maddie Pukite is the 2023-2024 editor of the Daily Lobo. 

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Lobo