Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Danger stalks the line: Arizonans are living and dying under the gun

Imagine if, on a regular basis, you had drug runners with machine guns trespassing into your backyard from a foreign country and looking at you as if you're the one with the problem. This is not a fictional scenario. It has happened to several of my friends in Arizona who own ranches near the U.S.-Mexico border and have had the bad luck to be stationed at crossing points for drug runners coming into the United States. Ranchers and others in Arizona deal with these dangerous situations on a regular basis, and when the Border Patrol is called in, the suspects often have disappeared. There's an even worse situation to consider. One friend of mine who has a ranch on the Arizona-Mexico border was awakened late one night by his dog barking. When he went to the window, he saw several men in military helmets and full body armor marching across his land, just a few feet from his house. That was strange enough, but when he heard them speak, a chill ran through him. My friend served with the U.S. Army in the Middle East and clearly recognized that the men were speaking Arabic. Because of his ranch's location near the border, it was logical to assume that they were crossing from Mexico. He shuddered when he thought of where they might be heading and what they might be planning. Once again, when the Border Patrol arrived, the men were long gone, and they were never found...more

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