There is currently an immigration problem on our southern border. Despite claims that it is a priority, Congress has done nothing to help stem the flow of immigrants fleeing northward from Latin America, many of them unaccompanied children. President Obama has likewise done nothing, though he may be right in claiming that his hands are tied by the inactivity of the legislative branch. Regardless, it can definitively be said, something must be done. However, what we certainly do not need is this:
The Express News and The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, both reported on a YouTube video featuring Chris Davis, who has been identified as the commander of the militia, in which he apparently explained how the border would be secured.
“You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between his eyes, and you say, ‘Get back across the border or you will be shot,'” Davis said in the video, according to the reports.
These people are not patriots. They are vigilantes, attempting to take matters into their own hands, illegally, and against the wishes of their country:
Law enforcement, for their part, don’t seem interested in the help that the militia purports to provide.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection told the Express News it does not “endorse or support any private group or organization from taking matters into their own hands as it could have disastrous personal and public safety consequences.”
“We don’t need their services on our border,” a Texas county sheriff told the Monitor.
But, these so-called “patriot” groups are undeterred. Again, it must be stated that their intended actions are illegal. Even the broadest definition of “Stand Your Ground” (which is already a deeply flawed law) surely cannot be used to justify the massacre of children. The frustration with the lack of action on curbing immigration is understandable, at least for believers of the spurious claims by right-wing pundits that all immigrants are criminals, or that they are coming for American jobs, or to suckle on the teat of the American entitlement system that would provide them with education, health care, and food stamps (things people on the right are reluctant to provide even to needy citizens). But, even if any of this were true, it does not justify an unregulated militia arming themselves and threatening to execute anyone who disobeys their commands to leave the country. [It must also be noted that it is a bit ridiculous to think that children who do not speak English would somehow understand instructions in English, though I do suppose a gun pointed between their eyes could help overcome the language-comprehension gap.]
This “might makes right” mentality is unfortunately common, and leads to incidents like the above-mentioned stand-off at the Bundy Ranch, where an armed mass threatened government officials while standing up for a man who was blatantly breaking federal law. Luckily, this incident somehow miraculously ended with no casualties. But, in an incident like the Trayvon Martin killing, where an armed vigilante took it upon himself (against the instructions of police) to defend his neighborhood from the terror of a black teenager with snacks, things did not end without innocent bloodshed.
This blood lust, where people are willing to disobey the requests of law enforcement personnel to take things into their own hands, empowered by guns and the prospect of using them to kill innocent people, is dangerous and is a recipe for tragedy. Remember that there are already 20,000 Border Control Agents on the job and that many of these immigrants are children fleeing crime and poverty. These children want nothing more than to live somewhere free from the threats of death and hunger. And, these militias think that showing them the business end of a gun is the proper way to greet them. Have we no compassion at all?
So, should we just let in all the immigrants come stay in America? I honestly do not know. But, I think that would be much preferred to slaughtering those that manage to make it across the border. There must be an answer, but like usual, guys with guns are not it.