Militia Threatens to Block Traffic at International Bridges

Don’t look now, it’s yet another one of those “Of course you have the right to assemble peaceably and to freedom of speech, BUT…” stories.

Officials received word that members of a militia plan to protest illegal crossings by blocking traffic on Sept. 20.

Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal said members of the group have a right to express their opinion. His [sic] is concerned about the group’s intent, though.

“What can we expect? I don’t know. The unknown becomes an issue that we really got to prepare for,” Villarreal said.

“I’m a 100 percent sure that with the National Guard, with DPS, with Border Patrol and local law enforcement, we’ll communicate and we’ll handle whatever comes,” he said.

“The level of communication that exists doesn’t get talked about enough. It’s an extraordinary amount of communication,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal said he is worried about safety.

“If they’re here to block traffic, to be a hindrance between traffic and the port of entry, that causes a problem. It’s a huge safety issue,” Villarreal said.

Wait, which one is it again? You’re saying we should be worried even though you’re a 100 percent sure you can handle whatever comes?

Villarreal said blocking international traffic could impact the local economy.

“A port of entry is not just a port of entry for people; it’s also a port of entry for commerce. There are hundreds of millions of dollars that transact at the ports of entry. If their intent is to cause a disruption at a port of entry, it’s not only a matter of people, it’s a matter of commerce as well,” he said.

That’s good to know, it clarifies your role here. You’re a 100 percent sure you can handle whatever comes…so, there’s no reason for us to worry. Or is there?

Villarreal said he is concerned about possible violence.

“I know that the state of Texas provides for them to be able to display their firearms,” he said.

“I’m not going to lie to you; it’s going to make us nervous. We’re not used to seeing firearms being openly displayed,” he said.

Ah, now I think I see the problem. We have here what amounts to a report of violence that has not yet taken place, and it’s being delivered by one among the “guns make me nervous” crowd. I have to eye with suspicion this thing about “We’re not used to seeing”; he took a poll? It’s a Mayor’s job to represent others, but somehow I doubt he’s bringing his full professional acumen to this.

Does anyone in the Mayor’s office put in any weekend time at the gun range? If so, Hizzoner might be surprised at how many are used to seeing firearms openly displayed. If not, maybe they should start. From what I’m reading here, the problem is all tied up in reactions to upcoming events, and not in the events themselves.

Hey that gives me a great idea. The blockade, in & of itself, is a reaction to something else isn’t it? “Illegal crossings”? How about — the authorities start enforcing the law, the way they’re supposed to, and then that would defeat the whole purpose of the “militia” taking any action at all. I’m sure the citizens who make up the militia have other things to do with their time, and would appreciate not having to step in and do someone else’s job. I know I would.

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