Don’t Bring A Rock To A Gunfight

by John Hawkins | October 15, 2012 2:09 am


There is something worse than bringing a knife to a gunfight. That would be: bringing a rock to a gunfight[2].

The fatal shooting of a teenager suspected of throwing rocks at U.S. Border Patrol agents has prompted strong condemnations from Mexican officials and human rights groups amid a sharp increase in agent-involved killings along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The suspected smuggler was shot Wednesday night by agents after they ordered a group of youths near downtown Nogales, Mexico, to stop throwing rocks, according to U.S. officials. Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, died at the scene from several bullet wounds, according to Mexican authorities in the state of Sonora, which sits across the border from Arizona.

…Under agency guidelines, repelling rock attacks with bullets can be regarded as a justifiable use of force in part because rocks have inflicted serious injuries on agents. But critics have grown increasingly vocal at the frequency of such incidents and what they call a lack of transparency in follow-up investigations. Wednesday’s confrontation was the third incident since September; at least 15 civilians have died in agent-involved confrontations since 2010.

“The disproportionate use of lethal force in the exercise of immigration control functions is unacceptable under any circumstances,” the Mexican Ministry of Exterior Relations said in a statement. “These kinds of acts, especially because they are recurring, have been rejected by Mexican society and all of the country’s political powers.”

…Agents in such cases are rarely prosecuted. Investigations typically conclude that they acted in self-defense. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that the agency’s “law enforcement personnel are trained to use deadly force in circumstances that pose a threat to their lives, the lives of their fellow law enforcement partners and innocent third parties.”

While an unnecessary loss of life is always sad and this incident should certainly be fully investigated, let’s not minimize what happened: People on the Mexican side of the border tried to injure and/or kill American border patrol agents. The Mexican government encourages Mexicans to nurse grievances against the United States. The Mexican military does nothing of significance to prevent illegals from crossing over or to stop these attacks.

Furthermore, these are not isolated incidents; they’re regular occurrences – which is scandalous. We should have OUR GOVERNMENT demanding arrests and asking Mexico what it’s doing to keep its citizens from attacking American border patrol agents. Since that’s not happening and Mexico is indifferent to whether Americans are hurt or killed by its citizens, these border patrol agents can and should defend themselves. They don’t have any obligation to have their heads smashed in with rocks just because they have guns and the violent imbeciles who are attacking them are using rocks. Here’s an idea: keep your feet and rocks on the Mexican side of the border unless you’re allowed to come across legally and you won’t have any problems.

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