There I was driving along a country road, near a very small town here in southern Arizona realizing, when the realization hit me that I had probably just made a wrong turn. Not so much that I was lost or anything, just that I was out on my day off and thought I would head in the other direction than that in which I had been traveling to see what was in that direction. So when I spotted a sign for a historical marker ahead I figured I'd pull over and get my bearings. As I approached I could not help but notice a white pickup truck parked therein with hood up and a Border Patrol Agent looking into the engine compartment. Another white pick up was just pulling up next to the first one. As I pulled into the cut out for the historical marker I saw the second BPA get out of his vehicle and greet the first. It was OBVIOUS that he was there to help check up on the other guy, and both started looking under the hood of the first pick up. They were at the near end as I pulled in, and I drove to the center next to the historical marker, maybe 20 or 25 yards from them and stopped to read the little bit of history written there. I then pulled to the far end of the small parking area, maybe 50 yards long, and took a look at my GPS to help me decide which way I wanted to go. I was thinking of heading to Sierra Vista but as it turned out I went to Parker Canyon Lake but like today while on the road I am straying again so allow me to get back to my point.
My point is that as I drove passed the two Border Patrol Agents it was obvious that neither was holding a long arm. Not the first guy who had been under the hood, nor the second guy who drove up to help him. Yet when I pulled to the far end of the parking area to check my GPS and looked back at them it was obvious that the second guy was holding a rifle and had it pointed in my direction as he looked over my vehicle. No it was not mounted on his shoulder ready to fire, but was slung in front of him and pointed in my general direction as he gawked at my car. A couple of things were immediately apparent: He had gotten the rifle out of his vehicle once I pulled over to the historical marker, and more importantly that he probably is/was paranoid. The truth be told, a lot of things have changed since I was in the Border Patrol and the current state of affairs what with Washington basically allowing an invasion of our nation to take place is not one of the bigger changes - yes it was virtually the same when I was in 25 plus years ago. Sure it is worse today, but the invasion began before even I was in the Patrol and the politicians have allowed it. Things that have changed are: the number of armed alien and drug smugglers, the increase in disrespect for the law, and the worsening conditions in Mexico with regard to drug czars in essence running the border of that country.
Does any of that justify this knucklehead grabbing a rifle out of his truck simply because I pulled into the same parking area, on a public highway, as he and his fellow agent were using. I think not, I know that back in the day I certainly would never have grabbed a rifle in similar circumstances, nor would I do so even now on my current job. I made no suspicious or threatening moves, I did not exhibit sort of behavior that should have heated this guy up, I had my windows open and could easily be observed (it was a wonderful 68 degrees at the time), I stopped to look at the historical marker as might anyone else who was passing buy, I had Arizona plates on the vehicle I was driving, I was just another guy. Yet for some reason, in some way, it seemed appropriate to this agent to retrieve his rifle and then point it in my direction. Fuck that shit! This is a different Border Patrol than the one I knew. With a mindset like that among some of the BPAs I would not work for the Border Patrol today even if you tripled my salary - and my salary is quite a bit more than even that of a supervisory Border Patrol Agent.
Don't get me wrong, I feel their pain. I can understand their being on edge all of the time. I know that we need to get tough on people and drugs illegally crossing our borders. Hell if you read any of my stuff on illegal aliens you know I am pro enforcement of our sovereignty and I support the U.S. Border Patrol 100%. Yet there was no need for such a display of force today although I can understand the underlying anxiety (or even the paranoia) that triggered it; and I know the agents are not at fault for creating that monster. We truly need to keep the pressure on the politicos in DC to get something done to correct the situation to secure our Borders and to keep our nation and our citizens (including Border patrol Agents) safe because as things are now life for an LEO on the border sucks. That my friends is my short commentary (based upon my personal opinion) on the conditions of LE at our borders.
All the best,