Americans celebrate movies about “rogue cops” and vigilantes who, fed up with an incompetent and “broken” system, take the law into their own hands and dispatch sweet justice that the bad guy so richly deserves. Unspoken in these movies is the superpower that all these so-called “heroes” possess: the mystical power of certainty.
This mystical superpower, which doesn’t exist in the real world no matter how much conservatives wish it did, is what allows the “good guy” to know he’s threatening an actual “bad guy” and not a bat conservationist.
According to authorities, a group of heavily armed border militia vigilante members — individuals “fed up” with the “broken system” — mistook a group of conservationists researching bats for illegal immigrants or smugglers.
The incident happened on August 23, in the Gardner Canyon area near Sonoita. A small group of conservationists were out in the middle of the night when they were confronted by the armed thugs on the border. And while nobody was hurt, the incident has law enforcement taking notice.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said that the militiamen were on ATVs, carrying weapons and wearing camouflage. Estrada said that the armed, camouflaged thugs “put the spotlight” on the conservationist, since “they mistook them for smugglers or illegal entrants.”
The conservationists filed a report with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department. The armed thugs were apparently from Colorado, and the incident happened near Sonoita, Arizona, where people camp, hike, and hunt.
One of the militiamen apologized to the group of conservationists, but according to Estrada, they “weren’t very receptive” to it:
Of course, they weren’t very receptive about the apology. They actually told them that’s something you should not be doing. There’s danger out there.There’s other groups of people in campsites.
According to Estrada, Santa Cruz County does not welcome the border thugs. He told Tuscon News Now that they were “completely out of their environment” and that they “really don’t know the area” or “the terrain.” He added that they “have little knowledge of the dynamics of the border” and that “we really don’t want them here.” He went on to say that:
It can be a problem for them. It can be a problem for the people, just like in this particular case. Things could have gone terribly wrong. They really don’t accomplish anything. They really don’t. With about 1,000 Border Patrol Agents here in Santa Cruz County, a little group of any militiamen are not going to make any difference at all. As a matter of fact, they’re going to get in the way and they could get hurt. Or they could hurt somebody else.
The militiamen called the Border Patrol agents, who traveled across the area from the border to encounter a group of people study bats. I’m sure that was a real productive use of resources.
In response to a request by Tuscon News Now, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a written statement regarding the incident:
“On August 23, at approximately 10 p.m., Tucson Sector agents received a phone call from a member of a militia group reporting suspicious activity in the area of Sonoita, Arizona. Sonoita station agents responded and encountered a small group of biologists studying bats.
CBP does not endorse or support any private group or organization to take border security matters into their own hands as it could have disastrous personal and public safety consequences. CBP strongly encourages concerned citizens to call the U.S. Border Patrol and/or local law enforcement authorities if they witness or suspect illegal activity.
Securing our nation’s borders can be dangerous. Interdicting narcotics and deterring and apprehending individuals illegally entering the United States requires highly trained, law enforcement personnel. In all cases, individuals should not attempt to detain, provide transportation or any other assistance to migrants that may be viewed as furtherance of illegal entry. Detaining or assisting an undocumented migrant could result in prosecution.”
TPM reports that this, predictably, is just the latest in a long line of issues that the militia thugs on the border have caused law enforcement:
Late last month, a border patrol agent gave chase to several suspects before firing several rounds toward an armed militia member who was in the vicinity holding either a shotgun or a rifle. The militia member immediately dropped his weapon. And one militia group created a website calling on individuals to help “shut down all ports of entry” by stopping “approximately 1.4 billions dollars of trade per day, from going into, and out of, Mexico and The United States of America” as a way to “force the elected officials… to come up with a permanent and legitimate solution for dealing with the illegal immigration issue” on September 20th.
Sheriff Estrada said that anyone who is confronted by the border militiamen should call the local authorities and report it.