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The Guard Tower.

A rifle shot rings out across the desert, a voice yells “Rider coming in!”. The location – somewhere in the Arizona Territory, the time – sometime in the 1870s. Pedro, as vigilant as ever in the guard tower, warns the occupants of The High Chaparral of a possible threat to their safety.

This was a work of 1960s television fiction, of course. The tale of a rancher who, in this lawless west, takes a stand against any and all who would destroy his vision of the future. Having lost his first wife to an Apache arrow shortly after moving to their new home, he steels himself for the task ahead when many would give up.

With Apache raids from the north and Mexican cattle rustlers from the south, vigilance is the keyword in the survival of his family and loyal ranch hands. As a side note, I always felt sorry for Pedro. Maybe he was unlucky in drawing straws for guard tower duty.

Fast forward about 140 years to modern day Arizona. No longer a ‘territory’ but a fully-fledged state, with laws and agencies in place to protect the citizens against incursion by hostile forces. There is only one problem…

Big John Cannon would have welcomed the creation of the Border Patrol. So would Pedro, not having to spend so many hours up in that tower under the blazing sun. I don’t think they would be so impressed by a federal government that takes the teeth away from an agency designed to protect them. Or the fact that those gunless wonders in Washington are willing to sue their elected state officials for attempting to help them.

What goes around, comes around. Well, it sure does in the case of Arizona. From lawless, dangerous, hostile territory to safe, civilized, law-enforced state… and back again.

It’s a sad and deeply tragic state of affairs. The world’s only superpower, in the guise of the Obama administration, can not defend (or is not willing to defend) its own people against the constant threat from across the border. This is a threat far more dangerous than has been seen at any time in history. In the 1870s it was small groups of bandidos, armed with revolvers that were pretty inaccurate even at point-blank range. In 2011, they are heavily armed with automatic weapons… and they are highly organized.

In a recent news report, it was revealed that the Mexican drug cartels obtained weapons due to a botched operation by ATF, whereby they knowingly supplied firearms to drug smugglers in an attempt to trace them back to source. That really inspires confidence.

Inability, incompetence, unwillingness… Is it surprising that with these all too familiar hallmarks of federal authorities that people, like Richard Humphries, are forced to take drastic measures to protect themselves? Mr Humphries, a rancher, has built a watchtower on his 75 acre ranch in an attempt to monitor the movements of illegals.

Perhaps it’s time for the president and his administration to watch more ‘High Chaparral’ and less ‘West Wing’, in order to understand the real America.

(Editor Dee is in for Skip today)

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