I'm going with the former..
Pinal sheriff expects armed conflict with cartels soon
by Lindsey Collom - Feb. 2, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is anticipating an armed conflict between his deputies and cartel members within the next 30 to 60 days.
Babeu made that prediction last week as he addressed an Ahwatukee Foothills Republican women's club, and reiterated it Tuesday on the heels of a speech by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asserting that border communities are safer than ever.
• Babeu stepped into national spotlight in 2010
• Pinal supervisors, Babeu compromise to fight cartels
• Memo warned of drug cartels targeting rivals with assassins
• More stories on sheriff, campaign against smugglers
A gunbattle is all but certain, Babeu told The Arizona Republic, because his deputies and members of a regional SWAT team are now routinely working to stop smugglers from pushing cargo through Pinal.
"We have had enough," Babeu said. "That's why we're going into these areas and sending a very clear message to the cartels: We see you and we're not going to let you through."
An outspoken critic of U.S. immigration policy, Babeu said cartels have stepped up their tactics in Pinal County by reinforcing smuggling routes with armed guards to ward off potential bandits, in addition to stationing more lookouts on high points of the landscape. Some bandits are impersonating police, Babeu said, and he worries that smugglers won't know the difference.
"When we announce ourselves in Spanish, 'This is the sheriff, drop your weapons, this is an arrest,' I pray every time they will surrender," Babeu said. "In the event that any of them decide to point their weapons at our deputies . . . my directive is there had better be rounds going downrange to neutralize that threat."
Babeu for months has faulted Napolitano, accusing her of downplaying border-related violence and of being "divorced from reality."
Speaking at the University of Texas at El Paso, Napolitano said numbers show 30 percent less violent crime in border counties since the Southwest Border Initiative began in March 2009. Border apprehensions have decreased by 36 percent, she said, with increased manpower and technology as a deterrent.
"It is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control," Napolitano said.
"This statement, often made only to score political points, is just plain wrong."
But Babeu says apprehensions, drug seizures and immigration-related pursuits are on the rise in his county, about 70 miles north of the border.
Last year, the Sheriff's Office reported seizing 44,189 pounds of marijuana, initiating 335 vehicle pursuits and making 370 calls to Border Patrol for assistance with suspected illegal immigrants. In 2007, deputies seized 28,903 pounds of pot, had 142 pursuits, and called Border Patrol 188 times.
"The border is not more secure than before and this problem hasn't gone away," Babeu said.
U.S.-Mexico Border Violence Is Diminishing, Napolitano Says
By Jeff Bliss -
The U.S.-Mexico border is more secure than it has been in years, resulting in less violence and illegal immigration, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.
U.S. border communities are not “out of control or overrun with violence,” she said today in a speech at the University of Texas at El Paso. “Illegal immigration is decreasing. Deportations are increasing. Crime rates are dropping.”
The Obama administration has been stymied by congressional Republicans and some Democrats in its efforts to propose immigration legislation to allow temporary foreign workers. Opponents say the administration should do more to stop illegal immigration before Congress considers letting more people into the country to work.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 779,000 illegal immigrants from the U.S. in the past two years, more “than ever before,” Napolitano said. More than half of the 195,000 people deported last year were convicted criminals, a 70 percent increase from the Bush administration, she said.
Napolitano also defended a decision by the Department of Homeland Security on Jan. 14 to kill a Boeing Co. border security system using cameras, radar and other sensors. The program, which was known as Secure Border Initiative Net, “was consistently over budget, behind schedule and simply not delivering the return on investment,” she said.
Napolitano says border security critics trying to 'score political points'
By Jordy Yager - 01/31/11 02:43 PM ET
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a stern warning to Mexican drug cartels on Monday as she vowed to push Congress to revamp U.S. immigration laws.
Napolitano, speaking at the University of Texas at El Paso, said the southern U.S. border has never been more secure than in recent years and public officials who argue otherwise do so to “score political points.”
Assessing the number of seizures of illegal drugs, weapons and cash as well as the increasing number of deported criminals who had been in the United States illegally, Napolitano said critics of that border's security were wrong.
“It is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control,” Napolitano said in prepared remarks. “This statement — often made only to score political points — is just plain wrong.”
“Not only does it ignore all of the statistical evidence, it also belittles the significant progress that effective law enforcement has made to protect this border and the people who live alongside it.”
Napolitano issued a warning to Mexican drug cartels and people planning to cross the border illegally. Over the past two fiscal years, she said, local and federal law enforcement have seized $282 million in illegal currency, a 35 percent increase; 7 million pounds in illegal drugs, a 16 percent increase; and 6,800 illegal weapons, a 28 percent increase.
“Today I say to the cartels: Don’t even think about bringing your violence and tactics across this border,” she said. “You will be met by an overwhelming response. And we’re going to continue to work with our partners in Mexico to dismantle and defeat you.
“And that message extends to anyone considering coming across that border illegally, whether a smuggler, a human trafficker, or an unlawful immigrant seeking work,” she went on. “There are more Border Patrol agents on that border than ever before. There are more customs officials. There is more technology. Do not throw in your lot with the cartels or the criminal organizations, because the likelihood of getting caught and the consequences of doing so are higher than ever before.”
More than 30,000 people have been killed in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon launched the country's war against the cartels in 2006. And though nearly half were killed in 2010, a report by the FBI last year showed that the border-region cities of Phoenix, San Diego and El Paso, Texas, all have some of the lowest rates of violent crime compared to other cities throughout the United States. The numbers suggest that spillover violence is not as common as some believe, said Napolitano.
Napolitano also said she is committed to working with Congress in crafting reforms to immigration law. Many critics of the White House’s push for reform say more should be done to address border security before lawmakers look to revamp how immigrants can work in the country legally.
“President Obama is firm in his commitment to advancing comprehensive immigration reform, and I’m personally looking forward to working with Congress to move the ball forward,” Napolitano said.
Napolitano said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported a record number of illegal immigrants over the past two fiscal years: more than 779,000.
“But most importantly, more than half of those we removed last year – upwards of 195,000 – were convicted criminals, the most ever removed from our country in a single year,” she said. “That's a more than 70 percent increase in removal of criminal immigrants from the previous administration.”
Last year, President Obama signed a $600 million supplemental request that added 1,000 new Border Patrol agents, 250 new ICE agents, two new forward operating bases along the border, and unmanned aircraft systems.
Obama also deployed 1,200 National Guard troops last year to aid area law enforcement agencies. Those local agencies have received an additional $123 million in federal money over the past two years to help reimburse increased costs, such as overtime hours.
“Taken as a whole, the additional manpower, technology and resources represent the most serious and sustained action to secure our border in our nation’s history,” Napolitano said. “And it is clear from every key measure that this approach is working.”
Save a Mexican drug lord: Surrender your guns
Wednesday Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Obama administration will seek to reinstitute the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004 during the Bush administration.
TO GUN-OWNING OBAMA VOTERS
To all the gun-owning voters who sent me irate e-mails during the election saying that I was lying and that Obama wasn’t really going to take their guns … I told you so:
“As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," -- Attorney General Eric Holder, Feb. 25, 2009.
WILL THE REAL OBAMA PLEASE STAND UP?
Just a “few gun related changes,” mind you; it's just a little gun ban. And of course, this is what Obama “indicated” during the campaign. But gee, is that what Obama said? Funny, that’s not what I remember:
BUT THEY DON’T WANT MY GUN
Those of you hoodwinked into voting for this liar are now rationalizing: “The ‘assault weapon’ ban wasn’t that big a deal. I still got everything I needed. After all, they aren’t after my hunting rifle.”
Wrong again, Bubba. Mark my words: This ban on semi-automatic firearms will mirror HR 1022 from the last Congress and will cleverly – but not overtly – ban virtually every semi-automatic rifle in your collection.
Far more expansive than the misnamed 1994 “Recreational Firearms Protection Act,” we will likely face legislation which would:
* Include all guns banned in 1994, whether by name or by features (e.g. pistol grips, bayonet mounts, detachable magazines, etc.);
* Ban even guns modified to comply with the requirements, as manufacturers did in 1994;
* Ban guns specifically exempted in 1994, such as the Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30, M-1 carbine, etc.;
* Ban all semi-automatic shotguns;
* Ban all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines (think Ruger 10/22);
* Allow the Attorney General to ban any firearm deemed not “sporting” regardless of use in sporting activities;
* Ban 65 types of firearms by name (the ’94 ban covered only 19);
* Ban handguns which accept magazines of greater than 10-rounds capacity; and
* Ban importation or sale of full capacity magazines, also covering frames, receivers, and parts used to repair or refurbish firearms.
Oh, yes: Did I forget to mention that, unlike the ’94 ban, which had a ten year “sunset,” this one would be permanent?
DO IT FOR THE MEXICANS
At this point, Obama/Holder aren’t even bothering with the usual “do it for the children” tripe; in this case, it’s “do it for the Mexicans”:
"I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum." Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S. – ABC News.
Well, that explains it all: The Bureau of Justice Statistics report “Firearm Use by Offenders” found that fewer than 1.7% of armed offenders used military-style semi-automatic offenders in commission of crimes – meaning no domestic rationale can be found for banning them – so instead, Obama/Holder wants them banned to save Mexican drug smugglers from killing each other. (Never forget that Jeff Cooper, inventor of modern pistolcraft, once referred to this as “the good riddance factor.”)
And, of course, let us not forget that it is the United States government which refuses to seal the border, making drug and gun smuggling possible.
THE USUAL SUBTERFUGE
As always, the gun ban movement sticks to the original script written by Violence Policy Center director Josh Sugarmann schemed in a 1988 internal memo:
“The semi-automatic weapon’s menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons - anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun - can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”
The truth is that even in Mexico, violence is not being perpetrated not only by semi-automatic “assault weapons” but also by real military weapons:
"Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades," the warning said. – U.S. State Department travel warning, Feb. 20, 2009.
BIG LIE THEORY APPLIED AGAIN (and again…)
So Barack Obama says he doesn’t want your guns, then he appoints arguably the most anti-gun Attorney General in history, who tells you that Obama does want to ban your guns … well, not necessarily your guns: You might get to keep the ones you already have … if you register them for future confiscation.
If you’re tired of the weasel speak, you can identify all federal officials who represent you and contact them by going to: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/
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