Monday, August 3, 2020

Trump Haters Hate Those Pesky Things Called Facts

I'm sure this will come as no surprise to you Republican voters and Trump supporters (I am a Libertarian, so I cannot therefore being accused of being a Trump supporter per se, although, I do prefer him as President over old Creepy Joe), but as you can see in the comment thread below, left-leaning, anti-Trump liberals care not about those pesky things called facts. They seem only to care about bashing Trump, regardless of the facts and to hell with you if you do not agree completely with their opinions. Not only that but they also seem to enjoy name calling. Not sure why?

When I simply attempted to remind them about how government works, I was quickly accused of "spinning" the facts. I'm not sure how the fact of how bills are passed by the legislature can be spun but anyway...

The headline in the article that was posted bashes Trump for heading out to one of his golf courses despite the failure of Congress to pass the most recent stimulus spending bill. As you can see, I merely commented that it falls on Congress and the Senate to pass bills, not the President, but ooooohhhh they just wouldn't have it with those darn facts...

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

This Sightmark Red Dot Is Trash So I Threw It Where It Belongs, In The Trash

Admittedly, I had been advised by friends, and read a few negative reviews, that the Sight Mark Red Dot Ultra Shot Pro Spec and 3X Magnifier combo that I bought was not considered to be a high quality product, considering the almost infinite amount of options when it comes to selecting a red dot. But price is always an issue for me, and throw in the fact that I don't use my AR-15's for anything other than target shooting and varmint hunting, I wasn't overly concerned with my red dot having to endure rough and austere combat-like environments. I think I paid $299 for the combo, but even at that price point, I wasn't expecting that my red dot would NEVER stay secure over the course of the time I owned it, before finally throwing it in the trash. 

I had my Sight Mark Ultra Shot Pro Spec red dot for about a year, and not one time did it manage to stay secure on my carbine. It didn't matter if I shot 10 rounds, 20 rounds... the recoil from ANY rounds would cause it to come loose. At first, it didn't concern me all that much, I simply tightened the nut with the small wrench tool that came included in the box. I would then return to the range hopeful that would be the end of my loose red dot troubles, sadly, I was wrong.

Again and again, I would adjust the nut, the red dot felt tight and secure, but alas, a few rounds and it would again come loose. Not one to give up easily, I asked my good friend and shooting buddy Andres, if he could bring over his bottle of Loctite. I figured that might be just the thing to keep the red dot from coming loose. Although, it shouldn't have to come to that in the first place. But the nut, which secures to the thread which also holds the quick release lever, is almost impossible to get to. Once I removed the nut and applied the Loctite, I found it quite futile to try and secure the nut back onto the thread. Because the internal housing is under spring tension, I had to wedge a small flat head screwdriver in between that and the body of the red dot so that I could expose the thread enough to try and get the nut back on, but this ended up an exercise in futility. 

I'm not a rich man, if I was, I would not have to purchase a $300 red dot and magnifier combo. I could drop $1200 on an EOTech Red Dot and Magnifier Combo and not think twice about it. But I am also not poor and unemployed, and in an effort to save some dignity and release my frustration, I submitted myself to the fact that the Sight Mark red dot, which had never, not once stayed secure on my carbine, wasn't worth the time and effort I was putting into trying to get it to stay tight on my gun. I did what I thought was the sane thing to do, and into the trash it went, next to the leftover crust from a $3.99 store bought frozen pizza and an empty bottle of Gatorade, which I most likely drank as a hangover cure after a night of drinking alcohol motivated by the anger and frustration I've felt for the past year of owning this piece of shit red dot.

Above, a photo of my Sight Mark Pro Spec Red Dot in the trash, exactly where it belongs.

It's too bad that it had to come to this. I liked the way it looked on my AR15. I thought I had found a good value that would suit my needs. But with the rise of violent protests and angry mobs, the possibility, however remote, that I might need my AR15 in a life and death situation became more and more a reality. I simply could not have a red dot on my carbine that I could not rely on. And that's really the bottom line here, the Sight Mark Ultra Spec Red Dot, at least in my experience, was far from reliable. 

My next step was to do what I should have done from the get go, purchase a red dot with a history of reliability from a brand known for high quality products. So I reached for my wallet and placed an order for a Sig Sauer Romeo 5 Red Dot. My new Romeo 5 is scheduled for delivery this Friday and I will definitely update this post with my first impressions as I'll have to take it out to the range on Saturday and zero it. I paid $149, which now puts me at $450 into my red dot magnifier combo. Maybe I should have spent more from the start right? After all, I of all people have always espoused the age old saying... "You get what you pay for". 

As for the Sight Mark 3X Tactical Magnifier, I have no issues to report. It's really quite good actually. If only the red dot delivered the same reliability. It slides to the side with ease, it has stayed secure on my carbine since day one which is why I have no problem recommending it and including a link to where you can purchase one. Whereas I have purposely omitted any link to the Sight Mark red dot which I would, and I cannot stress this enough, NEVER recommend to anyone.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Moms Demand Action - El Paso Facebook Group is Wild!

I had originally set out to join the local El Paso Moms Demand Action Facebook group to see if I could slip a satirical meme past the group administrators and gauge the reactions to it. The meme is a photo of an M1 Garand rifle, with a Moms Demand Action logo and the text “The 2nd Amendment is for hunting rifles like this… not weapons of war”. The joke, of course, is that the M1 Garand is one of the most prolific war rifles in the history of the world, with millions being used by armies of all nations since World War II. Would they catch the irony? Would they allow the post? All posts to the group need to be approved by an administrator. Well, it got posted, and that post received numerous “likes” “hearts” and “thumbs up”. I was in, not so much a wolf among the sheep, but a pro-gun rights advocate lurking unbeknownst, among an anti-gun rights Facebook group. James Bond would have been proud. OK, it’s not really to that level of stealthiness but the point is, they were clueless to my intentions.

My intentions were not to ridicule the members of the El Paso Moms Demand Action group, not at all. But to ultimately, discover what facts about the gun rights issue they actually knew, what facts they didn’t know, what types of misinformation and myths they might believe and through my super human satirical and sarcastic powers, to open their eyes to their hypocrisy, lack of factual knowledge and what should be the obvious logic of the pro-gun rights side of the issue.

My next opportunity to comment presented itself when someone in the group made a post commemorating the second anniversary of the Santa Fe, Texas High School shooting in which eight students and two teachers were killed and 13 others were wounded. A tragedy, to say the least. I saved screen shots of the entire exchange between myself and the person that made the original post and later, someone who appears to be the admin / leader of the local Moms Demand Action group. The idea of turning this comment thread into a blog post struck me when I saw just how distant these particular people were from the actual facts, of anything they were talking about. So let’s get started…

I commented on the post with an honest question, given that schools are “gun free zones”…

“Honest question about tragedies such as this: does anyone really believe that “gun free zones” actually do anything to mitigate the risk of a shooting? The answer of course is no. A sign or a law isn’t going to deter anyone with the intent and motivation to carry out such an atrocity. Shouldn’t we focus on a solution that would actually be a deterrence?”

The issue of “gun free zones” has been talked about over and over again and so here was an opportunity to hear from people who I knew to be on the gun control side of this issue. My question was a sincere one as well as fishing around to see what they might have to say on the issue. How can we mitigate the risks? My answer at the conclusion of this blog post. Her reply started me doing some heavy internet research. Just kidding, it only took one search and a few minutes to discover just how disconnected this person was from the actual facts. She replied…

“A background check on all gun sales could have prevented this tragedy. The shooter purchased his weapon from the same website as the Aurora, Colorado shooter. A background check wasn’t required nor did they verify his age. All he had to do was click a box saying he read the terms and conditions.
Moms Demand Acton is actively working on trying to pass legislation that includes background checks on all gun sales as well as other gun sense laws.”

Wait, what? Now granted I am not an expert on the facts and events of either of the Santa Fe, Texas High School shooting or the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, but her claim that a background check wasn’t required in either case and that the guns in both cases were purchased online? And that in the case of the Santa Fe shooter they didn’t verify his age and all he had to do to buy his gun was click a box saying he read the terms and conditions??? Come on. This person posting couldn’t be that detached from reality and uninformed could they? Yes, yes they were that uninformed and detached from reality. The fact of that matter is, and anyone who has ever purchased a gun knows, that you cannot buy a gun from a licensed dealer, nor can you buy a gun online without a background check. Anyone with any level of knowledge of the issue knows, that when you buy a gun online, it does not, it cannot, it will not be shipped directly to the person making the purchase. It gets shipped to a licensed dealer who conducts a background check before the firearm is delivered to the person buying it. So as you can see in the screen shot below, I took the opportunity to inform and educate this misinformed member of the El Paso Moms Demand Acton group who had made obvious inaccurate claims about how both shooters acquired their weapons. I went on to post links to news stories which describe the FACTS of how each acquired the weapons used in the shootings. I even went so far as to use links to the stories from CNN, further cementing my disguise as a left-wing, “I’m on your side” for gun control member.

In the case of the shooter at Santa Fe High School, he took a revolver and a shotgun that were legally owned by his father. So all of her assertions and statements that he bought it online without a background check etc etc are completely false. All he had to do was check a box saying he read the terms and conditions? This person needs a reality check.

In the case of the Aurora, Colorado shooter, neither did he purchase his guns online, he purchased them legally, through two local stores, where he passed a background check. So again, this person was just plain wrong about the facts.

This is the point at which a second person enters the discussion. I believe that she is the administrator of the group and a leader of the local El Paso Moms Demand Action group but I can’t confirm that because I have never attended any of their events (I don’t think I’d be able to keep from laughing hysterically) but from what I gather in the Facebook group, she’s the head honcho.
Somehow, she makes the leap from background checks and online sales, to private sales, which has nothing to do with the two incidents this post is about. But, she took the bait and ran with it and I found her comments quite interesting and revealing as well…

She starts, “Unfortunately the private sales are not monitored as you say in every state…”

Ok, hold up. “as I say”? When did I say anything about private sales?

She goes on, “Guns can be purchased online from a private seller, without any gun shop having to be involved. For instance, shooter from Odessa did not pass a legitimate background check, but was able to purchase one from a private seller with no problem. Not every state is the same and do not have to be registered to sell or transfer a gun. Unfortunately that is one of the laws that took effect on September 1st, 2020, as well as protecting citizens from being charged with a crime for carrying a hand gun without a license to carry. As an Army veteran trained in many weapons of diffrent (sic) caliber and shooting from moving vehicles, I know that a good guy with a gun can make more damage than saving the day in an active shooter situation. I also study statistics and understand how seldomly a civilian taking down a shooter happens.

Then she links to the complete list of Bills the state of Texas has taken up in the last several years.
While it is true that private sales are legal in some states, she still opened up a can of worms with her comments. First let me start with my disdain for military veterans who forget about their oath to defend the Constitution. Doesn’t she remember the words “…shall not be infringed”? But let me get right to which of her comments jumped out the most…

As an Army veteran trained in many weapons of diffrent (sic) caliber and shooting from moving vehicles, I know that a good guy with a gun can make more damage than saving the day in an active shooter situation. I also study statistics and understand how seldomly a civilian taking down a shooter happens.

She’s claiming that because she ran through the convoy live fire range while serving in the army, that somehow translates to having knowledge that she KNOWS a good guy with a gun can make more damage than saving the day in an active shooter situation? My literal interpretation of that is that she did a convoy live fire range and she was a horrible shot, she shot up everything but the targets, so therefore, because she was a bad shot, she knows for a FACT that a good guy with a gun can make more damage than saving the day in an active shooter situation.

Do you see where this is going? This should, if not already, begin to open your eyes to the perceptions and beliefs of the people on the gun control side of the debate. This is astounding, really. But let’s continue with her next sentence…

I also study statistics and understand how seldomly a civilian taking down a shooter happens.
Well ok, I’ve never researched the statistics myself, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt for the moment, maybe she has? After all, she appears to be the leader of the El Paso Moms Demand Action group, surely she wouldn’t just blurt out a claim like that would she?

While typing my reply to her, I simultaneously began a simple Google search to see if I could find any statistics regarding how often an armed citizen stops an active shooter (i.e. a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun).

My reply, “I did not say private sales are monitored in every state”.

If you look back, you can see that she claimed I said that, I did not and she’s just making this shit up and putting words in my mouth as she goes along, I guess. But I continued…

“Not to start an argument…”

(Yes, actually, let’s argue, please.)

“…but please show me where I said that. Can you please post some links to examples of when an armed citizen with a gun caused more damage than saving the day? Where might I find statistics regarding how often an armed citizen takes down a shooter?”

My request for links an examples is sincere, I want to know where she is getting her information. Because I have never heard of any instances of an armed citizen (a good guy with a gun) intervening in an active shooter situation and causing more harm than good. There might be examples, I don’t know, but she makes this claim, she says there’s statistics to back it up so let’s see them right?
I admit, my next sentence is another attempt to continue my guise as an anti-gunner, not sure at this point if my ruse has been discovered. But I tried…

“Again, I am in agreement with having common sense laws, but I really want to be informed with factual data so that when I talk to others, I can back up our gun control position with facts.”

What I mean is, I really want YOU, THEM (the anti-gun, gun control side of the issue) to be informed with factual data, so that when THEY talk to others, they can back up THEIR position with facts because so far, they seem to be lacking ANY factual data.
But wait, this is all about to get even better.

She continues to dig herself, and her cause, into a deeper hole with her next comment…

“I respect your opinion, and I am not trying to get into a discussion with you.”

Too bad, I AM trying to get into it with her.

“The only name that comes to mind is Jack Wilson, a trained firearms instructor. There may be more cases that I am not aware of, but the number is not significant enough in statistics to have a study. The sample is simply not big enough, meaning there is not enought (sic) evidence, so at this time I cannot point you in the direction of peer review statistics study. Same goes for the opposite, there is not evidence to say that protected armed citizzens (sic) prevent mass shottings (sic). Gun sense laws do not only apply to mass shootings, there are also focused on keeping gusns (sic) awar from criminals and domestic abusers. I am glad you are on on side. Enjoy the rest of your evening.”

Oh, I am enjoying my evening already.

OK, let’s break this down bit by bit, starting with Jack Wilson. Why does that name sound familiar? A simple Google search delivers the answer…

Jack Wilson was, of course, one of the armed, volunteer security team member and parishioner at the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas, who stopped an active shooter within 6 seconds of that shooters first shot. Unfortunately, two people were shot before Jack Wilson could get a clear shot but when he did, he was able to stop the threat and save countless lives in the process.
So her response to my request for examples of when a good guy with a gun does more harm than good, is Jack Wilson? A good guy with a gun who stopped an active shooter from killing more people? Folks, I cannot make this up, it appears that at least in the case of the El Paso Moms Demand Action Facebook group, they are sabotaging their own bad arguments with counter-examples of cases in which it was GOOD that a citizen had a gun. I mean, holy bajeezus.

Let’s keep going please…

“There may be more cases that I am not aware of…”

Cases of what? More cases of good guys with a gun stopping bad guys with a gun? Yes, but what about what I had asked for? Examples of good guys with a gun causing more harm than good, which was YOUR claim, a claim I might add that you said was backed up by statistics.

“…but the number is not significant enough in statistics to even have a study.”

Oh really? Because you just completely contradicted yourself. Let’s rewind back to her comment,

“I know that a good guy with a gun can make more damage than saving the day in an active shooter situation. I also study statistics and understand that how seldomly a civilian taking down a shooter happens.”

She says she KNOWS and that she studies statistics and understands how SELDOMLY it happens but yet when asked to provide links to examples of stories and links to statistics she changes her tune to, “There may be more cases that I am not aware of, but the number is not significant enough in statistics to even have a study. The sample is simply not big enough, meaning there is not enought (sic) evidence, so at this time I cannot point you in the direction…” blah blah blah.

So which one is it? Cause you said you KNOW and you study the statistics. The bull shit and blind ignorance gets even thicker if you can believe it.

But let’s get to her next contention that “there is no evidence to say that protected armed citizzens (sic) prevent mass shottings (sic).”

A simple Google search, in fact, does deliver statistics on the subject and resulted in my discovery of a story on USA Today which quotes the Center for Disease Control on exactly this topic, “We know because of research directed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, that guns are used 16 to 100 times more often to protect life than to take life.”

Well, I’ll be a goose pimple on a horny toads nut sack. Boom shacka lacka, a simple Google search yielded a statistic that shows the exact opposite is true of what this woman claims that she KNOWS, statistically, that a good guy with a gun more often than not, causes more damage than good.
At this point, even I am beginning to be a little surprised at the shear ignorance I am having to bear witness to, given that I anticipated some level of misinformation but this is just outrageous. She is making my argument for me and in the process destroying any credibility her side of the issue might have ever had.

In her next comment she lists all the Bills in Texas that apply to gun laws, there are 12 of them. To which I simultaneous replied with the fact that Jack Wilson stopped an active shooter (i.e. a good guy with a gun who did not do more harm than good, remember her original claim that she had stats showing good guys with guns do more harm than good). She replied.

“Yes, he is a hero.”

Look at that, there is a god. At least she recognizes that! But the good times didn’t last…

“Although, his presence didn’t deter the shooter from going into the church. Just to be clear, I don’t have a theory, I shared my personal experience and thought process as an Armed Forces Veteran. Not everyone is trained to be a sniper and react in a chaotic situation with perfect aim and precision.”

You don’t have a theory? Then what do you call this statement that you made?

“I know that a good guy with a gun can make more damage than saving the day in and active shooting situation.”

Perhaps she is right? That is not a theory, she stated it as a matter of fact. She KNOWS that a good guy… blah blah blah. Well Moms Demand Action of El Paso, you’re misstating the facts and proving beyond any doubt that you do not know any of the FACTS. Just spewing out misinformation and patently false statements.

But ok, let’s just see how much more of a hole she can dig for herself and her group. Hang in there, we’re almost done, I promise (but this is good stuff though right?).

She says his presence wasn’t a deterrent and I was unable to find any confirmation of which condition he was carrying his pistol, concealed or open carry. I watched the video of the incident several times but could not tell with any certainty if his pistol was or wasn’t concealed. Ultimately, I don’t think that really matters that much. 

But I proceeded to ask a logical question: “What are some ways the shooter could have been deterred?”

Now we’re getting to the meat of the issue, mitigating the risk of these types of shootings, and I was anxious to hear what she had to say. But, no surprise, I did not get an answer to my question, instead I got the first hint of “chippiness” on her part…

“He was open carrying his weapon, you would know this if you had read the bills that I listed for you.”

(Clears throat) Wait, what? She is saying that I would know, by reading the Texas state Bills recently adopted related to gun laws, that Jack Wilson was open carrying his weapon that day in the church? Just to spite her, I read every single one of those Bills, which took a little time, because I wanted to confirm for certain, what I already knew. That Jack Wilson’s name and whether or not he was concealed carrying on the day of the shooting was not NOT mentioned in any Bills. Why the fuck would Jack Wilson’s specific name and his chosen method of carrying his side arm on a given day be mentioned in a Bill or Law ? It makes no sense. Just like their (the gun control advocates) side of the entire issue. THEY MAKE NO SENSE! And they are proponents of making into law their so-called common sense gun control legislation??? They can’t even make sense of their own arguments!

She finishes, “We seek answers by attending meetings with legislators and experts in a wide variety of fields, from gun shop owners to distric (sic) attorneys and doctors. Have a great night and be safe staying home if you can. I have mommy duties to attend to now, so enjoy the rest of your evening.”

Oh, I am already enjoying my evening immensely.

I finished by letting her know that I was reading the Bills and bringing up the obvious stupidity of her assertion that if I had read the bills I would know that Jack Wilson was open carrying on the day of the shooting. But whatever, I read the bills so just no one can say I didn’t.

The next morning I woke up and went back to the group to see if anyone else had replied, but I found that I was no longer a member. I didn’t bother to try and join again, clearly, my ruse had been discovered. But with two posts, I achieved what I had set out to do, to set in writing, a few examples of just how uninformed members of that group are, and they are, completely uninformed. The “likes”, “hearts” and “thumbs up” that the M1 Garand meme received and diving into the rabbit hole of a thread that started with one simple question posed by me:

“Does anyone really believe that ‘gun free zone’ actually do anything to mitigate the risk of a shooting?” I continued, “Shouldn’t we focus on a solution that would actually be a deterrence?”

Sadly, many of the easily swayed and uninformed wrongly believe that a sign that reads “gun free zone” will do anything to prevent a shooting in that area. And since the person whom I believe is the ringleader of the local El Paso Moms Demand Action Group claimed to study statistics on the subject (but then failed to show me any) let us look at the REAL statistics, heck, I’ll even defer to a story in the Washington Post (a well-known left-leaning publication) that found that 86% of mass shootings, between 2009 to 2016 took place in gun-free zones.

There are other statistics that show that percentage is higher, but for the sake of argument let’s accept the stat from the Washington Post at 86%.

No, “gun free zones” do not prevent mass shootings. Someone with bad intentions, especially those whose intent is to kill or injure many, will undoubtedly look for a soft target. It’s nature, is it not?
The fact that I was removed from the group proves another point, that groups such as Moms Demand Action El Paso, do not want their members to be presented with facts, they don’t want their narrative questioned, they want to continue to espouse their misinformation for the purpose of gathering easily swayed voters to back their candidates. They call for common sense gun laws but they themselves have no common sense. They are unable to make any arguments that make any sense at all. But those of us that love America and the values and rights on which this country was established, better wake up to the scary fact that there is a massive number of people that believe in this false narrative. They truly believe that you can simply order a gun online and have it delivered to your front door without a background check and by simply “checking a box” that you agree with the terms and conditions. They believe that another law (how many do we have already?) or a posted sign will deter an evil person intend on committing a violent crime.

What we must promote and get everyone to remember, is that one of the founding principles of America is liberty, individual liberty. That securing our safety falls upon us, individually. If Jack Wilson had not taken down that shooter, if another armed citizen was not able to do it either, then the only option would be to wait for the police, who are ARMED. And that might be the fundamental difference in the two sides of the issues. One side wants us ALL, to rely on the Government for safety, security, protection and reaction to violent crimes. On the other side, we believe that while the government does play a role, our safety and security is OUR OWN responsibility. The police can’t be everywhere at all times and this has NEVER been a safe world. To believe that if we ban guns we could live an utopian society. I for one love the fact that I have the right, the god given right, to defend myself with a gun if I so choose. What other tools would they like me to use? A spear?

“… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Oh that pesky little document called the constitution, with all those inalienable rights, just keeps getting in the way of the changes those on the other side of the issue would like to see. Disarming the citizens.

When it comes down to it, that’s what they really want, a complete ban on all semi-automatic weapons. I said it. They don’t say it. But that’s the truth isn’t it? I, for one, will reach the point of turning to active resistance when it might appear that we will be living in a society in which ONLY the criminals and government have guns.

What do you think?

I think that there's no way you can convince an idiot of the truth, and so the strategy must be to counter their blatant lies with the truth. And use the truth to change the minds of those whose minds can be changed, and turn their votes to candidates who DEFEND the Constitution. What a wonderful idea, that we are free men (and women), that we do not need to depend on governments.

If you want to mitigate violent crime of any kind, you must first look at the conditions that motivate someone to carry out just such a crime. That's an entirely different discussion for another day, maybe another Facebook group I can join eh? One thing is for sure, evil has existed since the beginning of time, and there will always be evil. THANK GOD we live in a country whose founders understood that the power of the people to care for the own security, thought enough of that right to enshrine it in the CONSTITUTION. Let's protect it with spreading the truth and getting out the vote, if not, we may lose that right to the ignorant masses, and that is a scary and realistic possibility.

Stay tuned for Part Two of this blog when I comment on the Moms Demand Action web cast featuring Shannon Watts interview of Senator Kamala Harris. It's just as juicy and frankly, disturbing.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Border Patrol Violated My Civil Rights Yesterday - 4th Amendment

A good friend of mine called me up yesterday afternoon wanting to know if I would like gas up my Jeep and follow him (in his Jeep) for a little off-roading and landscape photography West of El Paso in the area of the Portrillo Mountains, on public land (Bureau of Land Management area), the mountains themselves are part of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument. It's a beautiful area of open ranges and desert scrub brush on which cattle from local ranches graze lazily. There's also the Aden Lava Flow Wilderness Study Area just to the North with magnificent fields of lava rocks and dormant volcanoes which are a great place to hike and take in the sunset.

I drive out to this area with great frequency (I've been out there 3 times in the past week). During dove season we like to go out around sunset to the numerous watering holes and wait for the dove to come in (this was a bad year for dove, they must have migrated somewhere else), we go out to hunt jack rabbits, sometimes we (or I alone) go out just to enjoy the Jeep trails and I go out to do a little landscape photography. All of these activities are conducted on public lands and county dirt roads.

Back to yesterday, we had decided to make the big loop on the county roads starting on the East side of the Portrillo Mountains, travel North, make the turn on NM CR A006, head West and then back South ending up on New Mexico State Hwy. 9, which skirts the border and takes us back East into Santa Teresa and the El Paso area.

We enjoyed a fabulous afternoon, stopping on occasion to snap a few photos (see below), but for the most part, just enjoying the drive along the county roads, kicking up a littler dirt and whatnot. The sun had only just set and we began our egress from the dirt roads and made the turn back onto State Hwy. 9 when...

We were traveling East, having just made the left hand turn onto the Hwy. when I noticed a Border Patrol truck towing an ATV coming in the opposite direction. He passed us and immediately made a u-turn and got behind me, which placed his truck between my Jeep and my friends who was maybe 75 yards behind. He hit his lights and I pulled over, both Border Patrol agents exited their truck with one approaching my drivers side window and the other using his flash light to wave down my friends Jeep.

The agents were both bearded and scruffy looking, my guess is that they must have been out on their ATV that day as the agent who came to my window was wearing a neck gator or shemagh of some kind.

I said "How's it going?"

The agent replied "good thanks. The reason I pulled you over is that I saw you coming out of there and I was just curious what you were doing."

Now when he said "coming out of there" I can only assume he meant coming out of the Portrillo Mountain area on the county road, because that's where he saw my Jeep turning back onto Hwy. 9. But I'm not sure why that would raise any suspicion because it's just a public road, coming from public land and I turned back onto another public Hwy.

I told them that I live nearby and that I come out to the area frequently to enjoy the public land and with that he seemed satisfied. But herein lies the problem. The "roving patrols" that the Border Patrol conduct do not given them the authority to pull you over simply out of curiosity. Especially considering that although the area I'm describing is near the international border, the lands and roads are all public. Therefore, the act of pulling me and my friend over was a violation of our 4th Amendment rights and it falls outside of the scope of their authority.

They are authorized to pull you over if they have a reasonable suspicion of a crime or an immigration violation. But this was certainly not the case given that the agent stated to me that he was curious about why I was coming from the Portrillo Mountains area (public land).

He mentioned something about there being a lot of traffic in that area before telling me to have a nice day but again, I don't see how that justifies them pulling us over.

I am not one of those people who video tape and challenge police and/or border patrol and upload those videos to the internet (not yet). I like to lead a low stress life and confronting the border patrol for violating my rights is not tops on my list of importance at the moment. I'm an active-duty soldier and need my paycheck, so I can't afford to end up in jail regardless of whether I am right or wrong. I do however, support and sympathize with the people that do challenge authority. Because after all, police and border patrol violate peoples civil rights all the time.

I should not have to explain to the border patrol why I am spending my afternoon enjoying public lands and driving on public roads, having to is a clear example of a police state. I understand the border patrol have a job to do, but does that job include pulling over cars just because they're curious as to why someone is driving on public roads, coming from public lands? Certainly not.

Had I had the wherewithal to get the agents name and badge number, I might have made a phone call to the ACLU of New Mexico. Not to be a dickhead, but damn, that did not feel like freedom and liberty to me.

Oh, here's one of the pictures I took yesterday...