Saturday, October 15, 2016

AZMEX EXTRA 15-10-16


Note: did not make this up.
See "editors note" at end. Tells you more about the media than the BP.

Agent's assault rifle at checkpoint raises alarm
By Kendal Blust
Nogales International Updated Oct 14, 2016

All Border Patrol agents, including those working at checkpoints, have the option of carrying "long arms" to the field, a spokesman said.

Robert Kimball said he was shocked when he rolled up at the Border Patrol checkpoint near Sonoita on Wednesday morning to the sight of an agent toting a large military-style gun.
"I drove up and the guy that's standing there two feet from my window has an assault rifle, a big, black assault rifle strapped across chest," he said.

The agent didn't greet him or smile, and Kimball said his first thought was to get out of there as quickly as possible.

Kimball, a resident of Patagonia, passes through the checkpoint on northbound State Route 83 almost weekly on his way to Tucson and has never seen agents holding military-style weapons before this week, he said.
"Normally what you're used to seeing is a guy, he has a pistol on his belt. We're used to seeing that. And they often have a drug dog. We're used to seeing that," he said, expressing incredulity that heavy-duty weapons would be necessary at an interior checkpoint where most of the traffic comes from local residents.
"I can think of no reason," he said.

CBP spokesman John Lawson said that all agents have the option of carrying "long arms" to the field. And while "there is no present threat other than what you see on the news every day," he said that "agents are prepared for the worst."

Lawson admitted that agents with assault riffles are not a "'traveler-friendly' image" and said it is an understandable concern amid the discussion of the increasing militarization of the border. However, agents on duty don't always think about it that way, he said.
"The purpose is not to intimidate – it is to protect the public from threats to their life and safety, and be able to respond quickly if a serious threat emerges," he wrote in an emailed response.

But for Kimball, who said the vast majority of agents he encounters at the checkpoint are pleasant, the sight of an assault rifle on an everyday drive to Tucson was alarming.

"Actually, my first thought as I drove away was, 'Are we being tested to see what we will put up with?'" he said. "I've been exposed to a lot of stuff, and I didn't expect to see this."

(Editor's note: Robert Kimball is the former publisher of the Nogales International.)


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