Border Patrol

Letter | Border Patrol’s reaction to rock-throwing justified

April 8, 2014 

The March 23 edition of The Sun News had on the first page “Questions still unanswered about U.S. Border Patrol's killing of 16-year-old”

Frankly after reading the article and doing much research on the Internet about this problem and subject I found the solution to be quite understandable and reasonable.

Hey, after all throwing rocks can kill, injure, or maim people for life. Sure major league baseball players can throw a ball that exceeds 100 mph but people with a good arm can normally throw a good-sized rock 40 to 70 mph. What impact? Most studies show at least 12 foot pounds of force. Back in 1920 in a New York Yankees game one player was hit in the temple by a thrown ball and died a few days later.

History back to biblical times tells of so-called sinners stoned to death for various crimes or alleged offenses. Border agents have been subjected to having chunks of cement thrown at them, as well as rocks and stones of all sizes. Let’s face it, some of these young kids have got a hell of a throwing arm and many fences are far closer than a pitcher’s mound to home base in baseball giving great velocity and accuracy.

Taking a page from the Bible namely 1 Samuel 17 of David and Goliath a formidable warrior of great height, strength, and stature from the Philistine camp at the time challenged the Israelites to a fight saying “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” Needless to say the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. But wait, a young boy named David volunteered to fight the giant. To cut to the chase David, without body armor, took five smooth stones, his sling, and placed all in his shepherds bag to give battle. He flung the rock with his sling, hitting Goliath in the forehead and with a crash the mighty foe fell to the earth and died.

Later Goliath was beheaded by David and his death brought victory to David's people. From actual records of the past and more recent history the lethality of rocks, whether thrown by sling or arm is real. Should the border agents have feared injury or death? The answer is yes. After all, how much force is needed to even put out an eye?

To add a footnote to this, a friend who had one tour in Iraq and two in Afghanistan was tasked before his discharge to go on a joint venture with the Mexican military to Nogales, Mexico. He described that as his worst military experience. In front of an elementary school the drug cartel had killed six Mexican males and severed their heads. They left their heads on pikes in the courtyard of the school where their children attended. The message was brutal and bloody. The rock throwing is only one part of the unfortunate lawlessness that has caused much controversy between America and Mexico.

We have many good Mexican neighbors, many great American citizens from Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, but we also have that portion of humanity that chooses to flaunt the law.As an American I support and defend the safety of our increasingly maligned border agents and I give them high marks for their current and past patience in dealing with deadly threats on a daily basis.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.

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