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He looks like someone's grandpa, like he needs new slippers for Christmas, someone who thinks Denny's is a great breakfast.  He died in a hail of automatic gunfire. Before he died, an innocent but courageous victim of a Mexican drug cartel, he killed 4, left two more so badly wounded they were left for dead. His story is viral in Mexico, unheard on the major networks and unknown to us in the United States

 title=RKBA is a DKos group of second amendment supporters who also have progressive and liberal values. We don't think that being a liberal means one has to be anti-gun. Some of us are extreme in our second amendment views (no licensing, no restrictions on small arms) and some of us are more moderate (licensing, restrictions on small arms.) Moderate or extreme, we hold one common belief: more gun control equals lost elections. We don't want a repeat of 1994. We are an inclusive group: if you see the Second Amendment as safeguarding our right to keep and bear arms individually, then come join us in our conversation. If you are against the right to keep and bear arms, come join our conversation. We look forward to seeing you, as long as you engage in a civil discussion.

I admit to being a bit overwhelmed writing this. There are so many issues and ways in which this story illustrates raw issues that trying to control the scope of this is going to be difficult. This story deserves a book.

First let me point you here, I guarantee you it is worthwhile reading.

Don Alejo Garza Tamez is an example of someone who spent his life building something, and was unwilling to surrender to thugs demanding what he had worked for. There are guns on both sides of the story, the thugs had more of them, but clearly Don Alejo was better marksman than any of them.

Don Alejo decided after threats to stand his ground, and exercise his human right of self-defense.  Myself, I would never get into a firefight over property, but at 77, intending that his family should have it after he passed, and then having to face the prospect of losing what he worked a lifetime to attain, I can see his logic perfectly.

In this case, whether through disinterest or corruption, the local police were of no help. The investigation of the case fell to the Mexican Marines, not a typical law enforcement agency, but probably a telling indication of a compromise in local law enforcement.

He died on his own terms, and succeeded in denying the criminals the ranch they coveted. Courage like this you usually only see in movies.

So I'd like to address three points related to this story.  

First, the bad guys had automatic weapons.  The media and some in the Mexican government would have you believe that the US is the sole source of all illegal guns in Mexico, and in fact you hear statistics like '90% of the illegal guns traced in Mexico come from the US'. I don't dispute that, it's true.  We do keep good records, and traceability is easy for guns passing through the US system. What you never hear though is what proportion of guns recovered cannot be traced. I'd like to see a number I could trust, but it seems like it's either 5% or 95% depending on who is talking. And one key point is the fully automatic assault arms most certainly did not come from the US, class 3 firearms are so closely controlled and permits so difficult to get that any significant purchase is impossible.

Secondly, I'd like to point out our continuing war on drugs is not only financing criminal groups like this but causing misery not only here but in other nations. I would have thought we would have learned from prohibition and realized drug abuse is a social problem not a criminal problem. Or otherwise we should quit being hypocrites about this and go back to prohibition and imprison the drunks.

Lastly, I'd like to point out to those that think this story can only take place in backwards Mexico and never here - you haven't been to the projects lately have you? Run by criminal gangs, taking whatever they want and without much in the way of police protection, that situation is exactly the same.  Well, there's one exception, Don Alejo had the right to defend himself along with the means. In our largest cities, single mom's try to cope with lawless situations, but are denied the means to do so by city governments that congratulate themselves on keeping guns under control and out of the hands of the population. Somehow, they never get around to keeping them out of the hands of the criminals.

In closing, I found the following in the comments about Don Alejo's story and it bears repeating here. Thanks and credit goes to BUGGS for the commentary.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman former West Point psychology professor has a "wolf, sheep and sheepdog" theory that relates directly to predators, victims and protectors.

The wolves, the predators that prey on us and our children, are despicable. There is nothing morally superior in them. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

The wolves feed on the sheep without mercy. By all characteristics, the cartels thugs and sicarios are wolves.

Most people are sheep, content to live their lives knowing that there are others who will protect them. Sheep are mostly gentle creatures that do not have the propensity for violence and depend on others to protect them when necessary. This is not mean to disparage the general population in any way by using this analogy. It's just a fact of life. Most of the people in our society and Mexico is no different, are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident. Most Mexican people that live the terror of the wave of violence from the cartels become victims in so many ways, they are in essence sheep, gentle people who opt for peace and non-violence

Then there are sheepdogs. The sheepdogs are the bastions of safety. The sheepdog lives solely to protect the flock and confront the wolf. They live for the opportunity to be called to duty to protect the innocent. The sheepdog has fangs and the propensity for violence but hopes that he will not have to resort to it. However, he lives for that day when he will be able to use his warrior skills and mindset to keep the wolf from harming the sheep.

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath--a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

I submit to you, Don Alejo was a sheepdog, defended the sheep against the wolf to the death. That is why we must always honor and give our total respect for the sheepdog, Don Alejo, now and always!

Originally posted to Mandell on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 04:06 AM PST.

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