Iowa Representative Steve King is deeply concerned at reports of the gradual disarmament of the U.S. Border Patrol. Reports surfaced this month that the federal agency in charge of the Patrol removed approximately half of their M4 carbines due to safety concerns. Though the official story from U.S. Customs and Border Protection is that the firearms are unserviceable and need to be replaced, King isn’t buying it.
“There’s no more reliable weapon in the world,” said the congressman. Furthermore, he insists that the Department of Homeland Security has more than enough funding to replace any weapons that have been deemed unfit for use. “This sounds to me like a ruse to start to take the weapons out of the hands of the Border Patrol.”
Malfunction or Malfeasance?
According to CBP officials, more than 2,000 field rifles showed the potential for malfunction when put through a series of tests. They insist that the recall is being done in the best interests of the agents themselves, and that they will be refurbished and returned to the border. Agents, however, claim that the sudden disarmament has left them vulnerable. Forced to share guns amongst themselves, they are unable to personalize their settings. They also share Rep. King’s concerns about the veracity of malfunction claims, pointing out that Colt has not issued a recall on the weapons.
Shawn Moran of the National Border Patrol Council says that pooling guns is a recipe for disaster. “You don’t want a weapon that is zeroed in to someone else. You don’t share guns and you don’t share needles because both could end with people dying.”
It’s important to understand that Border Patrol agents are in charge of more than just keeping illegal immigrants from jumping the fence. They are also charged with apprehending terrorists, arresting drug smugglers, and reducing crime in border communities. These obligations can put them in conflict with heavily armed Mexican cartels. To face that kind of threat without being properly armed could prove extremely dangerous.
That the decision to recall the rifles is being met with any controversy at all just goes to show the level of distrust the Obama administration has engendered. If Obama and his federal agencies could point to a clear record of law enforcement and competency, this would likely be a non-story. At worst, it could be characterized as a mistake.
Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in, and a gun recall of this nature has to be met with at least some skepticism. We already know that Obama wants to make it as easy as possible for illegals to get into the country. He has promised executive action on immigration that could see millions of aliens granted some form of amnesty. And he has undermined the rule of law by pressuring enforcement agencies to look the other way when it comes to deportations. Could it be that border agents are being disarmed for a reason? It’s a sinister thought, but this president hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt.