Property Rights

February 18, 2009

February 18, 2009

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and Jolm Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today's commentary--

The erosion of personal property rights is a serious concern for a lot of people in our country. We have reached a point where you really don't know what to do if an intruder enters your house in the middle of the night. Do you defend your home and family with a gun? If you shoot the intruder, you could go to jail.

Here is another real life example. Roger Barnett has a ranch in Arizona on the Mexican border. His 22,000 acre ranch has become a favorite route for illegal immigrants to slip into the USA. They have tom up his water pump, killed his calves, destroyed fences, stolen trucks, and even broken into his home. The Border Patrol has not stopped them from coming. Mr. Barnett has been rounding up illegals that come on his property over the past 10 years and turning them over to the Border Patrol. Yet, they still keep coming. What is a rancher to do?

Mr. Barnett concluded that he needed to stop them. What happened next is only too common today. The Mexican Legal Defense and Educational Fund sued Mr. Barnett and his wife, and the Cochise County Sheriff, seeking 32 million dollars in punitive damages for civil rights violations. "Civil rights violations of the illegal trespassers!"

Can you believe the nerve?

The case goes back to 2004, when, with a gun, and a big dog, Rancher Barnett apprehended 5 women and 11 men crossing his land. The illegals complained that the dog barked at them. Oh, how frightening! And, Mr. Barnett allegedly said, "my dog is hungry and he's hungry for your buttocks." I don't think those words are too harsh.

I understand his frustration. Our immigration system is broken. And worse, our justice system won't defend our good citizens. Mr. Barnett was just protecting his property. And the illegal aliens sued him. They were trespassing. He had even installed a faucet on an 8,000 gallon water tank so the intruders wouldn't damage the tank trying to get water. Nothing worked.

I know that we need a certain number of immigrants to do a lot of work in this country that no one else seems willing to do. But, I support protection of personal property first.

Mr. Barnett said, "This is my land. I'm the victim here." He is right. We need to stand up against those that want to take away our property rights.

Until next week, I am Jolm Block from Washington.