Fight or flight? – A choice for the citizen soldier
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Classics professor Victor Davis Hanson of Selma, California – author of the recent book Mexifornia may be leaving his multi-generational family farm for a new home "high in the isolated Sierra Nevada east of Fresno."

As reported last week by the Los Angeles Times  "[t]he family pressures and changes in Selma, where Hanson says drugs and gang activity have become rampant, have caused him to reconsider an earlier pledge that he would never leave the family homestead."  [ Right Way to Farm the Classics –  Victor Hanson, By Rone Tempest, February 25, 2004.]

Hanson reportedly signed a contract with Random House for a new book on the Peloponnesian War – with a $500,000 advance – and is leaving his teaching position at California State University at Fresno next summer.  But as far as any confirmation of a move out of the San Joaquin Valley, the LA Times reporter only notes that there are "blueprints for a new family residence he's building" at an undisclosed Sierra Nevada location.

So is Hanson finally throwing in the towel on the family farm and leaving Mexifornia?

Maybe it's because "[f]or the second time in several months, Hanson said recently, he was forced to chase away an intruder – a gangbanger high on PCP – with the 12-gauge shotgun he keeps in his upstairs office." Maybe it's for other reasons entirely.

But before Hanson retreats to the Acropolis Citadel of the Sierras, he might like to compare notes with some of the citizen soldiers of Cochise County, Arizona.

With homes in the heart of the invasion path, the people of Cochise County are accepting the challenge of not only ensuring their own physical safety, but also bringing the issue of real immigration law enforcement to the national stage.

Retired Border Patrol Agent and author John Slagle, from nearby Pima County, wrote me with a glowing report of the courageous modern hoplites he just met at his recent speech in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

Slagle writes:

"Everything was great, Juan – the people in Cochise County were outstanding.

"I met Larry Dever, Cochise County Sheriff, several judges and local politicians as well as many outstanding concerned citizens groups.  Chris Simcox, the editor and owner of the Tombstone Tumbleweed newspaper and head of the Civil Homeland Defense is a remarkable person.  Chris probably puts out the only unbiased news in the U.S.

"The open borders zealots portray Chris and his Civil Homeland Defense (C.H.D.) group at Tombstone as "fire breathing Rednecks" that bury illegals in the desert at the first opportunity.

"On the contrary, I met a well-educated former schoolteacher that owns a small town newspaper and is concerned about his community.  Many of the C.H.D. members are grandparents. Everyone has a concealed weapons carrying (CCW) permit and carries a concealed pistol for self-defense.  Much of the patrolling is done on horseback or ATV.  Chris's people confront alien groups and contact the Border Patrol for pick-up. 

"I also met Roger Barnett, the owner of a large ranch that has been constantly invaded for years by illegals. The aliens trash his property, cut his fences and kill cattle. Roger and his family who carry AR-15 rifles and side-arms to protect their property have detained over 10,000 illegal aliens in three years.

"Roger has also been portrayed in the news and talk shows as a vigilante. Roger and his wife Nancy are friendly, old West hospitality Arizonans. They also believe no one has a right to violate private property rights and accordingly protect their ranch from constant invasions.

"I'm very proud that there are still people like Simcox and Barnett in Arizona.

"The Sheriff of Cochise County, Larry Dever and his deputies also accomplish an outstanding job every day. The Border Patrol has 800 Agents in Cochise and they are still over-run. There is a possibility that I will be able to appear before Congress by mid-summer or be able to show a few senators very dangerous problem areas – that is, the entire United States border.

"The people and politicians are beginning to wake up. and its writers have helped present illegal immigration issues to the world – which is appreciated in Cochise County.

As Slagle saw with his own eyes, the patriots of Cochise County, Arizona, have chosen fight over flight.

Shouldn't all of America's citizen soldiers do the same?

Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of

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