Now in a case of life imitating comedic art, the Obama administration is instructing Border Patrol agents to “run away and hide” when confronted by an “active shooter,” an armed individual opening fire in public places.
The new “run-and-hide” directive for agents in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the form of a mandatory computer training course on the proper protocol to be used when confronted by active shooters.
That appropriate conduct, outlined in an hour-long video entitled “IS-907- Active Shooter: What You Can Do,” consists of three specific options available to Border Patrol agents: Evacuate, Hide Out, and, if that fails, Take Action.
Unfortunately, the DHS definition of “taking action,” according to Border Patrol union officials, is to “act aggressively and throw things at the shooter,” a plan that could prove unworkable given that the DHS did not specify what thrown objects would prove adequate in stopping a hail of gunfire.
Nevertheless, if the gunman is not subdued by an avalanche of tossed shoes, belts, or badges, the DHS then advise the Border Patrol agents to “call law enforcement and wait for their arrival,” a somewhat puzzling directive given those Border Patrol agents are under the impression they themselves are armed law enforcement professionals.
After all, these Border Patrol agents spend 12 weeks training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in New Mexico, where they are instructed in such things as criminal law, immigration law, arrest techniques, self defense, and firearms.
Yet, despite being assigned upon graduation from FLETC a semi-automatic pistol, a fully automatic assault rifle or a shotgun to carry out their duties, the Obama administration apparently believes them insufficiently prepared to utilize those weapons and that training in taking down a crazed gunman firing on innocent civilians.
That downgraded assessment of their abilities comes despite Border Patrol agents — in addition to tracking groups of illegal aliens coming into the United States — being responsible for apprehending heavily armed Mexican drug cartel members operating along the US-Mexico border.
Not surprisingly, then, the DHS “run away” policy is not sitting well within the rank and file of the Border Patrol, including the country’s largest Border Patrol union with 3,300 members, Local 2544 in Tucson, Arizona.
In statements posted on their union website, union leaders have characterized the DHS guidelines as “downright insulting,” adding, “It’s nice to know if we should encounter such a situation, stop a shooter and save countless lives, we can look forward to being disciplined or fired by the Border Patrol because we should have run away to hide.”
As one former law enforcement investigator and current security consultant wondered, perhaps rhetorically, “Are the lunatics now running the asylum?”
Of course, the Obama administration’s diminished view of the role played by Border Patrol agents neatly dovetails with its overall disinterest in promoting the US Customs and Border Protection agency’s role in securing the nation’s borders.