• Bad Guys Cut Holes in Border Walls — and the Big News Is What Exactly?

    Surge Summary: It appears some holes have been cut in new border walls. If the implication is that proves “walls don’t work” – that’s a claim belied by common sense, daily life and examples from around the world. It develops that: Walls still work! 

    You can file this one under the “tempest-in-a-teapot” news department:

    Newser’s Jenn Gidman reports:

    Although the President Trump has boasted  new sections of border wall are “virtually impossible” to climb— it’s reported one engineer recently put his assertion to the test, with results that didn’t exactly back him up.

    Now, a new issue has cropped up, with US agents and current and former administration officials telling the Washington Post that, in recent months, members of Mexican drug gangs have attempted to go through the wall, rather than over the top. So how are they circumventing the steel-and-concrete structure? Supposedly, by using $100 reciprocating saws fitted with special blades that can cut through what Trump has termed the “virtually impenetrable” materials. Agents and engineers tell the Post that the vertical posts (aka bollards) of the fence can be cut at the base within minutes, leaving them hanging and easily able to be pushed out of the way—leaving enough room for people and drug packages to slip through.

    Admittedly lacking: details re how many times this has happened and precisely where it’s occurred. One senior administration official says it has only been “a few instances,” and – of no small importance — that overall, new barrier fencing in Customs and Border Protection’s El Centro and San Diego sectors have “significantly increased security and deterrence.”

    Neither did Trump deny it after the report broke of the smugglers’ sawing; but he did downplay it to reporters, probably appropriately so.

    “We have a very powerful wall,” he said Saturday, per Politico. “But no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything, in all fairness. But we have a lot of people watching. You know cutting—cutting is one thing, but it’s easily fixed. … You put the chunk back in.”

    Vox notes this news is “unsurprising,” as NBC News reported earlier this year that DHS testing done in 2017 on multiple wall prototypes showed they were all vulnerable to breaches, including by cutting through the steel slats.

    And the point is what? Walls, therefore, don’t work? We know that’s false from multiple examples around the world – Israel, Morocco, Cyprus, etc., for instance – where acute security breaches were dramatically shrunk by the erection of physical barriers ( i.e., fences or walls). We also know it from everyday life where people close and lock doors and windows on a routine basis. Doors can be kicked in. Windows can be smashed. So … does that mean home-, business- and vehicle-owners might as well dispense with shutting and securing those barriers? Of course not. It’d be a silly argument in those cases and it’s equally silly when applied to keeping out those who’d violate America’s border.

    Two California inmates on the lam, charged with murder, were just apprehended after escaping their captivity by cutting a hole in a bathroom ceiling. Tell me, does this mean we should dispense with jails and prisons altogether? After all, in this instance the facility’s walls (and ceilings!) didn’t keep this clever duo locked up …

    If you make it more challenging for villains to enter with ill intent a home or a vehicle – or a country – it will be more difficult for them to do so. That’s got to produce a desirable impact for the law-abiding who are wanting to keep them out.

    No, walls aren’t 100% effective; let’s stipulate that. They likely never will be. We inhabit an imperfect world. But we all know barricades help substantially in many ways. So plug the breaches when they turn up; and keep building walls against the lawbreakers.

    H/T: Newser/Jenn Gidman

    Image: United States Government work; https://www.flickr.com/photos/54593278@N03/48374453927


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