Last week, a group of bat counters filed a complaint against three militia “border volunteers”. These militia members have flocked to the Southern border ever since they heard that in their desperation to escape the violence in their home countries, Central American women and children have headed to the States. The logic of their presence escapes me, as the reason they know about the immigrant crisis is because the facilities meant to hold them are full – and the reason they are full is because the border-crossers either turned themselves in, or were caught by real border patrol agents.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to have suspicions about why the militia members are really there. I think it’s a chance to wave their guns around, which makes them feel like they are people of courage – like they are heroes.
Now for me, when it comes to courage, anyone willing to walk across a desert in the hope of a better life has it all over the armed, well-hydrated men trying to catch them. The same goes for people who voluntarily go into a cave in the dark of night to count how many bats are flying around. No matter how big your assault rifle is, it can’t help you in there. Perhaps that’s why, when the conservationists and the militia volunteers encountered one another, things didn’t go well.
It happened around 11:00 at night, in Sonoita, Arizona, about thirty miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. Three of the militia volunteers, dressed up in camouflage and armed with assault weapons, were riding around on ATVs looking for someone suspicious to inspect, when they came upon the group of bat counting conservationists walking back to their campsite in a nearby campground. The militiamen hit them with their searchlights and shouted in Spanish for the men to stop. The scientists had no idea who the armed men were, and didn’t understand what they were yelling, so they headed for the nearby rocks, and a not-so-merry game of hide and seek ensued.
Fortunately no one was hurt, but the conservationists filed a complaint. They have a point. Why should they have to identify themselves to a volunteer militiaman? One of the scientists told Huffington Post:
“We had them yelling at us with spotlights, acting like they have some kind of authority.”
The militia said they were sorry, but were mystified when the bat counters weren’t receptive to their apology. To the “border volunteers” their manhunt was all just a benign mistake. No big deal. No doubt chasing down that bunch of unarmed bat counters will soon be turned into a tale of courage in the face of unknown danger. They like to pretend to one another that they are heroes.
Which brings us to Chris Heben, the poster child for militia members, who just got caught pretending he was shot by three racist black men.
Chris Heben is a former Navy Seal who appears to be having a difficult time letting go of his glory days in the service. He sells Seal Team gear, offers security services and gives motivational speeches encouraging people to “dominate”. I’m not crazy about the domination theme, I’m more of a “share the land” girl myself, but hey, everybody has to make a living, and he’s doing what he loves. I respect that.
Heben wows them at Tea Party gatherings and makes regular appearances on Fox News giving the “Navy Seal Perspective”. He thinks Hillary is responsible for Benghazi; we should have let P.O.W. Bowe Bergdahl rot; and he has a photo of President Obama (right) surrounded my Mideastern terrorists on his Facebook page.
Heben told Bath County, Ohio, police that he was out to do a little light shopping when he exchanged angry words with three black men who almost hit him in the parking lot of a Mustard Seed grocery store. He claims one of the men shouted, “You got a big mouth white boy. You need to learn some fucking respect,” and then shot him in the stomach.
In Chris Heben’s version of this story, he did a “physical assessment” and decided he was “still functioning,” so instead of calling for help, he staunched the bleeding so he could chase his assailants’ fancy gray sports car through the streets of Bath County, until he began losing consciousness. At that point, he pulled into a fire station, and was transported to the hospital. (Photo above)
The story made Heben an instant celebrity with the Fox News crowd, who called the attack a “racial hate crime” and elevated Heben to hero status. But while he made the rounds of the right-wing news shows (and CNN) telling his glory tale about how a car full of racist black men shot him, the police were investigating his story. Last week they charged Chris Heben with making a false police report and obstruction of justice.
“We have overwhelming evidence based upon video, cell phone records and interviews that the shooting did not occur in the West Market Plaza and that Mr. Heben made false allegations to us.”
Interestingly, Heben seems to have anticipated that the racist black shooter story wasn’t going to hold up. He was going to need another explanation. So Heben confided to World Net Daily that, upon reflection, he now thinks the attack was Al Queda revenging the death of Bin Laden by targeting a Navy SEAL.
(How can a small town police force be expected to recognize Al Queda in disguise?)
Of course there is still an unsolved mystery. Who shot Chris Heben? Was it an accident? Was it self-inflicted for the sake of publicity? Was it by someone Heben is trying to keep out of trouble? Or was he just an ordinary crime victim who couldn’t admit all his guns and training didn’t help him? My writer’s imagination can come up with a dozen plausible scenarios, but Chris Heben is sticking to his “if it wasn’t racist black men then it must have been AlQueda” story.
I think the militia crew who chased the bat counters in Arizona had a need to feel courageous. I think Chris Heben needed that too. I think he needed it so much, that when he found himself shot in some inglorious way, he made up a story that made him look large and in charge.
What’s your guess?
Feature photo via Facebook
Photos via Chris Heben’s Facebook