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East Arizona, Part 8

While Tombstone is a tourist town during the late morning and early afternoon, the ranchers and businessmen breakfast and dine at the local eateries and drink at the saloons when the tourists are gone.

American Lore about Wild West "Saloon Girls" -- curvaceous and eager to please -- has lost a bit to the more modern reality. And while tattoos were anathema to eager maidens of that older era, they seem to be an essential fashion statement for the Tombstone of today.

The people of Tombstone actually believe their homes should be safe and their children safe and that Mexican gunfights up and down the local Interstate should not be one of Arizona's many recreational offerings.

There was a time in Arizona history when authorities were corrupt and any concept of law and order a romantic fantasy. To protect their homes and children in such a hostile land, the ranchers and home owners gathered together to protect themselves because no one else would.

Today we have known felons with facial tattoos that say "TRY ME" in black ink above each cheekbone skittering through southern Arizona homes. We have Mexico an armed camp with Mexican army tanks patrolling the streets. We have hundreds of innocent Mexican teenage girls in border towns raped, murdered and dismembered just for sport (with Jane Fonda actually pacing out in front and protesting). We have drug cartels smuggling tons of cocaine and heroin into the U.S. and those cartels are now teamed with the war lords of Afghanistan who truly want to see us all dead. We have thousands of gang members from Honduras and El Salvador who slaughter women and children and burn school buses to the ground now creeping northward through Arizona's shadowed canyons.

Watch MSNBC News Report


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