Ann-Marie Murrell
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A rally to support a Florida Marine reservist who remains in Mexican custody after he drove into Tijuana carrying three guns and 400 rounds of ammo drew about 75 people Wednesday night, May 28, including at least two Tea Party candidates and two right-leaning radio-show hosts.

Gina Loudon

Gina Loudon, who has parlayed a PhD in psychology into a talk-show career, explained that she has adopted Tahmooressi's cause because he is a hero who made a mistake.

"He fought terrorists for our country and, you could say, for Mexico — for everyone, really," Loudon said in an interview. "It's time we bring this soldier home."

Loudon was joined by congressional candidate Kirk Jorgensen, a former Marine; gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly phoned in to the rally. Both are closely identified with the Tea Party movement.

The crowd, estimated by police at 75 people, listened politely to impassioned calls for Tahmooressi's release from Loudon, radio-host Mark Slater, Jorgensen, and Ann-Marie Murrell, director in chief of Politichix TV and Loudon's co-author for her book, What Women Really Want (which she displayed during her remarks).

Speakers called for stronger action by the Obama administration and called on California politicians to support the effort to free Tahmooressi, now led by congressman Duncan Hunter.

One of the speakers took aim at U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas (a Democrat), apparently unaware that Vargas has cosigned at least one of Hunter's letters to U.S. and Mexican officials. But Loudon assured the crowd that the support for Tahmooressi was not political.

"This is a nonpartisan effort," she said. "This is about bringing this American hero home."

The rally was held in front of a duty-free shop on the west side of the I-5, and a store employee watched from the doorway as the mostly white and mostly older crowd waved American flags and applauded the speakers.

A man held a sign that offered to trade 12 million Mexicans — referring to the estimated number of illegal immigrants — "for one Good Marine." (A Pew Research study last year estimated the number at 11.7 million.)

Asked what he would say if a Mexican citizen with a bunch of guns accidentally drove into the U.S. and got arrested, one flag-wearing demonstrator swore at this reporter.

"That's not the point," he said.

Meanwhile, Loudon recounted her conversations with the imprisoned reservist's mom, Jill Tahmooressi, during her remarks.

"He prays with his mom every night," she said. "He's praying for the Mexican guards — that's what kind of man he is."

Loudon said Jill Tahmooressi had promised to call and speak at the rally by phone, but the call never came through.

"I think she fell asleep," Loudon confided.

Photos are of Gina Loudon (elaborate blue necklace, skirt) and Ann-Marie Murrell, in pants.

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Javajoe25 May 29, 2014 @ 9:24 p.m.

This guy's story smelled fishy right from the git-go. I can't understand someone getting so confused -- especially if they have recently been to Mexico several times before -- they end up driving to the border crossing, even though there are numerous large signs saying you are coming to the border...and signs saying this is the last exit before you come to the border, and big, big signs saying guns are illegal in Mexico, so this one is kind of hard to swallow. Plus, what was the deal with the ladder they also found in his car?

So, he's coming to San Diego to get treatment for his PTSD (because there is no other VA hospitals between here and Florida) and he's armed to the teeth...and entering a country that has a border fence (two, I belive), and he has a ladder. Uhhh. I don't know -- like they say in Fargo: "seems kinda fishy."


Chris92074 May 30, 2014 @ 9:14 a.m.

That would be Mike Slater of 760 KFMB.


petezanko May 30, 2014 @ 2:27 p.m.

Yeah, dude's a lunatic. Glad the Mexicans are stuck with him.


jnojr May 30, 2014 @ 3:13 p.m.

Even if I bought his story (and I don't), the simple fact is that Mexico is a sovereign nation with their own laws. Period. They have very strict gun laws. The fact that those laws do not work and serve merely to empower criminals and terrorists while destroying regular people doesn't mean a thing. If a Mexican "accidentally" crossed into the US with guns, cocaine, Percocet, untaxed booze, fireworks, or a bunch of other things; they'd be arrested and charged and tried and imprisoned.

And then there's the fact that I've driven into Mexico numerous times (always on purpose!) Never once have I been stopped or questioned or searched. Why was he? I doubt it was his unlucky day... his appearance or behavior was suspicious enough that the Mexican authorities decided to check him out.

I do hope he gets out, but just as we shouldn't listen to Mexicans bleating about releasing criminal illegal aliens, they don't have to listen to us on this matter.


Visduh June 2, 2014 @ 8:42 a.m.

The notion that a Mexican who drove across the border with something regarded as contraband would be tried and imprisoned is ludicrous. That happens every day at San Ysidro, and in the preponderance of cases the vehicle and contraband are confiscated. But as to imprisoning the person, that rarely happens. The usual action is deportation following a warning that "next time . . ." Then when the next time occurs, nothing worse happens.

Yes, Mexico is a sovereign nation, but by its words and deeds, its government has little respect for the US as a sovereign nation. The proper resolution of this case would be to keep his truck, firearms, and "stuff", and kick his butt back across the border. No, this is just another incident where the Mexican government rubs the nose of the US in the dirt when it can.

For those who like to think that TJ and Mexico as a whole are hospitable, remember this incident, and ask yourself what might happen if you accidentally took something across the border with you that is forbidden. It could happen. Or you might be arrested on trumped-up charges for some strange reason. Jail in the US is bad enough, but there it is hell on earth, especially for Gringos. A trip across that line can turn into a very bad experience, one that you'll never get over.


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