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After Losing on the Legislative Front, Militiamen Return to the Arizona Border

Domenic Powell • Jun 08, 2012

Just weeks after JT Ready’s horrific murder-suicide, the Arizona militia movement is gearing up for a resurgence along the southern border.

Militia movements have a way of attracting violent murderers of innocent children, as well as neo-Nazis, but I repeat myself. The Arizona legislature took up a bill this year that would have organized this rag-tag collection of right-wing miscreants into a volunteer fighting force that served at the whim of Jan Brewer. The legislature, fortunately, chickened out.

“We have now washed our hands of our state’s legislature,” said Jack Foote, a militia leader in Arizona, obviously miffed at the decision not to create the force. “Now we are going to do things our own way.”

One well-known extremist, Glenn Spencer, who sees himself as fighting against “globalism,” recently announced that he is retiring from the blogosphere to go back on patrol with the militia group he founded, the American Border Patrol. “Open borders and the free flow of people across them are vital to the globalist’s agenda,” Spencer said. The Center for Immigration Studies, which attempts to cast itself as moderate and “pro-immigrant,” included a link to this violent extremist group in a press release.

Despite their constant repetition of screeds like “the law is the law” or “illegal is illegal,” border militants don’t see the contradiction in trying to take the law into their own hands.

JT Ready, the former neo-Nazi and head of the “US Border Guard” that patrolled the desert of Pinal County, tried to make the jump from border militant to credentialed law man to advance his mission. Ready was running for sheriff when he killed four people before killing himself. As the Daily Beast points out, we’ve seen a ratcheting up of gun rhetoric in politics over the past two election cycles, from Sharron Angle’s “Second Amendment remedies” and Scott Beason’s “empty the clip” solution to immigration—it’s no surprise that someone just might take it literally. Namely, people like Spencer and Ready who see themselves as soldier in a wider war.

Militia activity on the border had been dialed down over the past few years, by and large because the Arizona legislature was just as crazy as they were. However, they weren’t crazy enough to formally fund the militias, especially with a poster boy like JT Ready.

Anti-immigrant pundits and spokespersons are constantly recasting immigration as an “invasion.” Arizona, which has been out front on legislating against immigrants, came to the precipice of declaring war on them (as much as a state can declare war, that is). But what does Arizona care about petty things like the Constitution, anyway?


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