Armed vigilantes hunting for immigrants allegedly shot and killed two people yesterday near Eloy, Arizona. According to News 4 in Tucson, the victims were ambushed by a group in camouflage and armed with rifles.
Eloy is about an hour’s drive from where “Ready’s Rangers” are known to roam—this band of armed militiamen led by neo-Nazi J.T. Ready has been patrolling for the past few years. Eloy is also in Pinal County, where Ready launched a campaign for sheriff.
Armed militias pose a serious threat to public safety. Groups like the Minutemen, Ready’s Rangers, and the National Socialist Movement (to which Ready was affiliated until recently) have a dedicated core of volunteers willing to use deadly force against people they perceive as “invaders.” Beyond immigration, they have the potential to push tense situations over the brink, as many fear may happen in Sanford, Florida. After the Trayvon Martin tragedy, the NSM now claims to be patrolling the city in order to protect the white citizens from riots.
Count the dead as two more victims of the politics of invasion being espoused by supposedly “mainstream” anti-immigrant organizations. Did we need to be reminded again that this rhetoric has consequences?