I've been meaning to do a follow-up of my recent post on Senate Bill 1495/House Bill 2070, which would give the Arizona governor -- Jan Brewer and beyond -- the power to call up a "state guard" for any reason the governor deems necessary.
Currently, the governor can create a state guard if the Arizona National Guard has been called up or alerted for federal duty, but this proposal would broaden her power, obviously. And some local militia-types are giddy with anticipation at the prospect of being part of such a force.
Two militiamen from the Arizona State Guard, which they are now referring to as the Arizona Guard, have supported the bills in committee hearings -- Tim Guiney and Charles Yuditsky. I've put a call into Guiney, but we've not been able to chat yet.
Some folks I know have expressed concern that this new "Arizona Guard" is a reactivation of the infamous "Arizona Guard" once lead by convicted felon Casey Nethercott, but I've found no evidence to this effect so far.
Still, considering Nethercott's unsavory history, his confrontations with law enforcement, and the fact that one of his sidekicks was a neo-Nazi, Guiney and Yuditsky may want to consider a brand change. They've registered their group with the Arizona Corporation Commission as "Arizona State Guard, LLC," but during one committee hearing, Yuditsky stated that they now call themselves, simply, "Arizona Guard."
Arizona Guard's Web page states that the group has "accepted a gig as the lead in security and assistance in medical for Rifle Stock in March."
(I should note that neither Guiney nor Yuditsky identify themselves by name on the site, but there are specific references to their appearances before the state House Appropriations Committee, and "AZRanger" posts Tim Guiney's phone number as his own. Also, AZ Ranger puts up a "letter of resignation" from the "Arizona Independent Militia" that he says is his. The letter is by "Tim Guiney.")
In any case, RifleStock, which is scheduled to begin March 18, at a location "approximately 75 miles S.W. of Tucson," bills itself as a family-friendly hootenanny, with a pig roast, activities for the kiddies, militiaman bonding, and plenty of guns.
The Web site for RifleStock warns that this event will just be for fun, and is not a military operation, per se. It states, in part, that:
"Riflestock is not intended to be a border operation, itself, though the ability to see the damage done, take pictures of illegal critters, and, perhaps, scare the hell out of some of them, by our sheer numbers, and to actually visit the site of America's ongoing war with illegal border crossings, is in the offering."
Um, "illegal critters"? Somehow, I doubt this refers to Mexican javelinas.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $12 for children. Some of the prizes being given away include a laser night vision riflescope, night vision binoculars, and a Blackhawk tactical vest. The Web site patriotresistance.com is organizing the event.
RifleStock is being pimped heavily by an Alaskan survivalist by the name of Franke Schein. On his Twitter page, Schein declares himself a "Proud right-wing extremist," and describes RifleStock as the "rumble in the desert of Arizona," and, "like Woodstock -- but for patriots."
Schein is the author of the Lone Wolf Resistance Manual: The Most Deadly Resistance Book Ever Written. That "lone wolf" reference has some creepy connotations in right-wing circles, but Schein argues passionately in newsletters to the faithful that militias should not utilize the "first strike option," so he's got that going for him. Which is nice.
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Still, the book's jacket promises to teach you all about "booby traps," "home made explosives," "prisoner handling," and "ambush techniques," among other need-to-know stuff.
What, no chapter on decapitation? Disappointed...
All this should give you some idea of kind of people who might make up the governor's "state guard," should the proposal become law.
Hell, I feel safer already...