Fed Up

A year after Oklahoma City, anti-government militias are alive and well and mad as hell.

A YEAR AGO THIS month, in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, militia groups used up their fifteen minutes of fame—or so it seemed. As the recent alleged plot by a Central Texas militia to kidnap a federal judge in Austin or San Antonio suggests, anti-government groups are alive and well and still mad as hell. Estimates put the number of militia groups in Texas at fourteen, though it’s impossible to know exactly how many people are running around dressed in fatigues. It’s also tough to know too much about them, though they clearly have some things in common: They believe in the Second Amendment, they hate federal regulation, they feel they’ve gotten a bad rap in the media and the law enforcement community, and they’ll do anything to protect their rights—including commit an act of violence as a last resort. Herewith, a guide to five of our state’s higher-profile militia groups.

Tri-State Militia Network
Headquarters Kerr County
Membership Ten units.
Mission To preserve goals of United States Constitution; to counter media’s contention that militias are racist.
Villains The FBI and other federal agencies with “no constitutional grounds for existence,” says southern forces coordinator Bob Page.
Strategy Barrage authorities with calls, faxes, letters, and telegrams if they deny people their rights.
Quote “We don’t hate Jews; we have a sincere problem with eight members of the Federal Reserve Board who happen to be Jews.”
Republic of Texas
Headquarters San Antonio
Membership “In the thousands,” says Tarrant County commander Mike Grant.
Mission To reestablish sovereignty of Texas, which “is not and never will be a state.”
Villains The U.S. (“an invading force”); federal agencies, especially the EPA and the IRS.
Strategy Serve Governor George W. Bush with eviction notice; sue U.S. in the World Court at The Hague.
Quote “When you don’t tax people, they spend money and the economy thrives.”
1st Texas Ranger Brigade
Headquarters Freestone County
Membership Declines to say.
Mission To combat big government; to see that the laws of the land are enforced.
Villains Lobbyists; the Illuminati; corrupt politicians who regulate and tax the American people to death.
Strategy Train members to be prepared for economic chaos; practice defensive techniques in case of ambush.
Quote “Make sure the Constitution stays valid,” says Colonel Raymond Smith, “and everything will take care of itself.”
7th Infantry
Headquarters Midland-Odessa
Membership Can’t disclose “for security reasons,” says commanding officer Colonel John Russell.
Mission To be an armed force committed to defending itself and the state in the event of attack.
Villains Overregulating, overtaxing big government; foreign invaders.
Strategy Meet in monthly musters to run maneuvers and check canteens, firearms, and other equipment.
Quote “The balance of coercive force must remain with the people at large.”
1st Cavalry
Headquarters Houston
Membership “Not enough—we’re still growing,” says commanding officer Brigadier General Carl D. Haggard.
Mission To restore traditional citizens militias composed of “all people capable of bearing arms.”
Villains People who regulate a citizen’s right to pack a pistol.
Strategy Go to the ballot box and to court to seek redress for big government’s abuses of power.
Quote “Speak softly and carry a big semiautomatic weapon.”

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