Friday, September 02, 2005

Nothing like armed vigilantes

Remember how we've been hearing that the Minutemen are just a benign "neighbor watch" movement that carefully screens its participants and discourages the use of guns, except for self-defense?

Guess it turns out that was just for public consumption in the early stages. According to the Houston Chronicle, the Minutemen who are planning to patrol the city on foot searching for illegal immigrants also plan to be packing heat:
Leaders of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps of Texas had earlier said volunteers observing Houston's day laborers in October would carry nothing but video cameras.

But leaders now say those involved in the operations targeting local illegal immigrants will be allowed to carry arms as long as they comply with all federal and state laws.

In fact, those who have a concealed-weapons permit are being offered a discount on joining the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. An Arizona-based organization, the Minutemen started out by patrolling the Arizona-Mexico border in April to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing, but the group has announced it will conduct a variety of operations here this fall.

Members are normally charged $50 to join, with the money used to conduct a criminal background check. Those with a valid concealed-weapons permit can have that fee waived, since they already have undergone a background check and met other requirements, such as a handgun course, to get the permit, said George Klages, spokesman for the Minutemen in Houston.

Klages said the Minutemen are all responsible, law-abiding citizens, and the use of arms will not cause problems here.

"About 50 or 60 percent of our members are veterans," he said. "These are people who know how to handle a weapon."

Mind you, this isn't a border watch operation. These folks plan to be cruising the streets, searching for illegals.

No wonder the ACLU is training observers to keep an eye on these folks.

[Via Grits for Breakfast.]

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