In a response to the on-going crisis involving juvenile undocumented migrants crossing the U.S. border with Mexico, members of a small right-wing extremist militia group in Texas recently issued a call for militia groups to “guard” the border.
Local media noticed the leader of the group, “Commander” Christopher Davis of Poteet, had posted a YouTube video in which he seemed to instruct people to point weapons at migrants and threaten to shoot them.
In response, Davis removed his YouTube videos and Facebook profile and assured reporters that he was just going to “supplement” law enforcement and “help them.” Said Davis, “There’s nothing malicious …We’re just here to serve freedom, liberty, and national sovereignty.” Davis even announced intentions to meet with law enforcement in the Laredo area.
Yet a closer look at Davis reveals a history of attitudes towards government that seems not nearly so helpful and benign. In fact, until Davis started “Secure Our Border – Laredo Sector” in recent weeks, his anger and rhetoric were directed not at immigration, but almost totally against the federal government.
An analysis of Facebook and Twitter postings by Davis dating back to 2012 reveals extreme antagonism towards the federal government. Claiming not to recognize any law or authority that “goes against the Constitution,” Davis has repeatedly expressed his willingness to physically confront a “tyrannical” federal government.
Waiting on the government to make the first move, Davis claimed in December 2012 on Twitter, “is like stepping into a bear trap to disengage it.” Rather, as he explained the following April, “when tyranny becomes law, revolution becomes duty.” In January 2014, Davis swore an oath on Facebook to defend America “against the current tyrannical government.”
Davis has repeatedly claimed that people have only two options left: “mass civil disobedience or another 1776.” Sometimes Davis has urged the former, while at other times, as in a February 2014 twitter comment, he has warned people not to be content “to merely march” when the government is using “fear, force, and violence as weapons of oppression.”
In March, Davis declared on Facebook that “we will attempt to arrest the tyrants” and that there was only “a minimal chance of success without violent confrontation.” But Davis said that he and others were “willing to lay down our lives, if needed.”
Whatever path Davis envisions, war with the government seems to be at the end of it. In a June 2 tweet, Davis argued that there are only three options: 1) a “plan of action in a last ditch effort to take our country back,” 2) “take up arms and physically remove the tyrants,” and 3) “stay reactive, they drop the hammer down…pockets of resistance…try to fight back.” All three options “will lead to war.”
To date, Davis’s efforts to mobilize militia groups at the border have met with little success, raising the question of whether he may once again turn his focus to his favorite perceived enemy: the federal government.