Armed & Dangerous: Arizona

Efforts have recently begun in Arizona to create a militia movement. David Espy, who portrays himself a latter-day American Revolutionary captain, has attempted to organize militia meetings over the last several weeks. An advertisement he placed in the September 11 and 25. 1994 issues of the Prescott Courier announced a meeting in Paulden, Arizona of the “Association of the Sons of Liberty and the Volunteer Militia.” The purpose of the meeting was to discuss plans for action against the federal government which, he asserts, “continue[s] to pass legislation that weaken our unalienable, private property and Bill of Rights (sic).” The formation of a militia is an integral part of Espy’s plan:

So. everyone out there, who thinks that taking pride in owning firearms, is being fanatical or nuts, should remember where you are living and how we all got here to begin with. It wasn’t by just sitting back and letting the government run our lives and usurping our fundamental rights as free people. So forgive me, if I see a clear and present danger with what is happening in our country today, and that I feel a genuine and rational need to form a volunteer militia force. if for no other reason than to [let] Washington know that there is still a large group of us out here that have inherited revolutionary DNA and are willing to fight for it until our dying breath.

Another aspect of his plan is a demand for “the legal cessation (sic) of Arizona from these federal United States.”

Also active in Arizona is Gary D. Hunt. a man obsessed with the Waco Branch Davidian incident. Hunt himself was present during the siege in Waco and wrote about the event at the time, comparing the Branch Davidians to the original revolutionary Minutemen: “I understand why [the Minutemen] were willing to stand and face portions of the greatest military force in the world. And I understand why David Koresh and the other brave defenders of Mount Carmel stand fearlessly defending their home and mine.”

More recently, Hunt has distributed a flier dated July 2, 1994 and labeled “Sons of Liberty No. 3.” The flier describes the effectiveness of militias in the Revolutionary War and suggests that militias are again needed now. At the bottom of the flier, written in by hand, Hunt announced: “March on Phx FBI 8-25-94 5-6 p.m. to release the Branch Davidians. Bring legal signs + guns. Tell a friend.” The FBI and Phoenix Police paid close attention. but the planned march never materialized.