This is truly weird. E.J. Montini, a columnist at the Republic, wrote a piece putting down Melvin's idea of spending $200,000 in state funds to put vigilantes militia a Volunteer Security Force on the border to replace Melvin's beloved but defunct Minutemen.
Even though the column was written for a Phoenix audience, far from his electoral turf, Melvin had to -- had to -- defend himself.
I think, for some deep personal reasons, Melvin has to -- has to -- respond to any negative comment about him or his ideas. He's got very thin skin for someone in a public position.
But the amazing thing about Melvin's response is, he doesn't once mention the volunteer force Montini was writing about. Not once.
Melvin's defense is basically: "Oh yeah, so you don't think there's a problem at the border? Oh yeah?"
No, Sen. Melvin, Montini's concern with your proposal isn't a lack of understanding of the problem at the border, which everyone acknowledges. It's your loopy idea of sending armed civilians out to deal with the problem. As Montini so aptly puts it, summarizing Melvin's ideas:
Well-armed, well-trained narco warriors and other bad guys are crossing our border. We counter with less well-armed and less well-trained citizen volunteers.
Melvin brings up the recent murder of rancher Rob Krentz to bolster his case. Yet he wants civilians to square off against drug gangs without considering the possible, even probable, violence and death that would result. Is he looking to defend to border, or to create a few more martyrs for the cause?