How to become a desert vigilante – and warning from AZ Highway Patrol Assoc

Lawlessness has long ruled the Wild West – and continues to do so.

Desert vigilante ammo and garb/AHPA submitted photo

Just ask the desert vigilantes. Well, you may not want to get close enough to ask them anything, as these types seem prone to shoot first and answer questions later.

You can instead simply believe a recent news release form the Arizona Highway Patrol Association: “Individuals are taking it upon themselves to go to rural parts of Arizona looking to catch people that they consider to be crossing the border illegally.”

Desert vigilantes are usually heavily armed and often impersonating officers of the law.

AHPA is kind enough to give vigilantes some benefit of the doubt, but it also warns they will not be tolerated:

“We believe these individuals that are ‘searching’ for undocumented persons feel they are assisting law enforcement,” the release quotes Sgt. Jimmy Chavez, president of the AHPA. “However, it creates scenarios that endanger themselves and our officers. Law enforcement officers are trained to handle these situations, and we want the public to be safe.”

Perhaps desert vigilantes continue to thrive since becoming one would be quite facile, maybe even completed in as few as five easy steps.

How to become a desert vigilante:

Hit yourself in the head with a brick.
While getting illegals out of the desert – and the nation – is a fine goal, taking the law into your own hands to achieve this goal requires some missing brain cells. Bash. Bleed. Repeat.

Gather your supplies
. A vigilante is useless without the proper equipment. This includes a big gun, lots of ammo for that gun, a flashlight, some water and a few snacks to tide you over while you’re crouching in the desert. Vigilantes who dig extra comfort may want to invest in a portable stool or a Lava Buns Heated Seat Cushion for those chilled desert nights.

Pick out your outfit. Desert-hued camouflage works for the stealthy. If you’re inclined to take your vigilantism to the next level and impersonate an officer of the law, you can always dress in a makeshift police or deputy uniform.

Amass a group of likeminded folks. Don’t forget the old adage about strength – and stupidity – in numbers. A solo vigilante is no fun when you can bring along a whole gaggle of your pals. This may also help with your legal defense once you’re arrested. Then you can always say, “He made me do it.”

Rile each other up – and go.
Get the group’s angry juices flowing so y’all are ready to go out and shoot up the world. Ideal ways to do this include reviewing your pay stubs or taxes owed, getting drunk and starting fights with each other, or trying to drive a mile in fewer than 30 minutes in Tucson traffic.

DISCLAIMER: In no way do I promote or support vigilantism of any sort and this article is written in jest. Anyone who follows these steps is doing so at his own risk of arrest, prosecution, death and/or looking like an idiot.


What do you think?

Have you ever encountered a desert vigilante?

Have you ever considered becoming one?

Are they snappy or crappy?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, death, environment, immigrants, life, Police/fire/law, Stupidity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to How to become a desert vigilante – and warning from AZ Highway Patrol Assoc

  1. MY NAME ? says:

    sounds like the people of arizona are gona do something befor the state and gov… 3 points for being proactive !!!!

    shoot em up !!!!

  2. Alan in Kent WA says:

    Man o Man, as I usually enjoy giving a humorist word to the blogski, this type of border enforcement is something that should be left to trained professionals.  The bad hombres on the other side of the border, coming across to do the bad things like coyotes and haulin’ dope, don’t mess around.  They don’t think twice about shooting at law enforcement, and I wouldn’t want a well meaning citizen to end up as a “practice target” for them. 

    • Rynski says:

      hey alan in kent wa,
      yeah, it is a dangerous gamble for folks to be out there taking the law into their own hands.
      even making a ‘citizen’s arrest’ in other areas can get folks beat up or shot – and that’s without the threat of the desert ‘bad guys’ with their smuggling et. al.
      i’d pass on this pastime, too – and duly agree professionals trained for being out there are the best ones to handle the situation.
      even the lava buns couldn’t keep people safe….

      • JoeS says:


        There have been civilian border watch groups successfully operating on the border long before the Minutemen even came into being.  Most don’t seek publicity,  and many have great relationships with the local LEAs.   IF there are truly individuals out there impersonating police then they should be charged for doing so.  If you are attempting to paint everyone that volunteers on the border as a JT Ready/Nazi type then you need to do some more research…

      • Rynski says:

        hi joeS,
        thanks for input. wasn’t trying to paint anyone as nazi type – although i was poking fun at vigilantes that may be of the idiot type.
        if some work quietly and helpfully with the blessings of the LEAs, good for them. go for it! still stand by the statement that it’s dang dangerous.
        if others go out there like rambo impersonating police officers – well, that’s another story. (but please not a rambo sequel… stallone is not one of my faves…)

      • JoeS says:

        “….still stand by the statement that it is dangerous”

        Ryn,  most things worth doing are dangerous…
        “…go out there like Rambo…”

        Ahh…the “Rambo” cunard…did’t take long for that one.  Well anyone that carries a firearm for self defense in the desert is going to be called a “Rambo” by the opposition in an attempt to marginilize them…..but even you realise that it is a dangerous environment.

        If folks are activly impersonating Law Enforcement on the border then I’m sure Sgt Chavez of thr AZDPS will be happy to arrest them and I’m sure the local papers will gleefully report it.  I’m still waiting….
        For many years many border LEA’s have turned a blind eye to smuggling corridors that they have considered too dangerous.  They essentially ceeded the territory to the bad guys.  Many so-called “vigilantes” have been shining the light on the border problem and that has forced the issue to the forefront in the media and forces the LEA’s to react instead of burying their head in the sand…

        So called “Border Vigilantes” are the reason this issue is no longer under the radar….and thats why the left absolutly hates them.   8^)

      • Rynski says:

        you know, joes, you’re right about the things worth doing often being dangerous, at least in one way or another.
        and ‘cunard’ is a good word – but i have to disappoint you that i’m not marginalizing ‘anyone that carries a firearm for self defense in the desert’ as rambo –
        again, i’m using the ‘rambo’ term to describe the vigilante type that fall into the idiot category – if you are saying there ARE NO idiot-type vigilantes, then i’ll disagree – if you say there are helpful vigilantes that brought border issues to forefront and are ‘non-rambo’ type, i’ll believe you and, again, say good for them.

      • koreyk says:

        Not to be picky, but isn’t the word ‘canard’, rather than ‘cunard’?

        I’ve always known Cunard as a British cruise line.

        “reheats pp” is the rather unpleasant captcha.

      • Rynski says:

        koreyk, you master wordsmith!!!
        yes, thanks for picking up the misspelling of CUNARD – you are absolutely correct.
        …unless, of course, there is a british cruise line that features a stallone theme boat ride…

  3. fraser007 says:

    This all sounds familiar! The government failed to support a border problem. The general in charge from the army told the citizens in Tucson to take care of it themselves as the feds did not have the resources. (Congress would not allow more funding and kept the size of the army small.)
    Camp Grant Massacre 1871.

    The massacre party was truely multicultural. Anglos,Mexicans and Tohno O’odam Native Americans. About 100 Apaches (mostly woman and children) were killed. Our border has always been pourous, time to secure it.

  4. JoeS says:

    6 whites,   48 Mexicans,  and 92 Papago (O’odham)  made up the raiding party.

  5. fraser007 says:

    The US Army has always been small. Pre-Civil War levels were about 30,000, During the Civil War we were over 1.5 million. A lot of Volunteers and Guard types. After the war we “downsized” down to 25.000 from 1871 to 1898. That why the Apaches did so well against us. When we doubled the number of troops here in 1886 (2,500 to 5,000) Geronimo and his group were wrapped up. Cochise and others did well against us earlier in the war when we only had 2,500 troops here.
    President Grant wanted about 90,000 troops in the US Army. If he had been successful the Apache Wars would have been over in about 6 weeks. Less Apache lives lost and ours. We are in the same situation now. Thanks Obama. Your a swell guy.

  6. Hugh Holub says:

    The last thing we need down here on the border is a bunch of armed militia type  crazies.

    • JoeS says:

      “The last thing we need down here on the border is a bunch of armed militia type  crazies.”
      Will you go on the record calling for a vastly expanded USBP border presence?

      How about trained US military to help observe and report on the border?

      If the .gov would do the job then there would be no need for non .gov entities to fill the vacum.  The problem is you don’t want ANYONE to enforce the border.

      The open border types say they don’t want “untrained militia types” on the border.

      The open border types cry when trained local LEOs work on border enforcement saying it is the “job of the Federal government”  

      The open border types cry when the Trained Federal Government whose job it is to enforce the border actually does something to enforce the border.

      They want NO ONE enforceing the border….plain and simple.

  7. fraser007 says:

    I dont want a “bunch of armed militia types ” here either. But I dont want drug runners,  armed Cartel members, gang members and illegal aliens either.
    I want a lot of US Army troops here to protect us or a hell of a lot of Border Patrol.
    So why dont  you want to stop the invasion of drugs, drug runners, illegal aliens??? Please tell me. I would love to know why.

  8. elfie says:

    While I do not condone impersonating a law enforcement officer; I find my self strangely OK with this group.  Seems to me if the people in charge of keeping American’s safe were doing their job; this type of action would not be happening nor would it be necessary.
    I am a firm believer in protecting what is yours; just don’t impersonate a peace officer while doing it.

    • Rynski says:

      thanks for input, elfie.
      i will def. agree with ‘protecting what is yours,’ esp. when it comes to home invasions and the like. one of my fave signs is ‘nothing inside is worth dying for.’
      also agree more protection is needed in border area.

  9. leftfield says:

    Hi Ryn, I thought the Freakshow comments were on another page.  My mistake.

  10. radmax says:

    Vigilantes…the very name stirs the soul.
    Too bad these clowns are for the most part beer drinkin’ good old boys with too much free time on their hands.
    You take a well intentioned man, arm him and put him ‘on patrol’ with a bunch of ya-hoos and pretty soon he begins to think their way.
    Lynch mob…there’s a vigilante group for ya.
    Leave the patrolin’ to the pros, they actually train for this…almost like a profession or something…
    “even the lava buns couldn’t keep people safe….” You know your bun warming equipment Rynski, probably the greatest personal comfort invention of our time.

    • Rynski says:

      yessss – VIGILANTES is such a glorious and powerful term.
      too bad, like you said, there may be the (dare i say) ‘rambo’ types that go rootin’ and tootin’ and shootin’ at anything that moves.
      poor prairie dogs.
      that type also mars the term ‘vigilante’ – gives it a goofy connotation rather than a glorious one.
      so cool you, too, know about the joy of the lava buns. wouldn’t go to a desert mob event without it! hahahhahaah.

    • JoeS says:


      So we have had “un-trained ya-hoos” on the border for about a decade or so.
      Could you please let us know how many folks have been lynched by these beer drinkin ya-hoos?
      Also, we had a Pinal county deputy shot recently by suspected smugglers,  a blogger on this very site did everything they could to allude that he lied about the whole incident.  And he was a “trained” individual,  and the open borders crowd does not want him getting in the way of the dope or illegals any more then “un-trained ya-hoos”

      • radmax says:

        Just a gut feeling. I grew up in rural very southern Az., so I do know something of which I speak. How’d that indictment turn out for one of the minutemen’s founding fathers?
        Hows about the kid murderers trio of trailer yokels I read about a while back, seems to me I recollect them being grand poobahs in one of these ‘patriotic’ groups. I gotta start cutting and pasting this stuff, hey, maybe I can get a blog like three snorins…

  11. JoeS says:

    “There may be the Rambo types that go rootin,  tootin,  and shootin at anything the moves”

    Ryn,  could you please articulate the instances where the alledged Rambo types have shot anything that moves?

    The closest thing you could even come up with is the criminal enterprise that it sounds like Shawna Ford put together and that is hardly the issue we are talking about.

    • Rynski says:

      why do you get grickly every time ‘rambo’ is mentioned?

      • JoeS says:

        “why do you get grickly every time ‘rambo’ is mentioned?”

        Because it is pure sensationalism,   while I expect that type of  inflamatory  rhetoric from some of the bloggers here I had yet to see it from you….

      • Rynski says:

        aww, shucks – it was not ‘inflammatory rhetoric’ it was rather paying tribute to the very intelligent and box-office-busting stallone.

      • koreyk says:

        Grickly!  I don’t think that is a real word, but it should be.

      • Rynski says:

        GRICKLY! is an awesome word – and it’s in the process of becoming mainstream. it’s from middle rynisms, circa 1990, from the noun GRICKLE, which is defined as 1. a rock-eating ogre-like being (when used in conjunction with – bomb, as in GRICKLE BOMB) 2. those burr things that stick to your dogs in the wash.
        the adjective GRICKLY, as seen above, describes a feeling of discomfort, irritability or discontent, the same way one would feel if he or she had GRICKLES in his brain or underwear.

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