The III% Security Force, a heat-packing militia, has begun prepping for “what they expect to be intense fallout from the 2016 election,” according to Reuters correspondent Justin Mitchell, whose latest report showcases the group’s Jackson, Georgia, campsite/training facility.
A handful of its 300 members — adorned in Army Navy surplus gear and Atlanta Braves flat-brims — have been meeting in the woods “about once a month,” Mitchell says, “practicing survival skills, hand-to-hand combat, and marksmanship.”
“We need to be prepared for all situations,” explains Chris Hill (aka Blood Agent), who founded the group in 2014. “But in this election, you know, I think if Hillary Clinton wins this election, I think there’s gonna be unrest from the right. I think that if Donald Trump wins the election, there’s going to be unrest on the left.”
“I think if Hillary Clinton wins, she’s going to push for anti-gun legislation,” Hill added. “We’re prepared to do everything to prevent an infringement upon our Second Amendment right.”
Blood Agent claims not to have any violent intentions, but says III% Security Force is preparing to protect protesters in the event of a march on Washington.
“I can’t take a Hillary Clinton presidency,” he said. “I’m gonna do everything in my power to try to rally people, and if the people want to stand and the people want to have their voices heard, I think that’s a First Amendment right and I want to be there with the Second Amendment right and stand and protect that voice.”
“This is the land of my birth,” he added. “And I’m going to fight and die to uphold and defend the principles that made us free, so help me God.”
A reporter for NPR went undercover with the III% Security Force in an investigation released last month, and described the militia members as being driven by “a kind of sense that they — white men — are losing power, and I think a lot of them are not happy with that.”
But I think there’s also a sense of just excitement that they get from this. Initially, I was judging them internally for this. But then I realized that, look, in some ways, I’m there for a similar reason. These guys, like myself, are enjoying this kind of excitement, and maybe that’s the reason they’re there, because they feel that they’re out in a kind of Wild West and they’re basically re-enacting war again.
A report from the Southern Poverty Law Center noted that there were nearly 1,000 active militia groups in the United States — down from a high of 1360 in 2012. Recently, militias have appeared in Kansas, where three members planned to shoot Somali immigrants.
Watch the full Reuters video here.