Recent growth in the militia movement should be viewed as an alarm that the federal government is out of control, Sen. Larry Craig said Monday.
“After Waco and Ruby Ridge and the Brady Bill and the semiauto (weapons) ban, there is no question that this government - and this Congress - set the stage,” Craig said. “Sometimes they (the militias) are a little paranoid, but they reacted and they organized.”
As a conservative student leader at the University of Idaho in the late 1960s, Craig said he saw left-wing student activists voicing similar views of government.
“Anyone who’s going to be critical of the militias should be just as critical of the S.D.S. (Students for a Democratic Society).”
Craig said some militia members are protecting their gun rights.
“Of course, others have gone further and some have apparently stepped outside the bounds of law,” Craig said. “They have a responsibility to stay within the rules of our society.”
Craig sits on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association.
He said he’s never knowingly met with militia members. Militia members worked on the election campaign of Idaho Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth, an association that drew criticism.
Craig said he was careful to make sure that the recently passed anti-terrorist legislation didn’t intrude on people’s private lives.
“It’s a fine line doing that and making sure we don’t allow an Oklahoma City (bombing) to happen,” he said.