The Bundy Ranch continues to spiral with the BLM not backing down, and the militias are beginning to show up. This escalation of the conflict is not good and will result in bloodshed, unless the federal government backs down. For those who are not sure about what rights are being violated, I’ve broken it down into several sections here:
- First Amendment rights.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Make no mistake, the entire land in question is public land, managed by the BLM. The BLM violates the rights of the U.S. citizens when it tries to create “no free speech zones” by cordoning off sections of the land for people to express their First Amendment rights. Not only the highway but also the the land itself (managed by the BLM) is public. As stated yesterday, there already exists a zone for people to express their First Amendment rights– it’s called the United States of America. It is completely repugnant for the BLM to attempt to restrict those rights, and it suggests that the true intent of their actions and possibly the actions themselves are shameful. Today, we have unconfirmed reports that the cell towers that serve the Bundy’s ranch have been shut down, suggesting that the law enforcement are intent on hiding their own actions. We have already seen the near riot that ensued when BLM officers with dogs, drawn tasers and slung AR-15s/M16s were confronted by protestors armed only with wagging fingers and cell phone cameras. The BLM engaged with escalated violence first, and then reported to the mainstream media that their dog was kicked and the protestors had to be tased to be controlled. Watch yesterday’s video again and see for yourself if their claims hold true. The dog was clearly released on the person who then kicked it. The officers tased a person who was only armed with a wagging finger. For this reason, they want a communications blackout to perpetuate their skewed and false narrative.
- Prior usage rights.
The southwest states of the United States of America have a long tradition of recognizing “prior usage rights”. There are land grants that trace their history clear back to the 1600s. Water rights are similarly recognized based upon when the water was first used for agricultural usage. Cliven Bundy’s family’s grazing rights can be traced back 150 years to the formation and recognition of the State of Nevada in 1864. The BLM was formed in 1946. It is clear that the Bundys have prior usage rights that predate even the formation of the BLM. If you include the predecessor of the BLM– The General Land Office (GLO), which was formed in 1812, their formation could be considered to predate the Bundy’s usage, but the fact that the land was continually grazed for over 150 years shows that the GLO and the subsequent BLM not only allowed but agreed to the land usage by the Bundy family. The courts have erred in their rulings over these usage rights and have either set a dangerous precedent or followed in the footsteps of decisions that overstep moral and ethical boundaries regarding eminent domain. This dangerous trend is becoming the powder keg that we see being worked out in this case. The fact that multiple branches of the federal government have ruled against what should be standard law simply shows that they are either colluding or ignorant. The rulings by the judges are a prime example of progressive judges creating law, rather than interpreting law.
- Open range laws.
Under open range laws, if you don’t want cattle grazing on your land, it is your responsibility to fence them out. By requiring the rancher to fence his own cattle out of the BLM land, they are placing unfair, unprecedented, and unlawful burden on the rancher. It is the responsibility of the BLM to erect fences around property they don’t want grazed.
- Moral and ethical issues.
Morals are what we do; ethics are what we ought to do. In this case, the Bundys have chosen to press for their rights rather than knuckle under the heavy-handed tactics of the federal government. No tortoise nor any cow is worth the loss of human life, yet that is where this is headed if the federal government does not back down. There is suspicion that the contractors who have been brought in to remove the cows are killing many of them (whether by accident or design). There is suspicion that some wearing the BLM uniform are not duly sworn law enforcement officers.
- Escalation of conflict.
So far, the conflict has been between the Bundy ranch, neighbors, a few friends and the BLM. As this drags on, the conflict will escalate with militia and others from across the country getting involved. The emotions will run higher. The thin line between anger and action will be narrowed, and at some point either a law enforcement officer who feels threatened or a protester who is being unfairly attacked will pull their firearm, and it will escalate into bloodshed. The longer the conflict runs, the greater the chance of this escalation occurring. The governor has already weighed in verbally in support of the Bundys. Where is Harry Reid?
o o o
Today we present another entry for Round 52 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $11,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:
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- Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
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- A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
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- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
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- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
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Round 52 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.