“A fox should not be on the jury at a goose’s trial.” ~Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), English churchman and historian
If you were paying attention to the news this past week, you would have noticed a big brouhaha at a place called the Bundy Ranch in Nevada. Apparently our federal government got it in their heads that it would be a good idea to call out the snipers, helicopters and fully militarized SWAT teams of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service in order to confiscate some cows who were supposedly grazing where they should not have been. Yes, you heard that right; citizens got snipers called on them for cows. Our federal government, who somehow cannot seem to close the border, prevent the death of American ambassadors at foreign consulates, or know that they are giving visas to terrorists, has determined that a full frontal assault was necessary in order to collect on a rancher’s overdue bill. However, Americans were having none of that foolishness, poured into Nevada by the hundreds, and stood up to the bullying arm of the Feds with their own firepower until they backed down.
Regardless of what you think of the case of Cliven Bundy and his grazing rights, what happened at the Bundy Ranch should make any American shudder. The same government that seems unwilling to protect us from actual terrorists appears quite willing to treat ordinary Americans as such. We have now seen public servants from the federal bureaucracies – not law enforcement – who are armed to the teeth and willing to shoot fellow Americans if they did not willingly give up their property so it could be sold or destroyed. We had U.S. Senator Harry Reid, himself a hypocrite by encouraging illegal immigration lawlessness, call his fellow Americans “domestic terrorists’ when they stood up to this gross overreach by the Feds. When did Americans become the enemy instead of those Islamic militants with an actual track record of murder and blowing things up? Why do so many federal bureaucracies, such as the BLM, Department of Education, and U.S. Post Office, need their own militarized SWAT teams to handle domestic civil issues? This isn’t Iraq or Afghanistan, so who exactly are they preparing to go to battle against? I think we saw the answer to that at the Bundy Ranch, except this time, unlike Waco or Ruby Ridge, the government couldn’t control the message, as hundreds of witnesses to their behavior shared what was happening live on social media. I don’t think it was just the sheer number of armed Americans that got them to stand down – I believe it was also the truth laid bare.
Will the federal government give up on Bundy Ranch? Not likely, as they have federal court orders on their side. They may try a less militant tactic later; however, the genie is already out of the bottle. Thanks to social media, Americans have seen the lengths our government is willing to go to in order to get what they want, even if it means killing a few Americans in the process. We are now starting to ask questions, like “Why now”? Why did the Feds wait 20 years before they tried to enforce the court order, and why did they first choose a tactic that involved snipers and SWAT teams? Why does the federal government own so much land anyway? Who is actually getting the benefit of both it and the fees that citizens are paying to use their own, i.e. public land? Why does such a small minority of environmentalists and federal bureaucracies hold so much sway over the disposition of public land within states? How fair is it that cases between the federal government and individuals are tried in a federal court- isn’t that a little like the fox guarding the henhouse? Also, by the Feds owning so much state land, doesn’t that make the states a lesser, rather than co-equal, sovereign power to the federal government, which runs contrary to both the Constitution and intent of the Founders? And finally, if the government is willing to shoot Americans over some grazing cows, what else are these foxes willing to do, especially given their continual push to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to own defensive weapons? What does the Constitution say? ….. More on that next week.