Mr. Bundy, a 67-year old rancher, has been in a range war with the government for several decades over grazing rights on federally-managed (not owned) lands surrounding the Bundy Ranch. Mr. Bundy is of the opinion (one shared by many Americans) that the U.S. government may have the right to protect and manage certain plots of lands across the nation but “government” does not “own” those lands; they belong to We the People, and We the People have given the government the responsibility of overseeing the lands, not become the dictatorial watchdogs who use heavy-handed tactics against the very people they supposedly manage those lands for.
Bundy has stated publicly that the BLM has been pushing him for years over his cattle roaming off onto or simply close to those BLM managed lands surrounding his ranch to find more grazing area. The confrontation finally reached a boiling point when the government made the unnecessary and totalitarian decision to start rounding up any of Bundy’s cattle found even adjacent to the managed acreages and taking them away. This action by BLM director Neil Kornze was the final straw for Bundy and what was for decades a war of words and written protests has spiraled into a near Waco, Texas event that could easily explode into a full-bore shoot out between government troops, federal police and Bundy supporters that have begun showing up in droves with weapons locked and loaded.
These supporters have been dubbed the "Bundy Militia" and now number in the thousands. In response Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Senator Dean Heller have both thrown their support for Bundy by condemning the actions of the BLM pointing out that these monarchal kinds of actions taken by the Fed have not only been done to Clive Bundy but to many Nevadans over the course of several years. Senator Heller called the actions of the BLM to be “over-reaching” of the Bureau’s stated mandate and Governor Sandoval has reached out to Kornze telling him that he has done a very poor job of handling this delicate situation and “No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans.” I agree with the Governor that “the BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly” to quell the rising tensions.
In a recent interview Bundy summed up what the matter is really all about: “This is a lot bigger deal than just my cows. It’s a statement for freedom and liberty and the Constitution.” Mr. Bundy is right. This battle in Nevada isn’t just being fought over wandering grazing cattle, the protection of the desert tortoise found in the area or grazing fees rancher must pay. There is a much bigger issue here -- the rights of the people over that of a growing unconstitutional infringement by a faceless federal government bureaucracy seemingly accountable to no one.
There comes a time when a stand for individual freedom, liberty and the right of control over one's own property against government totalitarianism must be taken.
A line in the sands of Nevada has been drawn and I support Bundy.
This shows why it is important for citizens to stand firm against an encroaching federal government acting without restraint. The founders put the 2nd Amendment in the Constitution precisely for this kind of scenario - An armed citizenry should be feared by its government - not the other way around.
I am glad this ended up bloodless.