One Nevada man is taking on the full power of the federal government. Cliven Bundy is a 67 year old cattle rancher in Nevada who has been protesting a government decision made way back in 1993 that forces certain ranchers in Nevada to pay a fee to let their cattle graze. Mr. Bundy was upset because his family has been on the land for decades and they’ve been grazing there for just as long – he doesn’t believe the government should be able to charge him for using his own land. And we happen to agree with him.
So what is the government doing about it?
Would it surprise you to learn that they are handling the situation in just about the worst way possible? No? I didn’t think it would.
In a situation reminiscent of the debacle at Ruby Ridge, the federal government has sent in an overwhelming force to handle a situation that shouldn’t require force at all.
Mr. Bundy has had some high profile support in Nevada like Governor Brian Sandoval and Senator Dean Heller.
Governor Sandoval made the following statement about the standoff:
“Due to the roundup by the BLM, my office has received numerous complaints of BLM misconduct, road closures and other disturbances. I have recently met with state legislators, county officials and concerned citizens to listen to their concerns. I have expressed those concerns directly to the BLM.”
“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution. To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately. No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans. The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”
Senator Heller also had this to say:
I spoke with Bureau of Land Management Director Kornze this morning to express great disappointment with the way that the cattle roundup is being handled. I told him very clearly that law-abiding Nevadans must not be penalized by an over-reaching BLM. After hearing from local officials and residents, and receiving feedback from the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association in a meeting this morning, I remain extremely concerned about the size of this closure and disruptions with access to roads, water and electrical infrastructure. I will continue to closely monitor this situation, and urge the BLM to make the necessary changes in order to preserve Nevadans’ constitutional rights.
The most basic point here is that the federal government has overreached. Instead of sending law enforcement officials in to surround the property armed to the teeth and round up Mr. Bundy’s private property – they should have used the state of Nevada and Clark County officials to mediate the dispute.
And isn’t it a little disconcerting that the Bureau of Land Management has a small army at its disposal? An army that the BLM can arm with the latest in military technology – including firearms, helicopters and military style vehicles? If the BLM is this prepared for armed resistance… what does that say about other agencies like the IRS? Could they be as militarized as the BLM?
It’s a terrifying consideration.
Hopefully the situation can be resolved peacefully, but even more, hopefully the situation raises awareness at the overreaching nature of the federal government. We could all be the next Cliven Bundy.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com