By now, most of you have heard of Cliven Bundy – the ranger out in Nevada who decided twenty years ago that federal laws and grazing fees don’t apply to his particular cattle. You see, his livestock are eating the grass on someone else’s land. Specifically government land. And when that happens, you are supposed to pay a fee for access to that land. It’s a reasonable (and uncontroversial) form of capitalism, since you’re doing nothing to maintain the land, and you do not own it, yet you are extracting a resource from it. He claims he doesn’t recognize the federal government as existing (usually while waving an American flag) and has gone to court multiple times to avoid paying the grazing fees. Repeatedly, the courts have struck his arguments down.
It got to the point where the federal government seized his cattle, in an effort to make him pay the $1 million in fines and fees he owed. Now, just to be clear, when he was costing the government money, that was FREEDOM! But when the government was costing him money, that was tyranny. Yes, some people believe that his decision to break the law makes him a patriot because something something New World Order Agenda 21 FEMA camps. I’m not going to get into a debate on this topic because it’s too stupid to rationally process. If I took a crowbar to every parking meter where I parked my car, I’d wind up in jail. If I decided to open a warehouse or a storefront inside the local park without getting any sort of approval, I’d get shut down. Every other rancher manages to obey the law, and Cliven Bundy isn’t some special little snowflake.
Things spun rapidly and stupidly out of control, and they somehow wound up having a stand-off between a bunch of local militias (who rushed to the defense of the man breaking the law) and the U.S. government. Once again, remember, they seized his cattle for repeated and willful violation of the law. Not because they were jack-booted Nazi thugs or whatever. So you had armed soldiers on one side of the stand-off, and a bunch of guys who decided to play army with live ammo on the other. In the end, the government backed off (for now). Then the ass backwards version of this story hit Facebook (because if you are getting your news from Facebook there is something wrong with you) and it somehow became a symbol of resistance to oppression and the power of the second amendment.
You all need to stop. Seriously. Just stop. And please understand, I’m not making a statement in favor of or against the second amendment. I actually have a lot of mixed feelings about the issue of gun control versus gun rights, but that’s not what is at issue here. The presence of civilian firepower in an armed stand-off only works because our government is NOT the monster that most of those people think it to be. If it was, there’d be a smoldering fucking crater where those militia members had set up camp, and a drone pilot in an undisclosed bunker would be getting a bronze star right now. The stand-off worked because the government has a vested interest in not murdering its own citizens. An infinite number of Bushmasters are useless against GPS guided ordinance.
Oh, and speaking of monsters, one of the militia spokesmen said they had “stratergized” putting the women in front of the armed militia members, so the television cameras could record them being shot by the government troops. See, that’s the type of world this guy thinks he lives in. He believes that the United States government will gun down a row of unarmed civilians, on camera, over some cattle. If the government this guy wets the bed over at night actually existed, his family would be sifting through rubble and ash looking for bone shards right now. We can all be glad that it doesn’t – even if it means we have to suffer a gaggle of wanna-be John Waynes.