Welcome to another entry of In Case You Wish You Missed It, the news you wish wouldn’t happen but, somehow, does.
It seems that a group of militiamen, some armed, some probably armed, have taken up residency in a federal parks building located at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon. The group, which had splintered off from a protest against the re-sentencing of Dwight and Steven Hammond, is not entirely clear on their demands. What we do know is that they don’t like the federal government’s control over land interests, particularly federal lands that limit hunting and fishing and logging, and they are willing to hang out in a park for as long as it takes to make sure we know it. I guess the family park down the road from my house is next.
The apparent spokesman for the group, Ammon Bundy, is touting how he is speaking on the behalf of the people of the area, while the ranchers in the area have denounced the occupation of the refuge, emergency calls stemming from the occupancy have left the county sheriff’s office number a continual busy signal. Ammon Bundy himself resides in Arizona. Most of the activists are from out-of-state, and they are calling on even more out-of-state militia members and/or hopeful militia members to come and rally behind them.
If the group’s aim was to create and maintain a state of fear for the American people, well, mission accomplished gentlemen. The world had been so focused on that other militant radical group who preaches dated principles from a carefully structured group of printed matter that we forgot gutras and thobes are easily replaced by ten-gallon hats and hunting camo.
And let’s not forget the most recent mass shootings while we hear a member of the armed group in Oregon stating, “We have no intentions of using force upon anyone, (but) if force is used against us, we would defend ourselves.” Great.
For all their appeals to American freedoms and the constitution, this group is clearly showing us the worst of conservative ideals. James Madison stated on June 8th, 1789 in the Annals of Congress 434 that “A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.” I’m not sure a group of armed men in hunting camo and cowboy hats qualifies as well-regulated.