Burns, Oregon – On Saturday, a group of concerned citizens expressed their discontent with the Federal government by forcibly occupying a National Wildlife Refuge and threatening to shoot anyone who came close. The group is led by cattle rancher Ammon Bundy in protest of the Federal government’s prosecution of fellow ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond. The Hammond brothers have been sentenced to five years in prison on arson charges. Bundy maintains they are being unjustly targeted for expressing their constitutional right to set fire to Federal land.
“We Americans have rights in this country!” Said Bundy in a recorded statement. “And one of those rights is armed protest and death threats! It’s in the constitution!”
Law enforcement officials are uncertain how to handle Bundy’s militia. On the one hand, the militia is illegally occupying Federal property with high-powered weaponry and has threatened to kill anyone who tries to stop them. On the other hand, the demographics of Bundy’s militia are at odds with standard operating protocols.
“There’s really nothing we can do about it,” said Oregon State Police Captain John McGinty. “I mean, just one Black Lives Matter hashtag and we’ve got a whole line of armored Humvees to ride out there. But a bunch of cattle ranchers?” Captain McGinty shrugged his shoulders helplessly.
The media has been equally confused about the proper way to deal with the occupation. Local station KPTV originally aired the headline “Violent terrorist attack on Wildlife Refuge” when an email to the station mistakenly reported Bundy’s name as Amir. The headline was quickly edited to read “Constitutionally-armed ranchers protest government overreach.” The station manager quickly issued a statement apologizing to viewers and the NRA.
So far response by both the media and law enforcement has been fair and even-tempered. Captain McGinty has even expressed some amount of admiration for the ranchers. “Really, though, a group of spirited white men protesting due process,” stated McGinty. “Is there anything more American?”