I posted yesterday about the attack on Malheur National Wildlife Preserve, and while I admittedly was shooting somewhat from the hip, as the saying goes, I stand by the basics of what I said. As time passes, more information has made the press and more folks with better communication skills and greater understanding have stepped up to offer their own accounts on the attack. The basics, in brief:
Some ranchers in Oregon, from the Hammond family, were convicted of doing some stuff on federal land that they knew they weren’t supposed to do, and did anyway because, well, at best they just thought they knew better or, at worst, were hiding evidence of poaching. A sympathetic judge rendered slap-on-the-wrist-style punishments, which were then overturned by a bigger judge who ruled those sentences didn’t meet guidelines, being too lenient.
Folks got angry. Some thought this amounted to double jeopardy. Down in Nevada, famous ranching scion Ammon Bundy, whose own family generated a big hysteria by initiating an armed stand-off with federal authorities just last year, inserted himself in the discussion and called for his gun-happy militia comrades, to join him in Oregon, stage a protest, and cause a big stir that would get their pet issues back in the spotlight.
Most of the folks around Burns, OR were annoyed and frightened by the arrival of about 150 extremists. Calls for them to leave town persisted. The local sheriff received death threats when he refused to back the extremist calls to join them in defying the federal government.
The Hammond family issued a statement distancing themselves from Bundy and his gang, even as a small group of them moved on the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve, occupied the park headquarters, and issued a statement that they wouldn’t leave “for a long time” or until the Hammonds were exonerated and the preserve, founded by Teddy Roosevelt about a hundred years ago, was turned over to mining, timbering, drilling, and ranching interests. The claim the park, which (again) was established over a hundred years ago, is part of an insidious United Nations Plot to end private land ownership in the USA and cede authority to a “new world order.”
I’ve arranged some links below, including a wonderful screed by a pro-Bundy blogger which I’ll put right at the top of the list. Make sure to watch the video of the poor, deluded guy crying in his truck, drunk on anti-government kool-aid.