Armed farmer fights for fictional rights

The people of America have many rights. So many, in fact, that every once in a while, an American will just make one up, and then claim it’s being infringed upon, in the hopes that maybe nobody will realize that the person is actually just a domestic terrorist.

Cliven Bundy is a rancher from Nevada whose beliefs include two important things: his heritage gives him the right to use public land without a permit, and anyone who tries to stop him is infringing upon his rights. He claims to follow the Nevada state constitution, but nowhere is it listed in said constitution that ignoring certain laws is legal. Bundy also does not acknowledge the existence of the Federal Government. Now it’s very important to realize the difference between the government treading on you, and the government trying to make you follow the law.

As of recent, Bundy has been conflicting with the Federal government because he refuses to pay 20 years worth of bills associated with using Federal land to graze his cattle. The rules seem to be pretty simple: buy a permit, graze your cattle and repeat. The problem Bundy is having is that he wants to use the land free of charge because his Mormon ancestors pioneered that land in the 19th century. If using land somewhere a long time ago somehow meant you get to use that land now, the entire continental United States would be claimed by a coalition of Native Americans.

Normally this issue could be settled quite easily, an example being when someone refuses to pay their power bill and their electricity gets turned off. However, when the Federal government attempted to confiscate Bundy’s cattle and seize the remainder of the assets to pay his $1.1 million bill, Bundy responded by arming himself and getting the support of a nearby militia, or “armed protesters,” as they call themselves. Bundy also has the support of the governor of the state of Nevada.

Not only does Bundy ignore long standing Federal law surrounding the situation, he is ignoring the entire institution of the Federal government. This is ironic because his presence in this country, and his religion that he believes gives him the right to the free use of the land, are direct results of the Federal government.

I believe, to some extent, that what Bundy has to say is valid. He has the right to defend himself against an intrusive government that is attempting to take his property. The problem with Bundy’s cause is that it is completely wrong in every way. No one is trying to take his land or property on the grounds of imperialism, he owes money that he refuses to pay. No one is trying to hurt him, he’s being made to follow the law. His religion does not give him the right to use land that doesn’t belong to him free of charge, or really do anything for that matter. The truth that Bundy and his followers refuse to believe is that they aren’t freedom fighters; they’re domestic terrorists.