Bunkerville’s Unwanted Tourists

The old saw is correct — company and fish should both be out of the house after three days — meanwhile back at the Bundy Ranch:

“The BLM left weeks ago, but the militia is sticking around so no one gets any funny ideas. That means Bunkerville residents now have to deal with a bunch of armed people around its roads, schools and churches. Some are understandably scared. Also, the militia have set up checkpoints on the roads, where residents have to prove they live there before being allowed to drive on. That’s just inconvenient. Bunkerville wants them out.” [Wire]

Representative Steven Horsford (D-NV4) wrote to Clark County Sheriff Gillespie to encourage local law enforcement to evict the ‘militia’ group(s) from Bunkerville:

“We must respect individual constitutional liberties, but residents of and visitors to Clark County should not be expected to live under the persistent watch of an armed militia,” the letter reads. “Residents have expressed their desire to see these groups leave their community…I urge you to investigate these reports and to work with local leaders to ensure that their concerns are addressed in a manner that allows the community move forward without incident.”

The remnants of Bundy’s Brigade of Brigands appear to be those who stayed put in the face of “an imminent drone strike” compliments of the Department of Justice.  The rumor, easily understood in the perfervid imaginations of the anti-government, white battalions of Internet conspiracy theorists and chain E-mail readers, sent some of the Defenders of Free-To-Be-Dumb out of the picture (The Oathkeepers) to the dismay of the Die-Hard-For-Internet-Rumors militia members like Ryan Payne. [C&L]

Payne is a 30 year old resident of Philipsburg, Montana, and member of the “West Mountain Rangers,” and “Operation Mutual Aid.” [LVRJ]  The “West Mountain Rangers” hasn’t been on anyone’s radar — much less the target of any drone strikes — and may be the spawn of the older “freeman movement” in Montana. [Niewert]

So, what have we learned?

#1. We’ve learned that conservative reaction to armed men is really different depending on the color of the skin under the camo or balaclavas.   Consider that on May 2, 1967 twenty six armed members of the BPP went to the California state capitol in Sacramento to gain national attention (or notoriety); they were protesting the proposed Mulford Act, which would have limited permission to carry loaded firearms in public, in reaction to the BP Police Patrols. Bobby Seale and five others were arrested during the protest.  The Mulford Act passed and was signed into law by California Governor Ronald Reagan, becoming part of the state penal code.  Reagan would change his tune in the 1980’s joining the chorus of 2nd Amendment enthusiasts in line with NRA admonitions regarding “gun control.”  [See also TO, May 3, 2014]

#2. There are still among us some seriously disturbed individuals who, willing to believe anything which supports their fantasies, are ready to confront local, state, and federal authorities.  Some of them took aim at federal officers in what can only be interpreted as an attempt to force a live-fire confrontation.  We’ve seen these characters before.  As original as they’d like to believe they are, they aren’t all that much different than Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.   Hindsight offers a clear view that rather than apologizing for the inclusion of ‘militia’ recruitment of former military personnel in the Homeland Security Report, then Secretary Janet Napolitano should have stood firm on behalf of that warning.

#3. Gun bullying is real and should not be encouraged.  The bully-boys at the Bundy Ranch ought to be classified in the same category as the gun packing protestors in Dallas, TX in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, [AJAM] or the idiot who thought it appropriate to display his holstered gun at a Forsyth County (GA) park for all to see, where parents halted a baseball game for six years old children because the little players were afraid. [WSBT] Gun bullies are even available at your local fast food restaurant, as witnessed by terrified Jack in the Box workers who thought they were about to be robbed. [DallasE] It seems not to have occurred to the moronic ‘protesters’ that some signage might have been a good idea.  And, now we have some residents of Bunkerville, NV who are getting a bit of gun bullying in their own back yards.

Where from here?

The question is a tricky one for the residents of Bunkerville who are disturbed by the alleged check points and other inconveniences.  Armed confrontation seems to be precisely what the bully boys want — to go down, flaming, in glory, like the doomed charge of Pickett’s Confederate troops.  Like the defenders of the Alamo. Like the valiant on Bunker’s Hill. Like they’ve been checking out too many movies from Netflix.  They will dwindle. There is no glory to be gained from a judicial response to yet another demonstration of Cliven Bundy’s unwillingness to admit it’s the 21st century and court orders are court orders.

What will happen is that the characters will be identified. The publicity they sought will also garner them files and profiles with law enforcement agencies.  Their records will be checked for outstanding warrants, unpaid child support, misappropriation of benefits, and all manner of other felonies and misdemeanors which they’d prefer to  remain unnoticed.  They’ve already associated themselves with an obvious racist. They’ve already incurred the mockery of the more sentient.  In short, they’ve already lost. They just haven’t figured it out yet.

The law abiding members of the Bunkerville community are correct to complain about having to serve as the backdrop for this farce.  And, the test of wills and ideology may be determined if the Clark County Sheriff’s Department (the entity Bundy claims to respect) takes the lead in removing these unwanted visitors.

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