Why the recent spat in Nevada is a bad precedent to set

Cliven BundyIt appears the day has now come in America when citizens are no longer obliged to obey the laws, provided they own firearms. I’m referring to the recent showdown in Nevada that erupted between the Federal Government and Cliven Bundy. What made the showdown as intense as it was, draws from the fact that Mr. Bundy’s supporters were backing him with guns and the threat of a shootout with federal officials if they didn’t back off of Mr. Bundy.

What exactly was the flap about? A rather trivial land issue between Mr. Bundy and the federal government has been going on for close to twenty years. Cliven Bundy has allowed his cattle to graze freely on federal land while refusing to pay grazing fees that now total over $1 million. Bundy’s refusal to pay up and his continued defiance of the federal government by allowing his cows to graze on public lands has pushed the feds into a difficult situation.

On one hand, the feds simply can’t allow Bundy to break the law without consequence. On the other hand, his supporters are packing heat and are itching to use them if they feel provoked for whatever reason. Worst of all, so many on the right in America is publicly supporting what Bundy and his lot are doing, including certain pundits at Fox News.

The blowback from the BLM backing off in Nevada is not insignificant. It has the potential of setting a very bad precedent. If Cliven Bundy is not punished for his refusal to follow the law and pay his land grazing fees, then it sends a signal to every gun nut in the country that you can break the law as long as you show up in a group with guns. The negative outcomes of this should be quite clear.

Imagine a scenario in which a group of men refused to pay their parking tickets, so they show up to city hall with guns and vow to shoot any official if they try to enforce the ticket laws. This is not that far off from what Bundy and his supporters did.

I find it rather scary when major conservative talking heads come out in support of what Bundy and his supporters are doing. Sean Hannity has been a major vocal mouthpiece for supporting the actions of these would-be militiamen. Even lawmakers, both federal and local, have voiced support for Bundy and feel that more should be done to fight back against what they perceive as a tyrannical government stomping on the individual rights of Mr. Bundy (to not follow the law).

Cliven bundy clings to the thoroughly debunked libertarian theory that the federal government can’t own land. Bundy goes even further saying “I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.” Article Four of the United States Constitution clearly states that “[t]he Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States.”

We’ve all seen this type of right-wing radicalism before and it has often ended violently. So what do we do in this instance? Allow a rancher who’s been breaking the law for 20 years to keep on going or take a stand and arrest him for the criminal he is? I would argue that doing nothing could be far more dangerous in the long run than arresting him.


  1. I don’t think justice was applied to Cliven Bundy in his court battle over grazing rights. BLM is federal, so the federal court’s seemed to display partiality to the BLM’s plight in restricting the public from using “public property”. $1mil in fees? How many cows do they think this guy has? Granted, a cow is worth a few dollars when it gets sold, but there is lots of work and time involved in caring for livestock.

    Cliven Bundy lives in the middle of nowhere. He obviously has not had access to higher education, nor is that a required part of citizenship. Cut the guy a break, let him roam the open range with his cows, feed his family, and leave him alone. He didn’t ride with a posse through Las Vegas with wanton disregard for the law. He didn’t rape, pillage, or burn. He didn’t seek to intimidate the public with fear to propagate a cause. He didn’t crash any planes into buildings. He didn’t set off any IED’s. HE HAS HARMED NOBODY.

    The public in his area seems to be WITH HIS CAUSE by all accounts!

    He deserves due process, and I hope something is done to preserve his way of life. Something should be done about the BLM’s disregard for common decency, or empathy to the human condition.

    The right to keep and BEAR ARMS. That means citizens are authorized by the constitution to use the weapons that they have the RIGHT to own to fight oppression. They Nevadans are being oppressed by the BLM;therefore, authorized by God given right to defend themselves.

    Cliven Bundy is a victim of circumstance. The feds say they own the land, so since the federal gov doesn’t follow the constitution it has unlimited power and it can adjudicate the use of the land in any way it seems fit. The public is supposed to be okay with that? In this case the BLM seeks to further its own cause, not the cause of the public.

    Cliven Bundy wants to further the cause of the American people, in that their rights shall not be trampled. Stand behind him, and maybe all that change Americans gripe about wanting will actually happen.

    • I could not disagree more. One issue has to be established here: this is not an attack on the 2nd Amendment. This is not even about the cows anymore. This is about the notion of a citizen not having to follow the law, provided that individual garners the support of armed citizens. Should the citizens of this nation have the right to refuse government directives and laws merely by arming themselves and threatening force if the laws try to become enforced? This is a bad precedent to set, that could have consequences in other areas.

      If Bundy and his lot can refuse to obey court orders or the law as it stands then what’s to stop other citizens in other areas of law from doing so? The example I used is parking tickets. What if a group of men simply decided to refuse the state ticket law, and if the state authorities try to enforce the law, then they can show up with guns at city hall and threaten to shoot any official attempting to enforce the law. You can apply this idea to many aspects of law. This is not about Bundy’s cows, or the government attacking the 2nd Amendment. No government official has even mentioned the idea of confiscating the guns of Bundy’s goon squad. They backed off on holding onto the cows, what makes anyone think they will try to take the guns?

      Also, this issue about “public not being allowed on public land” and “federal government oppression.” Starters, Bundy is a private citizen who is utilizing public land for his own economic purposes. No one gains any profits from the grazing except Bundy, which is the point of the grazing fees. The government doesn’t ban anyone from the land, yet if you want to allow your cattle to roam and graze there you should pay a small fee so that the public at large gains a benefit from Bundy’s economic activities. No one is prohibited from the land. You aren’t charged a fee for strolling through the land. This is about Bundy feeding his own bottom line on publicly owned land without having to compensate the public for his use of public land. Oh, and last I checked, Bundy has his own land to graze his cows. That’s why Bundy owns his own ranch. Bundy isn’t some small time farmer, he makes good money and owns a huge swath of land more than sufficient to feed his cows. If he wants access to public land, he should pay the fees.

      Keep in mind, his debt of $1 million has been accumulated over 20 years. He has been getting billed the grazing fees for that span of time, refusing to pay them, which has now accumulated into a debt of the size it is. Its not like the court just recently billed him that. Bundy should pay his fees like other ranchers do, or use his money to try and buy more land for his cows legally. Using land that he does not own in order to advance his own pocket book, without paying for such usage, is simply not a legally acceptable ideal to hold.

      This is not about the cows. Its about whether we can allow men to not follow the law, and whether threat of arms can be used against government officials if the law is to be enforced. These are not precedents the founding fathers would have enjoyed. In fact, you should probably research the Whiskey Rebellion if you think Washington or Jefferson would have been on the side of armed militias disobeying government order. This is about law, not about petty issues against Bundy.

  2. The BLM has absolutely no constitutional justification to exist, let alone do what it did in Nevada. This is why the Second Amendment exists. Most of you people would have sided with King George.

    And if you disagree with me, fine, but please respond with an actual constitutional argument for this agency.

    • You really don’t understand the concept of “legal.” The BLM is the appropriate place under federal law. If you don’t like it, you have this strange concept of a “vote.”

      This guy is a “taker” and a thief. He does not have any legal argument on his side.

      • My wife is on Facebook and last night a rancher from the same area in Nevada as bundy says that the group of scumbags with guns are still hanging around threatening everything around them. This rancher was saying that they have killed a bunch of his cattle on his land. I assume that this would be a State matter but the State of Nevada doesn’t seem to give a damn. When are these animals going to be removed, tried and sent to prison? Killing someone’s cattle is a hanging offense in my book. They used to hang rustlers. Damnit Nevada, remove these animals from circulation before they start shooting local police and State officials.

    • Then refer to Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2, of our US Constitution–the “Property Clause.” It’s been upheld by our US Supreme Court when challenged. Also read the Nevada State Constitution that clearly states that Nevada gave much of that land to the feds when they became a state in 1864. Ever heard of National Parks–Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone–ever enjoyed national public parks around our nation??? Federal public land has to be managed/maintained and use has to managed to avoid “user conflict.” If Nevada wants to ask Congress to sell or give any of that federal land to their state, they can do so LAWFULLY, not by threat of guns.
      BTW: Grazing fees are 1.35/mo/per cattle unit vs an average $16-17/mo/per cattle unit on PRIVATE PROPERTY–look it up. Actually the federal government SUBSTIDIZES ranchers–they same way they subsidize farmers. Bundy has been getting a great financial break for years–including FREE for over 20 years. While he whines about the federal government he refuses to pay the $$$ he owes. Not because the fees are too high or he can’t afford to pay the fees, but because he is a “sovereign citizen” who doesn’t recognize the authority of our federal government (by his own statements to the media). He is a “welfare rancher” and should be arrested for contempt of court, obstruction of justice, etc. Also look up his family members arrest/conviction criminal records. And then find a better family to represent American Values and ones to admire.

  3. Nothing new here folks.. this has happended before.. different state, different people… no violence….. the feds never learn from their quiet success in other states…. it will be a federal judge and federal marshal’s that quietly deliver justice to Cliven Bundy, just as it was with Wally Klump in Arizona in 2013.. google “Wally Klump”.

  4. The hole in the story falls in the co-dependent move on the Fed’s part. I don ‘t defend Bundy, as the self-riteous Texans are a bit overdrawn. So…. what happens when you miss your SECOND car payment? Yep. So why has this taken 20 years, FED? Cornfused.

    • I agree, I too am perplexed by the Fed’s decision to allow this man to slide on his fees for years, in spite of the fact that he has lost every court case on the issue. Having said that, it does not excuse Bundy’s actions nor does it detract from the main argument here. If the Fed still chooses to do nothing against Bundy and his lot, then it sends a clear signal to many others that a group of armed men are not obligated to follow the law. That spells disaster.

  5. All of these right wing geezers with guns who came out to support Bundy would run like girls if a couple of Army attack choppers showed up and flew over. They would wet themselves and run.

  6. The Federal Government needs to arrest Cliven Bundy for non payment of his grazing fees. Then a Federal Judge should have his livestock impounded and sold for restitution of money owed. It that is not enough, then the Federal Judge needs to seize the rest of his property and sell it off at auction.

    His continual refusal to pay the Federal Government what it is justly due will only encourage others to revolt against the Federal Government.

    As to the armed people who would come to his defense, they need to be arrested and have their guns confiscated and destroyed. They should no longer be allowed to own any firearm.

  7. The creeps who showed up with sniper rifles and assault rifles need to be arrested for aggravated assault and terrorist threats. The Southern Poverty Law Center said that these creeps are part of same group that timothy mcvee belonged to. We can’t let this go unchallenged.

    • I couldn’t agree more. The BLM and their hired guns should be arrested. All their sniper rifles and assault rifles after all they are the ones that had them, and looking for an excuse to use them.

        • Steer Excrement… When you get on the side of someone who has flouted the law for 20 years, you don’t get any “attaboys.” This guy is a taker. He is just more blatent about it than most. If you wanna run down and “protect” him, a better idea would be to just pay off his debt.

      • Too bad you fell for the Faux not news lies, These rednecks with their guns were from out of the area and are still hanging around killing other rancher’s cattle and breaking the f**king law. When is law enforcement in Nevada going to wake up and arrest these treasonous bastards.

  8. Send the DEA and FBI swat teams in and arrest this prick and charge him with a terrorist act. If any of the terrorists start shooting then kill them all.

    Sean Hannity needs to be prosecuted for inciting violence. We can’t let this Irish prick get away with what he has been spewing on the radio and television.

  9. This is going to end badly, no matter what, because of the Faux News freaks picking this as a cause celebre. I wonder what would happen the next time that a group of union people at a coal company respond to being told that their healthcare is gone to support corporate executive salaries, and bring guns and other union supporters? Perhaps a wholesale support of the government and private armies coming in to support the beleguared corporate victims.

    In the bundy case, if the BLM takes any further actions, the armies will show up again, if they don’t, then why should any other rancher pay the fees?

    • The BLM has said this was not over and they were designing a new action. I imagine that the Army will be involved and it might be a nighttime action. Sadly, I think that the cattle will be destroyed and might be unrecoverable but that is what Mr. Bundy has set up now.

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