According to the editorial board of the Pittsburg Post-Gazzette, The “Malheur Misfits” — an anti-government group — will get justice
Note: We’ve said it over and over again, here at RANGEFIRE! we have no interest in being a single-dimensional echo chamber. We acknowledge that there are always multiple sides to every story. In the West, there is an old saying to the effect that: “good fences make good neighbors.” At RANGEfire! we acknowledge our virtual neighbors on this virtual landscape. We think it is important for people to have an opportunity to hear all sides of the story, and know what others are saying about these issues. So we often share what others are saying.
According to the PP-G Editorial Board, “for 41 days earlier this year, Ammon Bundy and a group of armed ranchers occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. The occupiers, who brandished weapons and threatened federal officers, also made it clear that they didn’t recognize the government’s authority to own or even manage public land. They recognize no law above themselves.
When the occupiers were finally arrested Jan. 26 on a road in the refuge, not all of them surrendered peacefully. One of their members, Robert LaVoy Finicum, was shot and killed by an officer who thought he was reaching for a gun. Finicum actually believed the violent rhetoric that his cohorts gave lip service to when they weren’t surrounded and outgunned and paid for it with his life. He died while his friends turned themselves in without a fight.
Now that the trial of Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan and five others has begun, their excuses for armed defiance of the government sound even hollower. In opening arguments this week, a defense lawyer insisted that Mr. Bundy never threatened anyone and that the charge of conspiracy to impede federal officers through threat and intimidation was unjust. If this is the best defense the occupiers can muster, then things will not go well for the hapless rebels as they try to explain how the guns and ammo they opened displayed and pointed in their direction weren’t intended to intimidate.
Still, it is to the credit of the American justice system that the occupiers, who claim to be beyond the government’s jurisdiction, are entitled to a vigorous defense. Their arguments, no matter how absurd, will be heard. Because we live under a system of laws and not posses operating in the Wild West, judgment will be rendered accordingly.
RANGE / RANGEFIRE! — Addressing Issues Facing the West / Spreading America’s Cowboy Spirit Beyond the Outback