The Herd Shot 'Round The World
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Militias are reforming and retraining. Citizens are cleaning their guns and counting rounds of ammunition for them.
Why? The government's heavy-handed way of dealing with a Nevada rancher whose cattle are being seized by the federal government at the point of a federal gun. (For more read: http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/10/us/nevada-rancher-rangers-cattle-showdown/)
Are we looking at another Ruby Ridge or yet another Waco? I certainly hope not. But the truth is, America cannot continue as the police state she has become. Plus, and this is extremely important, Americans no longer trust their federal court system.
"Two militia members from Montana and one from Utah have arrived at Cliven Bundy’s ranch. The press was told by a militiaman that militias from New Hampshire, Texas and Florida are likely to join and stand with Bundy and stay at his ranch." (From a report at: http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2014/04/10/expect-to-see-a-band-of-soldiers-militia-members-arrive-at-nevada-ranch/
In a later report we learn: "In the wake of the publicized protests, members of various militia groups have been traveling from Virginia, Texas, Montana, Idaho and Wisconsin and arriving at the protest site and Bundy's ranch to support the family, said Stephen L. Dean, 45, of Utah, a member of one such group called the Peoples United Mobile Armed Services." -- SOURCE: http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/10/us/nevada-rancher-rangers-cattle-showdown/
Underlying the whole dispute is the environmental movements efforts to preserve the habitat of a little heard of desert tortoise.
Don't laugh! Today it's a turtle. Originally, it was tea. All revolutions have a tipping point. The point at which the people say, this far and no farther! Bundy's ranch may be the next Lexington.
(The tortoise is protected under the Endangered Species Act. The Fish and Wildlife Service lists the species as “threatened.”)
There was a brief mention of US military personnel taking part in the rustling of Mr. Bundy's cattle. If true, that would be a direct violation of federal law. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, still in effect, was passed to prevent U.S. military personnel from acting as law enforcement agents on U.S. soil.
The text of the Posse Comitatus Act, which is still in effect (as 18 U.S.C. Section 1385), reads:
"Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both." -- SOURCE: http://civilliberty.about.com/od/waronterror/a/posse_act.htm
I have yet to see any confirmation of the use of US military personnel in the dust-up at Bundy's Ranch.
What worries me most about the ongoing wielding of raw federal power in Nevada is this: I am afraid this is only the beginning. I am afraid this sort of confrontation will become far more frequent if the situation in Nevada is allowed to continue. Give the feds an inch and they'll take a mile ... or your cattle -- or BOTH!
Oh, and do not deceive yourself, if given the order to fire on the protesters, armed and unarmed, the federal goons WILL indeed open fire -- without a moment's hesitation. That's what they are trained to do. That's what they will do.
Unfortunately, I believe the same holds true with US military personnel. Just as when the War Between the States (Better known in the South as the War of Northern Aggression) broke out and southerners serving in the federal services resigned and went home to join their families in defense of their homes, so, too, will SOME current US soldiers. But, I dare say, most will not. Different times. Different people.
People change and peoples change. It is more than a little difficult to predict how modern Americans will react to the federal government locking the country into a police state, totally ignoring our constitution, and making and enforcing, or not enforcing, laws at their whim.
It is easy to look back and see -- with certainty -- that our ancestors would have cleaned that nest of vipers out long ago.
Today we are different -- soft and pliant, willing to enjoy freedom so long as it doesn't cost us anything, or any effort. And for crying out loud, do not ask us to defend it by force of arms!
Unfortunately for us all, that may be exactly where we are headed.
The country, the republic, cannot continue on its current course.
On April 10th, 2014, “Oath Keepers” issued a statement, which pretty well sums up the feelings of thousands of military veterans, police officers, first responders, and others. You would do well to follow this link over to Oath Keeper’s site and read their statement in full. You will find it here:
I am the product of the only region of the country to be invaded, conquered, and occupied by a foreign power. I am, as are my fellow southerners, acutely aware of the cost of war with one's fellow Americans. We know the cost. Our ancestors bore that cost and passed the scars down to us. WE venerate them. We look back on their sacrifices with feelings of respect and reverence. We consider those who took up arms as hallowed and exalted. But believe me when I tell you that we are still paying the price even today.
As evidenced by the confrontation in Nevada, we may be drawing nigh to a moment of decision just as my Confederate ancestors did 149 years ago.
Time will tell if we will be called upon to take up arms in defense of the constitution and in defiance of a tyrannical federal government. Understand, dear reader, EITHER decision will be terrible in its consequences.
The current brush fire in Nevada may cool. Tempers may cool and some sort of reason prevail. But before too much time passes it will recur. Once the federal government gets a taste of raw power enforced at the point of a bayonet, it grows rabid.
And this is why American citizens are armed. It is the foundation of the Second Amendment, the preservation of our country from despots who wish to impose tyranny upon us.
Seems to me the last sentence of the preceding paragraph pretty well sums up America's situation today.
J. D. Longstreet
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