Editorial: Let's call treason what it is

When treason is committed and the general media reports it as the right to assembly, we have a problem. The Bundy family is at it again, only, this time, they’ve taken control of federal buildings on a wildlife refuge in Oregon. Although they have been called protesters and activists, they are armed and prepared to fight for their newly claimed territory if necessary.

The reason the Bundys are in Oregon in the first place stems from another family, the Hammonds. The father and son Hammond were convicted of burning 130 acres of wildlife in order to cover up their poaching activities. A lower court reduced their sentences of five years mandatory minimum, but a federal judge restored the original sentence. They teamed up with the Bundys to protest their return to jail, however, they have now ended their crusade and turned themselves in. This left the Bundys in an annexed federal building with no cause. They shifted their cause to forcing the federal government to give federal lands to local ranchers, miners, and loggers with the hopes of restoring Oregon’s economy. This is all ridiculous and needs to stop.

The Bundys and their band of “patriots” are acting like children. They expect to hold this stolen land for years. They plan for more “patriots” to come join them where the Bundys will offer combat training. How they believe they will hold the land is a mystery. The building will be useless once the plumbing and electricity are cut so unless they have a supply generators and porta-potties they’re doomed to fail.

Of course, it’s not as if they could stand up to an offensive action by the government anyway. If the government treated this like it is, the building would have been stormed within 24 hours of its takeover. To be clear, we don’t want this. Since the Waco standoff and the Oklahoma bombing that followed, the government takes armed standoffs passively. Instead of rushing the armed gunman, we will wait them out to save lives.

Nobody would imagine this strategy, however, if the gunmen had not been conservative whites but instead jihadists or Black Lives Matter protesters. We have treated the Bundys better than recent unarmed groups of black protesters who have flash grenades and tear gas. The Bundys are effectively in rebellion against the US. Forcibly controlling uninhabited federal property through militaristic means, as the Bundys have done, is a nonviolent act of war. If Canada or another country had decided to take control of US federal buildings, what would the response be? We would imagine a very tense diplomacy meeting.

This militaristic control of land should not even be possible for a regular citizen, especially when they family has a history of armed standoffs such as the Bundys. Why is it that the average citizen can don body armor and an assault rifle like this? Americans have a different view of rebellion than other countries considering that rebellion is the reason we drink coffee as opposed to tea, but we can’t allow this. Donald Trump notably said he would like to cease the immigration of Muslims until we know "what the ____ is going on", but after an event like this with the added weight of the increasing rate of mass shootings, somehow we think they would object to putting a moratorium on gun sales.

In the end, the Bundy Rebellion will blow over and will have little to no impact on how we live our lives. These are radical conservatives who are upset with the government just like everyone else who has ever glanced at politics. One day, hopefully soon, after new recruits haven’t come in the numbers they’d hoped, they give up trying to accomplish their unlikely goal of giving federal land to ranchers, miners, and loggers, or they simply miss their own beds the Bundys and everyone else will go back to their own homes and end their crusade.

This editorial represents the collective opinion of the LSNews.org editorial board. It does not represent an official opinion of the Lampeter-Strasburg School District, its administration, or the faculty advisor LSNews.org. Its lead author was opinion editor Aaron Davies. Questions or concerns can be directed to lspioneernews@gmail.com.

--THE EDITORIAL BOARD (AD)

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