Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Well, that explains it
But this morning it all became a lot clearer. The news reader on NPR's "Morning Edition" came right out and described the Bundys as being part of the "sovereign citizen" movement. Sovereign citizens are, to say the least, delusional. They have some remarkably strange beliefs. They don't recognize the right of the state to register motor vehicles -- they'll make their own license plates, which is one of the ways law enforcement is trained to recognize them -- and they have this screwy notion that if you write documents using red ink you can nullify legal paperwork (divorce decrees, child support orders, foreclosure orders, you name it). I'm not sure where this particular strain of group insanity started, but the Internet has surely helped spread it in the past few years.
Had something happen to you in court or through some action of the government that you don't like? You know, are you annoyed that the registration fee for your SUV has crept up? Property taxes getting too high? You're notified your grazing lease isn't going to be renewed on a patch of desert because cattle damage the habitat for an endangered spcies? Well, if you spend anytime at all online researching the thing that's annoying you you're sure to stumble across some other disgruntled types hanging out on Reddit or in other social media. Pretty soon you're reading nonsense that says, hey, the government is actually violating the U.S. Constitution. The government has no right to tell you to register your car or levy taxes on your land or require you to comply with any law you don't personally like. It feeds right into your wishful thinking, and the next thing you know you're stocking up on red crayons and making your own license plates. . . not to mention hoarding ammo and convincing yourself that when you do decide to shoot one of the oppressors in a uniform you're going to be hailed as a hero by your fellow lunatics. All it takes is a handful of other people telling you that you're not nuts, you're their hero, and the next thing you know you're sitting in at wildlife refuge in the middle of nowhere begging online followers to send you Funyuns. You're talking big about staying indefinitely and shooting anyone who tries to remove you -- the possibility of ending up dead yourself never enters your mind. You're a sovereign citizen, ergo, you're invulnerable.
Personally, I'm still in favor of that tyrannical government the Bundys fear coming down on them like the world's largest shit hammer and squashing them like bugs -- if incineration was good enough for the black MOVE followers in Philadephia, I see no reason not to treat vanilla ISIS the same way -- but then I take a very dim view of nutjobs with guns threatening to kill people who are simply doing their jobs. As it is I fear our spineless federal officials are going to let the Bundys slide on this one, too. A sane response on the part of the government would be to seal the complex off, let no one in, and promptly arrest anyone who comes out. Given enough time, it could end with no one getting hurt. More likely, the occupiers will continue to be allowed to have contact with the outside world and this mess will drag on indefinitely.
If the government does treat the Bundys gently because they're afraid of another Waco or a Ruby Ridge incident, then the government is even crazier than the Bundys. It doesn't take much thinking to realize that if they slide on this one, too, the next time it won't be a chunk of desert in Nevada or a chunk of desert in Oregon that gets occupied, it'll be a Fish & Wildlife or Bureau of Land Management or National Park Service office building in the middle of town -- and for sure people will get hurt then.