Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Cliven Bundy Development

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Well, what could possibly go wrong with this?
http://lasvegassun.com/news/2014/apr/28/sheriff-urged-clamp-down-armed-militiamen-around-b/

“The letter also says militiamen have a presence on state and local roads as well as federal highways. In some areas, according to the letter, militiamen have set up checkpoints where drivers are stopped and asked to provide a proof of residency.

They’ve been seen carrying high-caliber weapons and keep a round-the-clock security detail on Bundy.”

As I discussed over the weekend with someone, this would never happen in other developed nations. People might shut down streets as a part of the political process, but they do so unarmed.  Having access to high-caliber weapons significantly raises the stakes and imposes risks on the public that few public officials could countenance.

Additional thoughts: people aren’t likely to support this kind of activity if they don’t think the militia members have legitimate authority in the area.  Militia aren’t police or sheriffs, or national guardsmen, or the army. These folks are instead domestic terrorists masquerading as authority figures. Which could further cement people’s anti-assault weapon opinions.  It’s one thing when the topic is abstract (i.e., you’ve never even seen an assault weapon outside of the movies); when someone with a weapon asks for your ID while you’re driving your kid home … well, that’s entirely different.  On top of that, it’s only a matter of time (if the sheriffs and ATF don’t respond to this) before an accident occurs and a militia person murders an innocent civilian.  The NRA might argue that they themselves should have been armed with their own assault weapon, but I think reasonable people will see through that nonsense.  Finally, Bundy might be able to argue he can hire private security contractors for his ranch, but those contractors can’t operate on public roads.

The most obvious analogy continues: can anyone seriously imagine a group of brown/black people checking IDs on public roads in support of a brown/black person that owed the federal government a million dollars after two decades of being a deadbeat?  I mean, seriously…

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