2nd Amendment enthusiasts insist their rights to own firearms and obtain them easily are important not only to preserve their God-Given right to protect their life and property but also and to fend off tyrannical government.
Many people in other nations, and many of our own states find these enthusiasts to be too extreme in many cases. I support 2nd Amendment rights just like I do the rest of our Bill of Rights , but feel the gun situation in this country has gone a little nuts as well. I was even joking with a friend earlier this week that in the states most liberal with gun rights, it is easier to buy a firearm than certain brands of cold medicine!
But then there are cases like that of Clive Bundy that make you think, maybe there is a time and place for the extreme advocates of gun rights.
A quick overview of the Bundy Ranch incident
This article over at The Washington Post seems to be a great synopsis of the case. I’ll give you some quick context related to the case.
The USA has a history of homesteaders in the West. The homesteaders were some of the first in the USA to help tame the Wild Wild West. In the case of the Bundy incident, the Bundy family has a history of homesteading. They’re ranchers, running their cattle across the great wide open spaces of the western US that go largely unused for other purposes. This has been going on since American’s began expanding westward and is very much part of American history and culture.
In the late 1980’s the Federal Government declared large sections of western land in the state of Nevada off limits in the spirit of protecting an endangered specie of tortoise. Many ranchers and homesteaders gave up their rights to graze these lands in exchange for a buyout, but the Bundy family refused to sell out.
Over the last few decades, Cliven Bundy has been fighting the federal government encroachment on his way of life. The system has swatted him down time and time again. It has become apparent that the federal government is set on stopping him from grazing on lands seized to protect the desert tortoise.
The slow encroachment of the Federal Government
During our industrial expansion in this country, we ravished our natural resources and laid waste to many species of animals, including our very own iconic symbol of American prosperity- the Bald Eagle.
Over the last 40 years, America has worked hard to turn the tide on environmental degradation through the Endangered Species Act, Environmental Protection Agency and other mechanisms. But in some people’s eyes, these mechanisms are misused and allow the government unquestioned and unchecked authority to seize land.
In the case of the state of Nevada, the federal government now owns a whopping 87% of the state! The federal government owns 28% of the country as a whole. (PDF Source)
America’s Culture of Individualism
America has a strong history of excelling on the back of individualism. Homesteading is a big part of that. Homesteaders headed out west to sink or swim on their own. There was no welfare system, no safety net. You made your riches, fame and fortune all by yourself. A lot of this is exemplified when reading about the history of rail transport in the US.
I think most people from other modern nations fail to understand this. Europe and its long history of monarchs, royal families and rigid social hierarchy are lost on us and a history of extreme individualism and making your own way for better or worse seems to be lost on most Europeans. I do not say this to be critical of either side, but simply as an observation.
So, when the Federal Government comes to a point that it owns 87% of a single state, I completely understand people getting more than a little pissed off that their way of life is being wiped out, and suddenly it becomes glaringly apparent that if they weren’t allowed to pick up their guns and confront the agents of the federal government face to face, what other recourse of action could they possibly have after failing to win the right to their way of life through our legal system?
Gun Ownership is Important
In March of 2014, the federal government moved forward with intentions to seize the cattle of the Bundy family. This equates to his way of supporting and feeding his family being completely seized from him. Federal agents with guns and dogs begin approaching the Bundy family to seize their property.
In a world where the common man isn’t allowed to arm himself, what happens next?
You’re done. There is no fight. There is no recourse. You line up with sticks and rocks, preparing to fight an armed, militarized police force with Tasers, riot gear and semi-automatic rifles.
In both scenarios, the common man will be squashed by the authorities, but in the scenario where the common man has a gun, things get nasty and loud, and there is nothing our modern media loves more than a blood bath.
Guns and the common man’s determination to unite and stand up to the armed federal agents might be the only thing that preserves this family’s way of life.