Since 1993, Nevada rancher Clive Bundy has refused to pay fees to the federal government to have the right to raise cattle on his land. Today the Bundy family has said that the feds have surrounded their property and that they are heavily armed.
The Bundy family has been raising cattle on their ranch in Clark county Nevada since the 1870s. Today they estimate that they have nearly 1,000 cattle on their land. Recently the Bureau of Land Management acquired a federal court order to remove the nearly 1,000 cattle.
The feds refuse to look the other way and are determined to make a point. The Bundy family has said that the feds have surrounded their ranch by the hundreds and that they’re armed to go to war. Cliven Bundy told the Free Beacon: “They’re carrying the same things a soldier would. Automatic weapons, sniper rifles, top communication, top surveillance equipment, lots of vehicles. It’s heavy soldier type equipment.” Cliven Bundy’s wife Carol Bundy also said that there were helicopters circling above.
Bundy believes that the federal government may be trying to push him to the edge in an effort to entice a Waco type of event. He claims that this is a fight between freedom and tyranny. “This is a lot bigger deal than just my cows. It’s a statement for freedom and liberty and the Constitution,” said Bundy.
Several state officials out of Nevada have taken Bundy’s side. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) said: “No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans. The BLM needs to reconsider it’s approach to this matter and act accordingly.”
This has even sparked the attention of militias from around the country. On late Wednesday three militia members from Montana and Utah had arrived at the ranch. Ryan Payne, a member of a Montana militia group, said: “We need to be the barrier between the oppressed and the tyrants, expect to see a band of soldiers.” Payne says that he expects members from Texas, New Hampshire and Florida, and that he expects them to arrive by the hundreds.
The land in question is a 600,000 acre piece of land called the Gold Butte. This land is home to the Desert Tortoise, which is a protected species. The BLM claims that they control the land, while Bundy claims that it belongs to Nevada.
This situation has continued to grow over the last few days. It begs us to ask the question of whether our individual and even states rights are trumped by federal laws. This is a question that is embedded into many different issues in America right now. Should our individual rights be taken away for, what the federal government would say is, the good of the state?