My country ’tis of thee. That’s what I was taught in grammar school: our country. But there are are those so filled with privilege and hatred that they think the United States is whatever they say it is: their country ’tis of them. And the roving gang of terrorists who sport their pocket Constitutions and took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Oregon yesterday should be captured, tried for treason, and spend the rest of their lives in a federal penitentiary.
The main men involved are Ammon and Ryan Bundy (sons of Cliven “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro” Bundy), Jon Ritzheimer, Blaine Cooper, and Ryan Payne. But they are only men in a biological sense. In the truest sense of the word, these are boys who want to play Revolutionary War. They like to pretend that they are living under tyranny. Rather than prison, they would be better punished by having to live the rest of their lives in Saudi Arabia.
And they aren’t locals. This isn’t their fight. They just rove the nation looking for fights to get into. And they are often unwelcome, as they are in this case. That’s one of the sad things about this. The Bundy Traitors are making this all about them. But the cause that underlies this is at least somewhat just.
Back in 2012, Dwight Hammond and his son Steven were found guilty of arson. They twice set fire to federal land. According to the Hammonds, they did this to stop invasive species from encroaching on their land. I don’t believe that. Not for a minute. But even if it were true, it is wrong. If I have a tree that is growing onto your land, that doesn’t give you the right to set my yard on fire.
But the Hammonds were found guilty and they were punished with one year in prison and $400,000 in restitution (which they paid). But then federal prosecutors found that they could apply the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, and so now the Hammonds are supposed to spend up to five extra years in prison. I hate this nonsense. I hated when civil trials started being a big thing when criminal trials failed. There are all these squirrely ways to get around our justice system when we don’t think it works. The Hammonds did something wrong, they were punished, that should be the end of it.
Of course, the roving gang of terrorists isn’t really interested in this case. They just think that federal land should be theirs to use. The Hammond lawyer has been very clear that the Bundy boondoggle does not speak for his clients. And that’s understandable because the Hammonds are no doubt trying to extricate themselves from this legal issue; they aren’t trying to start the second Revolutionary War.
According to The Oregonian, the local people are mostly like me: they think that the Hammonds are getting a raw deal, but that the terrorists at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are extremists. Of course, no one is calling them terrorists because, you know, they are white. One of the terrorists is an ex-Marine who hates Muslims and posted a video that indicates he plans to die at this standoff.
I don’t want anyone to die in this. I want these terrorists caught, convicted of treason, and spending the rest of their lives in prison. And I hope that the Hammonds manage to get their sentences reduced, even if they aren’t the most sympathetic of people. At least they are Americans who respect what the country stands for.