- - Thursday, April 17, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In recent days, Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch has been under duress, with federal agents stealing his livestock, assaulting his family and threatening family members with firearms (“Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds,” Web, April 16).

If shots were fired at Mr. Bundy’s ranch last week, before the hyper-militarized Bureau of Land Management (BLM) backed away, would the result have been akin to Lexington and Concord lighting a fuse of liberty, or more like a totalitarian crush in the vein of Tiananmen Square? With militarized federal agencies and their omnipresent, unblinking surveillance eyes, a Tiananmen-like response now seems quite possible in the United States.

Regular people who ordinarily mind their own business have banded together over the concept of freedom to face down an overreaching and apparently violence-prone government. Pundits reviewing the matter, including Tucker Carlson, have emphasized that Mr. Bundy had lost in court three times in his dispute against the BLM — in apparent agreement with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat. Interestingly, there is little apparent example of the rule of law in the current government (see Fast and Furious, IRS intimidation, etc.).

Why did the militarized BLM turn back? Perhaps to avoid a spectacle of mass casualties that might spark a small war. Or was it to allow government to regroup and strike again later, like they did initially when they were tasing and dropping individual Bundy family members?

More pertinent than what the government may attempt in its ponderous incompetency is what the citizenry will do and think after the showdown. Will we see more momentous gatherings in bold opposition to the relentless governmental assertions of power and ownership?

Maybe there is something stirring, something unseen since April 19, 1775. It wasn’t an Earth Day celebration that mobilized the people on that day.

SAMUEL SCOTT

Forest Hill, Md.

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