Are the bully boys currently occupying the federal Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon terrorists? Yes, and here’s why. Threatening violence against “the government” means threatening violence against our friends and neighbors and family members who work for Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and other federal land management agencies, not to mention law enforcement. Same as most Idahoans, I sometimes disagree with these agencies, but when you threaten them with violence, you threaten the rest of us too, the rightful owners of federal public lands.
The history of the American West is all about bullies threatening people with guns in order to take their land. Ask any Native American. Wonder where all those huge Western ranches came from? In many cases from homesteaders who were run off their family plots by armed gangs hired by cattle companies.
How little has changed. Bundy refuses to pay debts owed to U.S. taxpayers for the use of leased public land. Instead, he and his “militia” want to lay claim to land owned by all Americans, first make it more theirs than ours, and eventually make it all theirs. Once that happens, guess how they’ll keep us off their newly acquired spreads?
Chris Norden, Moscow