And; despite the claims of the Bundy Bunch that they were coming to protest in peace, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, 55, was shot and killed, leaving behind 11 children and who knows how many grand children, brothers, sisters, wife, etc......
Despite their claims of peaceful protest, they came with an arsenal of firearms and, purportedly, explosives.
Despite their claims of peaceful negotiations, they threatened two communities with violence; repeatedly threatened and goaded law enforcement officers into violent confrontation and harassed citizens of the surrounding communities; people who neither invited, nor wanted the "peaceful" group in their towns or business.
In an era of utter obsession with firearms and personal rights in the United States, peace is not at the top of the list of objectives with groups such as those who illegally seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. In fact, peace is not even a remote possibility, for firearms do not represent peace, rather they literally exude violence. The very existence of firearms is for violent action, or reaction.
The L.A. Times reports, and we've all read and/or heard the comments from Bundy and others of the group insist that; "the occupiers’ principle concerns—upholding the Constitution, protecting the rights of individuals and crushing socialism."
However; the same uninvited, "law-abiding and peaceful" group, according to multiple sources including the L.A. Times noted:
"The charges filed Wednesday detail activists' behavior in the media and the behavior reported to the FBI by federal employees who said they endured threats from the protesters in town before the occupation.
One employee with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, a prime target of the protesters, said Ritzheimer, an anti-Muslim activist who led an armed protest at a mosque last May, and another man accosted her in a grocery store for wearing a BLM shirt.
“When she turned around, the second individual shouted ‘you're BLM, you're BLM,’ at her,” FBI Special Agent Katherine Armstrong wrote in the affidavit.
“That person further stated to [the BLM employee] that they know what car she drives and would follow her home. He also stated he was going to burn [her] house down.
Then activists began targeting her, she said. A vehicle matching one she saw Ritzheimer and the other man driving began to appear parked in front of her home and in front of her workplace, she said.
A week later, a white truck with a Confederate flag sticker in the rear window tailgated her and flashed its lights, the affidavit says."
When groups of people use intimidation, fear and force to declare their rights over the rights of all others, such as the Bundy Bunch; how are we to discern between them and the likes of the Taliban, ISIS, or any other terrorist group? As far as I'm concerned, there is very little to differentiate them.
It's beyond me what connection the BLM and Socialism have, but what is abundantly clear is that peace was of no concern for the Bundy Bunch. In fact; I dare say they were hoping for a violent outcome. That was as evident in Oregon as it was in Bunkerville, Nevada.
There's a problem with so many people declaring their "rights" in such vociferous, confrontational and violent manners. "Rights" are not what one group forces upon others. Rather; rights are what all respect and allow others to observe without impeding upon one another.
Without creating an endless "Hammurabi's Code" defining everything for everyone, I believe the Founders of this nation expected the future citizens of this nation to respect one another's rights without having to precisely define them.
And therein lies the quandary. We, in the United States, Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc.. have become so obsessed with "our" rights, we can neither see, nor respect the rights of others.
How do we insist upon the nation being "Christian" without trampling the rights of those of the Muslim Faith, or of no faith? How can we insist upon marriage as being between male and female only without discounting the rights of those of the LBGT Community among us?
How can we be a nation of peace when the first thing we think of using for "peaceful protest" are firearms?
Many, including The Bundy Bunch are infamous for this lack of respect for the rights of all. One cannot consider public land open for their own financial gain, for public land is precisely what it implies - it is land owned by the government (the government you and I elect) to protect, for public access and enjoyment, against those who would use (and abuse) for their personal financial gain.
The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is over and what did it accomplish? Just as with the Bundy Ranch standoff, absolutely nothing, for Cliven Bundy still owes you and I a very hefty bill for grazing on our public land.
Nothing gained, except this time, it cost a man his life who seemed to want to die in some self-fancied martyrdom during a "peaceful protest." A protest to ensure his personal rights over the rights of the entire nation to maintain public land.
And that, my friend, is the problem with rights.