I know: this is a gun blog. The militia men who gathered at Cliven Bundy’s ranch to confront the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have headed home after the BLM returned Mr. Bundy’s “trespass cattle.” But the enmity between Cliven’s supporters and the federal government – which almost disintegrated into a ballistic battle – continues to simmer. Bundy’s incendiary anti-government rhetoric shows no signs of cooling off. And the New York Times is there! “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” Bundy told a press conference consisting of one reporter, from the Times. “Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas . . .
‘and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.
‘And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.’
That’s pretty much typical Bundy: start with an important insight into the relationship between government and the governed, personalize it and then add bucketfuls of bitter bile. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: this is not the people’s champion you’re looking for.
Senator Rand Paul – a man who constantly and lucidly expresses Constitutional concerns about government over-reach – distanced himself from Bundy’s racist remarks. Gregg Abbott, Texas Governor Rick Perry’s heir apparent, also backed away from Bundy. As you’d expect. The question is . . .
What do the militia men say? Will they deploy to the Bundy Ranch now if Uncle Sam comes knocking on Cliven’s door to collect unpaid rent? We certainly know what the left will say. Militia members are white supremacists. Gun owners are racists. It’s a very short step to “anyone with a gun is a domestic terrorist,” the term Senator Harry Reid used to describe Bundy supporters.
I know that this is a complicated case; including the fact Senator Harry Reid’s insider dealing could be the [previously] unseen hand behind the BLM’s actions against Bundy. But character is fate. Bundy’s deeply flawed character could seal the fate for the entire American militia movement – and otherwise uninvolved gun owners as well.