Ammon Bundy, son of infamous Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, is leading an armed effort to occupy a headquarters building located in a federal wildlife preserve near Burns, Oregon, as a reaction to a local criminal case between ranchers and public land officials beginning in 2001.
What started as a community protest–over the extended sentencing of father and son ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond for two cases of arson on public lands–has morphed into another Bundy showdown where sovereign citizen rhetoric, revisionist history, and self-identified militia converge. Due to the extensive nature of this decades-long story, Breitbart News will be filing multiple stories from eastern Oregon in the days ahead.
While it may appear to be a severe overreaction to a criminal justice matter, such episodes are deeply embedded in certain pockets of western states where local property owners and government officials regularly clash over land usage rights and restrictions. Like some progressive activists capitalizing on officer-involved urban shootings, the Bundy family is now leveraging its experience in fomenting illogical protests across state lines.
Standing up to the federal government and protecting private property rights both can be noble pursuit that inspires the hearts of conservatives, but was the Bundy standoff really about private property rights? The answer is largely no. Let’s look at what happened previously with the Bundy family in hopes of understanding the current standoff.
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