Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 2.43.42 PMOn Saturday 1/02/16 the sons of embattled Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy did something that’s garnered the nation’s attention as well as split public opinion.

In protest over what they perceive to be the unjust re-incarceration of two Oregon ranchers, Ammon and Ryan Bundy along with more than a hundred other armed militia members occupied a deserted federal wildlife reserve and vowed they will “kill or be killed” in their attempt to protest a tyrannical U.S. government that is no longer by and for the people.

The reason they’re upset is certainly a righteous one.

More than 14 years ago ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond lit a small brushfire on their property that eventually led to the destruction of nearby federal lands. A U.S. court found them guilty of the destruction of  federal property and each were sentenced to jail for their actions.

Dwight Hammond Jr., 73, and his 46-year-old son, Steven, have claimed that they lit the fires in 2001 and 2006 to reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their property from wildfires. However, prosecutors said the fires were set to cover up poaching.

The decision generated controversy and is part of a decades-long dispute between some Westerners and the federal government over the use of public lands. The issue traces back to the 1970s and the “Sagebrush Rebellion,” a move by Western states like Nevada to increase local control over federal land. Critics of the push for more local control have said the federal government should administer the public lands for the widest possible uses, including environmental and recreation.

Dwight and Steven both served their sentences, Dwight serving three months, and Steven serving for a year. But when they were ordered back to jail to serve for another four years the Bundy’s said enough is enough and took control of the  Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
As the time of the publication of this article the Hammonds said they had plans to turn themselves in.

However the Bundy’s say they’re going to stay there in the refuge until the Hammond’s rights are restored to them in full.

“The end goal here is that we are here to restore the rights to the people here so that they can use the land and resources. All of them,” Ryan Bundy said. That means ranchers can graze their cattle on the land, miners can use their mineral rights, loggers can cut trees and hunters and fishers can recreate, he added.

Ryan Bundy said they planned on staying at the refuge as long as it takes. If the situation turns violent, he contends it will be because of the federal government’s actions. “I mean, we’re here to restore order, we’re here to restore rights and that can go peacefully and easily.”

The FBI and other federal agencies have already arrived on the scene to help resolve the conflict. Thy remain optimistic the standoff can come to a “peaceful resolution.”

Liberal elements in the country don’t want a peaceful end for the Bundy’s and their supporters.

Thousands of liberals have taken to social media as well as the news and have advocated for the wholesale slaughter of the militia. Labelling them terrorists and calling them things like “Vanilla ISIS” and more they’ve asked Obama to “mow them down” with drones and for the government to end their lives quickly and violently.

And while Ammon Bundy said he and his supporters would be willing to put their lives at risk the main reason they’re there is to address the slow erosion of individual rights in the republic.

Support for the individuals is divided.

Sheriff Dave Ward, of Harney Count said these men weren’t patriots.

“These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers, when in reality these men had alternative motives to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States,”  Ward said in a statement. “We are currently working jointly with several organizations to make sure the citizens of Harney County are safe and this issue is resolved as quickly and peaceful as possible.”

While thousands more, including Oath Keeper,s have voiced support for the Bundy’s as they claim these kinds of protests are the only meaningful way to resist an ever growing government hell bent on tyrannical oppression.

What’s your take on all of this