There are times when two idiots get into a fistfight that it is impossible to choose sides. You only hope they don’t succeed in creating damage to anyone but each other. Alas, that is the seeming case in the Bundy standoff in Oregon, where in great theater a small group of hotheads are taking refuge in a bird sanctuary in their words, in defense of the constitution. The irony of a group breaking the law to defend the constitution seems to be lost on the group of malcontents.
But a review of the history of the Hammond case that is a component of the “militia” list of complaints (it should be noted that the Hammond family has not vocalized support for the militia) also reveals a heavy-handed and hamfisted government and Department of Justice, as the author of this Cato Institute Commentary quickly documents.
The best outcome would be for the government to avoid another Ruby Ridge militarized storming of the compound and for those holed up on a remote federally owned sanctuary to get bored, face their charges, and then get on with life while. At the same time, perhaps the wrongheaded attempt at fame and martyrdom will at least raise awareness of the abuses of government and the Department of Justice and inspire frank conversations on the role of government ownership of land and the disproportionate use of prosecution using arcane legal frameworks that citizens can’t possibly know in advance of their trials.