Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

April 28, 2014

STUMPTALK: Right to bear arms central to liberty

CROSSVILLE — There are two popular quotations from the writings of Thomas Jefferson that have been shown to be still relevant to our culture. “When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty” and “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Taken together they demonstrate why the right to bear arms is central to keeping our individual liberty.

By now everyone must be familiar with the citizen standoff of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) paramilitary in Nevada by rancher Cliven Bundy and hundreds of his supporters. It is not my purpose to discuss the legal issues involved in the ranchers’ access to use public land (the federal government owns well over 80% of the land in Nevada) for grazing … that has been going on since the late 1800s. It is my purpose to examine what that incident may tell us, although it is not yet resolved.

Had the BLM paramilitary not been confronted by hundreds of armed citizens, Cliven Bundy would have lost his herd and the federal government would never be called to account for extreme over-reach and destruction of property. As it stands, the BLM killed and buried several of the herd and broke down some of Bundy’s water troughs. They came in with snipers with assault rifles, SUVs, helicopters, airplanes and 200 troops pointing military weapons at the people supporting Bundy. They tried to restrict the demonstrators to a “first amendment zone” some three miles away. When the show of force did not work, the BLM finally had to stand down or become more aggressive.

Fortunately, the federal BLM stood down and left. There was, of course, some celebration on the part of the Bundy supporters, but everyone knows there is another chapter coming. Even Harry Reid has threatened that “this is not over. We can’t have an American people violate the law and just walk away from it, so it’s not over.”

According to Harry, those citizens are “domestic terrorists.” What people are beginning to ask is why Harry is so involved with this episode? Someone likened it to Chuck Schumer becoming involved in a rent case in New York. What is the significance of Reid’s land deals in Clark County? What is it Reid is trying to walk away from? What is the significance of the fact that this BLM assault on Bundy came just after Reid’s former senior policy advisor on land use issues, Neil Kornze, became the director of BLM? Harry Reid and his son, Rory, (who once was chairman of the Clark County, NV county commission) had been deeply involved in a $5 billion land negotiation with ENN (a Chinese energy company) for the development of a solar energy farm before the Chinese backed out. The Bundy ranch was in the way.

Oh, yes, back to the Thomas Jefferson quotes. What would have happened had the citizens not been armed? Would the government have feared them? Why should we worry about being armed? Why do “dozens" of federal agencies have their own SWAT teams? As reported in the National Review Online that includes the Department of Agriculture, The Railroad Retirement Board, The Tennessee Valley Authority, The Office of Personnel Management and The Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Thanks Harry. Had it not been for your stupid, arrogant actions in Nevada this whole subject would have remained buried. Jefferson lived with tyranny and understood the meaning of liberty. Having to learn that lesson again will be terrible.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Lion and the Lamb: A promised land?

    Back in biblical times there was a group of people who believed that God had promised them a segment of land on this planet that would be theirs forever. Who could have known back then that this ancient promise and territorial justification would be used by their descendants today to claim the same segment of land?

    July 29, 2014

  • We the People: Bring back the American dream

    Our economy continues to expand. The stock market is at record levels, yet many ask why so many of us are struggling?  Barely half of us believe the American dream is attainable.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014