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Protecting themselves
from a government gone wrong

Janet Kuypers

    So I’m on the phone with my husband, and he asks me, “Have you bee hearing about the news in Arizona and Nevada?” And I hadn’t, so I asked about it. He told me that apparently farmers can let their cattle graze on public land, and at one point recently the government (from the Bureau of Land Management, or the BLM) was coming in and trying to seize the cattle from a a Nevada cattle rancher. Well, the ranchers greatly protested, but the federal government told them that what the cattle were eating was disturbing the wildlife of a certain turtle (apparently we’re trying to preserve the wildlife for a certain kind of turtle now...) But no one informed the ranchers of any law change, so they looked into it.
    The thing is, apparently the BLM was prepared to battle over grazing rights on federal land — the BLM was rounding up rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle, as this family has been ranching in Nevada since the 1800s. (You see, the BLM said Bundy owed about $1 million in back fees because his cattle grazed on federal land.)
    The thing is, Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) is the director of the BLM, and he wanted Cliven Bundy’s cattle off of the land his family has worked for over 140 years in order to make way for solar panel power stations. A file deleted from BLM.gov titled “Cattle Trespass Impacts” directly states that Bundy’s cattle “impacts” solar development, more specifically the construction of “utility-scale solar power generation facilities” on “public lands.”
    Actually, he told me over the phone that the deal was that this land was sold to China (probably to run the solar power generators).
    So first things first, they had to protect their cattle from being taken away from them.
    When the federal government came to take the cattle, many men showed up — armed — to protect themselves, because the government was trying to take their property.
    And I laughed, because as soon as he told me this, I said, “does this make you think of my poem ‘the State of the Nation’? That the right to bar arms is to protect ourselves from a government gone wrong?” And he laughed, because that is exactly what he thought — this is exactly what the second amendment is there for - to protect ourselves...

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