A group of gunmen seized control of an empty federal building in remote Burns, Oregon, on Saturday and announced how they plan to occupy the facility for “years”. They then called for “patriots” to join them — and bring more guns.
What the hell is this about? And why have they NOT been arrested or ceased?
These gunmen include, the two sons of Cliven Bundy, the rancher whose legal battle with the government over grazing rights culminated in an armed standoff with federal authorities near Bunkerville, Nevada, in 2014.
In a statement they tweeted:
“We’re planning on staying here for several years,” Ammon Bundy said in a video posted to Facebook Saturday. “We’re calling people to come out here and stand…. We have a place for you to stay warm. We have food planned and prepared. We need you to bring your arms. And we need you to come to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.” His brother Ryan Bundy told The Oregonian’s Ian Kullgren the militiamen are “willing to kill and be killed if necessary”
The Bundy’s and other militia members have gathered in Burns in recent weeks to protest the return to prison of Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven, two local ranchers who were convicted in 2012 of arson, imprisoned, released and given new, harsher sentences last year. But there’s no evidence the Hammonds are involved in the occupation of the federal building, and they told The Oregonian through their attorneys on Sunday that they plan to return to prison on Monday as ordered.
This story is outrageous because we haven’t heard how local, state, and federal authorities are responding? So far, it looks as if law enforcement officials are steering clear of the mayhem.
A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson told CNN that federal officials, including the Bureau of Land Management, are monitoring the situation.