Wild, Wild West

It’s not a gunfight at the OK Corral, but it’s the next best thing.

Supporters of Nevada cattle rancher, Mr. Cliven Bundy, stood up against officials from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in an effort to protest the BLM”s attempted land-grab and claim Bundy had been raising cattle on government land and owed grazing fees.

The dispute was defused this past weekend when the BLM agreed to end the standoff, a week ripe, and turned loose Bundy’s cattle.

The surprising news is not that a cowboy had a beef with the government, but of the attention this whole going on attracted. It’s amazing the type of people – fellow ranchers, militia members, fellow activists – who were drawn to the middle of the Las Vegas desert. And the airtime was quite remarkable. CNN even took a few moments away from the missing plane to comment on Bundy and patriotic entourage.

But I guess it’s not really a surprise. This dispute, which began in the early 90s, finally reached a boiling point in April after the BLM seized a large percentage of Bundy’s herd. What might have been just as surprising was that not a single person was injured during the whole affair. Protesters remained peaceful and armed officials stood down.

While this scene was very reminiscent of the standoff at Waco, Texas, one thing is clear. People can have a real clear voice when they stand united with one another. In fact, it’s amazing that Bundy and his supporters were resilient enough to defeat the hand of the BLM and in the end win.

I’d be hesitant to say this fight is fully over with, and Bundy likely knows that. In many ways, this was simply a test of the waters. It was a way to determine how far the BLM reach can be stretched without anyone overstepping boundaries. There is a high chance the government will return one day and try to take over Bundy’s land and his herd once again. It will be interesting to see how many supporters will be at the ready when that day comes.ild Wild West


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