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Wednesday
Jan062016

On the Tempest in the Malheur Teapot

A few have privately inquired as to why I’ve been so uncharacteristically mute about “Y’all Qaeda”–the mob of yokels who courageously stormed and took possession of a remote federal facility southeast of Burns on a holiday weekend after encountering stiff resistance from two chipmunks and an irritated barn owl. I guess I’ve kept mum because, really, what is there to say about it? They’re idiots? They’re a barely literate, infantile rabble? I try to limit my comments to things others might find insightful, interesting, provocative, perhaps even amusing. What’s the point of stating the obvious?

The Hammonds, for whom this mob of numbskulls purports to speak, are unambiguously on record as wanting nothing to do with them, and with good reason. Were I ever to find myself in hot water with the feds, the last thing I would want would be the Bundy boobs and their cousins by homosexual incest as my champions. 

These yahoos aren’t patriots. They aren’t “constitutionalists.” If they’ve even read the document, I suspect it involved a good deal of skimming. The people who fought first for our independence, then to secure order from the ensuing chaos were a breed apart. They were loftily erudite scholars, deeply and broadly educated in the classics, eloquent, subtle and profound. Ammon Bundy can barely cobble together a coherent sentence, and he’s one of the ringleaders. One can scarce imagine how dim his followers must be. If one of these daft maggots could successfully hack his way through a single sentence of the Federalist Papers and emerge from the exercise with even a faint glimmer of understanding, I’d eat my hat. The Founding Fathers pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor for high ideals, their rights as Englishmen and other legal principles dating to and, in many instances, pre-dating the Magna Carta. They were well-versed not only in Aristotle and Aquinas but also showed obvious familiarity with relative contemporaries like Locke, Montesquieu and Blackstone. Many had a great deal to lose, and many indeed lost it all. Perhaps most importantly, they abhorred lawlessness; indeed, the Constitutional Convention became necessary in response to it. The states under the Articles of Confederation had become fragmented and ungovernable. If the Framers could be brought into our time, while they would likely view with alarm the myriad ways in which the federal government has broken free of the limits they intended to place upon its power, they would be similarly unimpressed with Bundy & Co.’s response. Such were the towering polymaths who birthed our republic. This “militia” is an agglomeration of children with small arms play-acting at being revolutionaries. They’ll overtax the septic system at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge HQ for a week or two until they get bored, the media stops paying attention, or they learn their wives back home have taken up with the dude two ranchsteads over. And who could blame them–he has a rented double-wide and only five pickup payments left.

It’s as a champion of gun rights that I’m particularly peeved by these bozos. If ever a group of people played right into the hands of those who delight in the “gun-enthusiast-as-silly-hick” stereotype, it’s Y’all Qaeda. They’re doing such a thoroughgoing job of sullying our image that it wouldn’t surprise me to find out the Brady Campaign or Handgun Control, Inc.–or whatever it is those pink twinkies call themselves these days–is clandestinely funding them. They’re doing nobody any favors and garnering ZERO sympathy from anyone who matters–e. g. anyone in a position to effect change that would benefit the Hammonds and many other Western farmers and ranchers who often find themselves similarly strong-armed by the feds. They’re alienating anyone whose sympathetic impulses might have favored the Hammonds, but who may have needed additional persuasion to become true believers. Indeed the Hammonds, who truly are victims of unjust, overreaching laws and crusading prosecutors, gain not a groat from this. To me, that’s the real bummer of this whole disturbance of the peace: Y’all Qaeda is drawing the focus away from those on whose behalf it claims to be taking a stand. If these noisome gomers really cared about the Hammonds, they’d be raising funds to help the two men’s wives get by while they’re in prison, or to hire the best lawyers available for further appeals, or to lobby for legal changes. But hey, let’s face it–grabbing your rifle and pretending you’re a badass is way more fun. At least right up until actual blood starts spilling.

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