I’ve spent a little time attempting to figure out the details of the Bundy situation happening over there in the great state of Nevada. I don’t get it… while at the same time I do.
Faux News would have you believe it is about the little guy fighting an over reaching government. The reality is that it is much more complicated than that, as life often proves.
The story behind the Bundy grievances lives in the shell of misinformation, not unlike the shell of that little guy in the photo above.
That tortoise up there is an endangered species. Now how a turtle becomes an endangered species falls a little beyond my ability to explain but he is, and that is where the conflict begins.
In 1989 the US Fish & Wildlife people designated the desert tortoise as a “threatened & endangered species”. That designation set into action a series of events that were constructed to preserve the habit natural to this animal.
Those events included stopping off road vehicles from specified land parcels and no longer allowing cattle to graze in those same areas. It also includes not allowing companies to develop the land to locate minerals.
This issue is about more than a deadbeat rancher, it is about authority – entitlement – and over reach.
The less liberal of us might wonder at what cost do we preserve species, preserve the environment, and attempt to maintain a natural balance. The more liberal of us might argue that we’ve not done enough to those items already listed. The truth and the reality is that we need to be somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.
Animal life is not as important as human life. If given the choice between allowing a human to live over an animal we should choose man. Do we however choose a man’s right to accumulate wealth over the life of an endangered animal who quite frankly has a whole lot of evolutionary cousins who are similar if not the same? Tougher question hunh?
Our government has the complex responsibility of not just providing a location for man to pursue happiness, but to also work to maintain the possibility of happiness for us all. That at times can mean ensuring that our human footprints don’t stamp out the ecosystem that gives us life.
How does this relate to Mr. Bundy you ask?
The grazing fees that Mr. Bundy refuses to pay are the result of the land being the natural habitat to the desert tortoise. The fees go to maintain the land and are designed to discourage cattle owners from allowing their stock to feed unchecked. Mr. Bundy is not unlike other ranchers in Nevada who state that they have the right to allow their cattle to roam freely over these lands because that’s the way it’s always been for years.
The cost to them to alter their habits of free range they argue will infringe on their ability to make a living.
I don’t know if Mr. Bundy is wealthy. I also do not care.
What you have here is the concept of makers vs takers played out in living color, except the people involved are not “of color”.
Remember how I said this was all about the little turtle?
It isn’t really.
The dates I gave you are important. The animal was designated as endangered in 1995. The designation of threatened and endangered was in 1996.
Cliveden Bundy stopped paying fees for his cattle grazing in 1993. Yep two full years before the little turtle caused such a big ruckus.
You see Mr. Bundy bless his heart wanted some free stuff from the government. He wanted the ability to have his cattle roam freely, and not pay for it. In the words of Bill O’Reilly he wanted something for nothing.
His overwhelming sense of entitlement led to the confrontations we’ve been watching unfold over the past two weeks. His sense of entitlement could lead to something else happening as well.
The need to arm yourself against a government that is overreaching is theoretically preserved by the Second Amendment. Is this really one of those cases though? Should Bundy and his “militia” associates have the ability to stand armed and defy regulators and law enforcement to protect his right to get free stuff?
Obviously they think the answer to that question is yes.
I wonder though, if a group of single mothers armed themselves and walked into a Whole Foods Market and demanded that the store give them eggs, milk and bread so they could feed their human children if those same “militia” activists would take up arms to stand beside them.
What do you think the answer to that question is?