Too many liberty minded Americans fall for the idea that one plot or another is going to be the answer to keeping freedom alive in America. Whether it is Common Law, Convention of the States, State Nationalist, Grand Juries or getting a Patent on your property, the results are the same. They don’t work in a corrupt system! Let me explain why and what the true answer to securing liberty is.
Since the Bundy Ranch incident in 2014 I have met countless people that have expressed to me what they believe the solution to securing liberty is. On most occasions I try to learn from them and give them the time to explain the details of their findings and conclusions. It is always fascinating to understand what they are expressing. Most of these people are very intelligent and have spent decades researching and documenting what they believe to be the solution to liberty. They anxiously want me to listen and champion their cause to rally the people to implement their plan and take back the rights that have been lost. However, after ample time is given to understanding the basics of their solutions and plans I always ask them one question. A question that none of them have been able to answer. Each time I ask this question the reply is always, “I don’t know.” This question has never failed to deteriorate the possibility of success to every proposal I have heard. Let me explain.
20 years prior to the events in 2014 my father was fighting in the courts trying to secure his property rights. My family had been ranching in the Virgin Valley for nearly 140 years, 5 generations, since 1877 and we had established strong deeds registered with the state of Nevada. My great great grandfather & mother (on my grandmother’s side) were sent by Brigham Young to develop the area. With 120 degree weather and endless sink-sand forming the banks of the Virgin River my family struggled to level the fields and divert water to irrigate crops. I am sure they thought about giving up many times. There were other places that would make a much easier home to produce and live than the one they had settled in. However, driven by faith, grit, and determination, they developed that hot dry desert valley into an agriculture rich oasis. During these times of struggles they also ran cattle, sheep and horse along the foothills of the Bunkerville Mountains. Looking for ways to produce food they found several natural springs that allowed them to graze cattle & sheep even when the crops in the fields had failed. Over several generations my family developed these springs creating a network of watering troughs throughout a 30 mile span. My father has been tending these springs and raising cattle in this desert now for 77 years, scratching out a meager living, just enough to raise his family of 14 children.
Most of his adult life my father has had to fight the federal government over the use of the land that he and his forefathers developed. In my lifetime I have seen my father support and promote several elected representatives, help organize a cattlemen’s association, fund political groups to lobby for ranchers’ rights. I have seen him form teams of attorneys and even beg his fellow ranchers to unite and stand together before it was too late. I even experienced my father speak to hundreds of ranking federal bureaucrats that gave him a standing ovation at the completion of his words. I also recognized as a young man the hardship my father endured trying to find a solution to securing his rights and heritage, especially when he was dragged through the federal courts watching his livelihood slowly pulled from his hands while most of the other ranchers around him just gave up. Shortly after the federal courts ruled that he had no right to the land, my father wrote this in a notice to state officials.
“I fear that my stand is an endangerment to my life and the lives of my family members and will cause the destruction of my property rights by illegal acts of the agents of the United States. They have often attempted to paint me as a violent person when all I have done is stand up for my property rights. I have always conducted myself in a professional manner during this battle with words on paper. I take issue with anyone who would try to paint me as some wacko extremist. I do not advocate violence and only want a legal and peaceful conclusion to this issue and my rights protected. Therefore demand is hereby made that the above Nevada officials intervene and secure my 14th Amendment rights guaranteed in the Constitution and prevent an emergency which has the potential of causing the loss of me and my family’s life, liberty and property. The 1st Amendment guarantees me the right to redress my government. That is what I am doing. Respectfully submitted, Cliven D. Bundy, November, 1998.”
(Below quotations are from official government documents)
For over 20 years, each time federal agents would provoke my father by threatening his life or property, he would call on state and county officials to protect and resolve. Because federal agents could not provoke my father into reacting in violence, justifying his removal from the land, preparation to destroy the Bundy ranch in 2014 were made by officials from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), FBI, U.S. Attorneys Office, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, United States Forest Service (USFS) & National Park Service (NPS). In “Sensitive” government documents, officials admit that up to that point “Bundy himself is less prone to initiate or support violence”. They further admit that they did not know “Bundy’s threshold” or “precise trigger that would elicit a violent response,” “Nor are we able to detect what his actions would be to a direct threat.” However, “If pressed into a corner and faced with having to defend his property, family, or person, his actions may be hard to forecast.” In the official “Planning” documents of the imminent action against the Bundy family, a plan was laid out to vise-fully use excessive federal force to push Bundy “beyond his threshold” and either summon enough fear in Bundy to lose all “semblance of hope” and give up his claim on the land or leave him with no choice but to defend his family and property. The official plan states that; “It is important that Bundy realize that impound operations are imminent so he can develop a plan B.” Further it states that; this will give “Bundy time to really weigh his options, identify and organize key players, and decide how he want[s] to handle the possibility of violence.” Federal officials further reveal in this plan that; “While this planning time presents a double edge sword for our LOE operations, it is in our best interest to face off against a more stable and measured Bundy contingent, vice a gaged and reactive one.” It is evident that the official federal plan was to exhibit such a show of force upon my father, family, and the local community that it would either put us in a state of terror, causing us to lose hope or react in open defense, giving federal agents justification to arrest or dispatch anyone who would oppose them.
No matter how much my father pleaded with state officials to help secure his rights, they only gave lip service to his plight. Having deeded rights registered with the state of Nevada one would conclude that the state should make some sort of effort to protect those rights. However, all pleading to state officials bore no fruit and they left him to be devoured by the powerful federal bureaucratic waiting to destroy, the same bureaucrats that 20 years prior gave him a standing ovation for powerfully articulating the love he had for the land and his heritage.
Federal agents did exactly as they planned, bringing in over 200 federal agents in a military-type operation against my family. The elected representatives had failed, the courts had failed, the associations had failed, the laws had failed, the state had failed, the attorneys had failed. Every effort for nearly 50 years had failed, resulting in an army of federal agents surrounding my family’s ranch home, threatening our lives, turning the Virgin Valley into a real live Red Dawn scene. It was not until my father appealed to the good people across America that the situation changed. On social media and across every network that would allow, my father asked for help. Declaring what his rights are and that he was going to do whatever it took to keep them. People from all over the county came and the situation peacefully turned right side up. The federal agents left the area and my father recovered his cattle and went back to ranching. Sure, it took some time to recover, federal agents had killed around 60 cattle, cut up water tanks and destroyed corrals. But, within a relatively short period of time the ranch was back to normal and my father was experiencing more freedom to ranch than ever before.
Federal Agents at Bundy Ranch
So, what made that all happen? It was not a Convention of States, it was not a Common Law Court, it was not a Grand Jury or becoming a State Nationalist. It was the people coming together in the defense of their neighbors’ rights. The one question I ask the people that want my buy-in on what they believe is the silver bullet to securing liberty, is this, “Who is going to enforce it”? Who is going to enforce the ruling of a grand jury? Who is going to enforce the results of a convention of states? Who is going to enforce the verdict of a common law court? Who is going to enforce the clearing of title on a patent? If you have no way to enforce liberty, then you have none. The people in this country have lost the balance of power they once had. Prior to the last few generations the American people had maintained a unity and regard for individual rights that those in government feared and respected. The bureaucrats understood that they could only get away with so much or the people would forcefully put them in order. Today that balance of power is almost non-existent putting we the people in a very precarious position.
If we really want to secure liberty all we need to do is unite as a body of people determined to defend each other when rights are threatened. All we need to do is balance the power that has been usurped by the bureaucrats. Samual Adams said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” He understood that until you are willing to give your life for liberty, you cannot be free. He also knew that if the people did not balance the power of government, then they would lose all ability to control their own lives.
There is no silver bullet to securing liberty. It is going to take unity, suffering, and the willingness to use violence in defense, like it always has. Stop believing that some convention or other plot is the answer. Stop thinking that the courts or elected representatives are going to save us. Stop worshiping the police or anyone else that secures more power to the institutions that threaten freedom. Stop wasting your time thinking that congress or the president is where the solution resides. Stop being afraid. Stop thinking that remaining free is easy, it’s not! The people must balance the power that is forming against them. We must peacefully unite, plan, and prepare so we are ABLE to defend ourselves as necessary. The right to defend yourself is a right that is given to you from God and a right that is protected in our founding documents. The same documents that mean nothing unless they can be enforced by the people.
Whether we unite through the People Rights Network (PRN) or some other way, unite we must. Never should we go on the offense and use violence. However, we should become proficient and CAPABLE in defending our families, faith, freedom, and future, even by violence when necessary. Never in offense, only in defense. We must not allow ourselves to become so powerless that we have no ability to protect our families from those who have an endless sensation to control.
Jewish Men Being Shot By Government Agents
My commitment to you is a renewed resolve in strengthening and building a unity of people. To unite with other liberty minded networks and groups around the country. To provide effective tools to help neighbors across America communicate and act when individual rights are being threatened. To communicate better myself. In return, I pray that you will resolve to be more courageous. To act when you know you should act. To put away fear and replace it with faith in God. To not allow yourselves to get sucked into ideas that never have nor ever will bring liberty. Ideas that divide and cause contention among freedom minded people. To forgive your neighbors and love them enough to value their freedom as much as your own. To not worry so much about what others may think about you or even what they may do to you for doing what is right. “Do what is right, let the consequences follow, battle for freedom in spirit and might,” one of my favorite hymns.
This Op-Ed was submitted by Ammon Bundy. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Photo Credit to Natalie Behring, Getty Images
Tags: Ammon Bundy, Bundy Ranch, Bunkerville, Bureau of Land Management, Cliven Bundy, FBI, Liberty, Peoples Rights, Peoples Rights Network, Securing liberty