Punishment is overdue

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

The most fundamental structures of our country are being challenged. Put another way – even more basic – America is under attack. No airplanes. No bombs dropped. No anti-aircraft batteries. No tanks or missiles. Not even an invasion of our shoreline. But the attacks are real. Numerous. Sustained. Sometimes orchestrated. And worst of all – from within.

I’ve not just left the most recent mindless histrionics of the John Birch Society. Nor am I a Limbaugh or Beck adherent. And I still believe Michelle Malkin is the most ignorant voice ever to foul national airwaves. But there are things afoot challenging our way of life – deliberate lawbreaking activities of too many citizens and even some we’ve elected to public office. In both political parties – right and left.

Worse than all that – nearly all of these assaults are – so far – going seemingly unchallenged by legal authority. And – at times – some of them are being committed by the legal authorities we rely upon.

Here are some examples:

## The governors of Idaho and eight other states formally told the U.S. Justice Department they wont enforce certain mandatory federal requirements regarding their legal responsibilities for protecting the safety of inmates in their various penitentiaries. Won’t do it.

## More than 100 people with ATV’s invaded archeological sites in Utah where such vehicle use is prohibited by law. They spent much of one day posing for various media by trafficking through the “off limits” areas with their children – and guns – riding along.

## Some 200 sheriffs have told federal authorities they’ll not enforce laws dealing with guns which THEY deem “unconstitutional.” Further, they’ve served notice they’ll stop and/or arrest any federal officer trying to do so.

## Several dozen “citizens” deliberately carried exposed weapons to an anti-gun law demonstration in Washington D.C. where the law expressly forbids such displays.

## A Nevada rancher is in arrears over $1 million to the feds. He not only refuses to honor a contract of longstanding with the government but has also used his unearned notoriety to gather other lawbreakers to break other federal and state laws on his behalf.

## The armed and unlawful assembly at Bunkerville has continued unabated with citizen guns turned on government employees doing their court-ordered duties. They’ve been impeding traffic on federal and state highways for nearly two months and trespassing on the private properties of locals. Several months now. Unimpeded.

A report from the Southern Poverty Law Center sums up these and many more recent examples of in-your-face actions by people hellbent on condemning anything governmental. Called “War on the West” it delves deeply into the Bundy mess.

Center Director Mark Potok cites these and other examples as warnings of things to come if the feds don’t gain an understanding that this is the volatile nature of what’s happening. The Bundy lawbreaking “was not an organic plot. It was a coordinated effort to bring the threat of violence to the federal government.”

SPLC cites many examples of hundreds of militia types, conspiracy theorists and other angry extremists who quickly responded to Bundy’s call for a range war. So far – without consequence.

I’ve heard a number of honestly-offered arguments about why there’s been no ”push back.” I’ve heard ‘em and I reject ‘em. Even the ones contending there would have been gunfire and casualties at Bunkerville. Which likely would’ve been the case. And may yet be. But that’s what can happen when people take up arms against their government. Those doing so need to learn that hard truth when they do it. Not just get a lecture and a ticket.

But – we’re now several months past the first day of that standoff and dozens of people on-site continue committing illegal acts – including harassing locals who’ve done nothing and who want to be left alone. The feds – and the local sheriff – have turned deaf ears to the local member of congress who’s asked repeatedly for action to disperse the armed violators of others civil rights.

Those who rode roughshod over the fragile federal lands in Utah have suffered no response from law enforcement. The disparate pack of armed lawbreakers in that D.C. federal park broke several laws with seeming impunity. Sheriffs who’ve openly made themselves arbiters of the law rather than enforcers of the law have not been rebuked by those in positions of authority to do so.

Taken individually, much of this can be looked at as not terribly significant. But – taken in sum – it is. Because these are only a few of the in-your-face illegal acts of armed lawbreakers. They continue unchallenged – as do other legal “authorities” – flaunting laws and acting out imagined grievances against their own government. They – and too many others like them – are violating rules of law which are the foundation for our liberties.

At some point, we – all of us – must demand action. Those who administer our laws are accountable to the rest of us who live by them. Nothing will erode a society faster than allowing deliberate law breaking to continue with no accountability for illegal and often dangerous acts. The “envelope” will continue to be pushed. And it WILL break.

Until legitimate authority draws a line and says “no more,” these people will continue to act out. If the innocent majority is not protected by the laws we live with – if armed lawbreakers can continue to intimidate a legitimate government – if taking up arms against lawful authority isn’t stopped and punished – if all of this is allowed to continue without response – what will happen to our society and our national way of life?

Lincoln warned us about these types of activities when saying he feared no takeover of America by foreign interests. But, he warned, successful subversion of our government – should it ever be attempted – “would most likely come from within.”

The cited examples represent some of the cancers he feared.

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