So much has happened in our country the last four-five years. Early in 2016, Harney County, Oregon made international headlines. Does anyone remember?
Ranchers Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven were ordered to report back to prison and serve more time. They had already served the time the Judge had sentenced them to. But the .gov, in its endless effort to teach its subjects not to disagree with their edicts had charged them under a statute that had been passed after the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing related to terrorism, for essentially lighting a backfire to save the hay they had stockpiled for their cattle for the winter. The story about Dwight and Steven Hammond and their fight with the residing 'prince' of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is long and in some ways still continues. I'm going to opine that the manager of the refuge in his efforts to 'improve' said refuge decided that his need for the resources the Hammonds had ownership or rights to outweighed that of the Hammonds'. After all, he works for the Federal Government of the United States of America dammit!
Anyways, Dwight and Steven had been sentenced by the Judge in their case, but the Judge did not sentence them to the statutory minimum sentence required under the law they were convicted of. After being released, a federal prosecutor decided to enforce said minimum sentence. And that is when the Bundy's got involved. Hell, a lot of people got involved. On January 2, 2016, after talking to all parties involved, Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan and many others; after holding a parade and protest in Burns Oregon, went down at least twenty miles out of town and performed an adverse possession of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Because they were prepared, it was called an armed hostile takeover by violent people. None of the employees were there, all gone for winter break. What is hostile about that? Where was the violence? Folks who lived in Portland went wild on the internet calling them all kinds of nasty things. The county sheriff caved in and called the FBI out. Ammon had multiple press conferences, met with the county Sheriff, and even the FBI. They had community meetings in Burns. When they were showing all the native American artifacts haphazardly 'stored' in various boxes in a dusty old storeroom, they were accused of destruction.
Then on January 26, 2016, Ammon Bundy & Brian Cavalier in one vehicle with Lavoy Finnicum, Ryan Payne, Ryan Bundy, Shawna Cox, and a young woman named Virginia(?) in the lead vehicle left to go towards John Day, Oregon to speak at a meeting there. They had been invited by a logger who lived in Canyon City south of John Day. The FBI and Oregon State Police setup an operation on US HWY 395 north of Burns. At first they were going to perform the stop(s) in Grant County, but the sheriff of Grant County is a Constitutional Sheriff. A couple miles south of the Joaquin Miller Horse camp, there is a little spur road on the right where most of the law enforcement vehicles staged and immediately pulled out after the vehicles passed. Brian Cavalier was an FBI informant and was driving Ammon in the second vehicle. Brian stopped right away with Lavoy stopping a hundred yards or so ahead of them. Brian and Ammon surrendered and a shot was fired towards Lavoy's truck. Ryan Payne stepped out of Lavoy's truck and surrendered. Lavoy yelled out that they were going to see the sheriff of Grant County and sped off. Just passed the horse camp the troopers, etc. had a road block. This forced Lavoy to swerve to the right into about a two+ foot snow bank. Shots were immediately fired and Lavoy immediately exited the truck to draw fire away from the occupants inside. He tried to keep his hands up, but the snow was deep so he had to lower them twice to keep his balance and eventually they fired three more shots, hitting Lavoy; killing him.
The only people who had firearms in their hands were law enforcement. The only people who fired any rounds were law enforcement.
August 21 & 22,1992. April 19, 1993. April 19, 1775. April 12, 2014. January 2, 2016. January 26, 2016. And now January 6, 2021. Samuel Weaver. Vickie Weaver. David Koresh and almost eighty others. Lavoy Finnicum. Ashli Babbit. All of these dates have significance to what I have seen as a slide towards a real Constitutional crisis in this country.
When will it end?