” I lay on a pile of cow crap and nettles, peering uselessly through weeds growing on a wire fence. I am unable to see more than 12 feet into an open field. Prone, my neck and shoulders hurt as I crane hoping to see far enough so that I can have some warning of advancing forces. I am sweating out buckets, soaking my Battle Dress Uniform (BDU), boonie hat and underwear as thoroughly as if I had been caught in a thunderstorm. My neck is developing a sunburn because, like an idiot, I failed to put sunblock into my kit. Baking in the sun, unable to see anything, feeling hot, bored and useless, I remember why I left the Army . . .
Rewind a few months. I am very concerned about the lawful lawlessness of Federal State and local governments. Legislation and regulation seem to me to be oriented to favoring the fortunes of politically connected persons and groups rather than the general benefit of all citizens. What they do is legal, but it is immoral.
The dustup between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management really focused my attention as it made an abstract argument for overbearing government concrete. On one hand, it is clear that Bundy has dug his heels in and is ignoring the rulings of the authorities – he is on the wrong side of the law. On the other hand Bundy is the only rancher in the area left after years of management by the BLM – an agency supposedly empowered to manage land for the benefit of everyone, even ranchers. I think the Feds are morally wrong and the fines and penalties unjust. Unjust laws ought not be complied with.
Even so, I am glad nobody went home limping that day when citizens, joined by militia groups, confronted the BLM agents posting an armed guard on a fence between Bundy and his property. To my eyes, an armed revolt against the Feds is a kind of abyss. In the US, our experience with revolution is mixed. If there is another revolt, I am not sure that what replaces the government will be any better. The track record is sketchy at best.
Further, my impression of self-styled militia groups and their leadership has been pretty low. In the runup to a recent election, I ran into someone at a gun show all decked out in a set of woodland BDU fatigues with patches and a name tape. She growled about how rotten the Federal government is, but when I asked her who she is supporting in an upcoming race, she was ignorant of the candidates. I guess their plan was to walk around dressed up like GI Joe and grumble.”