Our Opinion: Empty anger is Oregon group's 'cause'


"We will be here as long as it takes," said Ammon Bundy, leader of the armed domestic terrorists who have taken over a federal building in Oregon, in a phone interview with CNN. As long as it takes to do what?

The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge building began as a protest of the conviction and sentencing of two Oregon ranchers who set fire to federal land to cover up poaching and burned up about 130 acres of it. The ranchers, however, say they want nothing to do with the militia group.

The group, which calls itself Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, has issues with federal ownership of land. That ownership is constitutional, however, and the federal protection and preservation of land that is part of our heritage as Americans is a concept that has united Democrats and Republicans for a century.

Constitutional blather aside, the protesters are just a collection of angry white guys (and a few women) who can't pinpoint the source of their anger but know they are riled up about something. Mr. Bundy, whose rancher father Cliven Bundy conducted a similar protest in 2014 that attracted Republican supporters until the elder Bundy's racist rants sent them scurrying, doesn't have the best anti-federal government bona fides. According to Mother Jones magazine, he applied for and received a $500,000 federal Small Business Administration loan six years ago for a Phoenix business he owns.

Other than show the need for tough laws to keep guns out of the hands of the irresponsible, Mr. Bundy's group isn't likely to accomplish much. Whenever its members decide to abandon their cause, perhaps when the beer runs out, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the laws protected by our Constitution.


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