Militia to BLM: ‘We Are Prepared to Use Deadly Force’
One of the militia groups who joined the effort to “protect” the Bundy family and their ranch from the armed Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rangers admitted they are prepared to use deadly force in self-defense in Nevada or Texas. Several militia groups have joined ranks to provide “protection” to keep the BLM from taking property from the Bundy Ranch, most of which operates on federally owned land.
Scott Shaw, co-founder of the Oklahoma Volunteer Militia says he is just an average American who goes to work every day and pays his taxes. He described his militia members as “every-day citizens ...We just have a strong conviction for freedom and liberty and upholding the Constitution. We are just here in case our court system fails us and we have to stand up to the federal government.”
In talking about the armed force of BLM rangers, Shaw described it as questionable. “If you’re there to get your money back that [Cliven Bundy] allegedly owes you, there are several ways you can do that in a court of law. You can put a lien on his property; you can put a lien on his cattle. If it truly was about getting back the back fees, why did [the BLM] take the cattle, or round the cattle up, which are the asset you’re going to sell--why would you kill several of those?” Recent reports revealed several cattle that were killed allegedly by the BLM during the standoff earlier this month.
Shaw affirmed that his militia members who deployed to Nevada were armed with a variety of military style weapons including AR-15s, AK-47s and others. They also include precision shooting firearms like deer hunting rifles and other military surplus items. He said the purpose of carrying the weapons is “number one, for self-defense. And then, if they have to defend unarmed protestors or the Bundy’s themselves.”
Breitbart Texas inquired about the militia’s rules of engagement and training.
“It’s similar to the military,” Shaw said regarding the rules of engagement. “We don’t fire unless fired upon. We’re not here to provoke anything. We’re just there to make sure the government doesn’t over-reach and that the government doesn’t overstep their bounds.” Shaw detailed the incidents at Waco and Ruby Ridge as precedents where the government took what many believe to be improper actions that led to the unnecessary deaths of American citizens.
Breitbart Texas inquired if they were prepared to use deadly force.
“Yes sir,” Shaw responded, “we are prepared…We certainly hope it doesn’t go that route but, with the track record of the federal government, it doesn’t look very promising that that’s going to happen.”
Shaw describes some of the scenarios that could bring his militia groups to the point of being forced into firing on federal agents. In one situation where the government might use rubber bullets against protesters or the militia, Shaw explained, “How are we supposed to know that they’re firing rubber bullets when it has been fired?”
This brings back the issue of training. Breitbart Texas attempted to drill down into what kind of training his militia members have received to prepare them to make possible life and death decisions. Shaw did not shed much light on their training or lack thereof.
“I would think most people,” Shaw began, “it’s pretty much common sense. You don’t have to a lot of training. It’s common sense, you don’t fire unless fired upon, number one. Other than that, we do have members that are prior military, some that are currently in the military and a lot of us have concealed weapons licenses--we’ve gone through that type of training. But to say, like a formal training by a licensed agency, I wouldn’t say all of the members have gone through training like that. But, we all understand the severity of the situation. We don’t take it lightly. It’s not like we’re out there carrying the weapons just to carry them around.”
“Nobody on our side wants this,” Shaw stated. “It’s being forced upon us. We’re not the aggressor; the aggressor is the federal government. They’re the ones who show up with the firearms.”
It was reported from the scene in Nevada that militia members were taking up what might be described as offensive positions, snipers behind barricades with rifles aimed at law enforcement officers. When asked if this was a proper use of force under the conditions on the ground at that time Shaw responded, “I think so…From the reports that I’ve seen, I know the BLM had snipers set up on hilltops having weapons pointed at the protesters.” He said the militia members were saying “hey, you have guns, we have guns, we’re not going to stand for this.”
Shaw argued that the government had other legal options on how to handle this situation without escalating to the point of both sides being heavily armed in a standoff. “I don’t understand their [the BLM’s] thought process. Who made this decision to go in there with armed rangers?”
Much closer to home, Shaw expressed his concern about the BLM’s alleged land grab along the Red River boundary between his home state of Oklahoma and Texas. Shaw expressed to the families of the land owners involved that his members are prepared to come to their aid, if asked by the property owners.
“We were willing to travel almost 1,200 miles to Nevada to help out our neighbors over there, we’ll definitely drive two hours to help out our neighbors on the Red River.
Follow Bob Price on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX