In the aftermath of Ammon Bundy’s group takeover of an empty government hut in the wilderness in response to the government’s egregious miscarriage of justice against the Hammond family, the left has given in to its ravenous, Twilight-style bloodlust. Jonathan Chait of The New Yorker tweeted:
Do we get to vote on this? Because I’m voting for #2 https://t.co/1uS3C4xmee
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) January 3, 2016
Montel Williams tweeted:
— Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) January 3, 2016
All right. Let’s ignore for a moment that these militia types have taken over a shack in a wildlife refuge without violence. Let’s ignore that the left has routinely made excuses for actual violence from groups ranging from Baltimore and Ferguson rioters to Occupy Wall Street.
Wouldn’t it be worthwhile asking, just for the sake of argument, whether violation of a particular law is worth killing someone?
Now, that question applies less to the Bundy group than to the Hammonds. The Bundy group is trespassing on federal property; if they resist removal with armed force, the government would naturally have to use force or risk the unacceptable precedent of accepting a full-scale armed takeover of federal installations.
But would Montel and Chait be so gung-ho about the shooting if the Hammonds were to stay on their ranch and tell the government that they won’t go to jail for another five years based on the Bureau of Land Management’s bizarre edicts regarding setting backfires on your property? Let’s extend the logic: would the left be willing to shoot the Klein family, also in Oregon, if they refused to hand over $140,000 to a lesbian couple for failing to bake them a cake? How about if a black man sold loose cigarettes on a street corner in New York City?
Every law is backed by a gun. So before we pass a law, we ought to ask whether we’re willing to use that gun.
We’ve become so accustomed in the United States to reams upon reams of legislation from every agency, so accustomed to heavily-armed bureaucracies with their own SWAT teams, that we rarely stop to ask a simple question: is the law worth the consequences of enforcement?
Rule of law is only sustainable when laws are carefully chosen. As laws become more and more intrusive, as government becomes larger and larger, the risk of resistance – rightful resistance – grows. The left seems quite casual about the use of government force when it comes to implementation of their myriad priorities. That sort of thinking will end in more blood, not less.