Standoff at Nevada Ranch: America Is Ready to Resist

Standoff at Nevada Ranch: America Is Ready to Resist

Protesters at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada faced off with federal agents this past weekend, sending the message that overreaching government power can be resisted.

You’ve seen the news: A video showing the protestors at the Bundy ranch taking on federal agents went viral. A dispute about grazing fees had been escalating for over 20 years between Clive Bundy and the Federal Bureau of Land Management. On April 5th, agents enforced a court order and began removing cattle from the land under dispute. Members of Bundy’s family and others protested, and the confrontation resulted in people being thrown to the ground and threatened with police dogs. Bundy’s son Ammon was tasered, and a few demonstrators were arrested.

Bundy took a stand, declaring a “range war” against the federal government on his website. Around 300 supporters gathered at his ranch. Cliven’s son Dave Bundy and others who’d been arrested were released, but the fervor of resistance was not quenched. They hung banners with messages like “Liberty – Freedom – For God – We Stand.” Some were armed, presumably ready for a standoff. 

Saturday, the BLM caved, saying it would not enforce a court order to remove the cattle.

The ranch protesters had a clear message: This is not about cattle. “People are getting tired of the federal government having unlimited power,” Bundy’s wife Carol told ABC News – including the power to push your cattle off land where they’ve grazed for over 140 years.

Speculation is flying.  Is the issue really the grazing fees? Is the BLM really doing all this to protect the desert tortoise? Or does it involve a solar-panel installation by a Chinese company, water rights, or even fracking? 

Honestly, I don’t know. And at some level, those details don’t matter. 

These viral videos and the many people who showed up to stand up for Mr. Bundy’s rights demonstrate what I already know from talking to people around the country. Americans know the government has been taking too much freedom away from us – gradually, secretly, and even blatantly.  

When Clive Bundy took a stand, many people were just happy to – finally – see resistance.

One protester’s banner held this quote from Thomas Jefferson: “The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution.” The federal government has been overreaching its bounds for a long time. The cords restricting individual Americans have only tightened in the past five years. Monica Morill at American Thinker wrote:

Americans have been surrounded, deliberately corralled, by an increasing code of regulations. Americans have regulations pointed at their health care in the form of ObamaCare, their finances by the mercurial IRS, their communications by the NSA, the future education of young Americans by the newly launched Common Core. When will Americans reach the tipping point?

The ranch incident gives us the answer.

We’re there.

As more and more Americans are saying “Enough!” some states even talk about seceding from the union.

But there’s a better option available. Did you know there was a way to restrict the federal government without the permission of Congress or the president? 

Yes, the Founders gave us a way to rein in the government in case it got too large and cocky to limit itself. Found in Article V, there are two methods to propose amendments to the Constitution. 

One is commonly known: Congress can propose amendments to the Constitution at any time if 2/3 of both houses of Congress agree. 

The other is less known, even though it’s written right there in Article V: A Convention of States can propose amendments if 2/3 of states submit applications for such a convention. These applications must all deal with the same issue (i.e., limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government). 

The Founders knew the federal government might one day become drunk with the abuses of power. The most important check to this power is the ability to call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution. By calling a convention of the states, we can stop the federal spending and debt spree, the power grabs of the federal courts, and other misuses of federal power. The current situation is precisely what the Founders feared, and they gave us a solution we have a duty to use.

After the states propose, debate, and vote upon the proposed amendments, they will be sent to the 50 state legislatures for ratification. Three-quarters of the states must agree for any of the proposed amendments to be ratified.

Congress has no authority to stop such a process. The Founders made sure of that.

We are approaching a crossroads; it’s obvious from the Drudge headlines, the viral videos, and the conversation around the water coolers around America.

You don’t have to drive out to the Clive Bundy Ranch to take a stand. The most effective – and most constitutional – way to fight back against a federal government bent on destroying us is through Article V.

Join the resistance.

Mark Meckler is the founder of Citizens of Self-Governance’s Convention of States Project.


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