Ammon Bundy, 7 Others Arrested, Lavoy Finicum Dead: #OregonMilitia Should Stand Down

by Nina Bookout on January 27, 2016

I was afraid this would happen. The Oregon militia stand off was a powder keg waiting to happen. Ostensibly it all started due to outrage over what has happened to the Hammond family. Fellow Victory Girl bloggers wrote about it here, here, here, and here. As Ammon Bundy and his band of merry men and women took over buildings on BLM land, what has gotten lost in the shuffle are the Hammond’s themselves.

Hammond Family

And now it has come to this:

Oregon militia spokesman LaVoy Finicum has been shot dead after a traffic stop escalated into a shoot-out that saw Ryan Bundy wounded and eight leaders of the occupation movement arrested.
The group’s leader Ammon Bundy was among the militiamen arrested during the encounter on Tuesday afternoon as they drove to attend a community meeting in the neighboring town.
It was the culmination of a tense stand-off between federal agents and the activists more than three weeks after they took over a government building in Burns, Oregon, to protest two ranchers being jailed.
According to local media, shots were fired within minutes of the traffic stop, killing Finicum and wounding 43-year-old Ryan Bundy.

A man is dead. Ammon Bundy and 7 others have been arrested.

mugshots-oregon-0127

Clockwise From Top Left: Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, Peter Santilli, Joseph O’Shaughnessy and Ryan Payne

What will this do in terms of any current or future viable dialogue between ranchers and the BLM in any part of the US? How will this affect how citizens, the government, and the judiciary view our individual private property rights?

I am a rancher’s daughter. There are 4 generations of my family who have come before me in the Wyoming area I grew up in. From the time I was 8 years old, I dealt with cattle, sheep, hay, corn, irrigating, branding (I wrestled the calves), drove truck and and a lot of tractors. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a field of corn blowing in the breeze, seeing fresh stacked bales of hay, or that newborn calf test its legs for the very first time.

Ranch life is tough of that there is no doubt; but the reward received is the life-long lessons of character, integrity, hard work, ingenuity, stewardship of the land, and perseverance.

It is that background combined with being a stalwart American that led me to follow the Hammond story with great interest. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for my unease about the entire situation to grow. Jenny asked here if their so-called “occupation” was justified. I have to say, its a question we need to continue asking in light of last night’s events along with what Robert Finicum said during his last interview on Monday with The Oregonian.

There is a saying: “You are the company you keep.” The Bundy company is littered with dubious characters. Jon Ritzheimer, definitely a loose cannon, now in jail in Arizona, isn’t the combat veteran he says he is. Ryan Payne’s military record is sketchy at best. Brian Cavalier claims to be a Marine veteran, yet Cavalier never served a day in his life. And there are others with the Bundy group whose service records are highly questionable.

Which brings me to my point. The inflammatory rhetoric by the Bundys and all their followers exacerbated an already untenable situation and now Robert “Lavoy” Finicum is dead. What exactly has been accomplished since December? Will the courts budge concerning Dwight and Steven Hammond? Not likely. Does anyone with the Bundy crew even remember what they are protesting for? I doubt it. In my view the protests were ill-advised and misguided from the beginning. The only thing that has been accomplished here is a man’s death. It is high time for the Bundys and the Oregon militia to stand down and go home.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

OC January 27, 2016 at 10:27 am

Nina, I really haven’t followed this closely, and I’m always leery of militias claims of military service. But I must say the “traffic stop” doesn’t pass the smell test.

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Jodi Giddings January 27, 2016 at 11:21 am

I’m in agreement with you there, OC. It smells. I’m hearing several different accounts of what happened, all of which have him unarmed.

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Charles January 27, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Unarmed? Even his own daughter said he always carried a weapon!

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Kate January 27, 2016 at 6:01 pm

I doubt if ANY of the Bundy militia were ever unarmed during this standoff.

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Jodi Giddings January 28, 2016 at 8:59 am

Let me clarify: While he may have had a firearm on his person (concealed carry pistol, for example), it doesn’t translate to him brandishing it. That’s the answer I’d like.

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Nina January 27, 2016 at 2:32 pm

There is indeed a lot of details we don’t know about the traffic stop. Pretty much why I didn’t focus on it specifically. 😉

My concerns all along have been with the fact that everything to do with the Hammonds’ case has been lost in the shuffle. The focus too quickly ended up being everything Bundy.

I kept wondering if any or all of the group would push too far. Did they? Did law enforcement? Did both groups contribute to what happened last night? I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle and all sides should own up to contributing to what happened.

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Jodi Giddings January 27, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Absolutely agreed, Nina.

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