The major news media, with the exception of Fox News, has been deafeningly quiet about the federal government’s thwarted raid last week on a Nevada rancher. Heavily-armed agents from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) descended upon Cliven Bundy’s ranch, seizing 389 of his 900 cattle. The BLM shut off access to federal lands, claiming he was illegally using them, and a no-fly zone was established for a 3-mile-square area around Bundy’s ranch. A sign was posted – unconstitutionally – limiting the First Amendment to a small designated area. The feds flew helicopters overhead to chase the cattle, knowing full well it could cause them to collapse from running in the 90-degree heat.
Outraged over the heavy-handed tactics, about 1,000 states’ rights activists traveled to Mesquite to support Bundy. Many gun owners showed up lawfully carrying firearms, and local cowboys came riding in on horses. They were afraid that they could be the next targets of a federal government overreach, and felt it was time to take a stand. A few protesters stormed the gate that had been erected to block off federal land, while the crowd chanted “open that gate.” At one point, the protesters blocked all traffic on Interstate 15.
Bundy’s son, Ammon, was shot with a stun gun by law enforcement until he bled, and his sister was pushed to the ground, which was caught on video. Bundy’s son, Dave, was arrested for taking pictures along State Route 170, which had been closed, and his camera was confiscated. He is now reporting a concussion and kidney problems after being stomped on. One man from Utah who joined the protest said he was handcuffed and injured by BLM agents when he attempted to walk through a gated area. Bundy estimates there were approximately 100 law enforcement vehicles and 200 law enforcement officials involved with the raid.