Gripping speech on behalf of rancher: Which one of us will snipers shoot?

town hall-bundy

With tensions simmering in the standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management, a Bundy supporter wonders when federal agents are going to “fire the next shot heard around the world.”

Speaking this week before a packed town hall meeting in Moapa, Nev., with Bundy looking on, the unidentified man offered a gripping account of the dangers residents face, demonstrating why the impasse remains a powder keg waiting to explode, according to a video of his remarks.

Bundy has locked horns with the federal government because the rancher’s cattle are grazing on public land — the rights to which the family says has been handed down through generations. Now the Bureau of Land Management, insisting the “trespass cattle” have been allowed to graze illegally, is rounding up the livestock.

“This is where it really gets rough. This is where it goes way the hell beyond Cliven Bundy. They can throw an army of men around us, literally, with sniper rifles,” the man said. “Somehow, they feel they’ve got the right to drop a tripod in the ground and set a sniper rifle on it, so that if you cross a line, they can put a bullet in you. Who the hell is the man behind that trigger? I want to know …  and which one of us is he going to shoot?”

The standing-room-only crowd was dead silent while pondering the question.

“Good God, didn’t he grow up in this country?” the man asked.

Accusing the Bureau of Land Management of setting a precedent in their actions, he said, “I can promise you when they get done with it, they are going to take your damn water. They’re going to tell you when you can water your fields, what you can plant and where you can sell it. And you can bet your ass that’s where this is going.”

Then he got personal.

“And when Cliven decides to go back in there after his cows, and they’ve got orders to shoot anybody that goes in there, I’m going to be with him,” he said, pausing briefly to compose himself as a woman called out, “Carrying a gun, I hope.”

“No,” he replied. “Because them son of a bitches will fire the next shot heard around the world, and we will fire the rest.”

Tom Tillison


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