Reports say the FBI is now investigating the anti-government gunmen who have rushed to the aid of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Among other actions, these geniuses have set up checkpoints in the area. According to Nevada congressman Steven Horsford, armed men are stopping drivers and demanding proof of residency—in support of the rancher who won’t pay for grazing cattle on land he doesn’t own and who says African-Americans might be better off enslaved.
The moves by these self-anointed “patriots” have more layers of irony than a high-capacity magazine has cartridges: We love this country, but we want the government to collapse. We’re fighting “tyranny,” but if you don’t show Bubba your ID, we’ll shoot you. We’re upholding the Constitution, but only the parts we like. (The Fourth Amendment? Well, this ain’t unreasonable search and seizure. We’ll give your ID back eventually.)
But the irony I find most laughable is that some of these heroes call themselves “citizen soldiers.”
The real citizen soldiers aren’t harassing the neighbors of a pro-slavery rancher. They’re serving in the National Guard or the Reserve components of the armed forces. Whenever needed, they leave their civilian occupations and join their brothers and sisters in arms in the active-duty forces.
They’ve taken an oath to follow lawful orders and to defend the Constitution. All of it, not just weird interpretations of part of it. And many of them have served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Which begs a question for the Bundy Brigade: If you’re so eager to pick up an assault rifle and defend America, where have you been since 9/11? On that day, the U.S. came under attack by people who really were bent on destruction of the American way of life. Who murdered nearly three thousand Americans in one day.
We’ve been fighting such terrorists ever since. For nearly thirteen years, there’s been plenty of call for people willing to fight true tyranny.
I had the honor of serving with those people for more than twenty years in the Air National Guard. They put it all on the line for their country and for their buddies—even when elections don’t go their way.
During military service, I’ve visited countries where people lived under real oppression. When you see it, it’s unmistakable. And it looks nothing like the United States, the most free and prosperous nation on the planet.
So, if you want the title of citizen soldier, drive down to your local recruiter’s office. Here’s some good news: The equipment and uniforms are free; you won’t have to buy them online.
You might find serving a challenge, though. It’ll take more commitment than just shooting a few holes in a paper target whenever you feel like it. It’ll take more time than slapping a “Don’t Tread on Me” sticker on your back windshield.
And you won’t get to threaten other Americans; you might just have to face real enemies.
But you’ll serve your country—instead of a welfare rancher who refuses to pay $1.35 a month per cow.