Dont Shoot the Messenger

Gail Gerlach was found not guilty of manslaughter today. Here is a brief recap of the case:

Home owner came outside to find someone (who was later revealed to be a multiple felon and meth addict) stealing his SUV. He gave chase on foot, claims the driver looked back and pointed at him, possibly with a gun in his hand. The car owner fired a single shot, through the rear window, into the thief’s brain pan.
This is where I start to get fuzzy with my law vs morality.
The law says you cannot defend your property with lethal force.
Yes he got what he deserved, but that is a moral result, not judicious. You arent going to call for the execution of thieves. We cant, as a society, kill people if they steal our car… but if we could, I think less cars would be stolen. Thats not what Gerloch did.. allegedly. He shot in fear of his life. If things were reasonable, yes, good shoot, in todays world, he was lucky to know what to say and to stick to it. He knew he’d be in court as soon as he raised his sights in my opinion.
If people were allowed to defend their property with deadly force , maybe stuff like this wouldn’t happen so often, it would at least give the criminal a little bit more pause to decide if his life is worth the iPod that he is going after in your center console. Or maybe the crook would pre-murder you before you shot him for taking your SUV… I dont know.
I consider this a good shoot, just not a legal one. Funny how that happens.
Also in the news is the “Range War” in vegas with the cattle farmer Cliven Bundy. By all (surface) accounts, he is being bullied by the federal government out of his cattle grazing land and the overstepping BLM has riled  a lot, a whole lot, of patriots. With just a minor amount of research though, I have found that its a case of asshole vs asshole. The Government has assumed and overstepped their bounds far outside of their intended jurisdiction and lawful abilities, although they keep getting the lawsuits to somehow go their way.
Bundy on the other hand has gone to court several times over various things and always had the attitude of “I don’t recognize the federal government,” which rebelliously and conceptually, I applaud… except that he is a liar, cheat and utter dick about it.
The guy’s had two chances to prove that he has claim to that land. He’s failed twice now. At this point, believing that his claim could have merit is unwarranted. There is a large burden of proof he needs to deal with before anyone should believe his claims.But of course the courts are never wrong… right?
The issue is that Cliven Bundy is a sympathetic figure. He looks and sounds like a salt-of-the-earth cattleman. Under that shiny exterior he is a scheming freeloader. His cattle have run amok on Gold Butte and all the way to Lake Mead. His herd is 10x the size it was when he was paying for grazing rights. He brags about how he is the only rancher left in his area, but it isn’t too hard to see the reason for his good fortune. He has beaten his competition because he found a way to produce beef without paying for the feed. That is a real neat trick. It would almost be funny if the feed bill hadn’t been picked up by our Uncle Sam.On its face this situation is easy to sensationalize and it sparks emotion in lots of decent people. I think that it is a shame that more people don’t understand what Cliven Bundy is really all about and I hope that they figure it out before somebody drops a hammer, or pops a dust cover off his/her Pmag.

The courts are generally wrong and I side with the free man doing the right thing. What the right thing is, is many times arbitrary and such is the need for the courts. This isn’t about the fed gov owning the land. This is about the BLM acting like a bunch of thugs and the government not assisting ranchers.This is the problem with this country. Apparently the government thinks it exists for its own sake rather than for the purpose of improving the lives of the people. They bow down to special interests and anyone with a liberal agenda but stand in the way of PRODUCERS and people who make this country run and prosper.

Atlas was meant as a warning. This issue is about something much bigger than grazing. In Idaho recently there has been an example of the state/county passing rules/laws/regulations that declare  “wetlands” to be “protected”, which means people can’t use their own property for anything because hey, it’s a protected wetland.
Look at the Revolutionary war, or any other resistance/insurgency closely; Most won’t take the risk and pick a side unless forced. Most of NY, Philadelphia, and pretty much the majority of most major cities within the reach of the Sea (British controlled the Seas mostly) were Tories. Passive resistance at best. The biggest exception to this rule was in Boston.A large number of people considered the “Patriots” to be looney fringe traitors in their day. What in hindsight seems brilliant and brave, seemed foolish and sacrificial to many at the time.

Those guys wouldn’t make it today. They would’ve been been shot by the Government men LONG ago. America was a frontier back then, not so much now. If you want frontier laws and living, you are going to have to move, probably to a new planet. Urban socialists are doing everything they can to stamp out any chance at frontier type of living on American soil. You are free to do whatever they allow you. Totalitarian socialists are buying the land of the free for the price of a few foodstamps.

I hope for and believe that there will be a peaceful resolution. That being said, everyone is going to draw their own line. I’m tired of the overreaching nature of our overlords, myself but I have never been able to fully buy into the idea that the enemy of my enemy, is my friend. I support Bundy, and the protestors, but only for what they stand for after the fact. Bundy played his hand and won for a while but he was in a big boy game he never really had the chips to win in.
The Feds are going too far and these current incidents should receive official, independent review. But this guy is a phony freeloader and he could possibly get people killed in the name of his self-righteous, self-serving causes.You won’t find me hitching myself to this one.


2 thoughts on “Dont Shoot the Messenger

  1. Lots of strategic and tactical bumbling here on both sides of the conflict. And Bundy may have won this round, but it promises to be a long battle…and, as you pointed out, Bundy doesn’t have enough chips to stay in the game.

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