Defense of Property is Domestic Terrorism?by Will Grigg
Apr. 24, 2014
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Defenders of the federal crackdown on Cliven Bundy’s ranch pretend that the theft of his cattle is both a legal and reasonable response to trespassing. From a constitutional perspective the Feds have no authority to claim that land, so the term “trespass” better describes Federal behavior on those grazing lands.
It’s worth recalling how the Feds have responded to cattle trespass on private land. In 2011, North Dakotafarmer Rodney Brossart seized cattle that had trespassed on his land and damaged his property. Under applicable range law, the owner of the cattle committed a class B misdemeanor, and Brossart was entitled to seize the animals as security until he had received redress.
However, the Nelson County Sheriff, Kelly Janke, refused to act according to the law. Instead, he dispatched deputies to Brossart’s home, where the farmer was assaulted, tasered, and abducted at gunpoint. The following day, the US Department of Homeland Security deployed two drones to overfly the Brossart property to aid a SWAT team sent to seize the farmer’s adult sons.
Brossart was acquitted of cattle theft, but found guilty of “terrorizing” law enforcement officers.
Whether in Nevada or North Dakota, the Feds insist that defense of one’s property is a form of domestic terrorism.