Not since the raid on the Bundy ranch has there been an issue to call upon the patriot community to coalesce. 2015 was a big year for government overreach and oppression. The most immediate matter at hand, for patriots to be aware, … The Hammonds, in Burns, Oregon.
On January 4, 2016, Dwight and Steven Hammond will surrender to federal agents, who will take them to prison to serve a second sentence of a conviction, Constitutional conservatives may agree is a slap in the face to justice and liberty on a multitude of different levels. Not the least of which is “Double Jeopardy.”
Additionally, it’s not hard to make the case that the Hammonds were unjustly convicted, or even set up, by the government. Here’s a short look at how things got to this point.
Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted under the Antiterrorism and Death Penalty Act of 1996. The short explanation of this Act denies Habeas Corpus (the ability for someone to have recourse against unlawful detention) to malicious and violent terrorists who, (through arson and other violent acts) commit acts of, well, terrorism. A pretty good thing to have when prosecuting terrorists, but a dangerous thing when mis-applied to citizens who are not maliciously breaking the law, as in this case, with the Hammonds.
The Hammonds were convicted of maliciously starting fires on government land, when in fact, they started two fires, one of which was to act as a back break for another fire headed toward their own personal property and another was a fire that burned past their own personal property as a “prescribed burn” to rejuvenate grazing land for their cattle. Hardly malicious, but if your looking to run ranchers off their property, which happens to be completely surrounded by government land, it is easy to see how the law could be twisted to that end to ruin their ranching business, send them to jail and fine them out of their personal resources. It worked, and so the next phase of the issue is born.
As more and more government overreach ensues, more and more citizens are reaching the boiling point, to the extent of organizing, demonstrating and working to push back against that oppression. This is a pretty good recounting of the situation in Burns, Oregon and decry of the treatment of the Hammonds by the local and federal government.
The Hammonds are father and son ranchers, due to report to federal prison on Monday. They were convicted in 2012 of arson for lighting public land on fire adjacent to their ranch land south of Burns. They have been imprisoned once and must return for an additional term after federal appellate judges said they had been illegally sentenced the first time.
Self-styled patriots and militiamen gathering in Burns don’t want that to happen, declaring the Hammonds’ imprisonment illegal under the U.S. Constitution.
They have latched on to the Hammonds as their latest cause to stand against the federal government.
“I am here now trying to empower and motivate the people of this community to take a stand against tyranny and show them that I will gladly stand with them,” Ritzheimer said.
The Hammonds don’t want to be part of the outsiders’ cause, and neither do many in Harney County.
But that hasn’t stopped the strangers from summoning help from militia groups across the country. They are vague about their intention and their plans, unsettling the community and putting law enforcement on edge. The militia plan a rally and a parade on Saturday, circling the county courthouse that houses the sheriff’s office.
The militia members have been insisting that Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward create a sanctuary so the Hammonds will be immune from surrendering. Ward met with the militiamen and rejected that demand. The militia has since labeled him an “enemy of the people.” Ward said he has received emailed death threats among thousands of messages from across the country regarding the Hammonds.
Two weeks ago, Bundy and Payne roused 60 or so local citizens to their cause at a community meeting. They rented the Memorial Building at the fairgrounds for the night. They taped themselves lecturing the locals on their rights, on the Constitution, and on their duty to protect themselves.
The Harney County situation is the second time this year Oregon has been the national rallying point for militias. Last spring, miners fighting with the Bureau of Land Management over paperwork outside Medford found themselves enveloped with militia defenders. The miners finally issued a plea for militia members to go home. The militiamen did – but only after claiming they beat back the government. An administrative law judge temporarily stopped BLM action against the miners.
Read the rest of the article at OregonLive.com.
So, there are a lot of different points of view regarding the Hammonds. One thing is for certain, this issue isn’t going away anytime soon, and there will be more to follow. As Dwight and Steven prepare to surrender to the feds we will be watching, along with developments in the Schuler Barbeau case. 2016 promises to be a year of great conflict, and hopefully a resurrection of traditional American values. Values borne of the Constitution.