Wow, talk about a nanny state. For all the proclamations about liberty and freedom, Ammon Bundy is behaving like a protective grandma.
Ammon Bundy, who has acted as a spokesman and head of the group, took no questions from reporters after making brief remarks vowing to hold his ground at the refuge until the private landowners "can stand strong enough to defend them themselves."
"We have been very active in forwarding our plan and assisting the people of Harney County in claiming and using their rights," he said. Once that happens, "then we will go home."
Harney County Sheriff David Ward has already told them they're not wanted and they should pack up and go home. However, they're more interested in making martyrs of themselves.
Bundy said the group will leave only if "the community" signals that the protesters no longer are welcome. Despite the sheriff's statements and a general sense of unease among townspeople and ranchers alike, militant leaders said so far that they haven't received that signal.
"We, like them, are part of a community," Bundy said, tears welling up in his eyes. "We have children, we have wives we've left at home and that we miss very much."
Other than getting out their own guns and having a community standoff, I'm not sure how much clearer the community can be than they've been. BLM employees live in that community and have been harassed and intimidated by the Bundys for months now.
Sheriff’s deputies from across Oregon have come to Harney County to assist with patrols and community safety.
“These folks aren’t here to harass the citizens of Harney County,” Ward said of the outside police. “They’re here to help us maintain a safe and secure environment while we work through the issues at hand.”
Ward said in the months prior to the occupation, Bundy’s group had made a number of people who work for the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service feel uncomfortable, following them or their family members around and photographing their homes.
In a county with a population of fewer than 8,000, most people know or are related to someone who works for the federal government, Ward said.
He said hostility toward federal employees is taking a toll on the entire community
Still, that isn't fazing the Bundy Bullies. They're more interested in reclaiming land that belongs to the taxpayers than anything to do with the community at large.