Most of us have heard what is going on surrounding the Bundy Ranch through social media or on the news-around 200 federal agents are rounding up private cattle and battling protesters.(1) The source of the dispute has been over the use of land for grazing, which has been ongoing for decades. The Bureau of Land Management has made the recent decision to use force to resolve the dispute, and the Bundy family have resisted their actions. They feel it is a violation of their rights, thus have justified any measure of resistance. Militiamen from over 7 states are now en route to assist Bundy and his family in the upcoming days of the ensuing conflict.(2) With armed militiamen entering the vicinity, the outcome is very unpredictable. The last reported strength of the militia presence is very small, only about 3 bodies, with expectations for up to thousands from unreliable sources.
This raises the question of validity and effectiveness that the militia will have upon the current operations currently being conducted by the federal agents. With the aid of three armed men and over 100 protesters, Bundy has been able to obstruct certain law enforcement teams and stop them from advancing their objective. Earlier this week, around 100 protesters gathered to stop law enforcement through protest. The ensuing riot is now viral on YouTube,(3) depicting protesters being tasered, shoved to the ground and threatened with deadly force. This escalation can only be worsened by the added appearance of militia, as deadly force is now on the list of options for law enforcement as well as militia in response. What many people are asking now is: What will happen when and if the militias show up in force? Several predictions have emerged, and most are not uplifting. With the pyrrhic styled victory of protesters over law enforcement earlier this week, many have hope that the militia’s presence will encourage the federal agents to back down. If shots are fired on either side of the argument, a bloodbath will most certainly ensure, with the potential of becoming either the next Waco or a new Concord Bridge.
The militias across the United States that are currently en-route to the Bundy Ranch have no central command, there are about 10 members for every commander and will be extremely unorganized in terms of chain of command upon entry to the Ranch. This is a source for concern if the there is an exchange of fire. The fighting forces of the militia will be extremely hindered due to lack of command and uniform training standards. Most militiamen are self-trained in a minor capacity; and although the same is true for the average patrolman, law enforcement have the ability to call on tactical teams which could easily overpower a slightly larger group of militiamen-or in a more serious situation, national guard units trained for combat. The fulcrum of power for the civilians is their strength in numbers (if such numbers can be rallied) and the extent to which their firearms provide a balance of power. The government has the additional capacity to render cellular communications ineffective, a scenario which there is evidence is already taking place. The ranchers and militiamen, however, only have social media as a technological means of support.