Seeing Bundy's perspective

May 7, 2014 

Several letters have expressed the opinion that Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy deserved what he got for disregarding the court and that the people who supported him are wrong for doing so.

Bundy's right to fight the decision should not be in question. Nor is the decision of a district court the final word; he has, can, and is appealing the ruling. But the court ruled the Bureau of Land Management can act before any appeal could go forward and it did.

Cattle grazing rights and fees are complicated, so let's put it into local terms:

More than 100 years ago your grandparents bought a house; it is now your house. Between the house and the street is something called an easement and since the house was built, the city has put in a sidewalk. Your driveway crosses the sidewalk and the city housing department decides to charge you $20 every time your pull your car out of the driveway to pay for the upkeep of the sidewalk.

You fight the ruling, saying your driveway has been there for years, you had no say in the installing of the sidewalk and the fee is huge. But you lose in court and the city now can take your car to pay for past fees. One morning you wake up to find the city housing department -- not the city police or county sheriff or state police, but the housing department -- has six snipers pointing guns at your family. What do you do now?

Edward Tourigny


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