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Burns, Oregon – One Local Perspective

Burns Oregon One Local Perspective
This is not my typical post. I normally stay away from political issues, but Burns, Oregon is my place of birth and where I currently live. My family has had a cattle ranch outside of Burns, about 30 miles from the refuge, since the early 1940’s. This is MY perspective on our current situation. This community matters to me and my family.

The Militia

I understand their stance, to a degree. They used the Hammonds case as their platform for being here. Whether or not you think the Hammonds got what they deserve, it is necessary for our nation to take a close look at the battle the Hammonds have faced with our government and their ranch over the years. This militia has brought media attention they would not have otherwise received.

Will it help? I hope so. I hope it brings attention to the plight of the American Rancher. Because we are your food sources, America, and you need to wake up, listen, and act when ranchers tell you there is a big problem.

But here’s where I believe this militia is wrong.

They preach about their constitutional rights and then turn around and threaten those who disagree with them. Folks have received death threats, been followed home, tires slashed, yelled at, etc. Where were the rights of those individuals? Don’t they have a right to feel safe in their own town/home? Don’t they also have a right to free speech? Families have left town due to threats. What happened to their constitutional rights? Double standard much?

Harassing someone who disagrees with you is bullying. Plain and simple. It’s also extremely childish. Don’t tell us in a video you are against bullies and then turn around and have your group bully the community you are here to “help”. This isn’t hearsay. I personally know one family who’ve been harassed and the sheriff spoke of it at tonight’s community meeting. It’s scary to wonder if your friends are safe and if their children will be traumatized by what’s happening.

Second, when a national call was made for others to join them at the refuge with their weapons, our community was further endangered. What gives them the right to do that? What gives this militia the right to decide how our community is going to handle something here in our county? There is no way of knowing what kind of crazy will show up in response to that call to action. There’s no way to know if everyone in this group is going to be on the same page. Will some seek violence? Will a few continue to seek out those who oppose them? Are violent threats against families to become the norm? That should have citizens concerned.

Reports from locals state that this militia is polite, respectful, and they don’t want bloodshed. I don’t doubt there are some good people in this group. However, if one or two go rogue and issue threats on behalf of the group, there’s a problem. How does this group plan to keep everyone on the same page? How do they keep one person from acting out and causing a firestorm? Some men have stated they are willing to die here. On a bird refuge. . .

We should be concerned as citizens. Very concerned. Things could go wrong quickly and innocents could be caught in the crossfire.

If they are men of their word, they’ll go home.

Now I’d like to address my Christian brothers and sisters.

For the love. Just stop. Stop sharing information that you don’t know to be factual. Stop calling names. My fellow believers should not be bullying one another. You can disagree without being hateful. And you should.

You are called to behave better. To be different. To be like Christ.

I beg of you to pray hard and listen for the Lord even harder before you say anything else about this situation. Imagine if this was your family and your community being slandered by outsiders. Instead, let’s fight this war on our knees, together.

Stop being a gossip and do the right thing. 

Let’s pray this militia group goes home peacefully, at the request of our community, as they’ve said they would. Pray that the division they brought with them, goes with them. The citizens of Harney County are fully capable of handling our business without the help of outsiders with no stake in our county. This is OUR land. This is OUR community. And we want it back. God bless America. God bless Harney County. Now go pray hard for resolution!

Blessings,

Mel signature

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