Monday, April 14, 2014 | 5:15 p.m.
Former presidential candidate Ron Paul – a favorite among many conservative Nevadans – has weighed in on the showdown this past week involving Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government.
“There’s two things that come out of this: one, when the American people speak out, their voices can be heard and can affect what government is doing,” Paul said in a post Monday on his Ron Paul Channel website. “Two, it emphasizes the value of private property and ownership rather than having collective ownership by a government.”
Militiamen from across the country descended last week on Bundy’s Clark County ranch, angered after hearing about the federal Bureau of Land Management’s efforts to seize Bundy’s cattle, which the BLM said had been trespassing on federal land without proper grazing permits for more than 20 years.
Bundy had stopped paying grazing fees because he believes the land is owned by the state and that he has a right to use it for his cattle.
On Saturday, the BLM released all 400 head of Bundy’s cattle that had been rounded up after facing hundreds of states’ rights protesters and armed militia members.
The agency cited “escalating tensions” in calling off the roundup.
“In many ways, the people spoke out after determining that the federal government had overstepped itself and fortunately their presence did not result in violence," Paul said.
Such a situation would never occur in his home state of Texas, Paul said, “because all the land is owned privately. Its makes the point that no one really knows who is in charge. It makes the point that state and private ownership would have prevented this type of problem.”
But Paul, a former congressman from Texas, ended his message on an ominous note for Bundy and his backers.
“As much as I’d like to see this as a victory for the people, I’m afraid the government has more guns, more power and more determination to express their authoritarianism,” Paul said. “They will be back and that means a confrontation between the people and those in our government undermining our liberties – the confrontation will continue.”