Powder Keg Occupation of Oregon Wildlife Refuge Just Needs a Spark

By David Codrea

ScreenHunter_06 Jan. 03 18.02
Ammon Bundy explains his actions. (YouTube screenshot)
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)- “Armed protesters, including three sons of a Nevada rancher who battled with the government in 2014, vowed to occupy a federal building in Oregon for ‘as long as it takes,’ as state and federal officials on Sunday sought to defuse the situation,” Fox News, among others, is reporting.

It’s a dangerous situation some of us have been following since yesterday’s takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters following a protest in support of rancher Dwight Hammond and his son Steven.

The Hammonds were convicted of arson after a fire they said they started on their property to burn off wildfire-threatening invasive species inadvertently spread onto federal land, consuming 139 acres.  The government charged they were covering up evidence of poaching, and the jury bought the prosecution’s arguments. A new controversy arose after it was ruled the trial court sentence was not harsh enough, and Chief Judge Ann Aiken of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon tacked on an additional five years.

“The Hammond family does not want an armed standoff, and nobody has a right to force one on them,” Oath Keepers told its members. “Since Dwight and Steven Hammond, through their attorney, have made it clear they intend to turn themselves in and serve out the additional time, Oath Keepers cannot, and will not, try to interfere with that decision (peaceable assembly and protest is, of course, fine, but going beyond that against their wishes is not).”

“The 3% of Idaho, 3% of Oregon, The Oregon Constitutional Guard, and PPN organizations in no way condone nor support these actions,” the 3% of Oregon declared in a Facebook press release. “They do not mirror our vision, mission statement, or views in regards to upholding the Constitution, The Rule of Law, or Due Process.”

Also complicating matters for the protesters, some of the locals are scared. And the ranchers at the heart of the dispute, through their lawyer, declared they have nothing to do with the takeover.

Ammond Bundy disagrees with Oath Keepers, says the Hammonds distancing themselves has been coerced after government threats, and has put out a call for people to come to Oregon and support his actions. So now what we have is a serious split between some who do not agree with Bundy’s methods, and an angry backlash against anyone speaking out against his actions, with plenty of name-calling going in both directions.

That schism has to please those who benefit from an opportunity to “divide and conquer,” and that’s very apparent on social media. But here’s the thing — even if you are someone who opposes the action, you’re still affected by it.  Like it or not, we’re all in it up to our necks.

That’s because the monopoly of violence “progressives” will use the Oregon occupation to tar everyone who believes in the right to keep and bear arms as an “insurrectionist,” an “extremist” and a “domestic terrorist.” That will be extended to mainstream groups like NRA, always a convenient media punching bag. And the smear job won’t be limited to gun rights defenders. Expect it to cover anyone who espouses “conservative” values. And expect attacks on the Republicans, especially on the presidential candidates.

Don’t be surprised to see some in the GOP reconsider how committed they’re willing to be opposing Obama’s anticipated executive orders. And don’t’ be surprised to see the administration looking to emergency powers to deal not just with the Oregon situation, but to do whatever they think they can get away.  Don‘t be surprised to see Democrats, gun-grabber groups and the press cheering it on.

There are still plenty of unknowns, including how many people are actually at the wildlife refuge, and what it is that would induce them to depart. When questioned by CNN, Ammon Bundy spoke in general terms, making it sound like nothing less than the dismantling of the federal Leviathan is what it will take. His colleague John Ritzenheimer sounded more fatalistic, in what could be characterized as a “goodbye” video message to his family.

So what are the administration’s options?  Assuming functionaries had their New Years weekends cut short, you can bet they‘re focus-grouping and war-gaming, and weighing scenarios and options. You can also bet special tactical teams are on alert, if not on their way — and if DOJ approaches this as domestic terrorism, the feds will totally marginalize the local sheriff.

They could talk the guys down, although from the rhetoric of the takeover leaders and Bundy’s conviction that he is carrying out the Lord’s will, that doesn’t sound likely. If they do come out, don’t expect the Justice Department to show leniency.

They could lay siege and wait them out, turn off all power and water, and see if a week or two might soften some resolve. On the other hand, depending on how many answer Bundy‘s call, the enforcers could find the greater cause for their concern is amassing outside their perimeter.

The third option would be to go full Waco, making sure the media is kept back so the narrative could be whatever they wanted to put out through a spokesman. It’s been done before.

That’s why an analysis by Mike Vanderboegh on his Sipsey Street Irregulars blog is important for the government (and for all of us) to understand, so that people with access to decision-makers know, in no uncertain terms, the precipitous situation a brutal reaction will produce — for everyone.

If things blow up in Oregon, things could quickly get out of control everywhere, and while we can only imagine what that will look like, the certainty is things would be ugly and prolonged.

The government will act and affected people who will not comply will react. It’s an incredibly dangerous situation, where a shot, whether intentional or an “accidental” discharge — and it may not even matter which “side” fires it — could be the “Time’s up” spark that changes all the rules.

David Codrea in his natural habitat.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and also posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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web smith

What the government has done is illegal and what the Bundys have done to protect their rights and their property is in self defense


This is very very dangerous precedent…uhhh “DOUBLE JEOPARDY” Hello WTF????

Rampant Stupidity Abounds

I think this is awesome that attention is being drawn to the Constitution. I am sure that idea doesnt sit well with these feds. All Americans need to wake up and pay attention to the actions the govt. They work for us, We the People. The people complaining about Ranchers using public landfor grazing purposes, probably never set foot on the land. The fees are bullcrap. I havent seen even one article in the LAME stream Media that isnt biased and inflamatory. Seems the people against the ranchers cant think or accept facts and truth. No rancher is going to… Read more »


ya there is something fishy here…a bunch of protesters take over an empty building, in which theres no break in..the doors were unlocked or they had a key out in the middle of nowhere and the media is all over this, the FBI, rumors of special forces…i’m not buyin it,


I am trying to understand why this it so OLD? “It’s a dangerous situation some of us have been following since yesterday’s takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters following a protest in support of rancher Dwight Hammond and his son Steven.” Yesterday? Is this a cut and paste operation? Come on AMMOLAND get it in gear, there has been PLENTY of new information and it is EVERY DAY. Stop painting Ammon as some sort of Criminal. He is being American and doing what we all should be doing. Perhaps he is tired of the political bullshit and posturing?… Read more »

Anna Dougherty

They were re-arrested due to federal minimum sentencing laws. I agree that it is stupid, but those are the current laws, and Congress should change them. Haven’t heard yet of the GOP controlled House and Senate putting forward those changes to the mandatory sentencing lays. Call your congressman and tell them to put forward those changes!

Ronald Suszek

I do not fully understand the issues . But what I do understand is the power of the vote. This next November , we the people must send a clear message to this self proclaimed dictator and his party. The other thing I do understand is the power of praying. Pray for America. Thank you


The government has burned these ranchers land, property and cattle and never compensated them. It has destroyed their lands and waged war on them yet we see the defenders of such tactics here . Such individuals couldn’t tell who held the moral high ground of the archangel Michael appeared and stood with the ranchers. We are at a Lexington moment, if Obama and his posse think they can pull another Waco let’s see what happens. My father and his line wouldn’t tolerate such behavior and they fought the communists. I doubt they’d approve of our current regime and would fight… Read more »

larry lassiter

If i wanted to go on their land and hunt or fish they would have giving me a ticket. abide by the law or try to change it .

peewee henson

Ya know , the Bundy’s did what they did. Right or wrong , they are getting their point across. A gun battle will not be a good ending for any body there. However, has anyone else ever been threatened with the “full force and weight of the us govt.”? Its always their way or the highway with the feds. So here’s my thoughts; we have come to point in america that our politicians must be reminded that they work for us. And when the time comes when the integrity and sanctity of a vote is compromised/corrupted or just plain stolen… Read more »


Ammoland should not be republishing this article to their email newsletter. It is out of date and full of errors. David Cordrea is just a loudmouth alarmist who must like to hear himself talk. SHUT THE F UP.


I do not believe they an government instigators. However, Obama doing another Waco to use it to spark as much trouble as possible, so he can declare martial law and suspend the Constitution, that is very possible. If he thought he could get away with it, I believe he would sign an executive order making himself president/dictator for life (he has a pen and a phone). Also he would make it a crime (possibly capital) to disagree with the government and especially him. I don’t know how many of the top military would support an Obama dictatorship, but I feel… Read more »


ok, can somebody explain to me why this empty building in the middle of nowhere is so important ?..there staying in there until the cows come home and the feds are sending special ops?..this is one heck of a strategic location…i cant wait to see if yosemite sam shows up with both guns blazin…


So true. If we, the people, have no arms, well, let’s face it, the Federal Tyranny can pull a Hitler and do as it wishes…it’s that simple my fellow citizens.

The Fed’s have gotten way out of control. We have lost and continue to loose more and more rights as time ticks by…

Wake up my friends, before it is too late for us all.


What an irresponsible and inflammatory article. It is full of inaccuracies. It should not be promoted as current news. David Codrea has done some of the armchair quarterbacking before.

This is not an armed stand-off. It is protesters who brought arms in case they need to protect themselves. Nobody has aimed a gun at anybody. The County Sheriff has met with them peacefully.

Ammoland, Shut down this article. Find something recent and in proper context with the truth.

Gregory Romeu

You have got to admit, Ammon Bundy has gotten the nation’s attention and forced even some mediocre citizens to get up off their butts, dust off the Constitution and begin to research the laws in regards to this matter. Right or wrong, he did what he felt he had to do to get WE, The People’s attention and he is doing it in a calm and calculated manner regardless of the cries of wolf that they, “stormed a federal building with firearms”… I think we ALL need to become a little more involved with this matter in regards of contacting… Read more »


David C. Great article. I say again, for every hour you spend concerning firearms, spend a half hour studying the Constitution, bill of rights, and the fact that we are a Republic, governed by law, not a mob democracy. Some of you guys will spend thousands on guns, and hunting trips. But, then bitch because the NRA needs money. What whining hipocritical horse shit. We know all about the liberal, double standard, and the arrogant federal law agencies. There is more at stake. As an Oathkeeper, if outsiders came into my county, subverting a jury of my fellow citizens, I… Read more »


I normally try not to speak out publicly on matters I’m not educated on, but I would like to ask,when do I hang my 3 percent flag above my other flag.?


Appreciate the article. It seems to pretty well explain what is going on out there without taking sides. Now that I halfway understand what is going on I would suggest the folks that are peacefully occupying the Federal property best peacefully leave before they get into more trouble than they are in already. Someone may be getting a raw deal here doesn’t justify the takeover. The Oathkeepers, if they could talk the occupiers down, that would be great, but the good person who steps in between two fighters often ends up getting punched in the mouth so best they not… Read more »


I agree that these bird sanctuary occupiers in Oregon are way off-base and are actually doing a disservice to law-abiding American gun owners by making us all look like a bunch of kooks with guns. They had hoped for an armed confrontation with authorities to make themselves look victimized, but their plan totally backfired. Armed confrontations are not the way reasonable adults resolve differences. The Bundy boys and their posse need to grow up.


Now is a good time to be a criminal defense attorney in Oregon. Cha-ching!!!


The EPA blew up a mine and flooded rivers, with pollution, The same EPA told New Yorkers the air was safe to breathe, research the criminal acts they have gotten away free and clear, no one fired or procuted, do you think a citizen would get off free , after such acts of Terror. Absotuley not.The Fed Gov, can ship guns to mexico, and they come back and kill a border patrol agent? So you cowards need to defy this double standard. I do not condone the wildlife stand off because the timing, is very convenient for Gun Grabbers which… Read more »


Double jeopardy arguments are a waste of time. It happens all the time, starting with OJ being found liable after being found not guilty. I’m not arguing his guilt or innocence, just pointing out that they’ll have more than one go at you if they think there’s anything else to take from you if the first round doesn’t get the job done. Again, fully informed juries cut through the crap, and are the most direct route to ending .gov overreach. Creating universal awareness of jurors’ prerogative to vote their conscience and nothing else, is something freedom lovers of all stripes… Read more »

Steven Prince

@Lawboy.. you sir..are entirely and completely CORRECT..yet.. it seems MOST people are NOT aware of THE FACTS of the current situation.. as has been said by more than a few..Bundy and his following are trying to write a check that he expects OTHERS to pay for and cover in blood.. I see the current Fed as Tyrantical and OVERSTEPPING their ENUMERATED POWERS and need to be set back to their LIMITED and RIGHTFUL path.. I AM AN OATH KEEPER.. I am watching…

Gerald Brookman

I agree with Russel Johnson. These folks are not doing themselves or the cause of legal gun ownership any favors. If they were Muslims or blacks occupying government buildings/property by force, they would be called terrorists or criminals – which in fact I believe they are. If they feel they have a legal grievance, they should pursue it through the court system of this country.


I was just watching a documentary about the Vietnam War, and the NVA commanders decreed that no engagement should take place unless it was on favorable conditions for thosse fighting the Americans. The reason? Going back to Sun Tzu, all wars are inherently political. It is why Tet is still viewed as a victory for North Vietnam when in fact they were crushed from a military perspective.

I also suspect this is another PATCON in action with various agent provocateurs working with the FBI/ATF pulling the strings just like OKC.


Stop embarrassing yourself moron! How about actually researching and studying the facts before spewing your dumb downed liberal ignorance!!!


Hey Johnny BS!
As soon as you educate yourself about the Malheur Basin, and why all that water is there in the first place, you can go to hell!

Johny Bulshitski

I dont know anything about their legal case and really don’t give a ******************* about it. What I do do know is that Malheir is an ecologically unique pristine peice of property in the Hreat Basin that has been there a long time and has been maintained for all US citizens to enjoy. It has been used by biology students from many surounding colleges and universities for decades and needs to remain exactly as it is. Properties like this are becoming increasingly rare anf dont need to be monopolized fenced off and fucked up by ranchets wanting to pad their… Read more »


The man who is so blinded by the government’s BS waking each day believing that the freedom he has has been given to him by this government will always be blind. One must know that it is a god given right, and all these so called laws are set up to restrain the people. And to give the allusion that the government is in charge and the people must fallow blindly like sheep.

Maybe it’s time for a change.

D Close

After some careful deliberation, I would advance the following premise: Bundy and company are exercising their rights as protected by the Constitution. Whether we agree or not, these men have set themselves on public land and so far are asserting their First and Second Amendment rights. So far all I have heard is that they are staying for a long time to protest the abuses suffered by the Hammonds and other ranchers in the area. It is very possible to be armed and peaceably assemble and protest. This is their right to do so and any “rules” prohibiting this kind… Read more »


Have any of you commenting actually taken the time to read the Appeal’s Court decision regarding the Hammond’s sentencing which was left intact by the Supreme Court? Bottom Line: Congress set a Five (5) Year Minimum Sentence for those who commit Arson on Federal Lands. The Hammonds had a record of setting fires (sometimes with permits and approval, others where they completely ignored both State and Federal “Burn Bans” due to the high risk conditions) on their own land and on Federal land that they had leased. Several times, through their negligence those fires burned out of control including at… Read more »


We all know what is coming courtesy of “our protectors” in Government. The Sheriff initially marginalized himself then once the Ferals arrived threw in with them. We can debate whether this is the “correct” time and place until the cows come home and it isn’t going to change the big picture of what we all know is coming.
Just for the record I think this was a game of fools on all sides, tactically and strategically, but once the killing starts, debate stops……..well maybe not, with the internet we could all just post ourselves to death.


This is the very reason, our forefathers wrote the constitution. 1st and 2nd being most important,,,,

Thad Roberts

On the morning of April 19, 1775 the shot that ignited the 1st American Revolution was fired. To this day, no one can say definitively say which side fired that shot! Given the onerous policies of Parliment an King George III suffice it to say it was an eventuality that British attempts to confiscate powder and ball from American colonists would end poorly. Colonists in South Carolina thought the colonists in Massachusetts were radical trouble makers. Today, just as in 1775, how easy it is for Americans to accept the status quo as long as it’s not their ox that… Read more »


I don’t use oath keepers as any kind of organization that has to condone something or not condone it for it to be right or wrong. The bundy brothers are wrong in this situation,period ! But I don’t say that because oath keepers say that,they are just in the wrong !


“How do write judges so well?”

“I think of a lawyer, and I take away reason, accountability, honesty, mercy, and loyalty to the Constitution of the United States of America.”


The time has come to stop being counter punchers and always in the defensive mode. We are sitting on a powder keg and it’s just a matter of who blinks first ! These gungrabbing socialists know we are armed and they are about to find out real soon how proficient we are with these weapons too ! I think that law-abiding firearms owners have showed tremendous restraint but we can only be pushed so far. When those son of a bitches called us domestic terrorists because we own firearms,at that point it was on ! As long as we continue… Read more »


The liberal trash and the African born muslim have already said that law-abiding firearms owners are racists and domestic terrorists. You know, I don’t really give a damn what this scum says or thinks. The son of a bitches will never get our firearms, Period ! They won’t be able to implement full blown tyranny and destroy our constitution as long as we are armed ! Without the 2A the rest of the constitution means nothing ! When push comes to shove the liberals are just a lot of mouth,noise ! Keep your powder dry and your chin to the… Read more »


Chatroom Commando says Codrea is scared! Now that’s Tiger Talk!



I agree with Wolfdom,
Whatnthe hell is going on, if a Judge can do this We Are All Open To This Collectivist Evil.
This Judge is so far out of line she should be the one on trial.
This Country is at this point seeing and appears to be supporting a “Bloodless Coup”
I ask a simple question, WTF and How much more!
America has become what we once fought against!!!’



Carl Maddox

Great article, David! Seems to me that Ammon and the others with him during this occupation are biting off a big chew for themselves and they are seemingly going to treat the whole situation like Custer’s last stand! The questions that enter my mind: Is the timing right for such an aggressive and bold move? Is this action likely to trigger an over reaction on the part of the feds? I hope that all involved keep their heads and hold on to their tempers, and I hope that everyone keeps in mind that Ammon and his friends have a right… Read more »


There has to be a higher court to overturn the judge who abused her power and gave the Hammonds additional time, I applaud them for agreeing to do the time until something can be worked out. Bundy is putting a lit match to a powder keg with no care to anybody’s safety. There’s no way this won’t end up like Waco or Ruby Ridge if Bundy won’t back down.


Narrow things down to your own back yard and see what you think.?

Chuck Cochran

I agree with your observations. It is just a matter of time before the spark that sets it off is struck. Praying that cool heads will intervene and diffuse the situation. While I can sympathize with the Hammond’s plight and feel there’s more there than we’re aware of, Bundy and crew are making a bad situation worse with their stand off and I’m not convinced that they have the moral high ground from what I’ve been reading.

james cherco

Based on the information about the harassment of the Hammond s, i can understand the pain and suffering they have endured. However as the have stated they will comply with the court order and surrender to serve more time, i believe those occupying the wild life refuge should clear the property and comply with the Hammond s intention.

tom pean

David sounds as if he is scared to death. Why is he always thinking about defence and never offence? The Fed is never going to back off as long as the 300 million guns here in America remain in “safe keeping”. Time to throw shit at them instead as always having to duck the shit ourselves. The Hammonds are doing nobody a favor by kowtowing, lease of all themselves. Instead they should hold their heads high and stand straight and tall with long guns cradled in thei arms, along side thousands of other like minded honest citizens. We all know… Read more »

Glenn Jacobs

Occupying that government building was a spectacularly stupid decision.

Men who are hazarding their lives for a cause do not want to be stupid.

My darkened Right-Wing suspicious mind suspects the work of agents provocateurs.

“Let’s REALLY annoy ’em, fellers. Let’s get all comfortable in that building of theirs.”