Opinions, Letters to the Editor

The BOS needs to distance itself from the use of armed force against our federal government

Last September, after listening to a 45-minute anti-federal diatribe by state representative Mark Finchem, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors voted to join a group of western rural counties in a plan to take over federal land. Tea party advocate Finchem explained that the plan involved a “multi-prong” approach, but identified only two approaches -- litigation and legislation. He did not identify what other approaches were contemplated.

The plan commits Pinal County to politically and financially support the transfer of ownership of federal public lands to a group of western states. This plan becomes the latest of a decades-old goal characterized by the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion, last year’s armed uprising at the Bundy Ranch, current interests in permitting uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, and the ongoing armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge which has already resulted in the fatal shooting of an Arizona rancher.

Following last month’s takeover of the wildlife refuge in Oregon, I was confident our Board of Supervisors would promptly want to disassociate itself from the armed occupation of federal property.

Especially in the face of the occupiers proclaiming their willingness to kill and be killed in the forceful taking of public land ownership away from the federal government.

To my surprise the Board continues to reject the suggestion that it distance itself from the use of armed force against our federal government.

Absent Pinal County Board of Supervisors public condemnation of the use of armed force by land transfer zealots, concerned citizens are left to wonder if armed occupation of government property is now acceptable so long as it is aimed at a shared political goal.

So much for the hollow sound of pronouncements on the rule of law.


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