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Lavoy Finicum, The FBI, and Why You’re Missing the Point
Throughout the past month we have heard news here and there about the “standoff” in Burns, Oregon. I’m not going to get into the specific reasons why the group was there, to sum it up, it was a protest against unconstitutional federal government power. As part of their protest, the group occupied an empty federal building and aired their grievances. This last week we all read and heard about the “shootout” between the FBI and a small group of the protestors. There are a couple of things we need to clarify about this confrontation. First off, it wasn’t a shootout. In order to have a shootout, you must have two parties shooting at each other. This wasn’t the case as the FBI gunned down a man in cold blooded murder. Secondly, the accounts from the FBI and from witnesses with Lavoy have extreme differences. For example, the FBI says they only fired three shots, but when Victoria Sharp an eighteen-year old girl who was a passenger in the vehicle heard that, she said, “Are you kidding? They shot maybe 120 times.”
A video recently surfaced from the FBI that showed the encounter. Caleb and I break down the video in the Podcast so I won’t include that in here. I’ll just say one thing; the video quality is pitiful. It was shot from an FBI drone in the sky, there is no audio, you can’t see any detail, and the video is inconclusive to say the least. The FBI’s story is that Lavoy Finicum was reaching for a gun and that is why he was shot. All we have heard in the main stream media and on social media is whether or not the shooting was justified because he was going for a gun. We can argue that point all day, without getting anywhere because there is not “indisputable video evidence” for either side. The fact is, it doesn’t matter! While we bicker over whether or not the shooting was justified, we are all missing the bigger picture here.
Why was there a roadblock set up in the first place? Why was there such a display of force for something that had been peaceful up to this point? When we contrast this protest with the riots in Ferguson or Baltimore, why were they handled so differently? The answer to all these questions are the same; the Federal Government was trying to send a message. This protest wasn’t minorities against white cops and police brutality. It was The People versus the Federal Government. This group was traveling to speak to a crowd in another city to spread their message of, abuse of government power. They were exercising their rights to free speech and to peaceably assemble. Last time I checked, those rights are still guaranteed by the constitution. Nonetheless, the FBI told them not to go, and when they decided to go anyway, there were roadblocks and armed federal agents to prevent them from getting there.
The Federal Government’s message was loud and clear: “we are not afraid to kill those who stand up against our usurpation’s of power.” The FBI never intended for this to end peacefully or there wouldn’t have been a roadblock set up in the first place. Is it any coincidence that the only evidence we have of what actually happened is low quality video from a drone that poses more questions than it answers? Why is there not more media coverage on what happened? Can you imagine if this was a young black man shot by the cops? There would be riots in the streets, with 24/7 media coverage. There is no coverage however, because it does not fit the narrative of whites vs blacks. It doesn’t divide the people against each other. Instead, this is a story that should unite the people together to question the unconstitutional actions of our government.
It is no accident that cops stood by and watched in Ferguson and Baltimore as rioters violently broke the law and destroyed property, but in this case they were quick to exercise extreme force and kill a man. Victor Hugo, author of the famous Les Miserables, once said “there is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come”. The Federal Government’s purpose in killing Lavoy Finicum, wasn’t to kill a man but rather to kill the idea that he represented. He was on his way to share that very idea with the group gathered in John Day, Oregon, and it is the idea I want to share with all of you. The Federal Government has destroyed the constitution and chains with which it was once bound, and the time is coming for the people to step up as the jealous guardians of our God-given rights guaranteed by the constitution. I firmly believe that the time is coming when this idea will come to fruition. The government is afraid of such an idea, and they should be. It is a powerful idea. It is an idea that the Federal Government does not want the American people to believe in. It is an idea worth killing over, and it is the idea we should all be talking about.
If you are still arguing over whether or not he was going for a gun and should have been shot, you are still not getting it. Lavoy has been labeled a “traitor”, “terrorist” and “enemy of the state” because he stood up to the abuses of his government. With that logic I suppose we could call every founding father who signed the Declaration of Independence a traitor and a terrorist, who pledged their “lives”, their “fortunes”, and their “sacred honor” to these words in that declaration.
“Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
The founders understood that the constitution was just a piece of paper. It alone could not restrain the monster that is Federal Government. It is the “right” and the “duty” of the people to protect their rights against government. We are the only ones who can hold our government accountable. Samuel Adams once said,
“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”
It is time for us to stop arguing about whether or not Finicum was going for a gun. That’s not the point. The point is, we are tamely surrendering our liberties in modern day America. Ignorance abounds, we are sinking under our own weight, and it is time for something to change.
Channel, T. A. (2016, January 29). Youtube. Retrieved from youtube.com: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWXBITTC4fw
Jefferson, T. (1776). The Declaration of Independence.