Bundy clan patriarch Cliven Bundy weighed in on Tuesday on the arrests of his two sons, Ammon and Ryan, who had been occupying a wildlife refuge in Burns, Oregon, and the death of one of the group's members in a shoot-out with authorities.
Cliven Bundy is the rancher whose failure to pay grazing fees sparked another standoff at his Nevada ranch last year. In response to the law enforcement crack-down at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a nearly month-long stand-off in Oregon, Bundy said he thought it was a "wake up call."
Bundy made his recent comments to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
"This whole battle is over a constitutional issue where the federal government has no rights within the state or at least rights in a sovereign state," he said. "This is a total disaster to be happening in America where we have I'm guessing federal people killing innocent people."
“Isn’t this a wonderful country we live in?" he sarcastically asked the Los Angeles Times. About the death of LaVoy Finicum in a shoot-out with police, he said, "We believe that those federal people shouldn’t even be there in that state, and be in that county and have anything to do with this issue. ... I have some sons and other people there trying to protect our rights and liberties and freedoms, and now we’ve got one killed, and all I can say is, he’s sacrificed for a good purpose."
He told the Review-Journal his sons and others were there to "do good, no harm was intended. They would never threaten anybody."
During the stand-off at his ranch last year, militia snipers aimed weapons at federal officers attempting to enforce grazing laws.
The occupation of the wildlife refuge in Oregon started on January 2, in protest to five-year federal sentences given to two ranchers who were convicted of starting fires on federal lands. The occupiers believed the men's sentences were excessive.