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Reid domestic terrorism charge would disarm ideological opponents if acted upon

Reid shares the stage with another prominent “gun rights prevention” advocate.
Reid shares the stage with another prominent “gun rights prevention” advocate.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

While there can be honest disagreement among Americans of good faith on the appropriateness of citizen actions unfolding at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada -- for instance, a voice followed by many in the Patriot movement has cautioned “this is not a good battle to pick” for reasons echoed by ideological opposites -- a statement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has far-reaching implications for many gun owners should his allies in government agree with him.

“Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Reid said at a Las Vegas Review-Journal media event about the standoff on Thursday. “I repeat: what went on up there was domestic terrorism.”

Putting aside reader opposition to or support for the Bundy claims, and ignoring allegations of Reid’s (and his son Rory’s) personal interests in the disposition of the land in question, what must be examined is what the senator must mean if he seriously believes his accusation.

“Domestic terrorism” is a legal term, defined by U.S. Code. It’s prosecutable. Assets can be seized, including assets of supporters. Provisions of the Patriot Act could kick in, with all that implies. And felony convictions would certainly result in those found guilty becoming “prohibited persons” under federal law from owning a gun.

Assuming PR considerations would preclude Obama from ordering drone strikes, is the foregoing really what Harry Reid has in mind? In spite of the efforts of Oath Keepers and others to ensure that a peaceful resolution is paramount, does “true champion of the Second Amendment” Harry Reid want everyone on the side of the Bundy family who has been on the ground near Bunkerville -- and those providing them with material support -- to be prosecuted as domestic terrorists?

Does he truly wish for those whom he politically disagrees with to forever lose federal recognition of their right to keep and bear arms?

Considering his longtime gravitation toward Michael Bloomberg, his support for federal oversight of private gun sales, and his embracing of Diane Feinstein’s renewed “assault weapon” ban, such an admission would hardly be surprising.


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A leading gun-grabber busted for conspiracy to set up illegal international arms deals? What gives, Leland Yee? Aside from campaign contributors? My latest GUNS Magazine "Rights Watch" column is online, and you can read it well before the issue hits the stands. Click here to read "Stranger than Fiction.”