Former Republican Congressman Ron Paul, a Texas libertarian who always espoused small government and strict adherence to the U.S. Constitution, is again creating controversy especially on the Internet thanks to several news and commentary outlets on Monday that are covering the Bundy-BLM confrontation story. According to those decidedly conservative and libertarian websites, during the Clinton administration Rep. Paul warned his fellow congressmen that militarizing the Bureau of Land Management would only lead to more distrust and fear of the federal government by American citizens.
Paul noted in 1997 that he personally opposed arming the Bureau of Land Management for precisely the reasons America would observe in 2014 when hundreds of heavily-armed BLM agents surrounded the Nevada ranch of Cliven Bundy. The agents included snipers whose sole purpose is to kill with precision.
Paul declared that the American people are fearful of government overreach and overreaction as a result of incidents such as Waco's Branch Davidian Massacre and the Ruby Ridge killings, two events that displayed government sanctioned brutality and disregard for the lives of American citizens.
"If the United States government treated foreigners with such deadly force, the left would go ballistic. But since the violence is aimed at U.S. citizens, no one appears to care," said former police officer Iris Aquino.
"It is ironic that the proliferation of guns in the hands of the bureaucrats is pushed by the antigun fanatics who hate the second amendment and would disarm every law-abiding American citizen," Congressman Paul said on the floor of the House of Representatives. "Yes, we need gun control. We need to disarm our bureaucrats, then abolish the agencies. If government bureaucrats like guns that much, let them seek work with the NRA," Freedom Post's Tim Brown quotes Paul.
Paul also reminded his House colleagues that the U.S. Constitution never meant for there to be a federal police force. In fact, historically, the police power was relegated to the individual states.
Brown quotes Paul, during his stinging House floor speech, as stating:
"Under the Constitution, it was never meant to be a federal police force. Even and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), limited only to investigations, was not accepted until this century. Yet, today, fueled by the federal government's misdirected 'war on drugs,' radical environmentalism and the aggressive behavior of the 'Nanny State,' we have witnessed a massive buildup of a virtual army of armed regulators prowling the states where they have no authority. The sacrifice of individual responsibility and the concept of local government by majority of American citizens ha permitted the army of bureaucrats to thrive."
Paul claims that American citizens have become more willing to have the federal agencies infringe on their Constitutionally guaranteed liberties as a result of more and more dependence on government largesse.
"Wealth is limited, but demands are unlimited. A welfare system inevitably diminishes production and shrinks the economic pie. As this occurs, anger among the competing special interests grows. While Congress and the people concentrate on material welfare and its equal redistribution, the principles of liberty are ignored and freedom is undermined," said Paul, according to Brown's investigative report.
Meanwhile, last week, another Texan weighed in on the BLM/firearms issue: Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, wrote in a letter dated April 21, 2014, to President Barack Obama, his Secretary of the Interior and the Director of the BLM, “Because of this standoff, I have looked into BLM’s authority to conduct such paramilitary raids against American citizens, and it appears that BLM is acting in a lawless manner in Nevada,”
Stockman pointed out that Section 1733 of the U. S. Code requires "the BLM rely on local law enforcement officers to enforce regulations rather than its own rangers." He also accused the BLM of refusing to work with the county sheriff’s department in its interaction with Bundy.