Bundy Ranch is expecting more than 1,000 supporters this morning in a protest against the Bureau of Land Management outside Bunkerville, Nevada.
The potential for violent escalation is getting much higher as one of the Bundy sons indicates that they may attempt to drive off government agents who are attempting to impound their cattle.
“If the BLM comes by and we feel like we can stop them from gathering cattle, well, we might do that,” Ammon Bundy said. “As always, this (the rally) is an effort of peace, but peace can’t come at the cost of freedom.”
Ammon Bundy cautioned the crowd about carrying rifles in the area, saying “we don’t mind that you carry side arms in camp but we ask that you don’t carry rifles.”
The crowd Friday afternoon was spotted with members of different militias and other organizations including the “Oath Keepers,” a nationwide organization formed in 2009 whose motto is “Not on our watch.”
The decision to limit supporters to carrying just sidearms is a smart one, in my opinion. It’s much harder for government agents surrounding the ranch to claim that someone with a pistol is a long-range threat, and it is also better optics for the news organizations that have flocked to cover the stand-off.
You’ll notice that the don’t want people to carry rifles. I suspect that there are plenty socked away in rifle cases in vehicles to protect the family against any misguided attempt by federal forces to overrun the ranch.
Update: Fox News is reporting on the air that the FAA has declared the area over the ranch a “no fly zone.”