Oregon governor Kate Brown is about as fed up with the militia occupying her wildlife refuge as Samuel L. Jackson once was with those snakes occupying his plane.
“This situation is absolutely intolerable and it must be resolved immediately,” Brown told reporters on Wednesday, 19 days after a band of God-loving patriots decided to defend the Constitution by preventing anyone from visiting a bird sanctuary in rural Oregon. “The very fabric of this community is being ripped apart.”
Brown claimed that the occupation was costing the state $100,000 a week, as multiple law-enforcement agencies have been working overtime to make sure Ammon Bundy and his heavily armed friends don’t do anything more stupid than they have already. Brown has demanded that the federal government reimburse those costs — and take immediate action to end the nuisance.
“The residents of Harney County have been overlooked and underserved by federal officials’ response thus far,” Brown said at a news conference that was originally supposed to be about her agenda for the state in 2016. “I have conveyed these very grave concerns directly to our leaders at the highest levels of our government: the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House.”
Federal law-enforcement officers are already patrolling the remote area, but they’ve been understandably reluctant to provoke a confrontation with a group that’s extremely enthusiastic about assault-weapon ownership.
The occupation was initially meant to protest the prison sentences of two local ranchers convicted of setting fires on public lands. After those ranchers said they didn’t want the militia’s help and turned themselves in, Bundy has been justifying the occupation on the grounds that federal control of western lands is illegitimate, and also that God told him to do this, so he has no choice.
While many in Harney County aren’t pleased with federal land policy, they’re even less pleased with heavily armed out-of-towners paving their own roads, bulldozing Native American archaeological sites, and blowing shofars to summon every other red-blooded sovereign citizen with dreams of martyrdom to descend upon the rural Northwest. “It seems like he’s out of touch with reality,” Harney County judge Steve Grasty told the Associated Press.
Bundy’s militia talked of planning an exit strategy last week, but they now appear determined not to return to their real lives. “We are very strong, very firm,” militia spokesman LaVoy Finicum told Oregon Public Broadcasting Wednesday. “This facility will not go back to the federal government, ever.”
We’re going to need a bigger dildo.