Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Burns, Oregon residents' message to militia: 'Go away'

Monday evening at the empty Elkhorn Cafe, owner Terry Williams was washing dishes silently. He paused to brew a cup of coffee and talk about a group of armed men occupying federal buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge...Locals have said group's claim to defend the plight of the Hammonds, a father and son pair who recently returned to federal prison after an arson conviction, and to be acting with their interests in mind, is tenuous. Some see the situation only as a distraction. Burns schools are closed and employees who would normally be at the wildlife refuge haven't been able to return. "The local kids have a week off school. They have to play basketball games in John Day and practice in Drewsey," Williams said. The true cause is mandatory minimum sentencing laws, he said. The Hammonds were subject to minimum sentences for their arson convictions. Part of the controversy is that the Hammonds were given a lenient sentence, which they served. In a rare move, the federal government appealed the sentence, and the Hammonds were sentenced again for the mandatory five years. That double sentencing, many residents say, is unjust, but taking up arms against the government is another thing altogether...USA Today

A man washing dishes understands the issue...do you think the media and the politicians ever will?

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