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Standoff in the desert, What's Your Opinion?

La vaca dice moo
Photo Provided by ncreedplayer / Flickr

The Bureau of Land Management found itself in a standoff with Nevada rancher Clive Bundy and a group of heavily armed supporters earlier this month. Fortunately the tense situation was defused when the federal government backed down and de-escalated the situation. The situation occurred in part due to Bundy’s refusal to pay taxes on the federal land his cattle were grazing. However, his supporters also say that the BLM’s changing rules regarding taxation and land use forced the rancher to defy the government in order to sustain his livelihood. We asked students at UCC what they thought of this complex situation.

Nicholas Intersimone
Don Gilman / Mainstream

Nicholas Intersimone: “The only reason they gave that man back his cattle was because the people who he showed up with were heavily armed, and the people he was showing up against were unarmed. The Bureau of Land Management is not an armed service.”

Jake Backen
Don Gilman / Mainstream

Jake Backen: “He should pay taxes like everyone else. It’s the BLM’s land. He should pay it or get it taken away from him. I feel like he should go to prison for having [an arsenal] back him up.”

Chloe Elliott
Don Gilman / Mainstream

Chloe Elliott: “I think that Clive has every right to stand up for himself. This land is our land, not the federal government’s. I do believe that Clyde is right.”

Michael Lewis
Don Gilman / Mainstream

Michael Lewis: “My take on it is that it’s a bunch of angry people who don’t want to acknowledge the existence of the federal government but choose to wave the American flag. On one hand they’re saying America exists, and the other hand they’re saying I don’t recognize your government.”

Kristapher Yates
Don Gilman / Mainstream

Kristapher Yates: “I think we all should be paying taxes. It’s like any other business, if you don’t pay your taxes, your business gets shut down.”