Opinions vary on militia’s role

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U.S. Rep. Stephen Horsford recently talked about how the militia forces that came to the aid of Cliven Bundy in his dealings with the Bureau of Land Management need to pack up and go home.

But a number of residents who attended a Bunkerville Town Hall meeting last week think otherwise.

“Before Saturday when we had the standoff, we had no protection,” said Margaret Huston, of Logandale. “Our family was standing up to the BLM that had guns, tasers, dogs, rifles. We were by ourselves.

“We couldn’t even call 911 for help… We didn’t have any guns, we were there by ourselves. It was like being in another country standing in a war zone.”

Two members of militia groups got up and spoke to the town board and both received to a round of applause for their efforts. Ron Payne, of Anaconda, Mont., said his group came to fill the gap in protection that the Clark County Sheriff wasn’t able or willing to offer.

“We stayed awake long hours and did what we could to make sure the people stayed protected,” Payne said. “We also maintained a good presence with your community.”

Militia member Jason Patrick came from Georgia to offer help, losing his job in the process.

Horsford attended the Mesquite Mayor’s pancake breakfast Saturday as part of the Mesquite Days celebration. According to an Associated Press report, a fifth-grade student asked Horsford what he was doing to get the militia out.

He has since called on Sheriff Doug Gillespie, Gov. Brian Sandoval and U.S. Sen. Dean Heller to act to get the militia out of the area.

“They don’t belong in Bunkerville or any other part of our community,” he said.

Many in attendance at the Bunkerville Town Hall meeting expressed dismay over the sheriff’s lack of action during the standoff.

“We have had terrible things happen here,” said board member Duane Magoon. “I’m really disappointed in our sheriff for not being out here to protect the citizens who were out there. That’s my biggest concern, that he was AWOL.”

Lilly Spencer, of Alamo, said the standdown changed her whole perspective on life.

“It was a very eerie feeling,” she said. “I had snipers watching me the whole time, watching me come in and out. I felt like I was in another country under war.

“It was a the most crazy, terrible thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. (The BLM) has no authority to shut down our free land. For people to think it’s over a few cattle, it’s crazy. The day the BLM left here was the most awesome feeling in my whole life. The sheriff has no backbone. He should have been here.”

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