I have spent a lot of time reading, researching, praying since I became aware of the events in Harney County, Oregon. Wondering where my responsibility was in this event. Or, even if I had any responsibility at all. To some, the fact that I live nowhere near Harney County would obviously mean, that of course it could have nothing to do with me. But, the more I researched it, the more I thought about it, the more I learned about it, the more I felt I did have a responsibility in it.
Here is why. As a writer and researcher, I stumble onto “stories” that tend to sit with me. They wont leave, even though I cannot really decide why. Case in point. Months before the Bundy Brothers and their friends occupied Federal ground in Harney, I visited the BLM station in Harney County for a Kiger Mustang sale. During that visit, I overheard the tale of the Hammond’s. I recall thinking that there was no way their experience seemed fair based on the story I was told. But, who was I. As a reporter, I have learned that there are always two sides. When I got home, their story stayed with me and so I began to investigate. And, the more I investigated the more it seemed unreal to me. What was I missing? I kept asking myself. Before that question could be answered within myself, the march for the Hammond’s began and the Bundy’s entered the scene.
From that time, I have been all over the map with this. Mad at the Bundy’s for , in my assessments, “Taking the Hammond’s hostage,” Sad for the Hammond’s, yet “proud” that they seemed to be going through the legal processes, legally. Confused that the government was making the choices they were making, pissed at “we the people,” for not ……. well, I don’t know what. In the very least, not knowing our rights and allowing them to erode away.
I grew up believing that “we the people,” were the “bosses” over government, now shocked and stunned by naivety.
Tonight I sit shattered as we learn the government swept down and left one man dead and another one injured and more arrested. No matter where one lands on this issue… I cannot image anything that has happened to date being worth anyone losing their life. I think of all the Occupy this and Occupy that’s that just dwindle away… without blood shed. Saddened that our government… representing “we the people” didn’t just wait this out.
As I sit here, crying for a man I never knew.. his children, his wife and family and friends…. I cannot wrap my head around it all. What comes to my mind is this…. I think of the amazing horse trainers that I have had the honor to learn from the last few years. Their words rushing back to me….. “A horse is the mirror to one’s soul.” and We can teach a horse through fear or through love….
In this case, I see the FEDS as those old school cowboys determined to “break a horse” come hell or high water, and with no other tools or skills in their saddle bag, they chose the route of fear and intimidation. While both methods can get the job done…. I have learned that getting a horse to “join” with you, become a partner in it’s own taming truly is the only way to get a lasting change.
The FEDS got their desired results, but only through fear tactics. How very very sad.
One of my favorite quotes comes from my favorite horse trainer. It simply reads….“The important thing is to make sure the last word you have with the horse is good for both of you.”
It seems the events of today, were good for neither.