There are a significant amount of pro-gun enthusiasts and Conservatives that have spreading speculation about the murder of LaVoy Finicum in an armed police shooting gallery. These people who may have been on the side of the Rancher standoff believe Finicum was reaching for his vest gun and that was when the police emptied a volley of bullets into Finicum.
Primarily due to the lack of sound in the aerial video taken of Finicum being shot, I am not convinced he was reaching for a gun in his vest. Many witnesses have established the vest reach was to Finicum's torso point of a bullet impact. Then after Finicum was down, witnesses cowering in fear of the designs of the Oregon State Police and the FBI assert Finicum's downed body continued to be shot. Was he already dead or were the police making sure he was dead? Witnesses claim Finicum exited his truck so the police would shoot him rather than the ladies with him in the truck. Until proven by documentation rather than the word of the police involved in shooting Finicum, I believe the witnesses rather than the police or the significant amount of pro-gun enthusiasts willing to throw Finicum under the bus. Yes, I AM STILL OUTRAGED! (A version of this paragraph was written hastily an update the post, “I AM OUTRAGED BY THE SHOOTING OF LaVoy Finicum.”)
Justin Smith shares some of his thoughts in his submission below.
Murdering an American Patriot
By Justin O. Smith
Sent: February 7, 2016 6:59 PM
"You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war ... Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is a sin." -- The Book of James
On a lonely stretch of U.S. Highway 395, Robert LaVoy Finicum, spokesman for the Bundy group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a grandfather, rancher and an American patriot, was murdered by federal authorities and Oregon State Troopers on January 26th, after repeated FBI assurances that he and his fellow protesters would be given safe passage to leave at any time. The murder of LaVoy, who was peacefully protesting the incarceration of Dwight and Steven Hammonds and in defense of the U.S. Constitution and our sacred rights, ever mindful of the fact he was armed as was his right, spilled the kindred blood that flows in the veins of all American patriots.
Their cause is just, true and righteous, and they accurately note that the federal government was limited by the Founders, under Article I, Section 8 and Clause 17 in regards to buying large parcels of State land and awing the State into an undue obedience to the federal government. The Founders never intended for the federal government to own 50% of the land west of Kansas, 65% of Utah, 56% of Oregon, or, as in this case, 76% of the 10,000 square miles that comprises Harney County and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
These men are not "domestic terrorists" as alleged by the government. They are small business owners, military veterans and authors simply standing against the incredible over-regulation enacted by an unconstitutionally empowered Bureau of Land Management, which is acting on its own arbitrary agenda and strangling the efforts of private citizens to make use of their own private land to the best advantage for their lives and convenience -- to subdue and hold dominion over their land as commanded by our Creator.
In a Pacific Patriots Network interview, Susy Pearce, a rancher who drove 6.5 hours from Plumas County, California to join the protest on January 2nd, said: "We feel the same way they do about the overreach of the federal government. If you're a rancher, you get taxed, fined and ... overregulated to death." And then she teared up as she spoke of Finicum, who she knew and respected, calling him an "amazing man ... smart and honest" and naming his death an "outrageous, uncalled-for murder."
Dwight Hammonds and his son Steven were charged with nine separate federal charges in connection with the 2001 and 2006 planned burns on their own property to eradicate invasive juniper trees. Although the fires burned about 140 acres of BLM land, the damage was primarily to open range land; and, the over-zealous prosecution of the Hammonds on arson charges and their subsequent 5-year sentence was unfounded and malicious, especially in light of all the facts.
Incredibly, the Hammonds lost their appeal before District Chief Judge Ann Aiken last October and they were ordered to finish their five year sentences. How could the Ninth Circuit Court ignore the fact that the Hammonds and the BLM had simultaneous fires ongoing with numerous smaller fires caused by lightning strikes? How could Judge Aiken find them guilty of arson, when they had received permission from the BLM to light the fires, as sworn by Dwight's wife Susan?
Many range conservationists, technicians and watershed specialists, such as Erin Maupin and Rusty Inglis, testified that the Hammond fires were beneficial and improved rangeland conditions. It is also important to note that the 2006 "arson", the Krumbo Butte Fire in the Malheur Refuge, started with lightning strikes, and Steven Hammonds only started a back fire in an attempt to save his ranch's winter feed.
Deeper investigation reveals that the Hammonds were the last hold-outs standing in the way of the Oregon Natural Desert Association's and the BLM's plan for a 100,000 "cow-free wilderness", by which many ranchers traded their BLM permits and private property in the Steens Mountain area for land on the valley floor. They felt this was the only way to prevent a pending monument designation after the fashion of the 2000 Clinton/ Babbitt designation.
Rusty Inglis, with 34 years in the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon, stated: "The Hammonds are not arsonists. They are number one ... They know their land management. It's become more obvious over the years that the BLM and the wildlife refuge want that ranch."
This is the very sort of federal abuse of power foreseen by many respected American leaders in the early 1800s and written about by Justice Joseph Story in 1833 in his 'Commentaries'. They believed too much land in the hands of the federal government would enable the growth of tyranny from these lands, and "a system of laws (BLM regulations) incompatible with the nature and principles of a representative democracy, though not likely to be introduced at once, may be matured by degrees, and diffuse its influence through the states, and finally lay the foundation of the most important changes in the nature of the federal government."
By all accounts, LaVoy Finicum was headed to a meeting in order to secure a peaceful resolution to this standoff, when he and Ryan and Ammon Bundy and two female passengers and Ryan Payne encountered the roadblock ambush, in which the FBI fired the first shots after Payne looked out the passenger window. Without returning fire, LaVoy announced his intentions to confer with the Sheriff, according to eyewitness and passenger Victoria Sharp, and as he drove away a hail of FBI bullets followed; it was at this point LaVoy veered off the road and exited the vehicle with his hands up.
Moments later, as seen in an FBI video, LaVoy drops his hands and makes several side-to-side movements. Without any accompanying sound, it is not readily discernible if LaVoy's actions were a result of him being shot first or if he was in fact reaching for his pistol: This case has an eerily similar dark cloud accompanying it, as the events that surrounded federal criminal wrongs in relation to the Randy Weaver case and the murders of his family members.
"It was an assassination", said Harney County resident Monte Seigner. "He had his hands up. He didn't have a gun in his hands, and he wasn't threatening no one."
Susy Pearce said, "I don't think they (the Feds) intended for any of them to survive", as she referred to the occupants of Finicum's vehicle, including 18-year-old Victoria Sharp. "I think he sacrificed himself to save them." [Bold emphasis by Blog Editor]
Arianna Finicum Brown, 26, one of Finicum's 11 children, said: "My dad was such a good man, through and through. He would never want to hurt somebody, but he does believe in defending freedom and he knew the risks involved."
A few days before he and the Bundy brothers were ambushed by federal agents using excessive, unprovoked and unjustified force, Robert LaVoy Finicum stated in an interview "some things are more important than life, and defending liberty is one of them."
By Justin O. Smith
Edited by John R. Houk
Text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.
© Justin O. Smith