Burns Chronicles No 5 – The Burns Community

Burns Chronicles No 5
The Burns Community

gunfight FBI PPN

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
February 8, 2016

I arrived in Burns, Oregon on Sunday evening, January 24. After checking into the Silver Spur Motel, I drove down to the Refuge. At the gate (a truck blocking the roadway into the building complex), I was questioned. I mentioned both Ryan Payne and Ammon Bundy, as they both knew that I was coming up to write some articles about subjects peripheral to the story that was currently hitting the news, social media, and anywhere a listener or reader could be found. Unlike Waco, where fax networking was the patriots’ media, this modern age has made information access a whole new world. I was more interested in the back stories than what was readily available.

After a few radio calls, I was escorted down to the Admin building, then directed to MOB (Militia Operational Base), where I found Ryan. I was welcomed, warmly, and assured that access would be less difficult, in the future. It was mid-evening, so I returned to Burns and got a good night’s sleep.

I had picked up an ATT phone on the way up, but was unable to “initiate” it, so the next morning, having learned that only Verizon service is available at the newly named Harney County Resource Center (HCRC), I went to the local Verizon store and purchased a phone and a month’s worth of unlimited calls.

While waiting for nearly an hour to get my phone, another man that was waiting for service went outside to have a cigarette. I joined him and asked if I could interview him regarding what was happening in Burns. He agreed, so I got my recording out of the truck, and began my first, and only recorded, interview. His name is Chuck, and he had lived in and around Burns for over forty years. He drives a truck for a living.

When asked what he thought about what was going on down at the Refuge, he said, “I think those guys are on the right track.”

What about what is going on here in Burns? “I stopped at the airport yesterday and got treated like I was flying the ISIS flag, when I drove up there.”

Same thing when I went to the Courthouse. All I wanted to do was talk to a state cop. I had a horse missing. I had guys pointing guns at me; FBI agents pointing guns at me. I said, ‘Guys, I’m not packing’. They wouldn’t back off. You probably won’t print this, but they are a bunch of assholes. They need to back off from treating us locals like we’re gonna shoot them… I don’t want to be treated like an outlaw just because I live in this town.”

I asked him about the influx of Oregon State Police and the Sheriff’s deputies from other counties. He said, “They need to go home. I don’t want to be paying these federal agents and all these extra County Sheriffs and all of the State Police, when those guys out there are on the right track. All they need to do is go out and talk to them. We just don’t need them.”

I asked him if he believed that the federal government ever gave in, once they had made up their mind. He answered, “I don’t think so. If the jerk-off in the White House would just release the Hammonds, like he has done with all of the drug dealers and all the other federal prisoners — just sign a pardon. All they did is light a fire to protect their ranch. Just sign a pardon and let them go. This would all settle down.”

What about the aspect that those at the Refuge want the land to go back to the people? “I think that is where it ought to be. Not only in the Refuge, but in the Forest Service, and the BLM. I go out here and try to ride my 4-wheeler, I can’t. Cause every time I jump my 4-wheeler out of the back… Here’s the BLM cop telling me he’s gonna write me a ticket; because I’m going to ride me 4-wheeler on public land.”

You’ve seen the signs that say, ‘Enjoy Your Public Lands’, haven’t you? “No, no, not in this county. I’ve seen them. They’re bullshit. You wanna camp, you have to camp in one of their campgrounds that you gotta pay them to camp in. Then, they come and harass you. You can’t go to the woods anymore, cause they burned all the timber off, so now they got it all blocked off so they can do their experiments, or whatever the hell they are doing up there.”

Did they burn some timberland here, in Harney County? “Oh, hell yea. They let the first get away, and then they come in and build backfires twenty miles away from the fire that was going. And, the two fires never, ever, got together. Thousands of acres have been destroyed by the Forest Service. One time, they brought in firefighters out of Georgia and they went out and built backfires along the roads, twenty miles from the original fire. They didn’t even fight the fire. And, they burned all of the timber off. I think they burned the timber off because they don’t want any logging. It’s not job security for these loggers to go out and log it. If they log it, we don’t have wild fires. We used to log this country and keep that timber thinned out and moved back, and the brush was kept down. Them loggers would replant, but they never clear cut. They go out and selective cut after the Forest Service marked the trees they wanted out. And, they would go out and they would cut them, drag ’em out, knock the brush down. We didn’t have fires. Now, we don’t have loggers, but we got fires everywhere; All the time.”

He continued, “There was a big fire out here towards John Day. It burned all of that country off, cause it hadn’t been burned in fifty years. The Forest Service just won’t sell the timber. If they won’t sell the timber, the loggers can’t have it. What’s the Forest Service got to do with selling timber? They don’t own those trees. It belongs to us. They won’t sell the timber. The timber revenue used to pay for our schools. There is no timber sold, anymore. There ain’t no logging goes on here. The mill is shut down, it’s gone.”

What do you know about ranching and cattle?

“I know a little bit about it. Most of the ranchers around here, they deal with them, because they have to.

I’ve lived here my whole life. I like to take my 4-wheeler out and ride. And, I can’t, anymore. That’s what’s got me siding with the guys at the Refuge. The Forest Service and the BLM are the gardeners that we hired to take care of our garden. They are not the law enforcement, they don’t own it. And, they need to quit telling me what to do on our property. They should just go out there and tend to our trees, go out there and tend to our water holes, make sure that grass is growing, and shut the hell up.

“It’s really not just my 4-wheeler, it’s that they think they own it. Many years ago, the first Forest Service cop I saw, she was in the county parade. She’s riding a horse and all Ramboed up; guns, tazers, all the Rambo BS, and she’s setting on a horse, and I asked her, what the hell does the Forest Service have that’s worth shooting somebody over. And, she says, ‘Well, I have to protect myself.’ So, I said, ‘Well, if you weren’t an asshole when you walked up to someone in the woods, you wouldn’t need protection. You wouldn’t need a gun to protect yourself. If you walked up to someone who was cutting a tree down, to burn in their house, and you weren’t a jerk about it, you wouldn’t need protection, you wouldn’t need a gun.

“It’s like these jerks up here. You know, treating me like I’m an outlaw walking up to the Courthouse. That’s my Courthouse up there. I paid for that Courthouse and the Sheriff’s Office. I can’t even go to the Sheriff’s Office. Can’t get anywheres close to it. I pay that guy’s wages. I pay for his building, I pay for his heat, we pay for all of that. But, we can’t go up there, because that idiot FBI agent has got it all surrounded. They challenge me with automatic weapons. They’ve got it surrounded up there. You can go to the Courthouse, but you got to get through FBI agents to get into the Courthouse. The Sheriff’s Office is right behind it, but you can’t go to the Sheriff’s Office. That’s my Sheriff, and I had a horse out. I went to the Sheriff’s Office to see if see if I could just get somebody on patrol to just watch out for it. State cops, and the Sheriff’s deputies. I wanted to talk with the State Police, but I had to have the cop come outside of the barricades to talk to me because I couldn’t go inside of the barricades to talk to him. A cop that I’m paying for. It’s horseshit, it is all horseshit!”

What about Judge Grasty? “He needs to be in the Sheriff’s jail. I don’t know him all that well. I know who he is.”

I did interview others, though more informally. At restaurants, standing in line at the Safeway, and a couple of them just stopping someone on the street.

The interview with Chuck is consistent with most of what I heard. There were some common aspects, as everybody I interviewed had no problem with what was happening 30 miles away, whether they agreed with what they were doing, or not. Thirty miles distance had no effect on the Burns community, except a little additional business, such as more outsiders in the motel and at the local diners.

Their concerns, apprehension, and “fear”, as expressed by Sheriff Ward, had nothing to do with those at the Refuge. There was concern over the FBI and multitude of Sheriff’s deputies from other counties coming into their community, setting up barricades, and otherwise the presence of so many law enforcement people in town. However, the greater concern seemed to be the number of people walking around their otherwise peaceful community, armed. These would be those who professed to keep things peaceful, and avoid another “Waco” at the Refuge, while arrogantly walking the streets, almost like the gunfighters of the past, though holstering automatic pistols instead of Six-guns.

Though both sides blamed the peaceful occupants of the Refuge, they chose to impose upon the community rather than direct their efforts at what they claimed to be the problem, or those to be protected.

When I asked if they had been to the Refuge, most answered that they already had, or that they intended to go down and meet the people that were standing up for their rights.

 

 

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7 Responses to “Burns Chronicles No 5 – The Burns Community”

  1. Christopher Cilley says:

    When I read this I think there is a misrepresentation and certainly a shortsighted view of what the people expressed as you reported…
    “However, the greater concern seemed to be the number of people walking around their otherwise peaceful community, armed. These would be those who professed to keep things peaceful, and avoid another “Waco” at the Refuge, while arrogantly walking the streets, almost like the gunfighters of the past, though holstering automatic pistols instead of Six-guns.”
    I am more of the mind that those from other areas (not police or Feds) who were there armed did indeed help keep the situation from becoming another Waco or Ruby Ridge. If the ‘law enforcement’ had been the only ones, in all their numbers, who were carrying the arms, it could have been very easily turned into another Waco. I have little doubt that the presence of armed citizens gave the ones in charge a chance to think twice about initiating any killing at the refuge or in town, what happened out on the highway with LaVoy.
    Perhaps the townsfolk didn’t realize that at the time but I’m sure after the FBI/SP murdered LaVoy in an isolated area, that if given the chance, they could have very easily done the same at the refuge and elsewhere!! They already had that mindset! The citizens did indeed insured that things remained as peaceable as possible!!

    • ghunt says:

      I doubt that those in town had anything, at all, to do with there not being another “Waco”. The government could not afford another Waco, as that is one of the greatest blemishes on their otherwise flawed image.

  2. […] Today, however, they are comprised of people who want to take charge; they want to control the situation; they may even want to help save the lives of Active Patriots by convincing them to submit to arrest. And, they will tell others that they were simply trying to avoid any bloodshed — even after blood had been shed. Let’s refer to them as false patriots. (See The Burns Community) […]

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  4. […] Today, however, they are comprised of people who want to take charge; they want to control the situation; they may even want to help save the lives of Active Patriots by convincing them to submit to arrest. And, they will tell others that they were simply trying to avoid any bloodshed — even after blood had been shed. Let’s refer to them as false patriots. (See The Burns Community) […]

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