We the people, and public lands

 

I appreciate Hal Herring’s candid description of his personal longing for freedom and his disappointment in the low intellectual content of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers’ motivations (“Making Sense of Malheur,” HCN, 3/21/16). Half a lifetime ago, I would have had more sympathy with the malcontents. Even now, I think that while the Hammonds abused their too-generous access privileges to public grazing land, their jail sentences (under a mandatory minimum law enacted by a Republican-dominated Congress) were draconian. And like most of us, I’d like to see a few changes in the way our country is run myself. But at my current age, I understand that while too little liberty is tyranny, too much liberty would result in a war of each against all, with the tyranny of the strongest the result. I’ll take the rule of law, thanks. 

As co-owner of our federal public lands, I have every right to a say in how they are managed, and I say no grandiose self-appointed patriot is allowed to seize them for the exclusive use of crooked welfare ranchers like the Hammonds. Am I not the people? 

Karl Anderson
Santa Fe, New Mexico