Catron County readies for battle

  Catron County, N.M., which pioneered local land-use planning against federal control of public land, has passed a resolution urging every household to own a gun. It's a protest against gun-control laws and a tool in Catron's war of nerves over cattle grazing. Originally, the county commission considered an ordinance requiring gun ownership. That got watered down after some locals complained such an ordinance would be as repressive as forbidding gun ownership. Still, the county got plenty of attention, as CNN, ABC and The Wall Street Journal showed up at the county courthouse in Reserve to cover the vote. Now, Catronites are forming a militia. "Citizens are getting tired of being tossed around and pushed to the limit by regulations," said Carl Livingston, a county commissioner. "We want the Forest Service to know we're prepared, even though violence would be a last resort." At a meeting of the county chamber of commerce recently, Forest Service District Ranger Mike Gardner urged caution. "What are you guys arming against?" he asked. "A .30-.30 won't do any good against (U.S. government) Bradley fighting vehicles and attack helicopters."

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