The Gathering of the American Patriot open carry rally was held in Burkburnett, Texas to draw attention to the BLM land fight going on in the Lone Star State. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Bureau of Land Management boundary dispute may cause approximately 90,000 acres of privately held land to fall into the hands of the federal government. The BLM oversees 460 million acres of federally owned land in the United States. Supporters from around the country are rallying around cattleman Tommy Henderson, much in the same manner as protesters did for Cliven Bundy and the Bundy ranch standoff in Nevada. The Come and Take it Texas group was part of the organizing team for the event.
Texas rancher Tommy Henderson, the land owner at the heart of the BLM land grab debate had this to say about the ongoing actions of the federal agency:
"How can BLM come in and say, 'Hey, this isn't yours.' Even though its patented from the state, you've always paid taxes on it. Our family paid taxes for over 100 years on this place. We've got a deed to it. But yet they walked in and said it wasn't ours. Originally, here the river was out there where it is now and it eroded and accreted up to here, and then it eroded and accreted back. Well, their interpretation is that it eroded up to here but avulsed back. So when you listen to them it is always erosion to the south because the property line follows it then, but it's always avulsion when it goes north. So the boundary can move south but it can never move back north."Armed BLM agents have not arrived in Texas as they did in Bunkerville, but the issue many are calling yet another land grab by the BLM could ultimately evolve into a similar standoff. Property rights advocates from both the southern region of the state and Arizona ushered support for the Red River area ranchers during the open carry rally.
Texas Republican Representative Mac Thornberry had this to say about the BLM land dispute along the Red River Oklahoma border:
"Most, if not all, of the current landowners, the county governments, and I are opposed to the expansion of control or management from BLM over lands on the Texas side of the border. Although BLM currently manages public and tribal lands in Oklahoma, we believe that BLM has no federal claim to land on the Texas side of the border along the 116 mile stretch of the Red River, especially any that are further south of the river."KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX
Local county commissioner candidate Lee Harvey said the the open carry rally "put Washington DC on notice" regarding the heated debated over BLM management of federally owned land. According to Harvey, BLM officials told him that the taking of the Red River property is based upon precedent.
Harvey also had this to say about the Texas rally:
"This group of individuals is sending a message to Washington that says, 'hey we're still out here and we still have our Constitution, and we're going to stand by it."Fellow county office hopeful Bill Lockwood feels that the very idea of liberty has been lost in America. The county commissioner candidate also maintains that our Founding Fathers looked at life, liberty, and property as a package deal. Lockwood added this during the Texas open carry rally:
"We paid taxes on that land. Now they tell us it's not ours. Well we ay we have a deed and we pay taxes. The man told me himself that a Texas deed does not trump the federal government. Because really we're living in a time in which people have the concept that freedom from the government or that liberty is a grant of the government. But that's not the case at all. Liberty is a grant of God and government is only there as a protection so that you might enjoy what God has already given you."
If details about negotiates between Texas officials and BLM administrators are accurate, the land owners will not be paid a single dime for the federal seizure of 30,000 acres of land now being discussed as a compromise and an attempt to "resolve the issue."
What do you think about the amount of land owned by the federal government in the United States and the Texas BLM land dispute?
[Featured Image Via: Shutterstock.com]
[Secondary Image Via: Uncle Sam's Misguided Children]