The White House Response To The Oregon Wildlife Refuge Occupation Is Rather Hands Off
For the last couple of days, social media sources have had much to say regarding the group of armed men who took over an Oregon wildlife refuge facility on Saturday. The FBI is seeking a peaceful resolution to this occupation of federal property, but the group of armed men has not specified exactly what it'd take for them to leave. Considering the newly-titled "Citizens for Constitutional Freedom" have announced their plans to remain indefinitely, the White House must have more than a few statements on the matter.
Surprisingly, however, this is not the case. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest remarked on Monday that "it is a local enforcement matter," and that they "are hopeful that that situation can be resolved peacefully and without any violence." He added:
The FBI is monitoring the situation and offering support to local law enforcement officials.
It appears that the White House is choosing to avoid major discussion on the issue, especially with President Obama's talk of executive action on gun control in the works. Earnest did explain that the president is well aware of the situation, and that there are no federal employees at risk.
Meanwhile, in southeastern Oregon, local schools have closed for the week, with plans to reopen on Jan. 11. The Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, on the other hand, have no intentions of removing themselves until, as Ammon Bundy explained, the government "restore[s] the land and resources to the people." According to the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal, Bundy reveals the armed group is "gaining a lot of numbers," though he has kept the particulars undisclosed "for security reasons." He also noted:
Our goal is to work with the local people that are the land users, the loggers and the ranchers, the hunters and the hikers and the recreationists in opening up these lands so they can use them. We fully expect to be here for months, absolutely.
Although the president is remaining curiously quiet on the issue, social media continues to erupt in parodies. Voices all over Twitter are calling the occupiers names like, "YallQaeda," "Vanilla ISIS," and "Yeehawdists," referencing the belief some people have that these men are not protesters, but in fact, domestic terrorists. In spite of the jokes, if these men are still on federal property after the president's State of the Union on Jan. 12, America might hear a thing or two about Constitutional rights.