Armed and Ready: New Mexico Residents Defy Government
By Larry Pratt
GOA member Dr. Ray Seidel alerted me to the stirring of freedom that is taking place in his village of Ruidoso, New Mexico. I have already reported on the first battle with Mayor Ray Alborn and how he tried to impose an unconstitutional gun ban in the village. To get the full story of what happened in Ruidoso, you can go here and listen to my first debriefing session with Seidel.
I recently interviewed Dr. Seidel a second time on my Gun Owners News Hour weekly radio program and asked him about several acts of local interposition in the surrounding counties — all of which underscores the importance of the office of the sheriff and the militia.
For example, over near Deming, New Mexico is the Gila National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service wanted to make almost all of it off limits for people — until the militia of Luna County intervened. They told the feds that they would resist any effort by the Forest Service to restrict access to visitors. The result? Visitors have continued to access all of the Gila National Forest!
In the Southeast corner of the state, many landowners have working oil wells on their property. The EPA told the oil operators they would have to stop operating their wells because there was too much risk of harming the environment. At a town hall meeting convened by the EPA, a woman in her 60s rose to address the feds. She pointed out that her land had been in her family for over 200 years, and she was not about to let some official from an unconstitutional bureaucracy tell her what she could or could not do with her land.
The woman ended by warning the feds that her family has many guns and a huge supply of ammunition, and they would use all of it if needed to keep the EPA off of their land. The locals who had packed out the hearing room jumped to their feet with a shout and prolonged applause. That was in August of this year. As of November, oil is still being pumped at full tilt.
In Otero County, villages in the mountains are surrounded by forests. The county commission voted to establish an 80,000 acre plan to manage forest overgrowth. Residents wanted to cut fire breaks to protect their homes in Cloudcroft, but the Forest Service said, “No.” The residents responded that they had to for safety’s sake and were going to construct the fire break in spite of the Forest Service. Residents were told that if they cut down any trees, they would be arrested. But Sheriff Raymond Cobos told the Forest Service that if they made any arrests, they would be arrested for false arrest.
Not only were the trees cut down with no opposition from the feds, the first tree was cut down by Congressman Steve Pearce (R-2ndDistrict). Would that there were many more like Rep. Pearce. The folks in the Second District are blessed with a constitution-supporting congressman and a number of constitutional sheriffs backed by the militias of their counties. This is the way that local governments can push back and help the feds to live within the limitations that have been placed upon them in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.