The Video of Lavoy Finicum’s Death
I think I should begin with this: If your reason for watching the video of Lavoy Finicum’s death is to prove what you already think, pro or con, about the folks who occupied the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, the patriot movement as a whole or the federal government, nothing I say here is likely to make the faintest difference to you. You’ve already drawn your conclusions and now you actively seek to reinforce what you believe is true. You’re not seeking knowledge (of which I have precious little, anyway) or other points of view, you’re seeking affirmation. So, feel free to go get your affirmation elsewhere. If you’re watching the video because you simply enjoy watching another human die, you have issues for which you need serious help. Please get it. For the rest of us, I offer a few minor thoughts.
First, as some of my earlier writings hopefully make clear, I do believe we Americans are, slowly but surely, finding our rights slowly eroded and our government slowly increasing its control over us, the citizens. In conversations with other people about government, I try to establish that as a given. It’s simply the nature of the beast.
Second, I have previously expressed my disagreement with the actions of Ammon Bundy and others regarding the situation in Burns, Oregon. Their actions were, to me, in no way consistent with those of the Founding Fathers.
I make those points as a way of introducing this point: I have no desire to draw unwarranted conclusions from the video released by the FBI. Do I have some questions about what I see in the video? Absolutely. Chief among those is this: Why, if you wish to help avoid wild conjecture, would you release a video that doesn’t tell us much of anything? Here’s what I mean. I cannot, from the video, tell if Mr. Finicum was reaching for a gun, “grabbing” at a just inflicted gun wound or if he was struggling to catch his balance as he waded through the snow. I can’t even tell when he was shot. This video will do precious little to put questions about such things to rest. Hopefully, the Oregon State Police have and will soon release both dash and vest cam footage that allows us to answer such questions in a definitive way.
A man has died. Now is not the time to rush into a “call to action,” (much less a call to arms) as if we have conclusive proof of not just governmental overreach but sanctioned murder. Now, is the time for calm. Now is the time for reason. Now is the time for cooler heads to prevail.