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Cliven Bundy – Victim Rights Bill

Cliven Bundy – Victim Rights Bill

Those tempted to write off the standoff at the Bundy Ranch as little more than a show of force by militia-minded citizens would do well to reconsider their easy dismissal of this brewing rebellion. This goes far beyond concerns about grazing rights or the tension between the state and the federal government.

Few conflicts are ever black and white, and the Bundy situation, with its abundance of gray areas, is no exception. Yet the question is not whether Cliven Bundy and his supporters are domestic terrorists, as Harry Reid claims, or patriots, or something in between. Nor is it a question of whether the Nevada rancher is illegally grazing his cattle on federal land or whether that land should rightfully belong to the government. Nor is it even a question of who’s winning the showdown– the government with its arsenal of SWAT teams, firepower and assault vehicles, or Bundy’s militia supporters with their assortment of weapons–because if such altercations end in bloodshed, everyone loses.

What we’re really faced with, and what we’ll see more of before long, is a growing dissatisfaction with the government and its heavy-handed tactics by people who are tired of being used and abused and are ready to say “enough is enough.” As I show in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, there’s a subtext to this incident that must not be ignored, and it is simply this: America is a pressure cooker with no steam valve, and things are about to blow.

Victims Rights Bill

Crime victims would have more say as their cases wind their way through the justice system under a new Conservative government bill that veteran lawyers immediately denounced as crass politics.
The long-awaited legislation, part of the government’s ongoing law-and-order theme, aims to fix what Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday was a broken part of the system.
“The rights of criminals have received far more attention than the rights of their victims,” Harper said at a seniors’ centre.
“Justice is not only for the accused. It is also for the victims.”
The proposed law — similar to one passed in Ontario almost 20 years ago — would ensure that victims are given information about cases in which they are involved, such as a copy of a bail or probation order, or details of a criminal’s parole.
Other measures would mandate judges to take into account the safety of victims during bail proceedings, and the harm an accused has caused during sentencing.
Several defence lawyers branded the legislation as a calculated political ploy that victims of crime had fallen for.
“The (bill) is an example of a community that has sold itself to the Conservatives for a mess of porridge,” said Clayton Ruby.

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