QUESTION: Is LaVoy Finicum a Patriot or Terrorist?

Written by Allan Erickson on February 1, 2016

When you look at the enhanced video of the killing of LaVoy Finicum, it is still difficult to tell exactly what happened.  Some say he was trying to draw a pistol.  The FBI reports they found a 9 mm on him.  If that is true, the FBI should prove it right away.  Others say they see an older man with his hands up, stumbling in the snow, trying to keep his balance, his hand dropping to cover a wound. It may not have been wise of LaVoy to run from the FBI and Oregon State Police.  It may not have been wise to try and run the roadblock, almost hitting an officer.  But it was certainly unwise of officers to gun him down.   
From what I’ve seen and heard so far, it looks more like an execution than a legitimate use of lethal force. Shooting a man in the face is a statement, not law enforcement. 

As you watch the videos made by LaVoy (linked below), ask yourself: is this the kind of man who would try to draw on multiple officers with rifles trained?

The killing of LaVoy Finicum is sparking a growing rage across the country, breaking out in various directions, and not a mention made at the Republican debate last night, a reality that adds to the rage.

I stand with the ranchers, the Tea Party, the red-neck, blue-collar, hard-working people from the rural areas of our country.  That’s the culture I grew up with, and it’s the culture I choose to embrace.  It may be a little too Norman Rockwell for some of you slick city folk, but for my money, you can’t beat God-fearin’ people with dirt under their fingernails.

In the last few days I’ve watched several of LaVoy’s videos on YouTube.  I recommend it.  Here is his last interview, one day before he was killed.  Here is his commentary on the government’s activity designating citizens “terrorists,” insisting on indefinite detention without  charges or trial.   Here he comments on the Hammonds being sent to prison.   Here is an extensive presentation describing the reasons these ranchers are so outraged. 
They say he had 11 kids.  It was reported he and his wife made room in their home for a bunch of foster kids, too.  Looks to me like the Finicum’s are salt of the earth people, the kind who make this country great.  They asked for nothing but to be left alone.  They worked hard and provide for their own, working hard enough to have extra to help others.

People should ask serious questions as we consider the future.  One good question to consider: what would drive a man like LaVoy to put his life on the line, and even be willing to sacrifice his life for his beliefs?  How many of us have such courage?  In one sense, it doesn’t matter one wit if you agree or disagree with his beliefs.  His devotion to those beliefs played out this week, and no one can deny his commitment. 

Another good question:  why is it ok for Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street and Black Panthers and La Raza and Code Pink and Gay Pride and Jihadist groups to march, occupy public places, burn private property and assault or kill people including police, but somehow an outrage for a handful of ranchers to protest tyranny and lawlessness by demonstrating peacefully, posing no threat to anyone in a remote area?  Isn’t it curious the people who celebrate John Brown’s armed insurrection at Harper’s Ferry now condemn a man like Finicum?
LaVoy Finicum stood for Americanism, the belief that government should be limited, that people should be free, and when government becomes oppressive and intrusive to the point of infringing upon God-given rights, citizens have a sacred duty to stand up against such government.  This is precisely what the Founders believed, leading to the Revolution, and the establishment of this Republic.  According to Barack Obama and Harry Reid, LaVoy and all like him are domestic terrorists. The tragedy is so many people in this country agree with the likes of Obama and Reid.  Logically, you have to conclude Obama and Reid consider Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Madison domestic terrorists.

How sad to see so-called Americans ridicule LaVoy and other patriots.  In so doing, they reveal a truth that is terrible to consider: they show they have no idea what this country is really all about, and in their ignorance, they unwittingly join the forces that work 24/7 to destroy our country. 

When LaVoy Finicum was shot down, he and the other members of Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, including the Bundy brothers, were on their way to a community meeting to peacefully state their case and work for a peaceful resolution.  So when I hear state, federal and local officials say they only wanted a peaceful settlement, it is virtually impossible to believe they were acting in good faith. 
“The tyrant grinds down his slaves and they don’t turn against him, they crush those beneath them.”
Emily Bronte (1818-1848) British novelist
“The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.”
Frederick Douglass

Image: Screen Shot from The Oregonian/OregonLive @

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Allan Erickson
Allan Erickson---Christian, husband, father, journalist, businessman, screenwriter, and author of The Cross & the Constitution in the Age of Incoherence, Tate Publishing, 2012.