The Bundy brothers left as quietly as they had entered

There was a community meeting in the Burns High School gym on Tuesday.

In sometimes highly personal remarks, speaker after speaker vented anger – at public officials, at the federal government and at the man in the brown cowboy hat sitting high in the bleachers to take it all in – Ammon Bundy.

So Ammon Bundy left Malheur and went to Bundy and sat in on a meeting, and wasn’t arrested. Why is that exactly? He’s committed multiple crimes and is continuing to commit them on an ongoing basis – why is he allowed to keep doing that, using guns, with impunity?

He sat on the second row from the top as County Judge Steve Grasty, microphone in hand, strode to the foot of that bleacher section.

“It is time for you to go home,” Grasty said to Bundy, vowing to meet with Bundy anytime,  anyplace – outside of Harney County.

A chant then grew in the gymnasium: “Go, go, go, go, go.”

That was a message Bundy heard repeatedly through the evening, one he once vowed to heed. He sat expressionless, making no move to respond or to comment.

But no one arrests him. He should be going to jail, not home.

Another woman, shaking in anger, called out Bundy for the fear he’s caused in local schools, which closed for a week after the occupation began. She yelled across the gym at him, telling him to leave and “go to jail where you deserve to be!”

Apparently fear in the local schools just doesn’t count.

Police presence was heavy, with uniformed officers inside the gymnasium, lining the entry hall, and posted outside.

Ammon Bundy wasn’t the only one catching brickbats. Public officials, particularly Grasty and Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, took a verbal pummeling.

One man, who said he was from Eugene, pressed Ward about what he was doing to end the occupation and what was the role of the FBI.

“Just tell the truth,” he barked.

One speaker pressed Grasty and others to not ignore questions posed by the audience.

“We deserve a response when we ask a question of our local officials,” said the woman, shaking and in tears as she spoke.

But apparently they didn’t get any.

This story just gets weirder and weirder. The place was full of cops, the sheriff and a judge were there, yet Bundy and his pals weren’t arrested. Why not?

Rancher Tom Sharp noted that Bundy and others had “lectured” local ranchers the night before on the need for them to repudiate their federal grazing permits.

Such a move would be “terribly destructive,” Sharp said.

He noted that Bundy’s impact on the community hasn’t been good.

“Our personal relationships have been damaged,” Sharp said.

He said it was time for patient law enforcement agents to act against “an active crime scene” at the refuge. He urged the refuge be isolated, services be cut off, and supplies no longer allowed in. His proposal drew applause and cheers from some in the crowd.

The community meeting was the second in a row sponsored by county officials, who vow to keep them up weekly as long as residents attend.

Well that’s kind of them, but what about arresting the perps?

When it ended, the Bundy brothers left as quietly as they had entered, striding silently to an SUV with Nevada plates, and driving off without a word to the throngs of reporters and onlookers who trailed behind.

Driving off to return to the national wildlife refuge they have stolen. Driving off without interference from the many police officers present.

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