From near and wide, armed men are trickling toward Cliven Bundy’s ranch, where the rancher’s fight with the federal government has become a rallying cry for militia groups across the United States.
By late Wednesday, three militia members — two from Montana and one from Utah — had arrived at the ranch 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Other militia groups have inundated the Bundy household with calls and pledges to muster at the site. Their stated goal: to protect the Bundys from tyranny.They say they are prepared for armed confrontation, but they insist they will not be the instigators if bloodshed happens.Ryan Payne and Jim Lardy, members of the West Mountain Rangers, made the 12-hour drive from western Montana on Tuesday night. Payne is also a coordinator with Operation Mutual Aid, a national association that describes itself as a coalition of state militias.“They all tell me they are in the process of mobilizing as we speak,” Payne said.He didn’t put a specific estimate on how many militia members may come, but he said the groups expected are from places like New Hampshire, Texas and Florida and could number in the hundreds.