f’rom Ron Ewart, President of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RURAL LANDOWNERS:
I keep running, but the dogs are gaining. I’ve been running for three days now and I’m exhausted. I hear the hounds behind me but I must find the strength to stay ahead, always ahead. If they catch me, I might as well be dead.
It all started one Sunday when I was working one of my fields with a tractor, preparing the field for the next round of hay for the season. The exhaust pipe of the tractor was belching black smoke, as it usually did. The old diesel engine kept on chugging in a low staccato, as it always did, old reliable as it was.
I looked up and saw about three official-looking trucks in the distance down in the draw, coming up the gravel road that led into my isolated ranch. I knew by their speed and the dust streaming behind the trucks, that something urgent was a foot. What I didn’t know at the time, was that I, working my land with my tractor, was that “something”.
For you see the county council got together in one of its weekly meetings and decided that in order to curb CO2 emissions from all vehicles, due to the threat of global warming, they passed an ordinance declaring that Sunday was to be a day in which all citizens of the county were prohibited from running their trucks and their tractors and that only cars could be used for the sole purpose of going to and from church. No other form of vehicle transportation was allowed on that day. To violate this new law was a criminal act. If you were caught you were guilty. No due process or face your accusers, you were just guilty.
The county council had directed that the new ordinance be posted on their website and that a small public notice be published in the local newspaper. I don’t own a computer, I don’t read the local newspaper and I had no idea that the new law even existed and I doubt that many others in the county knew as well. Nor did I know that the penalty for violating the law was criminal and included a huge fine and six months in jail. But my neighbor did, as you shall soon see.
Down by my ranch house the trucks roared in and screeched to a stop in a cloud of dust. I could see from my tractor that four hound dogs on leashes were being let out of one of the trucks. The handler looked up in my direction. Five sheriffs in uniform, the dog handler and the four dogs opened the gate and started walking across the field towards me. I had no idea what they were doing here, but I thought I would stay on my tractor, still running and wait for them to tell me.
When they finally reached where I had stopped, one of the sheriffs that was out in front, with his hand waving circles in the air, motioned for me to shut down the tractor. I ignored his signal. He then handed me a piece of paper. I opened it up and on the paper was a description of my violation and the penalties for it. It seems one of my neighbors had seen the smoke from my tractor and called the sheriff. The call was anonymous of course. I looked at the sheriff, who had his hand on his gun, and said, “I was not aware of any such law“. The sheriff said that ignorance of the law was no excuse and that I should get down off the tractor and accompany him to the sheriff’s office. I had but a spilt second to make a decision, go with them, or run. In an instant, I chose to run.
I slammed the tractor into high gear, the front wheels jerked off the ground and I took off towards the far fence. On the other side of the fence was deep woods that wound into the mountains behind my ranch. I heard the multiple “cracks” of a pistol and a few bullets ricocheted off the cab of the tractor. The dogs started barking furiously. But since the officers were on foot, I knew that if I could beat them to the fence and I would have time to disappear into the woods. I knew every inch of that forest and that would give me an edge, an edge I needed badly. I didn’t even stop the tractor as it neared the fence. I jumped off after it had broken through one of the sections and ran in the direction of the mountain pass. I was sure I could lose them there. I heard the tractor crash into a tree and go silent.
I’ve been running for three days now and I’m cold, hungry, tired, scratched and bleeding. I can always hear the dogs in the distance, but so far I have stayed ahead of them. I know that if I don’t make it to the pass, they will have me. On the other side of the pass was a mine entrance and I knew that if I could reach the mine, one of the shafts would lead me to a place way down the other side of the mountain from which they could never find me. I breathed a sigh of relief as I crossed over the pass and saw the mine entrance up ahead. Finally, I would be free of the dogs. I entered the mine, hurried towards the shaft in the darkness, feeling my way and stumbled down its full length until I reached the lower entrance. I walked out into the sun, a free man, at least for now.
I wondered how it is that a peace-loving, law-abiding rancher like myself could be in this situation, running from the law? How had our government become so out of control that they would pass laws that made no sense? What was it that we did or didn’t do that made government think that they could treat Americans in this manner? Did we not have a constitution that granted us inalienable rights from our creator? Did not those rights shield us from government abuse and tyranny? How could government ignore the supreme law of the land with such reckless abandon? How is it that we have reached the point where neighbor would rat on neighbor. I thought of Nazi Germany. As I pondered these thoughts, I ran down the path to the river that would lead me out of the county. I vowed to find out what happened to our government and get others to help me right a situation that had gone terribly wrong. I vowed to regain my freedom and the freedom of all Americans, no matter what it took or where the path would lead.
NOTE: You don’t think that this kind of thing can happen? Think again, it already is. Every day lawmakers, at every level of government, are making laws just as insane as the one in this story. Every day, most people just ignore what goes on in the halls of local, state and federal governments. Every day that is, until one of these insane laws catches up with you and you have to choose between being caught in the enforcement of the insane law, or to run. Many stay and fight the injustice because by God they are Americans and they have the righteous right to defend themselves under our constitution. But in the end they get run over by the legal system, because government supports and defends government, instead of government supporting and defending the people, as it should be.
As has the rancher in our imaginary story above, NARLO has vowed to fight to regain our freedom and property rights. But the simple fact is, we can’t do it unless you help us.