Matt Shea, a Republican state representative from Washington who thinks the government is moving to establish concentration camps after forcibly disarming citizens and wants Tea Party members to stockpile ammo for the country’s “inevitable collapse,” led a delegation of state lawmakers to Nevada last month to support anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy.
In an April 26 interview with Gun Owners for America director Larry Pratt, Shea compared the fringe element supporting Bundy to the American colonists who revolted against Britain. He added that when it comes to the Bundy situation, Americans are divided between “patriots and loyalists”: “Are you a loyalist or are you a patriot? Are you a god-fearing, self-reliant, freedom-loving American, or are you a government-dependent, Constitution-ignoring socialist?”
“I don’t think it’s hyperbole or exaggeration to compare this to colonial America,” he said.
Pratt: I’m not sure it’s all that much different from what it was in colonial America, when our forefathers drew their line in the sand and fought off the world’s most powerful empire. The estimates that I’ve read of historians that have really done some digging is that maybe three percent were actively involved in the war for independence. Maybe another 10 percent, if I remember their guesstimates correctly, at least supported materially in some way –‘Use my pasture over there, you can take those crops over there,’ whatever they might have done to help. Then there was a body of opinion that was kind of undecided and there was another body, a small body probably, that was pro-Tory, pro-king. Maybe we’re not that much different than that estimated line of public opinion in colonial America.
Shea: I really don’t think we are. And I agree with the statement, you know, between three to five percent of the population is what gets actively involved to stand on that line, and then there’s just another huge swath of the population that will, you know, offer material support.
And I’ve been talking to folks recently about what really happened in Nevada, and I’ve really framed the question this way, which I think is the second thing that really relates to colonial America, and that is very simply: Are you a loyalist or are you a patriot? Are you a god-fearing, self-reliant, freedom-loving American, or are you a government-dependent, Constitution-ignoring socialist? And we really have to make that decision as individuals throughout the country.
And that’s really, I think, where we’re at and why I don’t think it’s hyperbole or exaggeration to compare this to colonial America.