Does BLM And DHS Really Have Snipers?

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 10 months ago

It has been reported on several news outlets that the Bureau of Land Management has deployed “snipers” against Cliven Bundy over cattle.  I haven’t weighed in on whether Bundy has a case or not, and I won’t.  But I wanted to comment for a moment on this notion of government “snipers.”

They aren’t snipers in the sense of the word that I use.  When Daniel was in the Marine Corps he had a friend named [name redacted] who was a Scout Sniper.  All MOS 0311 Marines have to qualify at 500 yards with iron sights.  Daniel scored highest in his Battalion every year he was a fleet Marine.  He also went to Designated Marksman school, where he learned many of the same shooting and sighting techniques that [name redacted] did.  He was a DM in spite of the fact that he was a SAW gunner because he was such a good shot.

But as for [name redacted], he went to the entire Scout Sniper school, and one incident he shared with me involved him crawling in a ghillie suit for endless hours to target, and he inadvertently crawled on top of a red ant hill and had to endure being bitten hundreds of times by red ants in order to keep from giving away his position.

Hey, here’s a note to the idiot LEO who believes that American hunters aren’t good enough to cull deer (if the state of New York calls them in and asks them to kill all bucks less than 6 points to control herd size), and so a SWAT team needs to be called in.  And the same note applies to the supposed BLM “snipers.”

You aren’t really snipers.  Not really.  You might be wearing fancy tactical gear, and your bosses might have bought you really expensive Night Force scopes, and really nice bolt action rifles, and you might wear some fancy patches on your sleeves.  But the likelihood is that your just a middle age or old man who goes home and watches sitcoms at night.

Go qualify with a rifle using iron sights at 500 yards for starters, and then come back and tell me you’re a “sniper.”  I know how to sight a rifle in too, and what BDC means.  Perhaps you even believe that heavy objects drop faster than light ones because, you know, you work for the DHS rather than having taken college physics like you should have.  You may be a better shot than I am, but with the same gear I’ll bet not by much.

I have one final note concerning this report from The Blaze.

Claiming that all other options have been exhausted, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. National Park Service responded to Bundy’s inflexibility on the issue by calling on federal agents and contract cowboys to restrict access to the public land and to confiscate Bundy’s “trespass cattle.”

I belly laughed when I read this report.  You’re having to pay “contract cowboys” because you don’t really know anything about animals, do you?  No, really.  You seriously don’t know anything about animals?  You call yourselves Bureau of Land Management and not a single one of you knows how to ride a horse or handle cattle.  How disgusting and ridiculous.

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  1. On April 10, 2014 at 8:27 am, Paul B said:

    Scout sniper is some really cool stuff. A BLM shooter would not even make it to washout stage. While I know a few cops who take the shooting stuff seriously, most don’t.

  2. On April 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm, Pat Hines said:

    Bundy holds all the legitimate cards. I looked into how the BLM can claim to control land that does not come under the constitutional “forts, post offices, and other needful buildings”, all that the US government can control AFTER they purchase the title to them.

    The US government has no title to the land in question, they never have had such.

    Therefore, they have no jurisdiction of any kind there. When the attempt to assert such, they are acting as outlaws, and under ancient common law, we know how outlaws may be treated.

  3. On April 16, 2014 at 10:48 am, Thomas Mc Cormick said:

    They do too have a title; the title to those lands is in the Library of Congress; the land in question was bought from Mexico in 1848. Bundy actually doesn’t have a leg to stand on, especially considering that he has abused land that is BEYOND the original property in question, to include Lake Mead Recreational Area, which is a public park. Bundy is legally wrong, the BLM is constitutionally and procedurally wrong.

  4. On April 16, 2014 at 1:58 pm, Pat Hines said:

    No, there is no title to that land held by the US government. The US government obtained a treaty wherein Mexico agreed to cease claiming sovereignty over that land. The US government obtained sovereignty, that is it could lawfully defend that land from invasion from external forces. Both the Louisiana Purchase the Alaska are other examples of the same thing.

    In order to hold title to that land, the US government would have to use their constitutional authorization for obtaining title, and buying empty land isn’t authorized at all.

    Treaty is the key word here.

  5. On April 16, 2014 at 2:20 pm, Thomas Mc Cormick said:

    The sovereinty land is farther east; the US actually BOUGHT the west coast.

  6. On April 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm, Pat Hines said:

    No, the US government did NOT “buy the west coast”, that would have been unconstitutional. At the time, the US government was still, at least giving lip service, obeying the Constitution.

    While I could quote you the authorization line in the Constitution that prohibits such land purchases, I’ll let you find it on your own. It will be a good educatioin for you.

    The essence of it all is that the US government cannot buy large tracts of land because it wants it to be a part of the United States. That is not an authorized power.

    Therefore, your assertion fails.

  7. On April 16, 2014 at 4:58 pm, Thomas Mc Cormick said:

    No large purchases of land? Then please explain the Louisiana Purchase prior to the Mexican War, and the Alaskan Purchase after? The aforemention war was fought over the previously agreed to sovereignty grant, which is most of TX, AZ, OK, and stretches of CO, UT, and ID. After the war, the US was in military control of even more property, and offered to buy the remaining land out to the Pacific Ocean, to which the Mexican government agreed, as it was already too much trouble to police this expanse.

  8. On April 16, 2014 at 8:37 pm, Pat Hines said:

    Are you having difficulty reading what I wrote?

    The Louisiana Purchase, the 1848 Purchase, and Alaska were all Treaties, not land purchases.

    Perhaps you also can’t read the US Constitution, which explains in detail exactly what the US government may purchase for for what its purchases may be used.

    I’m not going to explain this again, this is the third time. We’re done here if you can’t understand plain English.

  9. On December 18, 2014 at 12:33 am, Zane Smith said:

    You’ve got to be joking me. We bought the French lands in the Louisiana Purchase Bonaparte had no interest in the Americas and wanted to focus on conquering livable land for the French and I. Order to fund a huge war you need money money the US had and was willing to spend in order to expand its territory.

  10. On December 18, 2014 at 1:00 am, Pat Hines said:

    There’s no provision in the US Constitution that grants the power to the US government to buy large tracts of land and claim ownership of it. What they did to get around that is to sign a treaty and pay the French to sign it and never attempt to claim sovereignty again.

    The US government never held title to any of the land, only sovereignty over it, the two are not the same thing.

  11. On December 18, 2014 at 2:23 am, Zane Smith said:

    There is precedent the Louisiana Purchase is a treaty which Congress has power to initiate if that means the passing of land to the federal government is a clause within that treaty then it is constitutional. In addition Article 4 section 3 clause 2 states that the federal government has the authority to manage lands and territory thus legitimizing the BLM ‘ authority and the government’s claim to the land. In addition squatters rights is not acceptable on the US which is the only claim Bundy has asserted outside of claiming the Bundy family owned all the land outright which he does not as the law at the time stated homesteads could not exceed 160 acres he has no legitimate claim to the land meanwhile the government has treaties and constitutional authority over lands that it oversees thank you come again and please use not your anti government seditious heart as an argument

  12. On December 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm, Pat Hines said:

    The Article of the US Constitution you referenced supports exactly what I stated, here it is: “all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States”

    None of the land within either the territory of Louisiana nor Alaska belonged to the United States, that is to say the US government did not own the land. Further, as soon as a state within those lands was admitted to the United States, it took full sovereignty over the lands within its borders, the US government no longer having any assertable authority over it at all.

    The lands the Bundys, and many more families in the west, have used for generations are NOT legally controlled or legitimately owned by the US government at all. Certainly the US government can’t charge rent in the form of fees for land it does not own.

    That means all of the ranchers in the west, not just Cliven Bundy and family, should cease paying anything to the US government for land use, unless title to that land is held by some party.

  13. On December 18, 2014 at 8:39 pm, Zane Smith said:

    Again you need to look at the Constitution of both federal and state in 1864 the Nevada State constitution also gave all public lands to the government with the Disclaimer clause please continue to tell me how yielding sovereign rights over land does not give authority to the federal government. You can question the constitutionality of the purchase but if that were the case Nevada would fall under Mexican jurisdiction and I’m damn sure they would consider him trespassing as well. So let’s review with fact 1. The constitution grants Congress to make treaties 2. Treaties can be used in many ways from open borders to ceasefire even to land purchases or land rights won through wars 3. The constitution allows the addition of new states into the union whether through annexation of foreign lands like in the case of Texas or within territories 4. The constitution grants the government authority on land management 5. In the Constitution of Nevada in order to become a state all public land that was not already owned was put under the steward of the government. I have stated my facts with legal binding documents you only have the anti government I don’t recognize the legality of buying lands that is your only argument and I have provided the means in which that is possible for the government don’t forget that those treaties need to be ratified by Congress who are the representatives for the people and so even in that respect purchasing land reflects the sovereign will of the people. Now I implore you do research and stop backing Bundy because he’s wrong there is no debate and if you don’t like the legality of the government either overthrow it (you are not justified in this matter) leave or vote for representatives that share your view. That’s what’s great about America you have the choice wouldn’t it be a shame if you were in North Korea unable to leave unable to dissent and most of all your house is not yours and if you argue you’re assassinated. The government owns the 160,000 acres that Bundy has been illegally using that is a fact

  14. On December 25, 2014 at 5:11 pm, Zane Smith said:


  15. On December 25, 2014 at 10:09 pm, Pat Hines said:

    A treaty must be “in pursuance thereof” to be lawful. Again, there is no authorization for the BLM to exist once a state is formed from territories over which the US government has sovereignty. Sovereignty is not ownership. For that, the US government must purchase the land from either a private owner or a state’s government.

    Almost none of the land claimed for control by the US government in Nevada or the other western states is lawfully controlled.

    It’s a fiction which the US government has maintained for well over 100 years, it’s like the fiction claimed by Abraham Lincoln that the United States government is older than the states that created it as their agent.

  16. On December 27, 2014 at 1:03 pm, Zane Smith said:

    The only thing needed for a treaty to be lawful is the ratification and funding of the treaty the state we bought it from is the Foreign country of France and Mexico. The states have no right to federal land because as I’ve said multiple times they must waive their right to any non private land this is the Disclaimer clause in the state constitution. You have no facts backing you educate yourself and try again until you break my argument of constitutionality of treaties and state constitution you will never have the upper hand

  17. On December 27, 2014 at 2:17 pm, Pat Hines said:

    You have proven nothing. I expect the western states will again exercise their ownership of all non-private lands within their borders, thus proving you wrong in public.

    That’s happening in Utah right now, I’d guess that Idaho and Nevada will do the same soon.

  18. On December 28, 2014 at 4:03 am, Zane Smith said:

    It doesn’t matter what psycho militias and anti government people think the overwhelming majority of people recognize the federal government’s authority in land disputes when concerning public land. There are laws and you must follow those laws or pay the price. I pay my fishing license every year yet you don’t see me claiming ownership of Lake Havasu or the Colorado River as my very own plot of land and any fish in there essentially mine. Were I a logger I’d pay my logging fees the timber overseen by the Forestry Service is not mine I can’t just go into the woods and chop down a forest. There are procedures and laws all supported by the court the constitution and Congress the only things that do matter. What the Oathkeepers may want is not necessarily what the People want and certainly not what the constitution states as just cause for going against the government

  19. On April 16, 2014 at 10:23 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Wow. A professional sniper and you can do all of that too! Did you tug on superman’s cape? And I was thinking other things, like do you solve differential equations by day? Now that’s something I can appreciate.

  20. On April 17, 2014 at 7:12 am, Thomas Mc Cormick said:

    Yeah. It’s called the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Some of us have done more with our lives than start a blog and pretend to be journalists.

  21. On April 17, 2014 at 8:27 am, Josh said:

    And thus your silly veneer of respectful, calm, cool, detached professionalism has been lost. Thanks for cooperating.


  22. On April 17, 2014 at 11:19 am, Josh said:

    Good luck on your history degree. It seems there’s a fair bit of study time in your future in an effort to unlearn your misconceptions.

    Also, I really hope you’re able to find some mundane job with your History education. Most History majors go on to teach, because that’s about all those degrees are good for. I sure as hell wouldn’t want you spreading your propaganda to fertile minds.

  23. On April 17, 2014 at 11:53 am, Thomas Mc Cormick said:

    You’re a very rude person. Does your brother know that you talk like this to and about his fellow Veterans? And actually, most people I know with History degrees work in a museum, or down the road at the West Point Archives. I pity you. I pray that someday you will learn to see past the end of your nose. What non-mundane six figure job do you have?

  24. On April 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm, Josh said:

    Perhaps most people you know work in museums and archives. But most people in general, with history degrees, go on to teach. There’s nothing wrong with mundane jobs, and I do hope you go that route, or any other route than academia.

    My brother shares my opinions. You seem to be taking this personally. I’m not making an attack, I’m making pragmatic, correct observations. Pull your idealogical blinders off.

    Finally, I have a mundane six-figure job as a software engineer. A job I make interesting and non-mundane through my passion for the work and the contribution to society my employer provides. Not that that’s any of your business.

    You only think I’m “rude” because you’ve chosen to get your jimmies rustled. You’ve chosen that because your opinions and positions are wrongheaded and indefensible.

  25. On April 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm, Ryan Lacheen said:

    Good thing we all still follow ancient common law and not, like, actual laws that exist right now.

  26. On April 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm, Pat Hines said:

    You really don’t understand what I wrote, do you?

    I am talking about current law, you know, the US Constitution which is law.

    Yes, really.

  27. On April 10, 2014 at 7:17 pm, Jack said:

    My first (and only, so far) carbine school, our long-distance shot was a 40lb propane tank at 230 yards. That tank is 12″ x 25″, about the same size as a man’s torso. I felt pretty damn lucky to hit it on the second shot, as I could barely see the thing (using a $25 1x red dot sight). I can’t possibly imagine seeing a target at 500 yards, let alone hitting anything, without magnified optics.

    I congratulate your son and his comrades (and thank them for their service).

    FYI, you missed the best part – the 1st amendment zones setup by the BLM.

  28. On April 10, 2014 at 8:41 pm, Steve Bragg said:

    Maybe there is some hope:

    “I don’t even want to be here. Do you think my grandfather’s proud of me? You think I like this? You think this is fun for me?”

    — unnamed BLM Ranger having to enforce this nonsense. According to the Washington Free Beacon.

  29. On April 12, 2014 at 8:47 am, chrismalllory said:

    That government employee doesn’t “have” to enforce anything. He is free to walk away and find honest labor. He is so gutless he doesn’t.

  30. On April 14, 2014 at 9:11 am, Josh said:

    Such a good point that hits home. These folks want to be toy soldiers.

  31. On April 16, 2014 at 10:45 am, Thomas Mc Cormick said:

    And there I think you’re wrong. A lot of Fed Agents join these jobs because they promise job security, a good paycheck, and service to your country. Many of these agents are, like me, prior military. We get extra points and incentive to join these agencies. A really big incentive is time already spent on certain skill sets that are, frankly, useless in the civilian sector. after spending 5, 7, 10 years in the Army as an Infantryman or Special Operations Soldier, do you really wanna work for Walmart?? I feel sorry for that agent. Betcha he’s resigning as soon as he’s able.

  32. On April 16, 2014 at 11:19 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Service to country. Good grief. And to use prior training as justification for utilizing this skill set it ludicrous beyond belief. Why don’t we find a way to utilize the still set developed by arty soldiers too?

    You can rest assured that most people don’t see such deployment of people as “service to country.” Federal agents shouldn’t be armed anyway. They weren’t prior to early to mid-twentieth century.

  33. On April 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm, Thomas Mc Cormick said:

    And here you’ve again flown your colors… I was going to post my sources here for you, but then I read this, and realized that you are willfully ignorant, and that it doesn’t matter what I say- you will find one way or another to dismiss the truth. So no, you will receive no help from me.

  34. On April 16, 2014 at 3:08 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Oh, you knew my colors before you ever began this conversation with me. It’s obvious on every page. I don’t believe you. I don’t believe that you were ever going to give me proof, because I don’t believe that you can. A shame. It would have been a good article. And you would have been a contributor.

    I enjoyed our little psychological game. Don’t be a stranger, now.

  35. On April 17, 2014 at 9:33 am, Josh said:

    And “frankly”, your skill sets should be utterly useless as a federal agent. Why in the hell would we want former soldiers flooding out civilian LEO ranks and making use of prior combat experience? We, the people, don’t. We don’t want that and we don’t want you.

    America isn’t Afghanistan and her citizens aren’t your hajjis to trample, intimidate and otherwise persecute.

    You’re part of the problem. My brother spent hard time in the sandbox and doesn’t feel the need to carry his M249 around the homeland. Go get a degree like him and contribute to society instead of abusing and scaring the shit out of it.

  36. On April 17, 2014 at 10:16 am, Thomas Mc Cormick said:

    No, my friend, people like you are the problem here. I have a degree. I am contributing to society. I don’t work for Uncle Sam anymore, though i know people who do. I can tell you honestly that where the disconnect really occurs is that civilians, like you, have this preconceived notion in your head about ‘who’ veterans are, what we are like, what we experienced during our service. And those conceptions are largely innaccurate. We aren’t loose cannons- Rambo’s First Blood was just a movie. We would never willingly trample over anyone. We have rules of engagement that vary from situation to situation and we learn to be flexible because of those disparate variations. Did you know that i had to take classes in the Army about probable cause, the Miranda rights, and proper search procedures? That our instructors for these classes were civilian LE professionals? We had to follow these rules in Iraq, we couldn’t just. Run wild and shoot everything that moved. Talk to vets, learn about us before you discriminate against us.

  37. On April 17, 2014 at 11:10 am, Josh said:

    “No, my friend, people like you are the problem here.”

    I’m not your friend, and I’m no one’s problem. I have and seek no authority over other humans. I do not wish to raid homes, steal and destroy property or violate constitutional rights or civil liberties.

    “We aren’t loose cannons- Rambo’s First Blood was just a movie.”

    I never claimed veterans are loose cannons, and I’ve never seen that movie.

    “Did you know that i had to take classes in the Army about probable cause, the Miranda rights, and proper search procedures?”

    Yes, I did know that. This is also completely irrelevant.

    “We had to follow these rules [, probable cause, the Miranda rights, and proper search procedures] in Iraq.”

    No you didn’t. That’s a lie.

    “… we couldn’t just. Run [sic] wild and shoot everything that moved.”

    No one is claiming you “ran wild” or “shot at everything that moved”. No one. You’re creating very many straw men.

    “… learn about us before you discriminate against us.”

    I’m not discriminating against veterans, and know a good many. I am claiming that combat experience is not relevant to civilian policing, and the practices and skill sets involved in armed combat have no place in civilian law enforcement.

    I’m also claiming that our civilian LEO ranks are now filled with veterans who did, in fact, trample the liberties of “civilians” in Iraq and Afghanistan (for better or worse, I make no claims as to the morality or efficacy of such practices) and have transferred this behaviour and thinking to their new jobs in America. This is inarguable fact.

    You are simply a loud mouth and ideologue., and a waste of any further time.

  38. On April 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm, Thomas Mc Cormick said:

    Says the loud mouthed ideologue who basically just inferred that I am a war criminal. Your inferences, which is where I extrapolated my assertions that you, and many Americans like you, view veterans as loose cannons who enjoy trampling on peoples’ civil liberties, are not at all “straw men”. You contradict yourself. On the one hand, you say that you don’t think of us as loose cannons who do those things and then two sentences later: “I’m also claiming that our civilian LEO ranks are now filled with veterans who did, in fact, trample the liberties of “civilians” in Iraq and Afghanistan… and have transferred this behaviour and thinking to their new jobs in America.” That’s just asinine. You display quite a bit of prejudice- in fact, you have talked (written) down to me throughout this entire conversation, based on nothing more than the fact that I am a Veteran who has a dissenting opinion. How much do you really think you know about the war in Iraq? I spent three years there. I helped train their police; so YES, Miranda rights, probable cause, and forensics were the order of the day. If you don’t think that those skills translate well to Law Enforcement work, I must ask you What does? Americans find it so convenient to verbally dehumanize veterans, tell us that we aren’t relevant, that we are stupid, that we are only capable of “mundane jobs”, and then wonder why we don’t like them. Does your brother know that you talk to and about his fellow veterans this way?

    I called you “friend” because I was simply trying to be civil. I see now that this concept is beyond you.

  39. On April 11, 2014 at 3:32 am, StukaPilot said:

    I’m sure the DHS has plenty of thugs who can stand on a roof and shoot into a crowd of people.

  40. On April 11, 2014 at 6:49 am, Grave Digger said:

    A sniper is simply someone firing from a clandestine position (i.e. DC sniper, VC in a spider hole). It doesn’t have to be from a long distance and no sophisticated training is required.

  41. On April 11, 2014 at 1:23 pm, myemail said:

    No real American cowboy would participate in this “roundup”. Probably a bunch of drugstore cowboys…

  42. On April 14, 2014 at 8:55 am, robertsgunshop said:

    The last time I qual’ed in the Marines, at 500 yards I shot 9 5’s and a close 4. After the dust settled I was transferred and got to teach other Marines how to shoot. Skills that I have kept honed for over 40 years.

  43. On April 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm, Thomas Mc Cormick said:

    You don’t know, do you? 75-85% of government agents with firearms are ex-military, many of them Marines who have qualified, as noted here, with iron sights at medium range. EVERY sniper employed by the FBI, DHS, DEA, ATF, Marshals, etc attends either the US Army or USMC sniper school. Many even attend higher ‘Tier 1’ sniper schools with SEALS or CAG.

  44. On April 15, 2014 at 1:31 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Prove it.

  45. On April 16, 2014 at 10:41 am, Thomas Mc Cormick said:

    I was assigned to JFKSWCS in 2005-2006, and worked at SOTIC; several of the sniper teams in training came from “civilian” Federal agencies. My word not good enough? Go find a copy of American Sniper, by Chris Kyle- he talks about it. You could even use Netflix- search Discovery, History Channel, A&E. All of them have myriad military and sniper- related documentaries, and there has to be at least ONE that mentions Fed Agents training. In fact, I recall seeing part of one that a buddy was watching that was about an international sniping contest, and there were DHS, FBI, and DEA teams- one of the teams they were interviewing was a SWAT team from Pittsburgh. In order to qualify for these competitions, you need to have graduated an accredited military sniper course. Do some real research, not just COD memes next time.

  46. On April 16, 2014 at 11:16 am, Herschel Smith said:

    I should point out that it isn’t that I don’t like what you’re saying. In fact, I have a new featured article coming out soon, and this issue dovetails with the subject in such a way that it might be mentioned in that article. But you cited numbers, hard numbers for which I wanted proof, proof that you didn’t provide.

    I couldn’t care less what Chris Kyle wrote in his book. Anecdotal.

    And no, your word isn’t good enough. Sources for numbers. Sources. Then I can use the information like I want.

  47. On May 5, 2014 at 9:37 pm, Dick Dagger said:

    You people are retards BLM has no snipers. Since when is a semi auto AR with an ACOG a sniper rifle? Show me ONE photo of a BLM sniper!

    As for BLM administering grazing,Try reading something called the Taylor Grazing Act. You know it’s just a law passed by congress.

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