A Message of Peace to Oregon

I feel compelled to share these words in hopes that they will reach who they need to. I believe we all have the tendency to constantly underestimate our own potential to influence change. With the armed group raising controversy in Oregon right now, I realized how much power a seemingly small group of people can have on the nation. Please read this message I wrote and know that by sharing it you can share support of peace in our nation. You can make and impact, and if enough people hear this message I truly believe we can change the course of events. Instead of bloodshed, we can inspire peace.

A Message To The Armed People in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge,

I am a 20-year-old girl and live in Michigan. I heard about your protest in Oregon and felt impelled to write to you.

I have researched across the Internet on how your group is being portrayed to the public, not by the government but by the people, on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. When I first read about how the Bundy’s are facing prison for allegedly burning government property, I was upset. How could our government be so harsh towards two men who allegedly were setting a counter fire to protect their lands? When a family member told me that farmers were starting a revolution and occupying a federal building, at first, I was inspired by this act of American’s expressing their right to the first amendment. However, when I found out you had guns, I completely switched my stance. As did so very many of the people I have spoken to. Please hear me out; I completely understand your anger of the federal government having wronged your people. My cousin stopped being a cop because she felt the job was no longer doing what it should, and my own parents are forced to pay thousands of dollars for not having health insurance they cannot afford. I know something isn’t right here, and I believe you have the momentum behind you (and the upcoming national media attention) to make a statement. A very powerful statement that will reach millions of people. These very people are also frustrated by the federal government, for many different reasons. Unfortunately, the statement that is being perceived by the American people right now is that an armed group of right-winged extremists are provoking a standoff for the sake of provoking a standoff, and they are relating you to “jihadis flocking to Syria”.

I know that is not your goal, you want to be seen as brave men defending your land that was unjustly taken from you, and defending America against what you see as oppression. But people will not see it as that when you have weapons. Despite the similarities you hold with millions of Americans in being against a controlling government, you must realize that the second you take up arms on American soil and send goodbye videos to your families, you will not be viewed as martyrs, but as terrorists.

If you put down your weapons, all of them, you would send out a message of peace. You would no longer be intimidating the locals that are closing their schools, or having the Bundy’s disassociate from you. You would rally incredible support from the American people if you took the position of peace. All throughout history, the people that have truly made the most positive impact have done so through nonviolent ways. Jesus Christ, Gandhi, Martin Luther King; their messages would never have been received and cherished so greatly for centuries to come if they used weapons. The power they harnessed is not one that any weapon can give to its user; it is the power that comes when a single person has the audacity to stand for a cause with their life in pursuit of a better world, peacefully.

Put your weapons down for your own chance at making a positive impact in history. Start the biggest non-violent protest against government oppression that you can. I write to you not to discourage your efforts, but to encourage them in another direction. People will not see your cause as noble so long as you use weapons to leverage your message. That mentality has created wars from religion and acts of terrorism. Be the change you want to see in your country. If you want less intimidation and hate, please don’t create more than we already have. If there is one thing I believe in strongly it is that no matter what a person’s faith, nationality, or political views, they will be moved by love far more than anything else on this earth. You are Christians, think of Jesus Christ; he did not take up arms against the Romains to defend his cause, and if he had his name would probably not be spoken today. You will unite the people and support for the people if you create an environment that they want to be apart of.

A peaceful protest is much more accessible than a rebellion. I think the government would have a much greater issue if you dropped your weapons and became a peaceful group of protestors because there is no way they could remove you without incredible backlash from the country. You become more powerful than you could have ever been with weapons. You are so much more valuable to your cause if you put down your weapons. Invite the government in to check for them, have your own people live filming the whole thing so the real story is told. Make sure everyone knows there are no weapons on site. Then they will be able to broadcast that “farmers are peacefully defending their lands” instead of the harsh headlines I have read.

Always remember that your life is worth something great, and your wife and kids love you dearly, and they want the same peace in our country that you do. The same peace that will be inspired by your peaceful protest. God Bless you and keep you safe.

#PeaceforOregon