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Cliven Bundy, American patriot and freeloader

To the editor: Cliven Bundy and his supporters are examples of the "wide-open spaces" mentality, which holds that if there's nothing to see for miles on end, it's nobody's business what a person does out there and there's no need for government regulation. ("Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy takes on the U.S. government again," March 31)

With our frontier history, the mentality has always been prevalent. Even though a lot of those spaces have had cities and suburbs built on them, the thinking has remained, showing up in political battles that occur today.

Perhaps someone will be able to get through to Bundy that some of "we the people" who share ownership of the land on which he has grazed his cattle for free expect to be compensated.

Linda Kranen, Carlsbad, Calif.

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To the editor: Bundy is no crusader. He has latched onto an issue, grandstanding for personal gain, to obtain free and illegal use of public land resources. His standoff with federal agents last year almost caused a bloodbath.

Bundy owes more in U.S. Bureau of Land Management grazing fees and penalties than the other 15,000-plus BLM grazing permitees combined. These fees are set by Congress at below-market rates, and the vast majority of the other BLM ranchers know they are getting a good deal and don't support Bundy's land grab.

Like many others, I would like to know why the federal government has not prosecuted Bundy for openly violating a court order not to interfere with the impoundment of his livestock. I would also like to know why his supporters, who were photographed with rifles aimed at federal officers — which is a felony — have not faced consequences.

Edward B. Patrovsky, Apple Valley, Calif.

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