THE BALLOTS NOT BULLETS COALITION is a group of organizations that are concerned by the increasing use of violence—and threats of violence—to affect public policy in the United States. The danger posed by this type of behavior was perhaps most dramatically highlighted by the armed standoff that took place in Bunkerville, Nevada in April 2014 between law enforcement agents and armed followers of rancher Cliven Bundy. By pointing loaded guns at law enforcement, Bundy and his so-called “militia” were able to flout the law and remove the rancher from his legal duty to pay fees owed to the federal government (for the use of public lands owned by the American people). This set a dangerous precedent; one that has yet to be rectified by appropriate government action.
THE RULE OF LAW IS ENSHRINED IN OUR U.S. CONSTITUTION, which provides numerous, peaceful methods for citizens to redress grievances they have with our government. This democratic system of government helps to secure the individual rights of all citizens. The use of political violence degrades political equality under the Constitution by taking decision-making out of the hands of the people and putting it in those of mobs, or individual vigilantes. This type of armed anarchy, which our Founders openly decried, is one of the greatest threats to individual liberty.