Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

When I was a kid – when things got testy as to what was allowed or not – the immediate response, shouted with the arrogance that only a 10 year old could summon, was, “It’s a free country, ain’t it?!”

It was the perfect response and at that time, it was true. It was a free country. We had the right to speak our mind without worrying about what we know now as the “PC police.”

Yeah, it was a free country. Today, not so.

Today, we live in a world when a 5-year-old who uses his hand to simulate a gun faces expulsion.

Today, a 10-year-old who fights back against a bully faces expulsion.

What ever happened to self-defense?

What ever happened to teaching the bully a lesson rather than him becoming a hero of sorts and the victim is the bad guy?

Yeah, that’s the “Alice Through the Looking Glass” world we now live in, and it’s making our kids crazed.

It’s making adults crazed, too, and the standoff in Nevada last week is a perfect example.

Rancher Cliven Bundy was running his ranch, grazing his cattle on land that his family had the right to since the 1870s – then the feds got in on the issue.

They decided his animals were not just grazing, as cattle are wont to do, but trespassing on federal land that Mr. Bundy had no right to allow.

Bundy objected, and the legal battle of words and court decisions progressed for years. All the while, Mr. Bundy refused to pay fees to the feds.

He didn’t budge. Neither did the feds.

Then came the standoff.

It wasn’t an innocent confrontation but a heavy-handed, one-sided overkill.

In a scene out of a tyrannical government playbook – hey gang, that’s U.S. – the government moved in with armored personnel vehicles and helicopters. Armed men equipped with the latest in weaponry and body armor surrounded the ranch house and outbuildings while comparably armed snipers took their places, at the ready, as they lined up their targets, just in case.

The targets?

Unarmed American citizens on their own land.

In case of what?

Cliven Bundy’s family wasn’t armed except for cell phones, but then again, Mr. Bundy was warned not to use his phone to call for help or he’d be shot.

Who were those people with the weapons? Many were the armed and equipped military under the auspices of the Bureau of Land Management. Others were hired guns.

It may have come as a surprise that the BLM has its own military, but it does: trained, armed and ready to attack. All it needs is the word “go,” and they will.

Apparently, they don’t need a final OK by the administration or the regular military or state or county police or anyone else.

The bureaucrats are the deciders.

According to reports, there were more than 200 armed BLM hired shooters on hand to round up the “trespassing cattle.”

Many were hired freelance “cowboys” who should have known better than to use helicopters to round up cattle, especially in the spring, when many females are pregnant or have just given birth.

The BLM officials should have known better, but they apparently just manage land and not animals.

Keep in mind, hundreds of desert tortoises they claim they’re protecting by getting rid of the cattle, were killed by the BLM not long ago because they said they didn’t have the money to protect them.

But they had the money to hire cowboys and snipers to go after Cliven Bundy.

His cattle were chased by helicopters. Apparently Washington thinks that constitutes a “round-up.”

Some cattle were shot from the air. Pregnant animals were so spooked they gave birth as they ran, and many of the calves were trampled to death.

All the while, hundreds gathered to support Bundy in this attack on his rights and freedoms. They were steadfast, determined and clearly not ready or willing to walk away from the muzzle of a gun.

Then without warning, the feds pulled out, and what cattle survived were brought back to the ranch.

Why? The BLM said it was concerned about “safety.”

Whose? Theirs, the Bundy family, citizens?

Or perhaps the real reason was the fact that the whole scenario reflected badly on Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who, along with his son and former staffers, are up to their necks in allegations about attempts to get the Bundy property for land deals with China.

The armed men backed off, but Reid didn’t. He quickly spoke up from the safety of his offices that the people who objected to what happened, and the Bundy family in particular, are “domestic terrorists” and that this incident “isn’t over.”

According to Harry Reid, disagreeing with the feds and standing up for your rights makes you a terrorist, and because of that, the feds have the right to blow you and your family away.

Sorry, Harry, that’s not America and despite what you say, Americans don’t use the military to enforce laws.

This is the clearest example of political power and the arm of the law against the “little guy.”

It’s textbook tyranny: The average citizen is the “little guy” and is powerless.

Speaking of power, did anyone from the political establishment speak out in the defense of freedom?

As they say, “crickets” from Washington, except from Reid who continues to threaten.

That wizened man – with the little voice and mind and the power of his elected position – says it isn’t over and that a federal task force is being formed to deal with the unrest.

If I were the Bundy family, I’d chain the fences, lock the doors and lock and load.

They might need all the protection they can muster.

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