Say what you’d like about YallQaeda, the vicious new rebellion against the American federal government, but they’ve managed to put a sizable dent in the tyrannical system. They’ve gone through sanctuary files (that were most definitely top secret information), cut down fences (that might’ve been the beginnings of a FEMA camp) and are surviving on donations of dildos from their supporters. My journalistic integrity is faltering because I don’t particularly want to know the science behind that one, although I will give a tip to the sender: mirrors are cheaper, just use a lot of bubble wrap so they won’t break in the mail.

Basically, YallQaeda isn’t going anywhere. Law enforcement are letting them come and go as they please. Kids are interviewing them for their school papers. They’ve set up their own little community of crazy.

We can spend a lot of time talking about these guys, the weird things they believe, the illegality of their actions, and the potential punishment they’re racking up. I take issue with that, because they’re making a show and distracting from a very real problem: there are non-violent crimes that are landing people a minimum of five years in prison.

Mandatory minimums were created to solve a specific problem; unfair judges were able to give unequal sentences based on personal biases. These laws didn’t solve that problem. There’s still a range in which specific crimes can fall, and personal biases can still be a factor. What mandatory minimums do instead, is create a set of standards, some of which don’t make sense.

The Hammonds, the ranchers whose case is the reason this entire thing started (and who haven’t condoned the protests or resisted the court’s ruling, to their extreme credit) are not necessarily good people. They’re poachers and arsonists. They burnt federal property. That’s awful and they ought to have been jailed for it, and they were.

No one was hurt. The minimum sentence for arson of federal property with no injuries is five years. That is a long time to spend in prison when you didn’t hurt anyone, even if the possibility was there.

This is a real problem, and the fact that these clowns are distracting from it shows that they’re not really concerned about the Hammonds or their rights; they just want to cause trouble and feed their fake soldier egos. They want an excuse to parade their guns around in front of the press. This show is about pride, not about tyranny.

More than anything, they want one thing from their supporters as a result from this; the supplies they kind of accidently forgot to bring.