... However, when I saw the ham handed way that the BLM decided to handle this issue ...
What was ham-handed about it? They were there rounding up cows and a mob confronted them. They tried to work it out but the Bundys refused. They backed down.
I think the amateur militia certainly behaved in a ham-handed manner, and without any legal basis for their actions
. The U.S. has had title to the land in question since Mexico ceded it in 1848. Various federal agencies have managed it since that time, charging rent, the most recent entity being the BLM starting in 1948.
Ardy pegged it pretty good, I think.
The point is that Bundy has been trying to create a legal fiction that he has some kind of rights to federal land, where he does not.
Here's an example that may be appropriate::
You rent me a house that has been owned by your family since 1848, where I live for 40 years starting in 1954, paying rent all the time. In 1993, you decide that you want to change the house and charge a different rent. I don't like the changes that you are going to do to your house, so I claim that because I lived there for 30 years, I now have ancestral rights (my uncle also rented part of the house for a couple of years 90 years ago, too), and I stop paying rent. We go to court and you get an eviction notice, but I still won't move out. You wait a very long time, hoping I will come to my senses, before finally you call the police to evict me and move my stuff out of the house, selling whatever to help cover the legal costs and the eviction costs and the past due rent. I get a bunch of folks to come, who believe my legal fiction about ancestral rights and who hate people like you (whatever that means to them), and present armed resistance. When the cops don't shoot me and my new friends, I declare victory over the government thugs who overstepped the bounds of the Constitution by trying to force me to give you your house back.
Bundy is just a rent deadbeat.