Face it, this Oregon building takeover is terrorism

Various federal authorities are now in charge, but the administration should be ready to mobilize federal military support should they need it, if only for the long haul. And to make an important point that the rule of law is paramount in a civil, democratic society.

Local law enforcement officials, in such an isolated area of Oregon, are likely to know some of these men and could let their perspective be colored by their relationships, either to be too lenient or to want to vigorously uphold the law against such flagrant actions. There are risks if too much emotion is allowed to seep into the decision-making process.

A show of federal force — even if just for show — treats these men as they should be treated: domestic terrorists who are putting the whole community at risk.

Again, time is on the responders’ side. Use it. Indeed, if Waco serves as a “what not to do” in such a situation, it is a reminder of how too aggressive a response can turn Bundy and his crew into martyrs.