When it comes to the story of Jerad and Amanda Miller, the married couple who allegedly went on a shooting spree, killing two police officers and one bystander in what is being called “a display of antigovernment violence,” those who may have been the most responsible for instigating the violence have remained oddly silent.
The Millers — who left social media messages declaring the beginning of a “revolution,” told the same to neighbors prior to their attack, and draped a body of a slain officer in a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag emblematic of the Tea Party — may have been planning something much larger than the original assault. A police search of their home uncovered “numerous papers including detailed plans to take over a courthouse and execute public officials,” according to the New York Times, and now an investigation is open to see who else they may potentially have been in talks with when it came to overthrowing authority.
That’s got some on the right nervous, apparently, especially those who were embracing the anti-government tactics of the armed militia groups gathering at Bundy Ranch in Nevada. The Bundy Ranch incident pitted Cliven Bundy and a plethora of Tea Party, anti-government activists against the federal authorities, who were trying to round up cattle that the rancher had been illegally grazing on public lands for decades while refusing to pay fees or move them when they endangered local animal habitats. The government eventually caved to Bundy and his followers, fearing violence could break out otherwise, especially once advocate Richard Mack declared that they would put unarmed women in front to act as human shields if gunfire broke out.
The Millers were initially at that standoff at the ranch, but now Bundy-folk are trying to play that down. Although Jerad stated in a video that they were made to leave because he had been convicted of a felony, Tea Party activists are trying to say they were sent away because he appeared so obviously unhinged. “Some on the political left are attempting to pin this on the Tea Party movement thanks to the alleged use of Gadsden Flag symbolism and the man’s apparent claim that he was at Bundy Ranch. I would say that a Nazi Peter Pan meth user conspiracy theorist cop killer is more than likely simply unhinged, and like so many who are dangerously mentally ill, he grabbed bits and pieces of whatever ideological movement was available in the area to fold inside his messed up head. I suspect that we’ll find out that the same general picture applies to the female murderer,” writes one.
Richard Mack himself seemed more understanding that an armed militia movement in a standoff against police could in fact logically encourage some members to branch off into anti-government violence on their own. When confronted by Hatewatch about the Millers being at the ranch, Mack responded, “Oh, no. I was afraid that he might have been at the Bundy ranch. As soon as I heard about it, I was afraid of that.”
Whether Miller was an addict, had underlying mental issues, or was acting of his own free will and with sound mind, there is little doubt that, just as the anti-abortion movement works up these alleged “lone wolf” attackers and then backs away, claiming that the people instigating the violence had nothing to do with them, anti-government groups do the exact same thing. In both cases, advocates work their followers into a frenzy against an “other” who must be eliminated in order to bring about victory, then wipes their hands when actual violence occurs, claiming that there must have been something else that caused those people to do such horrible acts, and they themselves hold no responsibility.
Yes, it was the Millers who allegedly did the shooting, believing that there was a revolution that they were advancing and their actions were simply the first step to bring it about. But it was the far right extremists who told them that guns and the threat of violence is the way to bring the government to its knees and take back its authority that really set the Millers into action. The question is, how many other “Millers” are waiting to do the same?
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