When the Ruby Ridge siege happened in the summer of 1992, I had just moved away from the Northwest United States. I had previously been living in Missoula, Montana, near the Idaho border. I had been to Idaho several times, mainly to visit the National Forests and the Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. I imagine that if I had still been living in Montana, I would have heard a lot more about the siege at Ruby Ridge while it was happening. As it was, I was living in Arkansas and not very in touch with the news. The family I was living with only turned on the antenna TV once a week when Star Trek: The Next Generation was airing new episodes. I vaguely remember hearing about Ruby Ridge, but I didn’t know the details until Backwoods Home magazine published an editorial about Ruby Ridge later that year. My aunt had given me a gift subscription to this new magazine, Backwoods Home. It was one of the best gifts anyone ever gave me, because my aunt understood me better than most people.
When I read the editorial, it explained how government agents had shot an unarmed woman holding a baby while standing in the doorway of her home. They had also shot a ten-year-old boy in the back while he was running away. All of this started from a sting operation carried out by a government agent selling Randy Weaver a sawed-off shotgun. Randy wasn’t even particularly interested in buying a sawed-off shotgun, but he believed that the government agent was an ordinary guy who really needed the money from the sale. Then Weaver refused to show up for his court dates for this ridiculous entrapment arrest.
I assumed things would change in America after I read this editorial. Americans wouldn’t stand for such outrageous abuse of power by the government, right? No, actually, they stood for that and more. The government did its’ part to quell any possible outrage or organized resistance to the atrocities committed by the US government at Ruby Ridge and Waco by carrying out the false flag against militias in Oklahoma City. This seemed to divert the general American public’s attention for a while.
I was living in 1992 with a family that was somewhat like Randy Weaver’s family, although they weren’t as well-equipped with firearms. They were into raising their own food and living off the land. I am glad I had this experience. At the time, I wanted to live that way myself. It started out as more of out of a concern for the environment. I followed environmental activism to its logical conclusion of making as little impact personally on the earth. Eventually I realized that this was a pointless endeavor for many reasons, the primary one being that one can make zero impact by being dead so one’s life should be dedicated to more than simply making no impact. Now I am willing to live the self-sufficient lifestyle and have made preparations to do so in the case of societal collapse. But I am certainly not going to do so out of some environmental concern, when so-called prominent environmentalists live extravagant lifestyles in multi-million dollar mansions. It became clear to me that most of the environmental leaders were charlatans.
Jess Walter’s book Ruby Ridge: The Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family was a decent explanation of what happened at Ruby Ridge. It presented Randy Weaver in a more realistic light, neither as totally a hero nor as a villain or kook. The government not only created the Ruby Ridge situation through entrapment, it clearly over-reacted and outright murdered and child and his mother. There was no reason for this situation to escalate to the point that it did. Walter’s book does explain to some extent the government viewpoint that led to this ridiculous stance of thinking they had to win at all costs against this American family.