Just when we'd seemingly forgotten all about erstwhile conservative hero and terrible racist Cliven Bundy, his name and ranch have come up again in connection with a shooting that took the lives of three people (including two policemen) in Las Vegas on Sunday.
According to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Jerad and Amanda Miller — the shooters who made a suicide pact, ambushed two police officers in a pizzeria, shot and killed one other person, and then themselves in a Walmart yesterday — sought to join the armed militiamen on Bundy's ranch back in April.
While addressing reporters at the Western Governors Association's annual meeting, Jewell said that the two Las Vegas police officers had been "gunned down by people that news reports say were also at the Bundy ranch.”
That is only true by half: According to the Washington Post, the Millers went to the ranch, but "the militiamen shunned the couple because Jerad Miller had prior felony convictions in Washington State."
So what does this Miller-Bundy connection actually mean? Let's compare:
As you may recall, Bundy's ranch became a political flashpoint after Bundy refused to pay grazing fees for over two decades, owing the Bureau of Land Management over $1 million. Once the federal government seized his livestock, Bundy staged a protest against the government and invited armed militiamen to join him. Join him they did, and along came praise from a steady stream of conservative pundits. Bundy was ultimately brought down from icon status after some pro-slavery comments emerged.
Jerad and Amanda Miller
The more we learn about the Millers, the greater their actions begin to resemble the ideology attached to Bundy's protests. One of the shooters allegedly shouted "This is a revolution" before executing the police officers.
Bundy's racism too seems to play out in the ideology of the Millers, who are said to have some links to white supremacist groups.
Las Vegas shooting suspects left "Don't Tread on Me" flag and swastika on top of Ofc. Alyn Beck's body, Asst. Chief said.— Jonathan Edwards (@LJSedwards) June 9, 2014
According to Jerad Miller's Facebook page, he professed to having viewed the standoff at the Bundy ranch as the "start of revolution." From his April 9 post:
"Ranch war almost under way. [W]e need to watch this closely, could be the next Waco and start of revolution"
Had Jerad Miller not had felonies on his record, the link made by Jewell between the Millers and Bundy might not be so tenuous. But there's probably enough there to raise some serious questions.