Responses to Malheur Crisis Show Deep Divisions within Patriot Community

By David Codrea

ScreenHunter_02 Feb. 02 18.00
Video of the shooting death of LaVoy Finicum appears to have deepened divisions between those who have viewed it and come to different conclusions. (Screen shot: enhancement of FBI aerial recording)
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

USA –  -( We’ve all seen no shortage of angry comments in various forums calling for escalation of the Malheur situation. Some demand showing up in force at the refuge, or confronting authorities surrounding it.

Others demand expanding shows of armed defiance nationwide.

A common factor among many is that some of the loudest voices are complaining about what others aren’t doing. What they themselves are doing, and their qualifications for expecting others to follow their recommended courses of action, is in many cases left unsaid.

In some ways, the release of the video showing the shooting death of LaVoy Finicum has made things worse.  Different viewers are reacting in different ways, with some calling it a cold-blooded execution, and others concluding he looked like he was reaching for a weapon he reportedly carried. For those certain of the former assessment, it’s fair to ask, were the video to be shown to a jury, would it be able to return a unanimous “guilty” verdict that is beyond a reasonable doubt?

No doubt the angle of a video taken from the air and the lack of sound contribute to the way different people watching the same recording arrive at different conclusions. One thing it does let us do is compare the video to conflicting accounts. It would appear a lot of so-called “less than lethal” projectiles were expended, as the vehicle did not appear to be riddled with bullet holes. But the thing is, the disagreements and divisions are so deep right now, even if/when dash cam and body cam videos with soundtracks are released, don’t be surprised to see reactions still mixed.

The way things are going, I won’t be surprised to see someone introduce “crisis actor” accusations into the mix. Things are that strange.

When we don’t have complete information, sources are trusted or distrusted by varying degrees depending on who’s listening and what agendas are in play. Add to that instances where breaking information about significant developments has been sent out, supposedly by people in the know, only to be refuted later by others with access to those on the ground at Malheur.

It happens, and not always by malice. But it does demonstrate the critical need to verify reports before acting.

Right now, what we don’t want, is another Waco. And a factor preventing that, so far, is the government realizing it is being watched, and any repeat of such brutal rules of engagement is likely to make containing things problematic. In a very real sense, that’s been beneficial to the wildlife refuge occupiers throughout, and to the remaining holdouts.

It’s understood that’s not enough for some. That said, we can’t ignore two undeniable truths:

Cliven Bundy’s notice of continued occupation contradicts son Ammon’s call to stand down.
Cliven Bundy’s notice of continued occupation contradicts son Ammon’s call to stand down.

The Hammond family declared from the outset the Malheur takeover was not what they wanted. And now, on the other end, Ammon Bundy is calling for the remainder of the occupiers to “Turn yourselves in and do not use physical force. Use the national platform we have to continue to defend liberty through our constitutional rights in an Article 3 Court with an Article 3 judge.”

That Bundy’s call has not produced an immediate stand-down, and that his own father has now declared they “will retain possession of the Harney County resource center,” shows strong divisions exist even within the family, and then within the small band involved in the takeover.

It’s no wonder we see such distrust and anger — including that being directed by some liberty activists at others.

Now might be the time to ask ourselves who that benefits.

David Codrea in his natural habitat.
David Codrea in his natural habitat.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and also posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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todd mcconnell

It seems to me that when the cop ran in front of Levoy and Levoy turned toad the woods to avoid him that proves lavoy intent to do no harm. I do not know if laver jumped out of the truck or was ordered out of the truck , it looks to me like the cops did not have to kill him . That being said ,the minute he ran he green lighted anything the cops wanted to do!!!! The laws are written to “protect ” cops at the expense of others. It is tragic what happened but it would… Read more »


The comments here perfectly illustrate why a growing number of people question the intentions and sanity of what bills itself as the “patriot movement.” It also demonstrates why the concept of “2nd Amendment solutions” is so incompatible with our rule of law. No wonder there’s increasing pressure to further restrict access to firearms.

Gregory Romeu

One thing I can tell for fact is that MANY civililians with absolutley NO professional experience or training in military or law enforcement matters are running their mouthes and causing much more harm to this matter and to both sides of this mess and they should STFU and remain silently on the sidelines and WATCH and LEARN from those of us that DO have the experience and / or training. What? YOU have something to say? Then PROVE ME WRONG!


Just my opinion here but it looks like they just shot him and let him die there in the snow! Shoot first ask questions later! Trigger happy law enforcement again!

JR Bailey

Hey Tex, You really need to see the close up and enhanced video, where things are actually clear. Finnegan flinched twice, because he had been shot twice! When he was shocked those two times, his hands were in the air splayed, and utterly empty of any weapon. This is easily seen, with enhanced matrix and the close up. Finicum only reached for a weapon after he had completely turned around and tried to head away from the car and back to the van. That is when the other cop shot and killed Finicum. I would argue that anyone who has… Read more »


Wow! One could draw lots of things from that distant video. However the the conspiracy theories drawn by some are really out there and that’s part of the problem. But are those that believe all those theories going to accept the barefaced truth. Not likely. I think part of what this is really about is a hope to get anyone not happy with the government together to start a revolution. Problem is they all have their own little different agenda’s so they can’t even agree with each other. In the first place the land belonged to the government to start… Read more »


@Brandon and Farmer,I never said I saw the 9mm in his coat ! But both law enforcement and Bundy himself and others in the vehicle said that he (Finicum) had a 9mm in his coat ! It’s very clear even from this crappy video that he was reaching in his coat pocket before he got shot !


The word murdered is completely inappropriate. If a trial says so, murder it is. No trial as of yet. I see that a person jumps out of a car, obviously confronted with Police. He did not go to the ground and may have been reaching for a weapon. This is no different than all of the recently publicized cop shootings of black people. The dead person drew the fire and or did not comply with orders. Had the dead person listened to the police, he would be alive. Tex, I think you may have gotten it right. But I can’t… Read more »

Dave Brown

My main concern and I have had it for a few years now, is when is it ok to shoot. I know a little about what the Supreme Court says about when Law Enforcement can should. However, I disagree, I strongly believe you can only shoot when you clearly see the gun (or the guy is pointing his pocket right at you!). If you think he is going for a gun you shoot. Not in my world, but it is what is happening now. Law Enforcement needs to be retrained and the rules of engagement need to be changed. This… Read more »

Scott Thorsen

“actions ‘s have consequences” was the statement made by the FBI man in Oreganstan. It sounded more like a statement the KGB would state. Greg Bretzing of the FBI needs to be in handcuffs doing a person walk with a few of his men. That said, these guys in Oregon opposing the BLM and FBI are making some critical mistakes. They are running a grassroots campaign first and foremost. Use the First Ammendment to the teeth of the law. Write more Nad video less. Verbally assault, rape, and fillet their specific targets within the government bureaucracies. Use the 2A to… Read more »


This needs to go to trial. There are too many grey areas. Let a jury decide.


David, There is no evidence that Dwight Hammond was not backing Ammon’s play to engage in civil disobedience at the Refuge. This claim began being circulated when Stewart Rhodes issued a similar claim, based on a letter that the Hammond atty wrote on 12/11 asserting 2 points. That Ammon Bundy did not speak for the Hammonds, and that the Hammond men planned to surrender on 1/2 as ordered. This letter was written the day after Dwight lawyer’s received a call from the US Atty threatening to detain the Hammond’s earlier than 1/4/16 and put him in a “less desirable” fed… Read more »


Who knows who that was that was ambushed in that video one thing that is clear if the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed around a curve when the driver saw vehicles blocking the roadway. The driver was unable to stop without veering off into the deep snow. Somehow the driver appears outside of the vehicle up in the snow away from the vehicle he was driving. The driver was looking towards the roadway perhaps being pelted with rubber ammunition and was grabbing his torso where he was struck by the projectiles? Then gun man who was… Read more »


TEX…..WOW BUDDY! You could see that 9mm from the helicopter ….was it a Smith? Ruger? Springfield? You are awesome buddy!


I watched these you tube videos, and thought they may interest you :-
Interview with Victoria Sharp who was in the truck with Finicum:-
Finicum, interviewed the day before, expresses concerns :-
Last – why Finicum took part, and what the BLM are doing to the ranchers out west :-

He shouldn’t have been shot. Period. Not breaking any laws. Acting within the Constitution. Which can’t be said for the FBI. Guess the BLM didn’t want to **Loose** again, bring in the heavies!


Tex — you saw all that in a blurry video taken from a helicopter? Wow, send me some of that weed!

Mark Are

I’ve taken plenty of time to review the video. And the testimony of three eye witnesses. You need to shed your believe that THEY wouldn’t lie to you. That man was murdered. Shot in cold blood. If not, then I want to see the gun in his hand. They had the absolute tactical advantage and if he had exposed a gun to them at any time been able to shoot him. Just reaching in your pocket, IF that were the case, which it wasn’t isn’t grounds to be judge, jury and executioner. Until he had cleared a pocket with a… Read more »


I really take issue with the title of the video – “LaVoy Finicum Murder Video Footage.” This title implies guilt and is irresponsible on the part of the journalist posting it. A more appropriate title might be “Video Footage of LaVoy Finicum shooting.” As the article pointed out, we all need to take a moment and look for a balance in reporting. This video without audio is but one perspective. But lets look at some things that are obvious. Most folks seeing this have never been sworn law enforcement officers, armed security or combat veterans. Most will never really be… Read more »


You mean he almost hit the officer who jumped in front of the moving vehicle? Or the “gun” the right handed man was allegedly carrying in his left coat pocket? The gun he “reached for” while turning away from his assailants? The only reason people see him almost hit an OSP officer is because they’re too dumb to notice the fact he jumped in front of the vehicle. The only reason people see a right handed man reaching for a gun in his left pocket is because that’s what they want to see. The video does not prove/show anything definitively… Read more »


People see what they want to see. If you take your time and look objectively you will see that he reaches for something before the police coming from the left even raises his gun. Take your time and look again you will see what I say is true.

Mark Are

Who does it benefit? The gang of thieves liars and murders that are the psychopaths running the government. To keep us divided or to whip us into a frenzy that responds with violence against them is their ultimate goal. You can be assured that if an ACTUAL mass shooting takes place and all the “victims” are Feds that there will be martial law and gun confiscation thus leading us into a full blown civil war. What these maniacs don’t realize is that they will loose because a “war of the flea” is not able to be withstood if millions of… Read more »


The video is clear,crystal clear ! Finicum almost hit a OSP cop with the vehicle trying to avoid the roadblock. He got out of the vehicle acting like a crazy man ignoring police commands. He initially had his hands up,then twice reached for a 9mm handgun in his coat. A OSP officer shot and killed him. People that don’t see that is because they don’t want to see that !


I’ve been reading, as of late, the connection between the US and Russian governments of a proposed uranium mine in the area. Everyone should look deeper into these land grabs by the government. In the Oregon situation, the government’s interest was in uranium mining and used the controlled burn as an excuse to get the Hammonds out of the way. In the Nevada situation, the government’s motivation for pushing the Bundy’s off the grazing land they had been using for 100 years was over a proposed deal between the US and China for developing a solar panel field and they… Read more »

Lila Browndog
jerry the geek

Making assumptions that that the person shown in the film is Finicum, I still can’t make sense of what I see. It appears that he exits his vehicle with arms spread wide in a not-threatening manner. AS he wades through the deep snow, his hands come near his chest. My assumption was that he found it difficult to walk through the snow (knee high?) and was trying to maintain his balance. Other than that, I didn’t see any action which was obviously aggressive … given the distance, the distortion caused by the camera angle, and the bleary focus … it… Read more »

Big Al

This is exactly what is expected when you have a rogue government that feeds nothing but lies to the public at large with false flag ops as the norm. Division is the name of the game and they know how to play it well, this is why the people must be informed with nothing but the truth. The fact that this illegitimate government-gone-wild plays mind games, up to and including murder, where have we seen this before…under the color of law, is still murder. They can call up all their bogus grand juries and such which are not grand juries… Read more »