OK

Metro Police officers are shown outside a Wal-Mart after a shooting in Las Vegas June 8, 2014.  Las Vegas police said on Sunday that a shooting incident involving officers resulted in injuries and urged people to stay away from the scene. The Las Vegas Me
We already knew that Las Vegas domestic terrorists—sorry, I mean random pair of murderers affiliated with no particular cause but who just happened to have an uncanny fixation on the symbols and rhetoric of the anti-government tea party movement and who, quote "sold everything we had to buy supplies and quit our jobs" to join Cliven Bundy's personal call for revolution—were among the "patriots" at the Bundy ranch standoff. We also know that they were booted from the ranch at some point afterwards, apparently because the ersatz leaders found out Jerad Miller was a felon and were apparently worried that having a convicted felon parading around their gun-riddled compound would bring them bad (well, worse) press.

We don't yet have a full picture of how Miller and his wife obtained the guns that Miller, according to his own statements, was not allowed to have. They could have obtained them any number of ways, since the NRA is quite insistent that most people selling guns shouldn't have to check on those things and that we should just be relying on felons to not buy guns because they know they're not supposed to. As it turns out, they at least attempted to obtain them through the Usual Way of America's violent criminals getting guns—private sales—in this case, using the online service Facebook.

Jerad Miller Facebook post asking for someone to give him a rifle to help
Miller sent out a Facebook request for guns in early May, around the same time that other Bundy militia participants were begging online for cash and supplies so that they could continue their ranch "defense." He wasn't picky about the type.
Miller replied, "Doesn't matter, bolt action, semi, anything that can reach out and touch evil tyrant bastards. Idc [I don't care] if its a hundred dollar pink 22 rifle lol."

A fourth person chimed in that the "Gun store has plenty of rifles." Miller replied, "We broke bro, believe me if we had the money we would be at some of the best gun stores in the country buying what we need. Idc if its a ww2 m4 lol. something for when they call us terrorists, we can defend ourselves."

A fifth person recognized that the conversation was entering potentially illegal territory, and recommended that Miller hide his identity. "You and I both know that you shouldn't be using Facebook for this. Get yourself a tor router and be anonymous like the constitution always intended," the person wrote. Miller replied, "lol im just fucking around."

Facebook has a policy disallowing gun transactions on its network; what steps (if any) the company takes to enforce the policy is an open question, and it's not clear if the weapons Miller and his wife obtained resulted from their Facebook efforts or other means. It is a bit alarming how ready at least one user was to educate Miller in better ways to obtain weapons even after (correctly) assuming the effort was an illegal one, but it is consistent with far-right, middle-right and now mainstream-right assertions that the "constitution" trumps all possible gun laws. Again, we see that there is a readily accessed base of similarly minded patriots willing to skirt even the thin gun laws that are on the books—the laws against violent felons having guns, or the laws against taking up "sniper positions" against law enforcement personnel because you don't reckon you like the law they're enforcing—if they feel those laws chafe their personal freedom to do those things.

Just another thread to be teased out, in our ongoing "conversation" about how eager we should be to arm the next set of mass murderers.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.