Well, it's come to pass, the leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation were arrested, with LaVoy 'Tarpman' Finicum getting his damn fool self killed by Oregon State Police. Yastreblyansky put up a great piece about Tarpman's death, but that was before the unedited video of Finicum's ignominious demise was released. It's important to note that the Malheur malfeasors were traveling to another county in order to spread their sagebrush sedition in cahoots with nutty 'constitutional' sheriff Glenn Palmer.
Originally, I thought that Tarpman had committed suicide by cop- after all, he had stated that he would rather die than be sent to jail, and even if he weren't sentenced, he'd already lost his major source of income, taking government money to house foster children that he probably used as unpaid ranch hands. Funny how all of these anti-government types seem to be sucking on the government teat. At any rate, I thought that LaVoy figured that a quick death in the Northwest, and a subsequent Walmartyrdom, would be preferable to a slow death from starvation once the government cheese stopped coming his way.
I've actually changed my mind on the circumstances of Tarpman's death... I think he actually may have believed that he would be able to shoot his way out of his predicament. LaVoy had written a novel, by all accounts, a Mary Sue/Gary Stu wish fulfillment fantasy about, wonder of wonders, a rancher who takes on the government and wins. Excerpts of the book seem oddly prescient:
"A twinge of guilt pulled at me. What would dad think with me showing up at the ranch with so little food? Of course he would say nothing and in no way try to make me feel like I had let him down. But I had. How many times had he told us kids to lay up stores and supplies?"
Hapless dumbass didn't even take the lessons of his own book to heart... Anyway, here's another excerpt which seems to hint at what LaVoy thought was going to occur when he exited his crashed truck on that lonely stretch of Oregon highway:
“I did not cease to fire and the skill that was developed over a lifetime of shooting at game on the run paid off. Men were dropping and I was on my second magazine but they were closing fast as they kept repeating the four-second charges.”
LaVoy should have remembered that humans are the most dangerous game, and that shooting at law enforcement officers isn't like bull's eyeing womp rats back home. It's a huge mistake to believe your own hype, and in real life, LaVoy's fantasy fiction ran up against a harsh editor, who did a bang-up job. If there's to be a sequel, no doubt it'll be ghost written.
Regarding LaVoy's martyrdom, I think that's pretty much torpedoed by the video evidence and, more importantly, by the fact that LaVoy made himself ridiculous in his final days. In a comic strip featured in his School is Hell collection, Matt Groening offered this advice- don't kill yourself, they'll make jokes about you. Needless to say, jokes are being made.
LaVoy died as he lived- stupidly, violently, futilely. At least he had the good grace to die alone... this situation could have ended up a lot worse.