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20 Years Ago Ruby Ridge carved niche in history as Sara Weaver found God and forgives the Feds.

Ruby Ridge.

Who would have thought 20 years ago this week that those two words would become an icon, a reference point in American culture?


BY JIM OLIVERAnother Federal Fiasco!
BATF's entrapment of Randy Weaver led to the violent deaths of three people. Says his defense attorney, Gerry Spence: "What happened to Randy Weaver can happen to anybody in this country."

More than a deadly siege in North Idaho that claimed the lives of a mother, her son and a federal marshal, the standoff at Ruby Ridge became a rallying point for the extremist movement and made Randy Weaver, the white supremacist at the center of the event, a hero to those groups. It also changed the way federal law enforcement handles standoffs with fugitives.

Historians and extremism experts offer varying assessments of the 11-day siege that was named Ruby Ridge after a mountain crest near Naples, Idaho, not far from the hand-built cabin of Weaver and his family.

It took years, including a congressional hearing in 1995, to sort out the sequence of events, and there are still points of disagreement.

A midwife for militia movement
The sparks of anti-government anger that Ruby Ridge ignited in August 1992 grew much larger six months later when federal agents engaged in another siege in Waco, Texas. That event left four federal agents and 83 members of the Branch Davidian religious sect dead.

Those back-to-back events, experts generally agree, fueled the anti-government movement that lingers today, erupting in occasional violence and deadly threats against law enforcement.

The events in North Idaho in August 1992 became “the opening shot in what would soon become a more or less open war between the American radical right and its government,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center and editor of its Intelligence Report, a magazine that tracks extremism.  >>>MORE<<<

Ruby Ridge siege survivor Sara Weaver forgives feds

Kalispell, Mont. — When Sara Weaver saw her father Randy struck in the shoulder by a government sniper's bullet in the Idaho wilderness in August 1992, she began to sprint back to the family's cabin on a mountaintop called Ruby Ridge.
As the 16-year-old closed in, her mother, Vicki, opened the cabin door and stood behind it, holding Sara Weaver's 10-month-old sister in her arms. Just then, a sniper's bullet struck her mother in the head, killing her.
For the next nine days, the surviving Weavers holed up in the cabin while hundreds of federal agents laid siege in a standoff that helped spark an anti-government patriot movement that grew to include the Oklahoma City bombing.
Today, 20 years later, Sara Weaver has left the anger behind, finding religion — and forgiveness. "I went 10 years without understanding how to heal" until becoming a born-again Christian, she said. "All bitterness and anger had to go," she said. "I forgave those that pulled the trigger."

From The Detroit News:

edited post at 11:01 pm est.


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