The Federal Government made a tactical error by trying to confiscate the cattle that was grazing illegally. The Government had every right to do so, however the idea of a gunfight on the range wasn't going to be the answer. I find it irritating to know that if I flat refused to pay taxes my property could be confiscated and I could spend time in federal prison. Bundy and crew threatened federal employees with guns. These idiots were hoping for a shoot out. One of the bearded tax cheats informed one reporter on camera that they planned to put the women in front in case shooting because it would really look bad if women were injured. The last time I checked, it doesn't make a difference which gender is holding a gun, it can still be lethal.
Big oil companies hire lawyers to plead their case, delay paying fines and concoct every thing they can to avoid paying what they owe. Normally, Big Oil doesn't hire armed defense forces to hold off Government enforcement.
This issue should be handled in the courts, not by gunfire.
Bottom line, Bundy expects the American people to feed his cattle to improve his bottom line. That makes him a free loader, not a patriot.