We are introduced early in the book to the standoff at Ruby Ridge, a 1992 gunfight between FBI agents and United States marshals and a heavily armed family on an isolated homestead. How does this incident cast a shadow over the Westover parents and children, and the survivalism that characterizes their upbringing?

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The deadly stand-off between the Weaver family and the authorities had a profound impact on the Westovers. For one thing, the deaths of Randy Weaver's wife and son during the stand-off further inflamed Mr. Westover's already delirious levels of paranoia. Tara distinctly remembers her dad saying that it could just as easily have been the Westovers who'd been killed.

In the aftermath of the Ruby Ridge tragedy , Gene's more convinced than ever before that the government's out to get his family and anyone else who resists their "brainwashing" by...

(The entire section contains 279 words.)

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