Did they really think it was gonna end any other way?

Really trying (and failing) to find sympathy here…..(I need to note that I wasn’t there, and can only make a judgement on what I (think) I know…)

So the FBI decided that the time was ripe:

The leaders left the Refuge (really bad tactic), and therefore their only safe haven, to speak at a community meeting down the road…..
Once they left the Refuge, they were a target. Little or no support…. The Feds took advantage of their situation. Once they left the rest of their party, they were vulnerable.

Starting a gunfight when you are stopped at a place of the other sides choosing, surrounded by armed men….with no support from your comrades?….Letting the other side choose the time and place (and terrain)?
Bad idea. (We don’t know who shot first)
Never ends well. And it didn’t end well in this instance. Bad decisions led to bad outcomes. Perhaps it was Hubris….I dunno

But really, how could they think that this would end any differently, no matter what the circumstances that started it?

It either ended away from the Refuge, or it ends AT the refuge. Now or later.

Not taking sides here, but I don’t see how this can/could end any other way, except with gunfire and deaths.Bad tactics, from the start.

Taking a stand is one thing, Defying the Federal Government, without the support of the populace, is another.  This should have ended 4 days after it started, when the rest of the US population chose not to rally to them.
I really don’t see where the leaders of this “Movement” had planned this out very well.

One man is dead, and the folks that are supposedly leading this movement are in custody. For what?

When one breaks the law, one must be prepared to pay the price when caught.

I find it hard to feel sympathy for any of these folks.