Time to stand up to paranoid kooks

When did Americans become such fraidy-cats?
Many among us are scared of each other, scared of the government, and even scared of cold, hard facts.
In 1995 I was shopping for a car in Hibbing, and the salesman opened up to me about his concealed weapon, which he felt necessary when he visited the scary Twin Cities.
He said that whenever he saw a black man approaching, he would put his hand on his piece, just in case he had to draw and fire.
I can’t imagine why someone would confess his racist paranoia to a perfect stranger, nor can I imagine why anyone would feel it necessary to tote a gun in Minneapolis — or in any public place, for that matter.
I’m not advocating gun control laws — which are dead on arrival (pun intended) in Washington these days — but I am advocating gun control by making a personal choice to leave your guns at home.
I’ve been walking Hennepin Avenue since I was 14 years old, and have never been accosted by anyone more threatening than a wobbly drunk.
In my view, most people who conceal and carry are not facing any real threat to themselves or their family. They are fraidy cats, and fraidy cats with guns are more dangerous than their fellow Americans — most of whom leave their guns at home.
And what’s with all the paranoia about the government? Do we have so little faith in our system and our elected representatives — who pretty well balance out the extremes — that we think if Obama is reelected we’re going to Cuba in a handbasket, or if Romney wins we’ll have to recite the Lord’s Prayer to order a chicken sandwich?
Apparently many believe the government is a toxic brew of drug company CEOs and vegetarian earth mothers. Not only will they force us to eat broccoli, but they’ll also sneak thought-control serum into our fluoride.
The scientists at the Centers for Disease Control adhere to the radical notion that disease should be eradicated — while they lace our polio vaccines with autism-causing chemicals.
Scientists are as scary as jackbooted government thugs for many Americans. They apply for grant money from the government in order to destroy the way of life of a nation that gives them grant money to do science.
And they all must be in on it, because the research on climate change and vaccines is peer-reviewed by other liars in the vegetarian-atheist-big-government-pharmaceutical-environmentalist cabal.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying we’re not being lied to, manipulated, coerced, misled and brainwashed.
But it’s not the government that’s doing it. A government conspiracy would require every one of the thousands or millions involved — representing all political parties and viewpoints — to keep quiet and march in lockstep like North Korean soldiers.
And if that’s all you think of your fellow Americans, then you’re probably wearing a pistol to church.
The real danger is obvious every time you turn on the tube. Those who are trying to dupe us have this in common: They’re trying to sell us something, and they’re scared to death that the facts will keep us from buying.
There’s little profit in saving the planet, but plenty of short-term gain to be had by convincing us to keep spending, keep polluting and keep believing that the real threat is the government, not its absence.
Brett Larson is the editor of the Messenger.
This was published in the Mille Lacs Messenger Aug. 15, 2012.
http://www.messagemedia.co/millelacs/opinion/our_columnists/brett_larson/article_cff195b2-e61d-11e1-9604-0019bb30f31a.html

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