Moultrie Observer

Opinion

January 22, 2013

Selling paranoia has become an art form for some

MOULTRIE — We live in a capitalist society. Most of us like that. But every good thing can have its underbelly. And in this venue, it’s not only possible to sell paranoia, but it’s very probable. For some it’s profitable.

Just look at cable TV: Doomsdayers who prepare for Armageddon or some concept of destruction that they feel requires them to hole up in caves and bunkers and teach their kids to guard their food supplies.

First, someone preaches that kind of paranoia. And then they sell devices associated with “survival.”

With this latest round of gun control conversation there are those who help instigate paranoia by talking about defending ourselves against our government and those jack-booted thugs who would come to our doors to take away our guns. But in fact, most of the proposals center around background checks, schools security analyses along with studies of what makes domestic terrorists tick and of course the one that really tosses kerosene on the fire — disallowing magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and a ban on military assault- type weapons.

And yes, any weapon can be an assault weapon from a cast-iron frying pan to a bazooka, some are just more deadly efficient than others. The only absurd argument perhaps that hasn’t been offered is that God didn’t create Adam and Steve. He created Rambo and Eve.

But intelligent dialogue was the initial intention.

Most likely, all of the people in Colquitt County who own military style “assault weapons” could fit in the back of a pickup truck. None of them have ever had to use these weapons to defend their homes. Few hunters would use a .223 caliber gun to shoot deer. And since the chance  of us having to take up arms against our own military (as is posed in anti-gun-control arguments) is just a gnat’s breath lower than passing term limits for Congress — well that’s where selling paranoia becomes an art form.

Perhaps the biggest error in approaching this dialogue is having referred to all of this as “gun control” as opposed to “gun responsibility.”

Many of us have guns for protection, for target shooting and for hunting. Chances are, most of us are responsible gun owners. There are always exceptions, however. But not only is paranoia very marketable, it’s also very loud.

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