Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Killings in Arizona Spawned by Fear and Hate

Paul Krugman got it right in his NYT's column this morning. He asks if we are really surprised by the shootout in Arizona. I'm not. There's fear and hate swirling like a dust storm around this country of ours. Obama's election scared lots of folks and when folks get scared and see changes in the offing, they hunker down, literally with guns and ammo and wait for something to happen. It's happened again all right.
I am reminded of the story I heard right here in Houston after Obama's inauguration in January 2009. Academy, the hometown sporting goods store, was said to have sold more ammo between Obama's election and early spring 2009 than they'd sold during all of their years in business. Many Americans equate their personal safety with guns, sort of like buying car or household insurance. Better safe than sorry.
Krugman writes that he remembers the upsurge in political hatred after Bill Clinton's election in 1992 that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing. And I remember the crowds, mob-like at the McCain Palin rallies, filled with a sense of hate and urgency, under girded by cold constant fear. For those crowds, guns seem to protect, perhaps kept the fear at bay?
I haven't turned on the television, but I know that the dialogue is 24/7 and there is a tremendous fight going on between the 'left and the right' about the true nature of this shoot-out. Seems everyone is fighting for their version of America.

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