Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Fear, Fear Everywhere and Never a Stop to Think

Waiting my turn at the barber shop, looking at the magazines: Field and Stream, Coastal Angler and things like that. Hot Rod, American Iron: all manly things that live in barber shops.   Like half the customers, I'm wearing shorts and a fishing shirt with my boat's name on it -- Sperry Topsiders that have been around the deck a few times.  It's that sort of a town, a small town very close to rural Florida which here is more cattle than citrus -- and fish, of course, whether it's west in Lake Okeechobee, in the middle in the St. Lucie River  or East in the Atlantic and the Intra-coastal waterway -- whether it's off the many bridges or from a boat, people fish and people hunt. People gig frogs in the wetlands.  Wild hog, it's what's for dinner.

Bob's Barber Shop is festooned with Western memorabilia and some very old guns.  You don't see Bob much any more.,  Like me he's mostly retired and I don't see the signs for his homemade Venison jerky on the wall, but time seems to move slowly at Bob's and I like it that way.  It's a country for old men.

I have a wait and so I pick up a copy of American Rifleman  with it's mailing cover still on it, proclaiming the dire need for the reader to buy an NRA raffle ticket to win a variety of guns and so to "protect our freedom in Obama's last desperate years."

Obama and his "rogue agenda to destroy our unique American freedoms."  It may be evocative of old times, but it's not. Those faces, those people I used to think I got along with so well in my love of the outdoors, the land and waters, fields and streams: there's something behind the mask that feels like a door I shouldn't open. Something new in degree if not in content.  " And that Hillary!" I read in another article.  Indeed it is.

Should I be grateful to be informed of this mad desperation, this frenzied and howling  lust to "take our ammo" Hillary represents?  Strange that I never noticed it because ammo is available everywhere, including WalMart and the gun store just across the street from Bob's. Have I been kept in the dark?
"Buy all you can, bury it in the back yard -- the Obamocalypse is upon us and if it's not, there's the Hillary Horror and blood in the streets."

Everyone who reads the NRA publications: American Rifleman, American Hunter, Amrica's First Freedom, Shooting Illustrated, Shooting Sports USA, American Family Insights, Armed Citizen, Standing Guard and others knows it's a desperate struggle, a fight every day to keep the government away from our freedom and yes, freedom means guns. Yes these are Obama's last desperate days and yes that sounds rather ominous, rather threatening coming from people who are promoting imminent and necessary rebellion. There is desperation of course and it's at the NRA and they do a stupendous job of promoting that fear of losing our Freedom (guns) even when there seems to be little, if any motivation on the part of  the Executive branch.  Mass confiscation, like the Second Coming is always imminent and contributions to the NRA always necessary and it sells well to the "south will rise again" crowd and the closet anarchists and paranoids and revolutionaries.  Obama,s gonna lock you up, he's gonna take your guns just like Clinton did and ohmagawd, here comes another Clinton!

Of course it's not just Bobs or at the fish camp bar out on the lake I'm fond of.  It's not just at those parties at the Harley dealer or the biker bars.  You hear it at the Yacht Club. You hear how "Obama has been just a disaster" from people who still have those "2012, the end of an error" stickers on their Bentlys.  If I dare to break the club rules and ask why that is, the answer is always a shrug or something that isn't true.

But things are changing rather quickly today, what with changing demographics and age and the spread of civil rights,  although one side will tell you it's too much and the other denies any change but for the worse.  Maybe we're in may respects at another George Wallace turning point.  No matter how firm he acted, no matter how much rabid support, Segregation was over.  The old ways are on the defensive.

"There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’"

Let's hope.

But will it be for the better?  Will we have to fight the civil war all over again?  I'm seeing Confederate flags everywhere now and people are taking idiotic pride in pretending to be rebels, renegades and sovereign citizens and their symbol is a rifle.  Nothing matters in the new Utopia  as much or more than guns, more guns, unlimited guns so we'll never have to worry about being rounded up by 'librals' and sold as slaves and the South shall rise again. So says Fox, so say the NRA.

Are the many people outside the paranoid, conspiracy theorist, anarchist, White Christian Nation circle helping it die?  Hell no, of course the anti-NRA fear-of-guns crowd doesn't help spread truth and objectivity by all the ill-informed and equally obsessive hyperbole.  Nobody seems to speak for the middle, for the people who are not afraid of Swiss Army knives and Gluten, Cell Phones and mysterious toxins and can't understand why a Montana rancher or resident of Alakanuk, Alaska needs guns.  If this is to be a turning point rather than a breaking point we're going to have to hear from and to listen to these people, normal people, rational and informed people.  They are out there aren't they?


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