What has Americans so frightened? Why are they stocking up on guns and ammo?

Fears of crime, a potential crackdown on firearms, social collapse and even zombies have millions loading up as never before.

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Even today, the Russian government is not to be trusted, he warned: “While President Putin pushes through reforms, the local authorities, especially in our vast hinterland, do not feel they need to act like they work for the people. They do as they please, a tyrannical class who knows they have absolutely nothing to fear from a relatively unarmed

population. This in turn breeds not respect but absolute contempt and often enough, criminal abuse.”

John Whitehead

Civil rights lawyer John Whitehead, writing in the liberal Huffington Post quotes America’s second president, John Adams: “Fear is the foundation of most governments” and says it is no wonder that Americans are afraid today. “Turn on the TV or flip open the newspaper on any given day, and you will find yourself accosted by reports of government corruption, corporate malfeasance, militarized police and marauding SWAT teams,” writes Whitehead. “America is entering a new phase, one in which children are arrested in schools, military veterans are forcibly detained by government agents because of the content of their Facebook posts, and law-abiding Americans are being subjected to the latest in government spy technology.

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“These threats to our freedoms are not to be underestimated. Yet even more dangerous than these violations of our basic rights is the language they are couched in — the language of fear. It is a language spoken effectively by politicians on both sides of the aisle, shouted by media pundits from their cable TV pulpits, marketed by corporations, and codified into bureaucratic laws that do little to make our lives safer or more secure.

“This language of fear has given rise to a politics of fear.”

And when Americans become afraid, they buy guns.

Massad Ayoob

Arab-American author Massad F. Ayoob marvels at all the fear. “If you’re reading this, you’ve probably had a conversation with someone in the last few days who asked, ‘Why do ordinary law-abiding people need those semiautomatic firearms with magazines that can hold more than ten cartridges?’” he writes in Backwoods Home. “There are lots of sound answers.

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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
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