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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.

Continued from page 8

Catholicism. These kinds of stories inflamed a mob of patriots in 1834 to attack an Ursuline convent outside Boston and burn it down.

Nicholas Kristof

“Similar suspicions have targeted just about every other kind of immigrant. During World War I, rumors spread that German-Americans were poisoning food, and Theodore Roosevelt warned that ‘Germanized socialists’ were ‘more mischievous than bubonic plague.’

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“Anti-Semitic screeds regularly warned that Jews were plotting to destroy the United States in one way or another,” notes Kristof. “A 1940 survey found that 17 percent of Americans considered Jews to be a ‘menace to America.’

“Chinese in America were denounced, persecuted and lynched, while the head of a United States government commission publicly urged in 1945 “the extermination of the Japanese en toto.” Most shamefully, anti-Asian racism led to the internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II.

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“All that is part of America’s heritage, and typically as each group has assimilated, it has participated in the torment of newer arrivals. But we have a more glorious tradition intertwined in American history as well, one of tolerance, amity and religious freedom. Each time, this has ultimately prevailed.”

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Meanwhile, what is a parent to do? Sending your child to a school that may be the next target of a lunatic gunman is terrifying.

“As a parent of two boys under the age of four,” Paltzik writes that the idea of millions of guns worries gun-control advocates. But their passivism doesn’t work. “What will gun control proponents say after the next school shooting? Will they admit that gun control is an abject failure? Don’t bet on it. They will call for further gun control. Incremental restrictions occur until gun ban precedent is so overwhelming that the right to bear arms is lost. Eventually, there comes a point where the new hysteria is ‘knife control.’

“And after all the knives are taken away, what then? Hammer control? Where does it end? The slippery slope is real: in 2008, samurai swords were banned in England and Wales! The current debate in the UK involves banning steak knives.”

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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
Related Topics: Gun Control, News

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