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I think this country we call the United States is in such a state of current disunity that we have reached a point that is more dangerous than any time I can remember. That would include the year 1968, when everything seemed to be fracturing; 1962, when the world came within minutes of nuclear armageddon; and, well, name your favorite crisis here. Perhaps I could be accused of paying too much attention to the dkos doomsayers, of whom, let’s be honest, there are a few. But that would be very inaccurate in view of the genesis of this diary.

Our local paper reported on a widespread shortage of ammunition for firearms in gun shops across the area. Walmart is apparently going to ration ammo sales to three boxes per customer per day. This purchasing of guns and ammunition is a fear response, apparently, post-Sandy Hook, that the government will “take our guns away.”

As if this isn’t unsettling enough, several members of my own family - MY OWN FAMILY - have swallowed the kool-aid and proclaimed our president as a usurper, a communist, a you-know-the-list. Add these thoughts to a large portion of the population now armed to the teeth and convinced that there is no law of the land that applies to them, and a justice department that is in the unfortunate position of either not responding to states who publicly proclaim a willingness to disregard federal law, or responding and thereby creating radical martyrs. I don’t believe we are truly at a literal point of civil war in this country, and there may be very many reasons why it could not possibly happen.

But I do believe we are at a point of ideological civil war in our politics, in our legal behavior, and perhaps in our national psyche. If there is such a thing as a national psychosis, such as the Salem Witch hysteria but on a much larger scale, then it may be time for a national intervention. No, I have no idea what that means. But we need help. DeTocqueville thought race was our national achilles heel. I think perhaps guns have replaced race.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 0-)

    Tell me a story of deep delight. - Robert Penn Warren

    by bisleybum on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:15:16 PM PST

  •  We can count on it getting worse before it (0+ / 0-)

    Gets better.

  •  Calm down, y'all. (0+ / 0-)

    Take a deep breath. This isn't the bottom of the ninth, or the last two minutes of the fourth quarter.  Our national Achilles' heel is irrational, reactionary reasoning - to everything.  This doomsday thinking will bias your reasoning, and we need reasonable people right now.

    •  I might reiterate one point. (0+ / 0-)

      A lot of ink has been spilled on the nature of our republic, what with the Federalist papers and the anti-Federalist papers. The Department of Justice is not in an enviable position, but they have a job description, and it is to enforce Federal law. If individual states persist in refusing to recognize the upholding of Federal law, then at the very least the Federal gravy train to said states should be cut, but we all know that's not going to happen. Even without any apocalyptic rants, there is a real legal issue here about the nature of our government and the reach or limitations of Federal justice.

      Tell me a story of deep delight. - Robert Penn Warren

      by bisleybum on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:57:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's happening (0+ / 0-)

    Think of it as the Cold Civil War.  We're not going to have an armed insurrection (for one thing, the two sides aren't geographically separated by enough any more, for another thing the people who clean up milking the irrational fears of conservatives aren't about to have their gravy train blown up, figuratively and literally, by a bunch of confederate wannabes).  But we're going to have situations where there are places (rural parts of red states) where you just don't go and the police and the military won't go in for fear of triggering a real shooting war.  And not even that dramatic, in general: just whackjobs like the people in Idaho building their Galtian commune.  If that ever gets up and running, it's going to be hard to convince ATF to enforce gun laws there.  This is not unprecedented; anyone remember the "wild west"?

    The good news was that we did this with the Soviets, with blowing up the world as the downside scenario.  We're still here, the Soviets aren't, and nobody got nuked.

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