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.