Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:41 PM
underpants (118,017 posts)
What I learned from my gun show tour
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 18 December 2012
In April 2009, at the dawn of the Obama era, I toured a series of gun shows in the American west. There, I encountered a subculture that closely reflected the survivalist mentality embodied by Nancy Lanza. Heavily armed and tightly organized through one of the most powerful political lobbies in the country, many of the gun show attendees I met had been incited into a paranoid frenzy by rightwing talk radio.
"When they start imprisoning Americans, and people start seeing that we're the enemy, then that'll make it hot," a 20-something man sporting a button for former Republican presidential candidate Representative Ron Paul told me in the parking lot outside a gun show in Antioch, California, a Republican stronghold about an hour east of the San Francisco Bay Area. "People talk about a revolution," the young man continued, "an armed revolution. I think police crackdowns on individuals will tip the scales."
An older gentleman in a floppy camouflaged baseball cap manning a National Rifle Association (NRA) booth outside the Antioch gun show rattled off conspiracy theories popularized by the far-right radio jock Alex Jones. He warned me that the government was planning to round up "normal citizens" and throw them in concentration camps operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema):
In less than a minute, the dealer effortlessly disassembled the gun and packed it away discreetly in a black backpack, explaining:
"The reason that we don't do this in a molly pack is that it looks military. If it's military, then people will assume that you're military. So what we do with this is we keep it as benign as possible so it looks like just any other backpack that anybody would have … so anybody with any garb, any dress, can go anywhere with it."
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Response to underpants (Original post)
Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:11 PM
Puzzler (1,826 posts)
1. The Guardian comments section...
... always seems to harbor a small army of wingnuts. I'm so glad that so many wingnuts regularly read the Guardian.