Published DateTo the editor,
Based on recent letters to this forum, it's become quite apparent that paranoia is running rampant within the gun community. As witnessed in Mr. Moon's letter, he writes of a hypothetical situation in which his gun is going to be taken by the government and he is going to be "raided by heavily armed soldiers or police ... and members of my family shot and killed in the name of public safety." He ramps up his paranoia by suggesting that the government could possibly declare war on otherwise peaceful gun owners.
While no one really believes the United States is in danger of a military invasion by any foreign power, a good many gun worshipers believe that they need to be prepared for a social cataclysm of sorts, like mass unrest or a catastrophe that leads to widespread looting and depredation. The gun is also used by many as a tool for projecting personal power.
This social paranoia, a dread of unseen threats against one's personal safety, feeds the demand for automatic assault rifles and handguns — much to the delight of obliging firearm manufacturers.
What many people are now talking about is not banning guns or taking them away, but putting in place some reasonable restrictions that would provide a line of defense against mass killings without infringing on what most people consider reasonable uses for guns.
It is not going to be easy to erase the prevalent social delusions that fuel gun ownership in America, but stricter laws and regulations can and should start preventing its lethal consequences.
L. J. Siden