ethel’s words

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TERRORISTS UNDER THE BED

No wonder guns are for sale every--no, almost--everywhere in Yankee America. We are frightened. We are scared to death. We are terrified.

Just what are we afraid of? Are the bears making a comeback? Is there a pack of wolves howling in the night-time city streets? Might someone put a Gila monster between our sheets? How about our political foes? Are the Bolsheviks coming? Are the Arabs (whatever that ethnicity is) going to appear over the horizon on exquisitely magnificent horses? (Wow, let them come.)

Oh. Oh, it’s the Commies. Just like old Joe McCarthy (don’t confuse with Eugene, you young folks) taught us. Purveyors of force and violence.

Well, of course we fear force and violence, and that is what human societies are made of. Who is going to be violent first, them or us? Who are the “thems” now? Blue-eyed blond Europeans or toast-brown Asians? Or is it the home-grown Yankees who have a pickup truck, a vicious dog, explosives, and guns. And a host of terror-ridden nightmares: They’re coming, They’re coming!

We fear the crowd factor among teenagers. Mostly we fear the poor ones, gangs roaming the streets. (Or a family going shopping.) Sometimes we get scared of the gang activities in the fraternity houses. Terrorists. Terrorists.

Closer to Earth, we fear microbes, germs, viral forms, spores, prions, and flu and AIDS. We get stuff shot into our bodies in fear of some dread disease. All these fears may be justified. Terrifying, indeed.

We read about a person being eaten by a bear. Everybody should have a gun, loaded and ready. The worst is yet to come. We need a gun to fend off the sheriff when we are being evicted on foreclosure. Will someone steal our money? Will we have to get our food at the point of a gun?

Get a gun, get a gun, tra la, tra la. Happiness is fondling a gun.

Ethel C. Hale