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Your letter policy advises against “significant inaccuracies,” but now and then one slips through. The Dec. 2 letter from Doug Brearey, for example, states, “There is no doubt that Obama through the U.N. would like to ban all guns in this country.”

Where did he get this?

Let me conjecture. Suppose those who manufacture guns were to set up an organization ostensibly for sportsmen and other gun owners, but to remain under the control of the manufacturers. Then imagine that this organization becomes politically active as an integral part of the conservative movement and the Republican Party, and that it routinely scares its members with bogus charges that Democratic politicians are hostile to the Second Amendment. Now suppose that one year the Democrats nominate for president a man who not only is black, but is an intellectual! Imagine that the right-wing fever swamps produce lies about this candidate’s place of birth, religion and patriotism. Many people believe these lies. So the leaders of our organization, condescendingly thinking that their own members are the kxind of low-grade libertarians who believe such blather, decide to make some money through more focused fear mongering. They lie to their members, telling them if this man is elected the government will come after their guns. But he is elected, and the fear of jackbooted government agents coming for our guns spreads. The sales of guns and ammo shoot through the roof. The leaders of our imaginary organization laugh all the way to the bank.

Four years later this imaginary president runs for re-election. In his first term he took not one action against guns or the Second Amendment, so the leaders of our organization tell their members, in effect, that intentions speak louder than actions — and that no matter what the president says, or doesn’t do, his intentions, as we divine them, are still to ban guns, and now he will do so through the hated United Nations. They warn, “Watch out now that he doesn’t have to run for re-election!” The president is re-elected. There is another spike in the sales of guns and ammo.

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Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

Lawrence K. Pettit

Helena

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