Friday, October 13, 2006

Words of wisdom...

Be afraid, America. Be very

By Bradley

Note: This article will be followed by an experiment. In an
effort to foster rational dialogue, Talkback responses to this piece will be
subject to stringent new guidelines, as specified below.

We have met the enemy, and, all too often, he looks
like us.

The United States has spent
breathtaking sums since September 11 to assure that people who look like
Mohammed Atta don't walk onto airplanes, take thousands of innocent lives, and
destroy embodiments of the nation's majesty.But what if the terrorist you're
looking for is not an Arab, not a Muslim, not swarthy and foreign-born and, yes,
alien?What if he looks and acts the way Americans used to believe that real
Americans were supposed to look: cool, quiet, Christian and, yes, white?What if
he's the guy from the Norman Rockwell calendar, the knowing veteran at the
hardware store, the serious, courteous, diffident rock on which the All-American
empire was built?After the vast resources sinkholed into Homeland Security, what

if the most immediate, the most likely, the most realistic terrorist threat to
America, is the white male who votes Bush, goes to church, mows and edges his
lawn, and one clear morning gathers his firearms and ammunition and walks into a

We don't want to think about him. We prefer our terrorists wild-eyed and
fanatic, turbaned and howling, bearded and masked and glaring and gowned.We
don't want to think about profiling Charles Whitman. We don't want to think that
the gifted student, the accomplished pianist, the Eagle Scout who grows to
become the Marine who wins the Good Conduct medal, married to his hardworking,
supportive sweetheart, will one day climb a clock tower, shoot 14 passersby to
death, and wound dozens more.We have privacy issues, we Americans do.We respect
the privacy of our neighbors. So much so that we may live next to them for 20
years and know them not at all.We respect the privacy of the quiet, the
keep-to-himself kind of guy. Maybe a little scary. But that's his business, not
ours.Until he walks into a school. Until he trains his handgun, his assault
rifle, his shotgun, his deer rifle, on girls in the school, authority figures in
the school, anyone who gets in his way.Or until he walks into the workplace,
opening fire on colleagues or former colleagues, bosses or former bosses. Anyone
who gets in his way.Be afraid, America. Be very afraid. And hire guards. Place
them at the entrances to your schools. Keep that guy out. I'm not talking
Mohammed Atta. I'm talking that guy who looks like you're supposed to look, if
you live in America.Keep him out. It's a gun-happy country. There must be a few
weapons left over to bar his entry. If the guard sees he has a gun, the guard
should be trained and ready to drop him before he drops a single child. Keep him
out, America. You'll never forgive yourself if you don't.

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