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NRA's paranoia is catching

The Sun's editorial reflecting on the National Rifle Association convention in Nashville is an important statement on how the NRA has devalued our lives and our society ("Guns and the 'permanent darkness,'" April 16).

Wayne LaPierre's recent rantings against Hillary Clinton are alarming. They are like the delusional rantings of a mentally ill person who has been off his medications — screams of hysteria devoid of all reality. But while Mr. LaPierre, NRA members and their congressional supporters are totally irrational in their efforts to spread guns through our society, it is our society that has become more and more paranoid.

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The NRA works hard on behalf of gun manufacturers to instill fear in people. No place is safe without a gun. According to the NRA, your home is likely to be invaded, your family brutally molested or killed — unless you are armed with an assault weapon or two. Leaving your home someone is likely to assault you — unless you have a concealed weapon on you. No place is safe and everyone you meet is a potential hostile threat. As illogical as it is, the NRA would have you believe that your only chance at peace and security is to have a gun loaded and handy. You must stand your ground, pull out your gun, shoot and empty a magazine that carries 50 or more rounds of ammunition — on the suspicion that a person walking in your direction was ready to harm you.

This NRA vision of society is sick and sickening. But too many Americans have succumbed to this illness, and the NRA and gun manufacturers will not be satisfied until everyone carries an assault weapon and all fears are acted upon with deadly force. Compare our paranoid society to societies in other developed countries. We are moving more and more toward guns everywhere and gun violence as commonplace and acceptable in America. Other countries have strict gun laws, and they have extremely few incidents of gun violence. Which societies are rational, which delusional? Which societies are safer for you and your family?

Austin Barry, Eldersburg

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