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Health tip to gun buyers: A bullet won’t stop a virus | READER COMMENTARY

In this April 30, 2020, photo, protesters rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Gun-carrying protesters have been a common sight at some demonstrations calling for coronavirus-related restrictions to be lifted. But an armed militia’s involvement in an angry protest in the Michigan statehouse last week marked an escalation that drew condemnation and shone a spotlight on the practice of bringing weapons to protest. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
In this April 30, 2020, photo, protesters rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Gun-carrying protesters have been a common sight at some demonstrations calling for coronavirus-related restrictions to be lifted. But an armed militia’s involvement in an angry protest in the Michigan statehouse last week marked an escalation that drew condemnation and shone a spotlight on the practice of bringing weapons to protest. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

My coming of age was during the 1970s in rural Maryland where gun racks with rifles were a common sight during hunting season. I do not own a gun, but I value Second Amendment rights having grown up in a household with firearms. Early on during this pandemic, I heard rumblings about looting and ransacking in a possible future and even contemplated getting a firearm myself. But I’m not sure a gun could help me now because not even the NRA was prepared for what’s been laid at their door — fear. And this time, it’s in the eyes on this side of the sight, and not at the other end of the barrel (“Coronavirus fears in Baltimore, region spur ‘panic buying’ of guns and ammunition,” March 25).

I’m guessing a chapter titled, “When your firearm is ineffective,” was never considered for the National Rifle Association’s handbook. Gun owners are used to waving their weapons in the face of threats, but since the coronavirus is microscopic and invisible to the naked eye, it makes it ultimately more dangerous to them. Fear of the unknown is scariest of all because it’s not physically tangible, it can’t be seen, yet invisibly lives in our imagination.

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When I was young, I wouldn’t let my feet dangle off the edge of the bed lest the boogeyman should grab them from underneath. Fear is palpable to the one experiencing it whether real or imagined. If the one thing gunslingers counted on to protect themselves and their families is their gun and it’s useless against the virus, it lies impotent in their hand, a symbolic erectile dysfunction, if you will.

They don’t have a “magic bullet” to stop this ominous threat so their collective subconscious fear is transforming into anger, percolating against any infringement on their civil liberties to gather in groups and bear arms because “safety in numbers” is supposed to protect them against all enemies. Since this foe is microscopic, they need a visible, concrete entity to address their hostility toward, to show they’re not afraid. That’s why they make appearances at rallies in full battle regalia. However, deep down, they may have realized that the guns they raise in defiance, the flag they use as a shield and the Golden Calf that’s been milked dry cannot save them now.

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So they are scared. Very scared.

Richard ‘Slack’ Serrao, Westminster

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