Sunday, July 10, 2016

"Obama's Going to Take Our Guns" In the Army Paranoia is Normal

At the end of January 2009, my unit mobilized for deployment to Iraq.  We trained for two months at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, before flying to Kuwait then Iraq.

From the day we landed in Oklahoma, I heard "Obama is going to take our guns."  I heard it in the barracks, I heard in the mess hall, I heard it in the motor pool and especially in the lines we stood in to draw equipment and gear.

The majority of the soldiers I deployed with either fully believed or had some inclination to believe that President Barack Obama was going to begin confiscating guns while we were deployed to Iraq.

At first I thought they had to be kidding, but it quickly became clear that between what they heard from the NRA, Fox News, and Conservative Radio, many of my fellow soldiers sincerely believed Obama was coming for their guns.

Now more than 2,700 days later, I just heard a Conservative saying that Obama will be "coming after our guns" before he leaves office.  In the Army paranoia is normal, and that makes sense.  Security requires that as few people as possible know sensitive information.

To put it another way:  Ignorance saves lives.

But ignorance is the breeding ground of rumors and rumors are the fetid soil that grows paranoia.  So it made some terrible sense that so many people would believe something as crazy as "Obama is coming for your guns."  But they did.  And now that Obama has been in office 2,700+ days, some of those soldiers still believe Obama is coming for their guns.

The Philosopher of War and Terror and Politics: Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt 1906-1975 Today a friend asked and I were talking about politics and how refugee problems have led to wars in the pas...