Hot Air: Darkness Very Visible

Come Out Fighting

Black guys get shot to death by cops, too often for no good reason. A presidential candidate calls for a border wall and a moratorium on immigrants of a certain religion. Our last two presidents were (and are) ridiculed and detested beyond all standards of civilized behavior. One was accused of plotting the most terrible attack against the United States of America in its history for his own nebulous ends. The other is portrayed as a pickaninny, while plenty of citizens insist on believing he’s actually a foreign-born agent out to take over this holy land. White supremacist organizations are insinuating themselves into the political debate for the first time in more than a half century.

And yesterday, snipers gunned down five cops in the streets of Dallas.

Are these the volleys of war?

Are even darker days ahead?

Time will tell. We can say this for certain now, though: A lot of people are itching for a fight. A real fight. Not just yelling and grimacing and name-calling. A fight in which lives are lost.

The angrier the discourse gets, the more firearms are sold. And people aren’t buying guns just to shoot at tin cans on fence posts.

Not when those guns are actually the weapons of warfare.

Like those on display Monday in Bloomington’s July Fourth parade.

A gang of gun-fondlers affiliated with something called the Panther Ridge Training Center which, apparently, is a place where people can go to get intimate with firearms, marched — or, more precisely, rode in a military-style vehicle — in the parade.

A photo of the the Panther Ridge entry was emblazoned on the front page of the Herald Times the other day. The H-T then ran the usual post-Fourth editorial gushing about what a swell nation we are and how free everybody is here, including, the editorial noted, even some exotic types from the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Nice to know some of our best friends are Negroes. Among the great and wonderful things this country has going for it, the editorial continued, is the ability of people like the Panther Ridge bunch to display their weapons of warfare during festivities on this holiest of national holidays.

Their presence in the parade, the H-T believes, should make us proud:

A lot of people in Bloomington would like to see the kinds of weapons displayed on the Panther Ridge float to be the subject of gun-control laws. But presuming all the weapons were legally purchased and possessed and violated no laws, their appearance in the parade should be viewed as an expression of patriotic freedom — something important to defend every day, but especially on the nation’s birthday.

Yep. It’s important for us to defend the right of this man to march in our town’s Fourth of July parade:

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[Herald Times Photo By Jeremy Hogan]

If the above-pictured marcher toting an automatic weapon that almost dwarfs him is “patriotic,” then we are a nation ready and eager to kill.

Of course, if you’ve been reading the headlines of late, what other conclusion could you come to?

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