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DEFCON 1: There's a reason for all of this anti-gun paranoia

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(Photo: Shutterstock/Fanfo)

Yesterday I half-joked about the extreme reactions people are having across the country to anything remotely linked to guns or violence. But if you thought a Pennsylvania school shut-down after a mistaken cell phone ringtone was bad, wait until you hear what prompted panic among school administrators at L'Anse Creuse High School in Michigan (emphasis mine):

L'Anse Creuse High School was shut down Tuesday morning after a former student, who now works at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, entered the building around 6 a.m.

Security concerns were raised because the man was dressed in camouflage.

Apparently the former student had just left work at the base and went to the school looking for a letter of recommendation.

He was confronted by a cleaning person who told him the counselor he was looking for was not in the building.

Yes, camouflage is apparently now synonymous with the threat of unfettered violence.

L'Anse Creuse High School - Harrison Township, Mich. (Image: ClickonDetroit)

Here's more from ClickonDetroit:

The former student left the school without incident.

Sheriff's deputies were called in to check the building, but nothing was found.

Macomb County Sheriff Tony Wickersham tells Local 4 the former student was not armed and was questioned by police.

He was released.

Students who were being bussed to the school were taken to a safe location while the security sweep was being done.

Dear America: Please seek help.

Glenn uses a quote from Star Wars to describe the decay of liberty.  Allow me to make a similar pop-culture reference...

Spoiler alert: If you've seen the movie Batman Begins, read on.  If you haven't seen it, go watch it.  It's awesome.

Today's ongoing paranoia about violence and anti-gun fear-mongering remind me of Batman Begins because the "bad guys" in the film derived their power from fear.  You might remember one scene in the movie where notorious gangster Carmine Falcone threatens Bruce Wayne:

Bruce Wayne: I didn't come here to thank you. I came here to show you that not everyone in Gotham's afraid of you.

Carmine Falcone: Only those who know me, kid. Look around you: you'll see two councilmen, a union official, a couple off-duty cops, and a judge.

[points a gun at Bruce]

Carmine Falcone Now, I wouldn't have a second's hesitation of blowing your head off right here and right now in front of 'em. Now, that's power you can't buy! That's the power of fear.

In fear, there is power.  And whether you're the good guy who, as Bruce Wayne says, works "to turn fear against those who prey on the fearful," or you're the bad guy looking to manipulate those fears for your own benefit, the mere presence of fear is one of the most powerful tools to have at your disposal.  The main antagonists in the film try to destroy Gotham City -- not by using bombs or guns, but by using fear.  This fear, Batman notes, would ultimately tear the city apart through mass panic.  In other words, the power to destroy the fabric of society already resides within human beings -- if you know how to use it, you can gain power over others.

Fear has significant implications in today's politics.  There's a reason politicians rely so heavily on "scare tactics" -- it's because they understand how fear is a part of the human condition that can be used to shape opinion, values, traditions, etc.  If you smoke, you'll get cancer.  If you pollute, the earth will flood.  If we allow guns, people will die.

Simply put, author Dan Brown notes: “Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire."  That's why this gun control debate (and others) will go on long past our lifetimes, and why freedom in history has been fleeting and rare.

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P.S. Thank you for allowing me to indulge in a bit of cinematic philosophy.  Hope you enjoyed it.

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