My commentary in my current book In Real Time about the future of the world is rather timely at this moment. This past week we’ve seen at a NY airport and just yesterday at LAX airport a massive panic that became literally a nightmare for passengers within both airports. It is mainly based on the fear of guns out of control in our culture, what with even the most protected, defense equipped people of all Police, being victims of shootings. Today we have cities out of control with gun victims. We now have a scenario that’s bordering on sheer panic. The fear itself is not simply with an actual enemy. We have a scenario based on fear and anticipation of misinterpreting any sound that could be construed as a gun shooting threat. This parallels the year preceding World War II, when in the United States, there was a massive fear of the enemy Nazi Germany invading this country. It was at times critical. Along came a man with a radio play…War of the Worlds. It was Orson Wells, and by the end of the broadcast, panic ensued in certain parts of the United States. It happened because the psychological setting was already in place for such a story to be misread as really happening at the moment.
God forbid we reach a point in our society that people will be allowed to carry guns in darkened movie theaters and similar settings. All one will need is a mal contempt, a screwball, a wise guy, or what have you, shouting out a certain phrase, or creating a noise that will be interpreted as a threatening gun massacre, and I will hate to tell you what I predict will happen, and it will happen.
Let’s be reminded that at the beginning of World War II, our President, FDR said “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”