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Rural gun owner explains how ‘fear of one another’ has turned America into a stew of toxic paranoia

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David Joy, an author who lives in rural North Carolina, has written a lengthy essay about American gun culture in the New York Times in which he finds himself disturbed at the paranoia he sees in many of his fellow gun owners.

Even though Joy owns multiple guns himself and has been a gun owner for years, he finds himself feeling increasingly isolated by the dark overtones of American gun culture, which he says is now primarily driven by toxic fear.

“Fear is the factor no one wants to address — fear of criminals, fear of terrorists, fear of the government’s turning tyrannical and, perhaps more than anything else, fear of one another,” he says. “There’s no simple solution like pulling fear off the shelf. It’s an intangible thing. I recognize this, because I recognize my own and I recognize that despite all I know and believe I can’t seem to overcome it.”

Joy says that he has carried a gun on him for years — and he admits it’s likely due to a traumatic experience he had when he was 14 when an armed robber put a gun to his head and threatened to shoot him unless he handed over the money that was in his wallet.

All the same, he believes that the right to self defense has transformed into an all-encompassing paranoia about our fellow citizens that is harming our society.

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“I’m torn between the culture I grew up with and how that culture has devolved,” he writes. “There are changes I know must come, changes to what types of firearms line the shelves and to the background checks and ownership requirements needed to carry one out the door. And there is an unrelenting fear of what could be lost — a subsistence culture already threatened by the loss of public land, rising costs and a widening rural-urban divide; the right of individuals to protect their own lives and the lives of their families.”

Read the whole essay here.

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The real problem wasn’t the racism — it was the Trump taking ‘the Lord’s name in vain’ twice: supporter

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President Donald Trump was widely condemned after supporters at a campaign rally in West Virginia turned his racist "go back" message into a "Send Her Back" chant against one of a woman of color in Congress.

One Trump supporter in West Virginia also criticized the speech, but not for the racist targeting of Rep. Ilhan Omar.

State Senator Paul Hardesty, a Democrat, wrote to the White House to complain about Trump's use of the word "goddamn."

The letter was republished by the Montgomery-Herald.

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2020 Election

Here’s how Trump hopes to recreate his 2016 presidential win — and how Democrats can send him packing

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Writing for CNN on Saturday, election forecaster Harry Enten explained how President Donald Trump's recent, racist behavior lies in his desire to recreate the same electoral conditions that gave him a victory in 2016 in the presidential election next year.

"The Trump strategy is pretty simple: 1. Drive up the unfavorable ratings of his Democratic rival as he did in 2016 in order to compensate for his own low ratings. 2. Bank on an electoral college/popular vote split as he did in 2016. 3. Use a campaign of racial resentment to drive up turnout even more among groups favorable toward the President," wrote Enten. As he noted, Democrats have excellent odds to flip back Michigan and Pennsylvania, but they will have to work harder to win back any of the other states Trump flipped from the 2012 Obama camp — in particular Wisconsin, which was the closest state after those two.

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American, Italian and Russian blast off for ISS

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US, Italian and Russian astronauts blasted into space Saturday, headed for the International Space Station, in a launch coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA's Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set off on a six-hour journey to the orbiting science lab from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1628 GMT.

A NASA TV commentator hailed a "textbook launch" minutes after blastoff in "sweltering" weather in Baikonur, where daytime temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

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