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Real bravery

To the Editor:

It’s curious to me that so-called American Patriots love to describe the United States as the “land of the free; home of the brave.”

Since Sept. 11, and before, our claim to bravery has to be questioned.

Do a brave people tremble in their homes, hanging onto their guns, and waiting for al-Qaida to attack? Bogeymen that have hidden under our beds forever – we have called them Communists, Irish, Mexicans, Catholics, Muslims and many other names. Someone is always pointing at an individual or group or country and saying, “This is who is trying to take your freedom.” When they have you quivering in your fortress, they have already won. You are no longer free. And all that had to happen was for someone to make you fearful.

The next time someone tells you to be afraid, think about what their possible motive might be. Is it the NRA insisting there should be an M-16 in every home? Who profits from that? How about the politician who says having the NSA keeping tabs on our phone records is being prudent? Big Brother was a little slow in arriving, George Orwell having predicted the arrival for “1984.”

If you want to be truly free, your bravery cannot be bought at a gun show. Real bravery is facing the “bogeymen” and knowing you have won no matter the outcome.

Nat Leighton

Crystal Lake

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