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Steve Lopez: A God and Guns America

April 14, 2008 | 12:32 pm


Speaking as a former resident of Pennsylvania, and as Time magazine's American Scene columnist -- a job that took me to nearly every state in the country -- I feel compelled to say that Sen. Barack Obama's so-called controversial comments about life, fears and anger in small towns are essentially fair and accurate.

Was it a generalization to say that people find comfort in religion and ammunition, and grow suspicious of people unlike themselves in difficult times? Yes. But there is much truth in what he said. It really is a God and Guns America, and it's easy to find five minutes outside of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco, and even in those big cities to a lesser degree.

It might not have been politically smart for Obama to say what he said, but that's what's wrong with the campaign trail. It's a place where speaking your mind is not only discouraged, it's attacked by opponents who reduce politics to pablum, and we all suffer in the end.

Read Steve Lopez's recent columns.