Last week, my dad readied his hunting rifle to defend our family against the possibility of chaos in the streets coming to our door. Downtown streets half a mile from our home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, were filling with citizens bearing assault rifles to protect local businesses from harm. Neighbors had been trading rumors all day about “rioters” coming from out of town, and if they showed up, there would clearly be a fight.

Here, guns are sacred, government is suspect, freedom is king and the American dream is alive. In my 10th-grade English class, the majority of students chose the 2nd Amendment as the most important right we have.

And yet. Something curious is happening here.

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