One of the pitfalls of living in what many call a "democracy," which according to our Founders is an erroneous way to describe our form of government, is the tendency of opportunists to use the mass hysteria among the populace to garner support for bad laws.
The case of the Salem Witch Trials is a perfect example of such hysteria. Some of the more astute minds of the period were so caught up in the hysteria stemming from the claims of a few silly school girls that a number of admirable, upstanding members of the community were sentenced to death.
Contrary to the notion that society has advanced far beyond such primitive thinking, modern 21st century societies have their own versions of mass hysteria that are rarely based on logical thinking but on knee-jerk reactions to frightening events.
Gun hysteria is case in point...
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