Moral panic.Read the whole article at the link.
That phrase hit me this week with the latest anti-weapon idiocy -- North Dakota State University forcing its fencing club off campus because the blunted blades, usable only for sport, violated "weapons policy."
Well, such bigoted follies are hardly news these days. Not after we've seen students punished for butter knives and "gun-like" gestures. I suppose we should all be grateful that members of North Dakota's fencing team were merely cast out, and not hit by a SWAT team or investigated by Homeland Security.
What's worrying me are the larger issues embodied in that term: moral panic. I am seeing incalculable danger ahead.
So what is a moral panic?
In an Ashgate Research Companion, Charkes Krinsky writes:
The term first appeared in print in 1830. The phenomenon didn't get a
serious look from psychologists or sociologists until the 1970s. But
moral panics have been around probably as long as civilization.
They've certainly been around as long as there have been demagogues, hysterics,
and rulers eager to take advantage of them.
And they are dangerous to life and freedom.