The Nation: The Price of Paranoia

A champion cliché word in the contemporary lexicon is paranoia. Like most clichés, it gained its currency from actual conditions. A tragic example is an incident that took place in a Chicago supermarket parking lot. David Munoz, 10, earned soda-pop and movie money by carrying grocery bags to customers' cars. As he was crossing the parking area carrying loaded bags, he passed an armored truck. Inside was a guard, Ronald Brannan, who was waiting for his partner to pick up the supermarket receipts.

Whether or not Munoz accidentally bumped into the truck will probably...

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