[Tim] viewed the government in some obscure way as an enemy of the people--especially Big Government, as he thought of it, somehow ignoring that it was made of people--and spent a lot of time trying to avoid being controlled or watched or even known by the government.If we replaced "Big Government" with "Nazi Government", or "Soviet Government", or "Mao's Government", would Paulsen be so ready to ridicule the notion? Probably, because he would likely agree with the notions of those governments. Even so, his statement is ridiculous: all governments are made up of people, even so-called "anarcho-capitalist" ones. Is the notion that a government that takes as much from you as it can, to feed ever-expanding utopian welfare programs that grow even faster than can be supported by what the government takes from you, all that far-fetched?
"The Rifle" is copyrighted in 1995; the narrative takes place in 1993. I wonder if Gary Paulsen feels different, now that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are on the brink of destroying our financial well-being. My guess: probably not!