I'm sure you've heard talk around town that something along the lines of demonstrations and protests are going to be going on in Lake Charles. I've heard all sorts of chatter about how downtown has been shut down and cops being urged to bring extra weapons when they are on duty. Don't let all these rumors scare you and, whatever you do, don't pass them along.

On Tuesday, there was a rumor that there was going to be a potentially violent demonstration downtown and that SWAT teams were patrolling in unmarked vehicles. I checked with three law enforcement agencies and they all assured me that the story was based on rumors that someone had posted in Facebook.

Later in the day, about the time the "riot" was going to take place I ran into a friend of mine downtown. He had heard the rumors and was taking no chances. He had a gym bag with three guns in it. Now, this friend is an intelligent guy and that just goes to show you that everyone is susceptible to these rumors.

The other day I posted a story about how most of us are afraid right now because everything seems to be turned upside-down.Rumors feed on fear and things can get nasty when people are afraid. Now, my friend with the guns is a peaceful, law abiding guy, but the rumors were so dire that he felt he had to be heavily armed since he worked downtown.

Of course none of the rumors have proven to be true, but that hasn't stopped the jerks out there who make up such stories and post them on social media. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to why people would post outright lies like that and add to the fear that is already in the air. I can only assume that it would be someone of very low intelligence.

The best thing we can do is go through our day and not pay attention to the rumors. If anything actually develops you won't learn about it from some jerk who thinks it's funny to post lies and scare people. News like that will come from actual media outlets like radio and TV and only after the story has been verified by law enforcement authorities.

Rumor mongers lose interest when their rumors have no effect and they move on to other juvenile activities. The old adage that we have nothing to fear but fear itself has never been truer than it is right now. Fear is a very potent explosive and it causes all sorts of damage. Just remember that rumors need fear to survive and it's up to each of us to keep things in perspective and not fan the flames of fear.

Now, let me just step down off this soapbox.