I hear the term “gun culture” or “gun nuts” tossed around a lot lately. Universally, those words comes out of the mouths of people who have never learned to act responsibly and competently with a rifle, pistol, or shotgun, and these terms are almost always used as an epithet.
The people cursing the gun culture tend to be superstitious in nature. It is their superstition that these inanimate objects are somehow filled with an evil spirit, capable of lashing out on its own (the “it went off when he touched it”-based fantasy) or capable of imparting temporary psychosis (the “he was always so quiet/the gun made him do it”-based fantasy), like the Mask in the movie of that same name. It would be laughable, were they not so serious in their desires and simultaneously unwilling to confront the irrationality of their beliefs.
These views are common within their subculture (of which Hollywood is a part), and are amplified and exploited by gun control groups, who offer up the pipe dream that if inanimate objects are removed from society, then the core essence of humanity will change. Remove a particular configuration of metal, wood, and polymers from society, they chant, and we’ll all suddenly think happy mindthoughts and share eternal goodfeelings forevermore.
Fortunately for us, the actual gun culture—those who shoot a lot, and are devoted to the pursuit of skill acquisition and refinement—tends to be far less superstitious and far more pragmatic than our cultish opposites imagine.
Of course, we have to be.
The pursuit of excellence in the gun culture is defined harshly by the laws of physics, the science of body mechanics, and tremendous amounts of practice. Members of the gun culture are craftsmen that respect and maintain their tools, refining and customizing them to perform specific duties. Like any craftsman, we only come up with “show quality” results after countless hours honing our skills, applying them to the medium at hand.
Also like any craftsmen, the gun culture exhibits tremendous patience. You have to have patience and an analytical mind to refine your skills as a shooter, to perfect your stance, your load, and your fundamentals, and then methodically work to minimize that variances and uncertainties inherent to our shared passion.
This measured, patient, analytical approach that is endemic to our culture, our tribe.
When they choose to see “nuts,” they aren’t seeing us, they’re seeing a reflection of themselves in the defective prism they’re trying to look through. Emotional, irrational, and prone to fits of hysterical outrage, they can’t conceive of others not acting and thinking as they do.