Jennifer asks how we became gun nuts. I don't think I am a gun nut.
I'm a freedom nut.
I'm one of those people whose minds changed about a lot of things after 9/11. That event caused a reappraisal of a lot of old, comfortable ways of thinking: the value of the technocratic elite state, the truthfulness of the media, and the position of the state and its citizens. In each of these, I abandoned the admiration for the centralized for the admiration of devolved authority. In this, I was really returning home to the values of the 1960s.
Trust the people.
9/11 showed the bankruptcy of the state, laying bare its incompetence to provide basic security for the people of this land. This realization cast a cold light on a lot of the old arguments that I had kind of skimmed past before:
"Guns are dangerous." So are cars. Lots more people die in car accidents than in shooting accidents.
"You need a car. You don't need a gun." You don't need a boat, either. Boats are dangerous, too. Per capita accident rates are a lot higher in recreational boating than in recreational shooting.
"This isn't about accidents. Look at the murder rate." Yeah, and you think that the State will protect you there? Fail.
From there, I found myself following some of the gun blogs, most notably Kim du Toit's. What resonated there was the love of the history of firearms, especially the history of self-reliance empowered by common ownership of firearms.
And so, I see this not as a technical appreciation (although there's certainly some of that), but a moral one. Owning a gun is a moral statement, that the People have been - and remain - not just trustworthy, but the foundation of the Republic.
I see opposition to private gun ownership as an affront to the People. What, are they not to be trusted? Am I not to be trusted? If so, then the Republic is built upon a foundation of sand.
And if so, who then can we trust with the sole possession of the tools of power? The same elite that failed so spectacularly in 9/11? It is to laugh.
None of that requires much in the way of gun nuttery. Freedom nuttery - yeah, it's full to the brim.