I have hunch more people don’t state your reasons is that they don’t want to look foolish or be laughed at?

So, come on, Chris; it’s just you, me and the immediate world here; what happened?

Folks wouldn’t get you that Fanner 50? Mom said “no” to the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun? Gun owners laugh at you and kick sand in your face at the beach? Lost that cute girl in high school to the dude with the .22 in the back window of his pickup?

’Cause you’ve got some serious projection issues going on; you might want to think about some counseling.

You mentioned hammers in a reply to another comment. It reminded me of a good friend of mine who enjoys woodworking and my next-door neighbor who has a woodshop in his garage. Both of these guys are proud of their tools and like to show them off. I can tell the difference between claw hammer, ball peen hammer, an a tack hammer and I know which end of each to hold. But I would never suspect either of them from having any more sinister than pride in their tools and pride in their workmanship. I am quite comfortable with appreciating their pride and admiring their creations.

I am also quite comfortable in my enjoyment of guns. I am interested in them and I enjoy shooting. I am no longer able to hunt but I enjoyed it when I did.

Yes, I like guns. I enjoy learning about them and I enjoy writing about them. I have done more than enough shooting at silhouette targets and prefer a standard bullseye because I want to challenge myself to be more accurate simply for the satisfaction of being more accurate.

I do own some modern guns but my preferences are for older firearms that are out of production. I haven’t owned an AR-15 in more than 40 years but I have no particular problem with them. Eugene Stoner’s design represents a significant technological improvement over older semi-automatic rifles. Chambered for game-specific cartridges, they are also quite popular for hunting.

Incidentally, I don’t attach much credibility to the remarks made by Stoner’s children a number of years after his death that he would have regretted allowing Colt to produce his rifle because it was being used by mass shooters.

Stoner was alive when the first three mass shootings using an AR-15 were committed and he would have had plenty of time to express his feelings.

Instead, he was developing a new and improved version of the AR-10, the first of the AR-series, which was submitted for Army evaluation in 1954. Stoner’s last design was for a sniper rifle that was adopted by the U.S. military and used by special operations units until it was gradually replaced by a newer rifle beginning in 2011.

To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Stoner never shared the regrets and guilt expressed by Mikhail Kalashnikov at the end of his life. The two met May 1990, several years after the first three mass shooting involving Colt AR-15 Sporter rifles and, by all reports, the two talked shop.

My wife and three of our four children are also gun owners, as are our two older grandsons. My sister was a gun owner and all three of my wife’s sisters and their husbands are gun owners. I can assure you that we do not have the fetishes you seem to be projecting on us and I would be rather concerned if any of my family did.

I don’t feel “unmanned” without a gun. When our children were small, my wife and I agreed there would be no guns in the household until they were old enough to learn to safely handle a firearm and learn to shoot. When that time came, the first gun I bought was a .22-caliber rifle that everyone could use.

I don’t claim to be a typical gun owner. There are no typical gun owners. Steven Spielberg is a gun owner and has a nice collection of custom Italian shotguns. He is said to be a competition-level shooter in trap and skeet.

I will freely admit there are those preparing for the zombie apocalypse. There are also people who fancy themselves as ninjas with katanas or dress up in Renaissance clothing complete with very functional daggers and swords. There are thousands of people who participate in Cowboy Action Shooting competitions and are such sticklers for period accuracy that belt loops aren’t allowed.

I know and have known many of these people. I have known men who have been in real gunfights.

But you know what? I don’t think I have ever known an aficionado that was anything like your weird perceptions.

We’re nothing like you think we are so you will just have to get used to the fact we aren’t going to conform to your fantasies.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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