fudd in natural habitat

This new group of men and women who wear guns as political statements apparently no longer experience weapons as tools for hunting or for sport. Even claims of defense are suspect. What type of threat necessitates military firepower?

Guns have become identified as symbolizing freedom, individuality or just plain cantankerousness. It makes me miss the old days when a gun was just a tool — albeit sometimes a beautifully crafted one.

The irony of the modern gun movement is that a take-no-prisoner stance on gun rights might just turn into a groundswell of support for tighter gun regulations. When the patriots start to lose gun nuts like me, they teeter on the brink of irrelevance.

The so-called patriots of today risk the very rights they’ve pledged to uphold with their lives. I know it’s a far less exciting thing to promote, but what makes America great is getting things done by talking and compromising.

I do not own an AR-15, and depending on my mood I can make an argument both for and against further regulations. After all, is my favorite deer rifle any less deadly than the scariest-looking assault weapon?

But on Jan. 6 at the Capitol, as I witnessed some of my countrymen threaten to use their weapons against our government, I found regulations more appealing.

It may be tedious to take part in politics on the level of reading about issues and engaging with people, but so far, that’s what makes America the best place to live. If I had to come up with a T-shirt slogan about a weapon, it wouldn’t be a threat, a warning or a brag. How about: A gun is just a gun.

— Brian Sexton in Writers on the Range: Self-described ‘gun nut’ has a warning

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