Question of the Day: Are You A Gun Loon?

Saw this in the comments section under the post Self-Defense Tip: Do NOT Get Involved from TTAG commentator Magoo: “Gun loons don’t want to be part of society. They wish to stand apart from it, passing through it but never being a part of it. They have a great fear of society because everyone in it is a potential threat. As gun loons like to say, ‘Be polite and professional, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.’ The gun serves as the armor and differentiator, allowing the carrier to feel separate, above, and out of reach from society. The gun gives him an edge on the rest of the population; he’s afraid that without his edge, he can’t survive.” Does that sound like you or other gun owners you know? Does it? Does it punk? Warning: Any personal insults (i.e. flames) will be deleted without notice.

comments

  1. avatar BLAMMO says:

    … The gun serves as the armor and differentiator, allowing the carrier to feel separate, above, and out of reach from society. The gun gives him an edge on the rest of the population; …

    I could say something similar about someone who posts such views that are contrary to most of the visitors to this site. I won’t call him a troll, because that he is not. But what motivates him? Is it cathartic or therapeutic? He can’t actually expect to convince any of us that the right to carry a firearm is not important to us. I cannot imagine myself spending time at a site that advocates broad carry restrictions, no matter how civil or intellectually thoughtful the culture at that site.

    1. avatar WW Paul says:

      Unfortunately, the issue of firearms ownership/use vs gun control/gun banning is not an intellectual issue, it is an emotional one. Personally, I’ve made up my mind over the years, and I can’t picture the soundbite of reason that will change it. I suspect that all of us, on both sides of the issue, are the same.

      One side of the arguement is the need to diminish our opponents- who are generally honorable people- is the approach all sides use. The logic seems to be “If you disagree with me, you must be a lesser person- intellectually, morally, etc.” Gun loons and MikeB’s assertions that gun users are inferior to the general society are classic examples of this. I think of it as the modern day, politically correct “N” word.

  2. avatar Javier E says:

    I have been called worse. But those who’ve called me a loon are the same people who have never owned or fired a gun for any reason. I’ve ridden motorcycles and trying to explain the sensation to one who has never ridden is as difficult. My mom only sees the danger in it and there is no way on earth or in hell that she can get past that aspect of it. ” There has to be something wrong with any one who would do something so dangerous”, she’s said on many occasions. Those who are anti – gun (IMHO) for the most part are as myoptic as my mom they don’t care for any logical or ilogical arguments to the contrary. To that same end we “gun loons” can be just as myoptic about our side of the argument. Bad thing is that there are real crazies out there in the world who have and will take any thing they believe in to an extreme and deadly end. Suicide bombers, end of the world believers, ………………. bankers, poloticians,……………(infinity).

    1. avatar racer88 says:

      Well put. Similarly, I’ve encountered people who have severe emotional reactions to the sight of a folding knife (I’m a Spdyerco guy along with being a Glock and FNH guy). They recoil at a pocket knife. Meanwhile, they have no problem with a butcher block full of long knives (10-inches +) in their kitchens (which are, in fact, a common weapon used in murders). But, if I take out a 3-inch Spyderco to open a package… “OH MY GAWD! Are you some kind of RAMBO?”

      They are tools. Guns and knives. I have a fire extinguisher in my home and office. I’m not expecting a fire. I wear my seat-belt and buy cars with airbags, but I’m not expecting a head-on collision. None of those things serve to separate me from “society” or give me “an edge” against “the rest of the population.”

      But, you are exactly right. Logic, fact, and science are no match in an emotionally-based “debate.”

  3. avatar Gunnutmegger says:

    Let me see if I have this process documented accurately:

    1) trolls post deliberately inflammatory unsubstantiated comments, often as “flames” against the entirety of the shooting public rather than a single individual

    2) the rest of TTAG’s regulars have to wade through the trolls’ worthless contributions, while being admonished that they have to tolerate being insulted

    3) repeat

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Any belief worth having is a belief worth questioning.

      1. avatar TTACer says:

        Would it be flaming if every time we responded to a post of Magoo or MikeB’s we made sure to describe them as “gun retards” before launching into our actual point?

        1. avatar Jayson R says:

          “Retards” is hurtful and insensitive.

          I believe the correct phrase is “gun ‘tards”.

      2. avatar Dave says:

        Maybe if the belief is well-articulated and novel. This guy’s belief is just a repeat of the old “Gun owners are cowards with small penises” ad hominem attack that anti-gun loons have been throwing at us for decades. Some beliefs aren’t worth any more than disdainful dismissal. “Gun loons” is one of them.

        1. avatar Gunnutmegger says:

          I agree with your statement, RF.

          BUT…”questioned” is not an accurate description of what MikeB does here, and it doesn’t apply to that post of Magoo’s either.

    2. avatar mikeb302000 says:

      *Amended version*

      I don’t know if you had me in mind when you wrote that, or if you were just referring to Magoo, but let me point something out. What you call posting “deliberately inflammatory unsubstantiated comments, often as “flames” against the entirety of the shooting public,” is nothing more than someone else’s opinion which happens to differ from yours.

      I generally don’t do name-calling, but mainly I try to make my points. How would you characterize your comment? Constructive criticism of the blog policy?

      As far as your having to wade through the trolls’ worthless contributions, well not everyone agrees with you on what is worthless and what’s not.

      1. avatar TTACer says:

        This is an insult.

        This is an insult.

        This is the kind of thing only a racist with a teeny weeny peeny would say.

        This is just a projection of your powerlessness.

  4. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    The way I see it is you should have an elevated sense of your surroundings. As well, there are times to be seen and times it’s best to fade into crowd. My handgun is my last resort, following a progression of a fighting knife and plain physical intervention. I would say my first response would be the cell phone-any one seeing a crime should be the one calling 911. See RF, I was nice!

    1. avatar Buuurr says:

      I’m with you Cujo accept for the 911 in my case. We just found out that Ohio does not have any training for its 911 staff. There is a new bill or law going into affect to change that but for now we have nothing.

  5. avatar TX Gun(s) Owner says:

    Blammo

    I disagree. Troll is the correct description. The only purpose to that post was to generalize and insult an entire population who have differing beliefs. it’s what trolls do best.

    Personally, I disagree with pointing out the post and giving Magoo the recognition he/she was looking for. As long as the gun banishing reds continue to use such uninspired, unintelligent arguments, it helps the cause of preserving 2A.

    1. avatar stateisevil says:

      she

    2. avatar William says:

      Well, “reds” is just generally inaccurate. Don’t tar all anti-gunners with the same brush. Some are just squeamish, shrinking violets. Violets with an obsessing with violence, perhaps.

      Or trumpets and violins we hear in the distance…

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    I often enjoy Magoo’s posts because he can be really funny (no, I am certainly not being sarcastic; the guy’s got game), but I think he’s way off base almost always. When he says that ‘gunloons’ “[h]ave a great fear of society because everyone in it is a potential threat,” I think he’s confusing gun hobbyists with survivalists. The “have a plan to kill everyone you meet” business is an old Marine Corps joke. Are there gun loons in the world? Sure. But if Magoo wants to engage with them, he should be reading Soldier of Fortune, not TTAG.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      I’m with Ralph in that I like that Magoo posts here. I don’t often agree with him, but he and mikeb help TTAG from becoming to much of an echo chamber. A nice analogy is that they force us to move and shoot instead of just stand and shoot. It takes guts to come on an internet gun board, any internet gun board, and become a regular poster with those beliefs.

      1. avatar TX Gun(s) Owner says:

        It doesn’t take guts to go to a message board and make baseless claims and call people names. It takes anonymity.

  7. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I’m one of the biggest “gun loons” you’ll ever meet, but not the type that our resident *****(I’m sure you guys i.e. Ralph can fill in the stars) just described. I’m glad you gave us that warning at the end because I wouldn’t have been very civil and most likely would have been banned for life. I’m not the brightest bulb on the tree, but if those silly comments aren’t flaming (I should say flamethrower aimed directly at us all) then I’ve never flamed in my life. Wow, I was actually nice and I haven’t had a kinder gentler side for months.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      It’s always lovely to see your kindler, gentler side, JOE.

      Now snap out of it!

  8. avatar Blake says:

    “One cannot reason someone out of a position they have not reasoned themselves into.”

    -Author unknown.

    Which, I think, describes Magoo perfectly.

  9. avatar Don says:

    This is a classic case of a loud minority influencing the perception of a silent majority. People who fit magoo’s description do exist and their inherent tendency toward hyperbole makes them easy to “see” and “hear”. Since some people are dangerously inclined toward “proof by anecdote”, they believe these people represent the whole.

    However… the very nature of the majority prelude them from being observed and counted in the same way as the loud and hyperbolic. They are normal. They know that having a gun handy makes you no more a cop than having a fire extinguisher makes you a firefighter or a first aid kit makes you a surgeon.

    The majority carry a gun to have the ability to survive a would-be lethal attack. Does the majority expect everyone in society to be this lethal attacker? Do they expect these lethal attacks to be frequent or happen at all? No and No. We don’t live in fear of house fires or snake bites either.

    While unlikely, the consequences of a lethal attack are “grave”. This justifies the very minor inconvenience of being adequately prepared to defend yourself. Since the nature of a lethal attack is spontaneous and toward your body, that preparation must be accessible at the speed of spontaneity, and attached to your body. This means that you have a gun on your person that you don’t expect to use at every moment of your life… but if you see smoke or a spark one day you will be ready for the likely imminent fire.

    If you do need it, you won’t know until seconds before and having it is life or death. This means that the gun needs to be involved in your life pretty much all the time, and that’s why so-called “gun loons” like to talk about it all the time. Everyone talks about whatever pieces of their lives are there all the time. Some people exaggerate. Exaggerations stand out by definition, and therefore are more noticeable. What is most noticeable become anecdotes less scrutinizing people form their stereotypes on.

    -D

  10. avatar Jeff Lynch says:

    I apologize if this has been suggested before but perhaps Magoo is “Hyde” to RF’s “Dr. Jekyl”. Both gentlemen are well spoken, thoughtful and intelligent; just diametrically opposed in their points of view. Do we have have any gun-toting psychologists reading TTAG these days? Perhaps one could review the past writings of both to see if my theory holds water.

    (Just kidding guys, really!)

    1. avatar Phil says:

      Not me but here’s an interesting sidetrack:

      http://www.dianahsieh.com/frontsight/

      Ayn Rand meet Ron Hubbard via Ignatius Piazza

      Sharing a common interest doesn’t mean we have much in common

  11. avatar Wes says:

    I don’t understand the couple comments about “it’s an emotional issue” or “our side can act the same way,” etc, because one side has facts on its side and one does not.

    1. avatar TX Gun(s) Owner says:

      Virtually all political issues have become emotional issues these days. I would venture to guess that a majority of people know very little about the true facts of most issues, despite which side of the fence they stand on. I know gun rights advocates and gun control advocates that are woefully uneducated when it comes to guns. It comes down to their preconceived notions backed up by whatever “information” (true or otherwise) they can find to back that notion.
      Lance makes a good point above about the need for opposing opinions on this site to foster good discussion. However, those opposing opinions need to be well thought out and based in reality as opposed to wild generalizations and exaggerations intended to insult rather than debate.

  12. avatar Tony says:

    I must say that Magoo tends to be a bit more reasoned than others of similar viewpoint. However, saying we’re afraid of society and want to be separate from society is a gross misrepresentation. If that were true I’d be living off the grid in the boonies somewhere. I don’t see everyone as a threat but I do realize that a threat could come from anywhere. My decision to carry is based on many things, a study of history, reading the Bible, the Constitution, and my own observations and reasoning. If that makes those on the other side nervous, I’m sorry for them. In the end, I do like seeing posts by Magoo and MikeB because it makes folks think and you really should be able to defend any strongly held belief in logical manner.

  13. avatar Vigilantis says:

    Most of the gun owners I know are either hunters/recreational shooters, or family men with wives and children to protect, and the two categories aren’t mutually exclusive. I wouldn’t describe any of them as antisocial. I do know a couple of old guys who can be a bit gruff, but I suspect that’s because they’re grumpy old men, not because they own guns.

    Even if he does troll on occasion, I do like having Magoo here. I remember our “Top Ten Handguns” thread, and if I recall correctly, Magoo put the Peacemaker at the top of his list. Anybody who does that can’t be all bad in my book.

    1. avatar Bob H says:

      Where does one go to shoot a recreation? Is a license required?

  14. avatar David says:

    First of all, it is an emotional issue. Those who have a conservative mindset generally base their beliefs on reason(statistics show that legal gun owners are a very responsible and safe demographic). Those who have a liberal mindset generally allow their emotions to rule their political ideas(guns kill people, and therefore, if we get rid of guns, people wont die). Therefore, as those of the more liberal persuasion wish to reduce our rights and make this an issue, this issue is based off of their emotional response, and so its an emotional issue because they make it so.

    I recently married a great woman who is quite liberal. When I go to her family’s home for Christmas, I am the only gun owner there(8 adults). She is of what I believe is the average belief on guns, which is that the current laws work and just need to be enforced better and that criminals who use guns should be locked up for longer sentences. She has even gone shooting with me and seemed to enjoy it. Her mother got freaked out when she discovered that I own an AKM and an M4gery. She believes that having firearms in the home means that there is a great chance that they will kill one or both of us(on their own maybe, after getting out of the safe?) As someone who lost a cousin to gun violence(murdered with an illegally obtained handgun), I can say that it has touched my life and family. Despite that, I will continue to support the 2A politically, financially and by being prepared to defend my wife if someone tries to do the same thing that was done to my cousin.

  15. avatar Anon says:

    Am I going to pigeon-hole myself by self-identifying, either way, to an arbitrarily-defined, insulting phrase fabricated to demean and ridicule those who dare to disagree with intolerant bigots?

    Yeah, pass.

  16. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

    In answer to the question, “Does that sound like you or other gun owners you know?”, no, it doesn’t. And I know a lot of gun enthusiasts.

    Am I a ‘gun loon’? No. I am a responsible concealed-weapon carrier and a gun-safety instructor.

  17. My own answer has been to make my kids read Dave Grossman’s On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs.

    There are some people who, through some mix of nature and/or nurture, have become wolves (Don’t start the “wolves aren’t evil” bit. I’m using Dave’s analogy). There are others of us who essentially go through life in Ayoob’s Condition White, unaware of what’s happening and afraid of those with the teeth.

    There are also sheepdogs. They have teeth and are dangerous, but have no desire to “go feral”. However, sheepdogs scare the sheep. The sheep don’t understand the 1 percent chance, the 0.1 percent chance, or the 0.01 chance; it looks so unlikely that it’s insanity.

    Until of course the black swan shows up. Then the sheep panic.

    The “sheepdogs” are those who see the low probability, high cost events, and are prepared as much as is possible to counter them. For someone who isn’t inclined to believe in the low probability events, it seems nuts.

  18. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I just read Grossman’s story and I loved it because it’s true. I would like to think that I’m a sheepdog and that I’d do the right thing if I really had to. There will always be Evil men and women who would hurt or kill you without a second thought. There will also always be the sheep that would rather lay down and die than fight. We all need someone to be the sheepdog who is willing to help his fellow sheep no matter what happens.

  19. avatar ExurbanKevin says:

    “Gun loons don’t want to be part of society. They wish to stand apart from it, passing through it but never being a part of it. They have a great fear of society because everyone in it is a potential threat. As gun loons like to say, ‘Be polite and professional, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.’”

    I would argue that the reverse is true. I carry a gun not because I fear society, but because I want society to continue, and more importantly, my little portion of it, namely, me and my family. I do not live apart from society, I live in it.

    I am the wolves worst nightmare: I am a sheepdog in sheep’s clothing.

  20. avatar Don says:

    In the gun community, I am a partially closeted liberal. In the liberal community, I am a partially closeted 2 amendment + gun enthusiast. Having a firm and thorough understanding of both worlds I feel I can credibly make two points:

    1. This stereotype of (presumably conservative) gun owners is absurd. Flatly untrue, it betrays a total lack of understanding of the community. A total outsiders view, and if you are a total outsider there is really no point in trying to make a point by regurgitating stereotypes based on only the most fantastic and observable anecdotal incidents which make it out of the community. The fantastic is by definition NOT the norm.

    2. There are vast amounts of fiercely closeted liberal gun owners who also know that this stereotype is absurd, and therefore peddlers of this stereotype are easily identified as worthless and untrustworthy by their own supposed brethren. If I can see how fundamentally flawed your logic is in on this issue, I can’t trust your logic on any issue, and therefore you are rendered intellectually impotent. Not a contender on any issue. The basic underpinnings of your thought process can not be trusted.

    As a side note (rant):
    In the (what I feel to be artificially) polarized conservative vs. liberal climate of the US, I have observed that I’ve got way more in common with the average American conservative (and they have way more in common with me) than either of us do with the average American politician (conservative or liberal). Pretty much everything conservative media outlets tell conservatives about liberals is hyperbole, and pretty much everything liberal media outlets tell liberals about conservatives is also hyperbole. These stereotypes reflect not the majority of “normal” Americans, but the loud and observable minority of radicals on each side. Most Americans are NOT absolutists. It’s kind of why this country works. When reality smacks you in the face, Americans tend to make decent decisions. How they rationalize it to fit their ideology varies, but the decisions tend to be sound.

    (For example, the American Buddhist community at large believes killing Bin Laden was totally acceptable, on the grounds of it helps to minimized future deaths, and it was because of his karma and stuff. Different rationale than the more practical “we sent a message to the terrorists of the world that we will always be able to get you”, but same exact good decision in the end.)

    These misleading portrayals also prevent normal liberals and conservatives from getting together and hanging out by making everyone feel like the other is “too different”. That’s bull. I am involved in activities where I’m around conservatives and liberals all the time. I get along. Everyone is normal, everyone is reasonable. Honestly I think it is the “divide and conquer” approach being applied to us all for the benefit of the politician-class of people. The plight of the average American is at time good, at times bad, but if you are part of the politician class, you’ve always prospered. No surprise there, and hell, I don’t even blame them. Power = Survival is a fundamental law of human nature. Stronger = Winner. It always will be, no matter what recent philosophical rationale we want to hang around it. People like to debate on how best to cultivate strength. I say do it in all ways possible. Liberal ideas of strength in numbers, conservative ideas of strength in self-sufficiency. It’s not one or the other.

  21. avatar Magoo says:

    Not all gun owners are gun loons. Just many of you guys. You pretty much know who you are, so let’s have no more of your whingeing. You are not mainstream gun enthusiasts so quit trying to hide behind our skirts or claim you in any way speak for us. You do not speak for us. You are the crackpots and lunatics who make the rest of us look like crackpots and lunatics.

    1. avatar Don says:

      I wasn’t aware we were acquainted. I am quite normal. I’d be interested in your recommendation for gun blogs which you consider to be both mainstream and devoid of “crackpots” and “loons”. From my experience, this blog is pretty level headed.

      -D

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