As everydaynodaysoff.com points out, the gun lover above is about as emo as you can get without listening to My Chemical Romance. But I share the bullet maker’s philosophical approach to firearms. For me, shooting is about mastering that sometimes infinite space between firing and not firing. The moment between the bullet laying in the gun, inert, and the moment the bullet flies out of the gun at superhuman speeds. In terms of self-defense, I’m fascinated by the leap from life before you pull the trigger to life after you pull the trigger. As for firearms themselves, I never get tired of coming to grips with the transformative power of their highly evolved, continually evolving forms. I love guns not as a lover loves a lover. I love guns as a man who savors the incredible lightness of being. And I like to shoot holes in stuff. Why do you love guns?

87 Responses to Question of the Day: Why Do You Love Guns?

  1. I don’t really know one day I’m buying a shotgun for home defense the next thing I know I have moved out of California and have a safe full of guns I don’t really know when the love started

  2. Because, one day, my generation(or our immediate descendants) will piss on our nation by voting to ban them.

    I’m 27 years old, and feel like an alien in my own generation.My clueless cohorts think a bigger government, more regulation , and government sponsored healthcare, education, job support, and even government security should be expanded.

    If my generation doesnt pull the plug, our kids will.One day I’ll probably be that old timer who reminisces at the Airsoft Gun Licensing Office about the good ol days when you could buy a handgun at the hardware store.

  3. You have just described to a T the underlying zen concepts behind the study of Iaido and Kyudo. What I’m saying, is there must be something inherent to mankind that compels us to that fixate on that narrow window of action – it must speak to something deep in us.

  4. I always had a passion for firearms. It was born through hate, but turned into a love. Its really therapeutic, the silence.

    • Yep. They are simply tools, I like them, I appreciate them, I understand and value the capabilities they provide for defense, I enjoy using them and the challenges of using them well, but I don’t love them.

      • Simply tools, which I happen to find to be wicked fun to use for putting holes in paper and knocking over steel plates. 🙂

        More seriously, I’ve always been fascinated by highly energetic systems and precision machining and engineering.

    • You beat me to it.
      I enjoy guns. I might come to love them if one saves my life one day but for now, I simply enjoy them.

  5. I love guns for the limitless variations on a theme that they represent. So many different ways to accomplish the flight of one or more projectiles from the gun to the target.

  6. Because they’re fun to shoot. Because they’re fascinating little machines. Because shooting is a science, an art, and entertainment rolled into one. Because gun ownership is my right and my heritage as an American.

    Mostly because shooting guns is really, really fun.

  7. Wow, the dude in that video is really into reloading ammo, when he discovers girls that’ll change. #puberty

    • You have it entirely wrong. He’s *really* trying to invent a way to reload .22 LR so he can win the heart of KJW.

  8. “I do not love the bright sword for it’s sharpness, nor the arrow for it’s swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend”

    -Tolkien

    That sums it up for me.

    Though I do love their mechanics and reaching out and touching something.

  9. I love mechanical things. I love seeing how things work. I love the pure artistry of a finely crafted rifle, the utilitarian simplicity of a Glock handgun and the undeniable presence of a modern sport rifle. I also love to shoot, the almost zen-like state of mind you get when lining up that perfect shot. Plus guns are just cool.

    • This is me, too.

      My wife (who… tolerates guns and grudgingly accepts their role in our protection) always remarks on how calm and peaceful I am after coming home from the range.

      For me, it is the best possible form of meditation.

      Edit: errr, except for your choice of weapons. =P. I prefer the revolver and lever action rifle for my namaste

      • I was just using that as an example. I don’t own any of these things. At least not yet. (I own a pistol. I plan to purchase a rifle and a shotgun later on but I don’t have the funds).

        Alas I am a poor gun nut.

  10. I’ve always loved to tinker with machines. When I was put out of work by muscular dystrophy I needed something to do, and a way to protect myself since nature took about 50% of my muscle mass away. Add to that the need for light muscle use to keep what’s left, and the perfect solution is called a “Glock.”

    • While not exact, this is similar to why I love guns, and this says it best: “God created men, But Col. Colt made them equal.”

      I do love the firearms themselves and their evolution to being the best possible tools for the job required, and the artistry and imagination of the inventors who have gotten them to that point over the years. I love the test of myself every time I aim a weapon and fire at the target, especially when I get a good hit.

      But most of all I love that when I am armed I am no man’s slave and no government’s subject. I walk the streets and live my life free and equal to every other citizen. Another may best me if it comes down to a contest, but I know that I will go down a free man and fighting for my liberty, not as a submissive slave going meekly and cowardly to my death.

  11. Hmmm…

    Do I in fact love guns? I like them, appreciate them on several levels and recognize numerous reasons why they are needed, but still?

    I suppose that I do, because I place the wellbeing of guns as a collective entity and right above my personal wellbeing, which is a criterion I use to define love, or “in love.”

    Not that I’m in love with guns, but these are some of the ways in which I use the criterion.

    As to some aspects of firearms which I seriously appreciate, guns are:

    • among the best examples of the machining and engineering arts;
    • frequently beautiful objects in and of themselves, whether artistically, functionally or both;
    • a lot of fun, and a point of commonality between me and many others;
    • useful to put food on the table;
    • fascinating – technically, philosophically and historically.

    Additionally, they are:
    • necessary to ones continued existence in a dangerous world;
    • needed as a hedge against totalitarianism;
    • a basic component of the American character;
    • mine (a few, anyway) and merit my consideration and care.

    As a collective entity, arms needed for defence and continuation of oneself and ones family, property and community, and our right thereto, are more important to me than myself. Without the former, the latter are ephemeral at best.

  12. I don’t love guns any more than I love a hammer.

    I do love what they give me. Food or Freedom. Satisfaction of a round well shot, and the fact I get to piss a whole bunch of leftards off.

  13. I’ve loved guns, pretty much all weapons really, for as long as I’ve been alive. Fighting too, physical competition really pushes some button for me.

    I love guns like an eight year old likes a big shiny truck. I’m not sure I understand why, there wasn’t a lot of thinking that went into it, it has always just been a fact for me.

  14. From not spelling color, “colour” to having good teeth and not being a subject.

    From the fine lines of a checkered stock mating to the rich, deep blue of a barreled action.

    From the interaction of a trigger, sear and firing pin, to the extreme slow motion, that is thought, as the pin strikes the primer, causing the base metal to curve inward squeezing the lead styphenate against the anvil causing it to explode, igniting the gun powder to begin it’s ever increasing fire-breathing pressure cloud to expel the easiest thing in its path. To the point a bullet leaves the case mouth, contacting the lands and grooves spiraling forward as the pressure curve spikes to 40,000 C.U.P’s just as the harmonics of the cryogenically treated barrel come to rest…. The projectile escapes the confines of its launch vehicle, spinning forward at 2,850 fps.
    As thought imagines the projectile, a copper sheath bulging at its waste, straining to contain the lead and antimony that is quickly becoming something between a solid, a powder and a liquid, spiraling at 200,000 rpms.

    To the thought, as the bullet touches the composite of the golf ball, creating another dimple, just before the composite can no longer stop the forward progress of the 168 grain unstoppable force and gives way to a Newtonian thought.

    How do I love thee

    • “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    • I’m with you, except about the spelling of colour.

      I taught myself to read before kindergarten, and was reading quite well by the time the schools tried to teach me the ABCs. This was accomplished using Wells, Verne, Lofting and Dickens for the most part.

      The teachers would insist that rumour, colour et cetera were wrong, but refusd to explain their position or answer my questions, even when I cited published works. That was in the ’60s, a time when in small town America sticking out was seldom rewarded.

      Now I’m 51, and I spell words any way I damned well please, just to spite those teachers’ ghosts.

      Cheerio…

      • “Now I’m 51, and I spell words any way I damned well please, just to spite those teachers’ ghosts.”

        Mind if I ask a question? Who benefits from this attitude, and in what way? How does it benefit you?

        I’m sixty-four going on 65, (next March 3), but for as long as I can remember, I’ve liked to use precision in my expression, both to minimize the level of misunderstanding, and to not appear to be an ignoramus.

        But that’s just me; don’t forget I’m also the Self-Appointed Chief of the Internet Apostrophe Police. 😉

        • Well, I consider communication to be “shared meaning and understanding,” and British spelling does not diminish this.

          It’s just that since “thru” is not part of my “language of origin,” I feel it and similar words to be affectations – and I refuse to affect anything.

          Who benefits? I feel better, so I benefit. There are no losers, save those who never “thot” to explain that American English and British English use different spelling rules.

          Bad teaching, that, and I reject it.

  15. Just because. The self-examination required to provide a more specific reason may require the assistance of a therapist, and I would still like to get my Illinois concealed-carry permit.

  16. hmmm. Why do I love Israeli Supermodels? because i do!

    There is a little part of the brain that goes yes! when you hear the clang of lead on steel. It’s two folds over from the part of the brain that goes yes! when a four legged steak walks in front of the scope. Both parts of the brain cause a cascade that starts with yes! and ends with a fist pump. I am pretty sure both are very close to the part of the brain that goes yes! when a model starts undressing for you.

  17. Wait, I thought we had all agreed before that we were going with a two part answer: guns are cool, guns are sexy.

  18. I haven’t loved an inanimate object since that inflatable thing sprung a leak and flew out of my window.

    But I surely do like guns.

  19. I like interesting bits of engineering and, in some cases, historical significance (anything made for the war.). I actually don’t really care all that much about shooting. But if you can’t shoot the interesting design, it defeats the purpose. One can have the most awesome car ever but it’s just a useless hunk of metal if you don’t drive it every now and then.

  20. I was a little scared when a small kid, but my Dad still let me shoot his single shot BSA .22LR. I always had bad eyesight, so target shooting seemed not for me. Then I had a cataract operation and I finally had good vision. I applied for a firearms license, bought a safe, then a good .22 (CZ) a shotgun (Maverick 88) and it went on until I had all I think I need. Target shooting was a little difficult, but a worthy task. I realised I love the smell of gunsmoke. I love the machine aspect of firearms, but we are not allowed the same access to handguns you are in the States. Ultimately it’s an adult skill and I felt deficient until I possessed it. Now I do. There is an element of responsibility that most people don’t have to deal with. Sending rounds down range is just a simple joy. The machines I use give me pleasure. Fellow gun owners are a superb example of mature manhood (and womankind). These people stand for something. I would be immensely saddened and disappointed if this right was taken away or abridged. I resent those who try to do this. But they don’t understand what we get out of this pastime. It connects us with the men and women who fought for our freedom. That is worth something.

  21. I don’t love guns, I love the outdoors and guns are something that enhances the outdoor experience.
    I don’t love guns, I love self-responsibility and guns are tools that allows you to take responsibility for your life and those in your family.
    I don’t love guns, I hate boredom and going to the range and shooting relieves the boredom as well as sharpening my skills.

    Ok, I admit it I love guns.

  22. I like machines. Guns are machines. Pure machines. Like an old v8 with a carburetor on top, or an old honda 4. They’re visceral. This part does this – only this – and this part does that, and when you stick them all together the right way, they just work. They do what they’re supposed to do, and they do it all analog. There isn’t a computer that makes sure the magazine is fully seated. There isn’t a microprocessor that directs the extraction and ejection of an empty case. This machine was designed to perform this way, and it usually does.

    When it doesn’t, there is no debugging – only hands-on troubleshooting. Area by area, part by part, until a mechanical failure is identified. That part is repaired or replaced. Done. Good to go. No codes to clear, no threat of utter ruination by a rogue static discharge.

    I don’t own a 1911. I don’t own a Glock. They both, however, are beautifully designed, beautifully functional machines.

  23. I don’t know…

    Why do I love fast cars?
    Why do I love cold beer?
    Why do I love steak cooked medium rare?
    Why do I love crazy women?

    Some things about myself are beyond even my understanding.

  24. Here we go, arguing about ceramics! Since my gun stays in the bed with me…..nevermind!

  25. I don’t “love” guns. I carry the best weapons available to me at all times as a matter of religious conviction.

    I do enjoy shooting practice, however.

  26. Three arrows and reverse bent bow of my brothers that I could barely string.
    At the age of seven or eight, the speed of an arrow was super natural or super human, yet I could make it happen. Sometimes, I would lay on the ground and stretch the bow between my feet and hands for a pull far greater than my short child arms ever could. I could send the arrow so far that seemed like magic but taught me the physics of the parabolic arc.
    Eventually, the arrows would become two then one and then zero as the last one would, like the others learn to hide from me by slithering into the grass like a snake and I would beg my dad to buy some more.
    I would shoot and shoot till my draw fingers were raw.
    But there it was, learning to be the master of a thing that was more powerful than myself.
    I lost my left arm when I was twelve but by then was also shooting our .22 rifles. One day both I and my target were in deep shade but the trajectory of my copper covered bullet was in bright sunlight and I could see its flight. I remember thinking at that moment, “That’s my arrow”. Out of my guns , the parabola is quite a bit flatter than my childhood arrows and only my mind’s eye can see its path but that same awe is there.
    We Breathe, Release, Aim, Squeeze and punch a hole in the bulls eye and we think we have mastered this skill but the muzzle blast and the exploding jug of water from another bullet that we unleash, reminds us we are not its Master. As a child it taught me the Toa or the Zen of the Archer.
    So why do I love guns?
    Because I still love my teacher.

  27. Because. Guns.

    It would not be fair to say I love guns, despite things my Drill Sergeant told me. I do enjoy shooting, enjoy cleaning them afterwards, & marvel at the jewel-like machining that makes everything work correctly. A day spent shooting yielding fairly decent shot placement (at my age the front sight is a mysterious far-off land beyond the mists) means I have managed to organize breath control, patience plus my senses into the delicate dance required to place projectiles reasonably close to the intended point of impact.

  28. i’d respond differently to that question from a friend than from the govt, for example…to the govt the answer is “none of your business, go read the constitution…”

  29. I do not love guns, they are a tool of the trade. I grew up in a home without guns. I have now been around them for over half my life. They are a fine tool for the job they were designed for. I am not the most skilled artisan with a gun, but that is what keeps me interested. I continue to work to improve my skills, which will never be good enough as one can always improve. I will always keep at least one with me as well as a knife for the same reason. They bring comfort and security one can never have without the means to protect yourself and those around you.

  30. UH….I can’t understand why anyone would love a gun..ever. I consider firearms as a hobby and enjoy the mechanics of shooting and the results of launching a projectile downrange and being able to accurately hit a paper target with great accuracy with a firearm that I built myself….not buying someone elses work. Hell…anyone can do that!!

    I’ve killed enough animals in my life (And there’s been plenty I assure you!) and found out it’s kind of easy to hit a deer/antelope/elk sized target…and easy to kill these animals. And I live where the deer/antelope/elk play…Christ…I have these beasts drinking out of my watering trough…so it’s no effort nor enjoyable to kill one anymore.

    Love a gun? Kind of bizarre actually.

  31. I’ve always been sort of an “absent minded professor” type. The first time a loaded gun was put in my hand and I realized that a scre-up on my part could be very bad indeed, that guy was banished and a paragon of mental discipline took over. There is no better way to learn mental discipline than by learning firearms.

    Also, the closest I’ve come to a state of zen perfection is on the firing range.

  32. I love taking them apart, and putting them back together. The mechanical expertise and brilliance it takes to make a firearm is a wonderful thing. Every firearm I own, I have taken apart and put back together (without the manual, as much as possible) before doing anything else. I’m a geek about my bicycles in the same way.

  33. For me it is the history, engineering, and design. How tactics influenced design and design influenced tactics.

    I also actively compete in service rifle target shooting competition with a different distance, course, and targets every week.

    As you can gather by my handle I’m from the great land down-under and in the 25 years I’ve been involved in shooting sports, the local situation is getting worse every year. Licenses are harder to get. Requirements more stringent. More hurdles to jump for acquiring.

    I only hope my son can join me when is old enough to start shooting in just over 6 years.

    So don’t lose the fight in the USA. It will only get worse for everyone else.

  34. I like the mechanics of them and how they work. Always liked learning the internals of things. Probably why I like the watch like bits stuffed in H&Ks.

    I like going to the club and punching paper, but my Zen comes in sitting at my workbench with a cup of coffee cleaning a barrel or scraping carbon off a bolt.

    And because .45 ACP.

    • It’s not a 75. I didn’t get a good look at the muzzle but the slide rails are full-length. Didn’t see a Picatinny underneath. Could be a P01. If it’s got a barrel bushing, it’s a 97.

      • It has a barrel bushing, but he was shooting and reloading 9mm. Need to look at a CZ catalog I guess. I was mostly going off the back end of the slide. Certainly the right style and brand.

      • Upon further review. No barrel bushing (but it’s interesting to note that the Shadow in 9mm has a barrel bushing). Some of the P-01s and SP-01s only have one or two rail notches in them. It is hard to tell though from the camera angles whether there are picatinny/1913/weaver notches in that gun. They all, however, at least in the 2013 catalog, have CZ 75 in front of the model number (e.g., “CZ 75 SP-01”). So though it’s certainly not a classic or near classic CZ 75B like the one that (oh noes!) is in the next room as I write this, it’s probably, technically, still a CZ 75 of some flavor. (I note that, whatever it is, it doesn’t have an ambi safety or decocker, so I don’t know which kind he uses. Though his trigger pull near :20 starts from half cock so if I were forced to bet, I’d say decocker.)

        (I personally find the CZ model numbering scheme incomprehensible, though–why is an ambi 9 a CZ 85, but an ambi 40 is still a CZ 75? Is there even such a thing as a non-ambi .40? Yet the P and SP series are much more distinct (at least forward of the trigger). I suspect we are dealing with a company that changed systems a while ago and never updated its older model numbers.)

  35. Short answer is “yes” I love firearms – long answer: (get a cup of coffee)

    Yes, I “love” firearms…..I love firearms like I love owning a car. It represents the ultimate in freedom. I love firearms like I love the US Constitution and what it represents. I love firearms like I love freedom of speech, or the protections afforded by unreasonable search and seizure. I love firearms like I love the freedom to go anywhere (at least within the US) without having to “show my papers”, I love firearms because I love knowing I can rely upon my own skills and ability to provide food for my table, or if need be, provide protection for me and my family. I love firearms because they represent the fundamental premise that the power in the United States resides “with the people” and the ability to own firearms is the single most effective way to ensure that the people will always retain some power over their destiny. I love firearms because a handful of American men and women sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to create a society where the average person could own firearms, and be able to petition their government for a redress of grievances without fear of reprisal. I love firearms because a handful of men (who were much smarter than you and me and probably smarter than the entire legislative, judicial and executive branches of the Federal Government, combined), recognized that in a civil society, government is a necessary evil, but like fire, government is a dangerous servant and a fearful master that never for a moment should be left unattended.

    I love firearms because these same people who created our system of governing, had foresight to develop a social contract that was intended to restrain and limit that government’s power and authority, because they knew the abuses that were possible when you have a group of people exercising authority over others – that under the best of circumstances, democracy is “two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch”. They understood better than most of our legislators today, that the quickest way to ensure an abuse of that Governmental authority, was to give those who govern an absolute monopoly of power over those whom they govern, and the surest way to do that, was by disarming the general population. They knew that to ensure liberty is protected (even in a democracy), that you need a well-armed lamb who could contest the vote if necessary. I love firearms because it is entirely unrealistic to expect that we can remain free, if we eliminate the very means by which we became free.

    But mostly, I love firearms because unlike any other protection and freedom secured by the US Constitution, firearms are the only TRULY tangible and physical manifestation of the freedoms it is intended to protect. Unlike any other natural right secured by the Bill of Rights, you and I can point to this freedom, we can touch this freedom, we can hold this freedom, and we can use this freedom as a physical barrier to protect all others, to put food on the table to protect us from crime. It has utility, it has function, and most importantly, it is quite simply the only freedom that can protect itself. All other rights and freedoms that we enjoy are simply words on paper. We can not hold freedom of speech or freedom of religion. We can not touch the right to be secure in our person, papers and effects. We can not hold in our hands the right to a speedy and public trial. We can not physically use the right against cruel and unusual punishment. Yes, I understand that you can point to a newspaper and say “this is freedom of speech”. You can hold up a bible or Torah and say, “this is freedom of religion”. But they exist only due to the mutual agreement amongst society that they will exist. They are backed by nothing other than another piece of paper – they can not withstand the force of tyranny alone. I love firearms because they are a physical barrier that can be used to protect the freedoms identified by a piece of paper. I love firearms because they are freedom’s insurance policy. I love firearms because unlike any other freedom, they are the only physical shield free people have. Of all the rights and freedoms that we possess by virtue of being a human being, it is only the firearm that we can physically touch, hold, show and use. It has heft. It has weight. It is substantial in its existence. All other freedoms are simply concepts and utopian thoughts that we agree, amongst our fellow citizens that we will respect. A handshake agreement amongst a civil society that we mutually accept not to abuse. It is an “understanding” amongst those to whom we give the power to govern, that we entrust in them the self-restraint not to violate these freedoms, but in the end, they are backed by nothing but a piece of paper. I love firearms because they ultimately represent, like no piece of paper can, the consent of the governed, and they are inextricably linked to being a free American.

  36. Originally published under the heading “Why America’s fascination with guns?”, but it fits here just as well.

    – Constitutionally, the difference between a subject and a citizen.

    – Defensively, one final option of last resort. If faced with an armed criminal or violent person, I have every one of the same options an unarmed person has, plus one. I can still run away, beg for my life, dial 911 and hope for the best, attempt to reason with the person, or whatever. If all that fails, or I’m not allowed the time to pursue these other courses, or the bad person is threatening another person’s life (maybe someone near and dear to me), I have one last option in reserve. I hope I never have to use it, but it’s one more chance at a favorable outcome for me and mine.

    – Sportingly, guns are fun and challenging to use with a high level of skill (is “sportingly” a word? Well, it is now). From Olympic-level precision target shooting to bouncing a dirt clod on the forest floor to bringing home a full bag of game for dinner, guns are regularly used in many sporting applications.

    – Psychologically, guns are tools of power projection. You shoot a bowling pin or steel plate, it falls down. A hole appears in your paper bullseye target. The deer is harvested for food. BANG! “See that, way over there? That’s me, I did that!” You have projected power, expanded your personal sphere of influence. The better you are with your gun, the larger that sphere grows.

    – Mechanically, absolutely amazing. Small, highly machined parts, designed thoughtfully, finished skillfully, mated perfectly, forming intricate and complex (or surprisingly simple) mechanisms containing pressures that might otherwise kill an unprotected person, yet able to direct a projectile over long distances with a high level of precision. Machineguns that have the capacity to stutter forth a seemingly endless stream of bullets despite heat buildup and vibrations that would destroy many similar-sized devices. Revolvers that have six or more separate firing chambers, but each are held to such close manufacturing and fitting tolerances with the barrel that a slug fired from each chamber will still land in nearly the same hole on a target. To study firearms is to study design, manufacturing, ergonomics, materials selection, corrosion resistance, modern production concepts, and cutting-edge technology (in ANY and every era).

    – Historically, an American birthright. From the frontiersman hunting for his food as he explored a strange new (to him) land, through the first skirmishes of our earliest wars, to the rise of the greatest manufacturing giant the world has ever known, guns and America/Americans have always been linked like Siamese twins — nearly inseparable.

    – Artistically, guns can be a thing of beauty. A Renaissance Hi-Power, a Purdy exhibition-grade shotgun, a Swiss miniature, a gleaming Colt Python, an artfully executed custom dangerous-game rifle, any well-engraved firearm; guns are a part of the world of art, too.

  37. Something like a year ago I did a write up on why I love to shoot, and I think that it pretty well explains why I love guns as well, here is my summary paragraph:

    “In all, shooting is a way to stay active, be outdoors, and have fun; while all the while giving the shooter a significant challenge to his or her willpower and focus. It also is empowering and can provide important piece of mind when you hear that bump in the night. Recreational shooters like myself don’t shoot because we have to, we do not anticipate an attack, we just like to have a good time with friends while also teaching ourselves some discipline; it’s just like any other recreational sport. Shooting is my sport and that is why I love to shoot.”

    I would add when answering the question on why I love guns that I find them very simple to do maintenance and modifications to: I can really just drop in parts on tons of different weapons, you can’t do that in a lot of hobbies. So guns give me a mechanical challenge as well as shooting them challenging my discipline and muscle control.

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