— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) May 19, 2020
Gun enthusiasts love taking pictures of their guns. It’s common practice. America has a gun culture as robust, diverse, and complicated as comic book fans, fantasy nerds, PC gamers, or any other subculture. Like those communities, gun nerds have their own memetic language and fight among themselves. Unlike pop culture enthusiasts, the hobby of a gun nerd is based on a tool designed to kill. It’s distressing then, to the responsible gun owner, when fringe elements in their community post pictures online of them pointing guns at their d!cks.
And gun nerds are distressed. “These gun owners do not represent us,” Brandon Curtis, owner of Concealed Nation—a gun blog whose tagline is “we are responsible carry”—said in a post on his site. “Just as with any other types of trolls, do not feed them. I’ve seen a rash of these posts in the Concealed Nation Extra group, and all involved received a permanent ban. It comes down to safety, and those actions break many rules.”
But this still raises the question, why are people pointing guns at their d!cks and taking a picture of it? It has nothing to do with “owning the libs.” It is, essentially, sh!tposting, and internal fighting within the gun ownership community.
Like with any other fandom, there’s levels to gun culture. In the online gun community there are “normies” and “fudds.” Normies cover a range of people, anyone from a basic handgun owner to the completely uninitiated. Fudds—as in Bugs Bunny hunter Elmer Fudd—are the old heads, weirdos, and dedicated gun nuts. Some fudds hate normies and the way normies talk about guns. Even the normies who know their way around a firearm.
A chief complaint among fudds is the normie’s devotion to safety, typically manifested as knee-jerk praise of trigger discipline. For the uninitiated, watching trigger discipline refers to the act of keeping your finger off the trigger of a firearm until you’re ready to fire the weapon. It’s a safety basic, along with never pointing a gun at anyone or anything you don’t intend to harm, and always assuming a gun is loaded.
– Matthew Gault in Here’s Why Men Are Pointing Loaded Guns at Their D!cks