Earlier this morning, I posted on a Huffington Post polemic by ex-federal judge H. Lee Sarokin. The New Jersey native painted gun owners as violent, pig-ignorant southerners. The portrait was unfair. Prima facie. It was also extremely unhelpful in the ongoing political debate between those who support the unfettered right to bear arms and those who’d prefer to create restrictive legislative caveats (i.e. limit that right). But is it entirely untrue that there’s a significant number of gun owners motivated by nothing more—or less—than machismo? YouTube is lousy with examples of testosterone-fueled gun enthusiasm, from Lego and Nerf-weapon wielding eight-year-olds, to teens leering and laughing at babes knocked off balance by double-barreled shotguns, to fat bastards demonstrating a-lot-less-than-military-grade “combat skills.” Gun sales literature appeals to the same instinctive desire to Alpha Dog out. Taurus’ decision to nickname their 451TKR-3SSR shotgun shell-firing handgun “The Judge” is both brilliant marketing and unintentionally illustrative. Hey, it’s a free country. But in the run-up to the Supreme Court decision on Chicago’s handgun ban, shouldn’t we be hearing more from mainstream gun owners? Or, perhaps, not. Could it be that there’s a Dirty Harry or Harriet inside every gun owner, trying to get out?


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