The word “nut” can be a term of affection. “I’m nuts about you babe.” It’s also used to denote someone with an enthusiasm for a particular subject or pursuit, indicating a high level of expertise and/or knowledge. “He’s a Stanley Kubrick nut.” But when you hear or see the words “gun nut,” it’s a clear signal from the person using the term that the person in question suffers from dangerous, mental instability. So much so that people who are gun nuts (in the nicer sense of the term) usually refer to themselves as “gun enthusiasts.” Just in case that’s not enough of a piercing glimpse into the obvious for today, here’s clarification from Dan K. Thomasson, writing in Northern Pennsylvania’s thereporteronline.com. File this one under “how to alienate friends and alienate everyone but gun control fanatics. Sorry, advocates.
Firearms mania seems to fall into several broad categories with elements of each in the other. Those classified as “gun nuts” generally seem to believe that ownership of one is an unalienable right like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Then there are those who are nuts about guns, who collect them and seem almost to consider them affectionate, even sexual objects.
Then there are nuts for whom guns become an instrument to fulfill the dictates of a diseased mind, like the Son of Sam or the young man who opened fire on policemen wounding two at the Pentagon and had his twisted brains blown out for the trouble.
Present in all three classifications is an element of paranoia, a strong belief that without these weapons one is not likely to survive the truly crazy (like maybe one’s testy neighbor or a disaffected co-worker or student seeking revenge from bullies) or the ubiquitous criminals that use guns as necessary tools in their business.
OK, that’s the standard-issue libel. But the funny thing is, even when writers go out of their way to miss-characterize an argument, they can stumble upon truer words. Which have never been spoken.
They [the gun nuts] eschew the notion that something bad might happen with such uninhibited possession, arguing that in fact if everyone were packing, all the other nuts would think twice, except maybe those who are truly crazy and operating on irrational impulses.