Via the Crack Den, somethingAmanda said here caught my attention:
Gun nuts in genuinely rural Texas can afford to be a little more laid
back, because their geographic isolation somehow proves their bona
fides, butthese suburbanite twits have all that much more to prove,
because their shiny suburban existence just makes them feel even more
It’s the idea of guns as status symbols that interests me, because I grew up with and around hunters and I can’t say any of them spent a serious amount of time talking about their guns. These were guys who ate what they killed and in some cases that food was integral to feeding their families, and their guns were tools, like a tractor would be to a farmer. The guns had purposes and these guys were no more attached to them than they were repelled by them. They didn’t display them for their friends. Only assholes did that, posers, stupid-ass amateurs who got drunk in the deer blinds and fell out every season and broke their ankles and got themselves shot because they were acting dumb.
Which is why the gun fetishizers annoy me. Having guns for them is like having a really big gas grill for someone else, a way to say to the neighbors that you’re one of them, a way to say you’re part of something. An acquaintance once displayed a pair of matching Glocks, his and hers, and though I’m not gun-phobic I am show-off-phobic and it struck me as a cheap way of asserting power. Cheap, and unnecessary. I kept wanting to say, “What the hell are you going to do with that, really?”
My brother and I were never allowed, as
children, to see our father’s gun, much less load or shoot it. If we asked about it,
we were told very sternly that guns were not toys for children.Toy guns, for that matter, were also banned in our family. Shooting wasn’t funny and it certainly wasn’t fun. It wasn’t something you did lightly. It was work, not play. Maybe if you see it like that, you’re less likely to need to use it to pump up your ego, make yourself feel better, make other people scared.