There are fundamental differences between responsible gun owners and gun nuts. I have friends and family members who own guns. They hunt, they shoot for sport, and they own one or two firearms. Those firearms are locked away when they are not in use, never kept loaded, never left lying around on a counter top or shoved under a bed. I have friends who collect rare and antique firearms, and those are also locked away, unloaded. I consider these people responsible gun owners. And the majority of them support background checks, believe we need better gun laws in general, and would never engage in the type of behavior gun nuts do.
A gun nut is someone who reacts poorly to the idea of following the “well-regulated” portion of the Second Amendment. Gun nuts are angry, vitriolic, slightly (or not so slightly) paranoid, and believe the government and liberals are coming to take all their guns. They hoard guns and ammunition, like they are preparing for the zombie apocalypse, and think anyone who supports better gun laws are the zombies.
A few weeks ago, Moms Demand Action learned that Lamar Advertising, the largest billboard purveyor in the country, had accepted an ad from a Texas-based company called Slide Fire Solutions. One of the billboards is next to I-55 in Chicago. The ad features a photo of a baseball mitt, an apple pie and a semi-automatic rifle, with accompanying text reading “PURE AMERICAN.’ At the bottom of the ad is the company’s logo, along with an Ichthys, or Jesus, fish. That’s right. According to Slide Fire Solutions, guns are as American as baseball and apple pie, and WWJS (Who Would Jesus Shoot?).
The Chicago Tribune ran an article on the billboard, allowing comments on their website. A woman named Evangeline wrote how upsetting the billboard was to her, and asked how many more kids need to die. In response to Evangeline, a comment appeared that was so deeply offensive, and so heartless, it could only have been written by a gun nut. Here is a screenshot of Jordan Zoot’s comment to Evangeline.
Read it again. Yes, he leaves out the word “be” in his sentence telling a woman her kids deserve to be shot, but the message is very clear. Agree with me, or someone should shoot your children. This is the SOP for gun nuts; you better see it my way, or else. Look at Ted Nugent. Nugent, during a concert, told Barack Obama to “suck on his machine gun,” called Hillary Clinton a “worthless bitch,” Obama a “piece of shit,” and told attendees at an NRA convention that if President Obama was reelected he, Nugent, would either be dead or in jail. Rational people don’t do that. Rational people do not tell a presidential candidate to suck on a machine gun, or make incendiary comments that garner them a visit from the Secret Service.
As I write this, Dana Loesch is preparing for her guest co-host gig on “The View.” The first time I heard of Ms. Loesch was when she came out in defense of Todd Akin’s legitimate rape comments. I was horrified, as were survivors all over the country, both by Akin’s comments, and by anyone defending those comments. Remember, this is the moment when President Obama had to publicly state “rape is rape.” This past Saturday, I learned Dana Loesch is also a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, except the “well-regulated” part, and her fans? Rabid, frothing, angry gun nuts.
Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand, asked her friends and followers to begin Tweeting Dana Loesch’s beliefs on gun legislation to “The View” Saturday afternoon. As a supporter of Moms Demand, I logged into Twitter, and started re-Tweeting relevant articles, making some original contributions to the discussion, and adding my voice to the thousands already participating. While on Twitter, I also kept an eye on Shannon’s Facebook page, in case she shared another name or hashtag for us to use. Other Moms began posting screenshots of the Tweets they were receiving from Dana Loesch’s fans. Tweets like this one, from someone calling themselves “The Grey Cutlass”:
Wishing suicide on a person who disagrees with you. Hoping a person who simply wants to protect our children ends their own life. No responsible gun owner I know would ever Tweet that, much less think it. That’s irrational. That’s a gun nut. Then threats of sexual violence allegedly began and having seen some of the horrible and violent things people write to her, I didn’t doubt her for a minute. Of course, there was the obligatory calling women “c*nts,” like this:
Finally, I present Cocheese:
Cocheese believes, as most gun nuts do, that Hitler “took away” all the guns in Germany. What Hitler actually did was loosen gun laws for Germans (except Jews) and lower the age one had to be in order to purchase a gun. Hitler did disarm the countries he conquered, and the people he wanted to kill, which is what dictators do. President Obama is not a dictator, because if he was, we wouldn’t have any gun nuts; they would either have been executed or arrested the first time they ever screamed/typed all in caps “OBUMMER IS A DICTATOR!”
The difference between gun owners and gun nuts is gun owners are not paranoid, delusional, hateful Americans who think it’s okay to tell a woman her children should be shot, or tell a member of Moms Demand they should commit suicide. Gun owners understand world history; they realize Hitler did the opposite of what gun nuts think he did. And they understand no one is coming for their guns.
I’ve lost a friend to gun violence, I support stronger gun laws, and I respect responsible gun owners. Owning an arsenal, hoarding firearms, and waving those firearms around while you bellow about Hitler and tell people like me our children should be shot is not responsible gun ownership. Simply owning guns does not make you a responsible gun owner. That makes you a gun nut.