I've been on the road for the last five weeks. Not work on the road, where I have lots of time in hotels, but rather vacation on the road, where I had to be all social and stuff. It was agony, but sometimes, a man has to do what a man has to do.
Among that doing was this.
(I'm the gray haired guy.)
Over the course of several hours, we went through about $300 of ammunition. Unlike my friend, I'm not particularly a gun guy. I owned a revolver when we lived in Alaska, and carried it when Rusty the Alaskan Wilderness Adventure Dog took me on walks, because up there predators were never very far away. Get crossways with a grizzly, there's no way the State will get there in time.*
Despite my relative lack of enthusiasm, I get it. Guys like mechanical stuff, especially when gadgets are involved. There is no female equivalent of the Sears Tool Center, or Project Binky. Many men like stuff that explodes, or hurtles into the sky while almost but not quite exploding. Hopefully.
Beyond the gadgetry and things that go bang, properly using a gun isn't nearly as easy as it looks. It takes a surprising amount of muscle control, hand eye coordination, and practice to be any good at it. It should come as no surprise that men can be just as enthusiastic about the skill aspect of shooting as they are about the mechanics and gadgets.
Then there is the mindset, practically inarguable, that self defense is an inalienable right that no legitimate government can ever take away. As I noted above, there are some situations where the only help that will arrive in time is that which you provide yourself. That much should be self evident, just as self evident as the existence of people who take that very, very seriously.
To me, it is interesting how these things cleave politically. Progressives are fond of citing self-fluffing studies; all the ones I've seen produce tendentious pre-ordained conclusions to show how wonderful they are, and how not wonderful everyone else is. Perhaps less naval-gazing would allow discovering something rather more fundamental going on. I work in a gadget intensive occupation that requires mechanical knowledge, as well as significant skill and practice. Almost all the guys I work with have hobbies that have the same characteristics. Almost all of them own guns. And almost all of them are anti-Progressive. And I'd bet that goes for every similar occupation. Pilots and mechanics are gun owning individualists. Progressives don't work with their hands, and are collectivists.
I have no idea why these seemingly disparate things should overlap, but in my experience, such as it is, their correlation is almost ironclad.
Which appears to be something confiscationists simply do not get. Even if their arguments have some validity at the margins -- and that is debatable -- their crusade is totalitarian at its heart. It doesn't matter how much other people enjoy their gun hobby, or how intrinsic they view gun ownership to be in a free society, confiscationists will have none of it. They, in their lack of awareness, and inability to leave well enough alone, send gun sales through the roof, and will have started a civil war should they attempt to impose what they cannot get voluntarily.
Last August, my across the street neighbor probably got between a sow and her cubs -- that was his best guess. Regardless, without the gun he was carrying, his family would have been without a husband and a father.