The Gun Divide

Walter Kirn reflects on the differences between gun owners and non-gun owners:

To certain fellow gun owners whom I was ashamed to regard as fellow anythings, my belief that the public has a right to collective self-defense from those who abuse their individual rights qualified me as traitor and a weakling. To certain purists among the unarmed, my guns marked me as unwholesome, perhaps a “nut job.” A girlfriend had called me this name once, partly in jest, after coming across some bullets in my desk (a few. 22 shells, just pocket litter to me and no more ominous than thumb tacks). I shouldn’t have, but I bristled. This troubled her slightly. Which troubled me.

You all know how that goes, that spiral of defensiveness when someone questions something you take for granted. Or maybe you don’t, since you’ve never owned a gun.