When logic fails, there's always religion.
From a speech by Barack Obama in 2008.
''So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
I used to think that a lot of the gunzloonz were just people who obsessed about their personal safety and their material wealth to the extent that they felt that anyone who wasn't one of them wanted their stuff and wanted to hurt them. The sort of paranoia that would be a natural consequence of that mindset might explain their fascination with weapons and their belief in the myth that arming the entire population will contribute to a "polite" society.
I thought that some of the others who are so deeply invested in having and using private aresenals (if only for "plinking" at the range) might just be bullies and jerks who think that the gunz give them an "edge" or some sort of moral authority in society.
And I thought that a significant fraction were just out'n'out whackjobs who don't trust anyone and are not gonna go down without taking a number of people with them.
However, after reading hundreds of blog posts at various blogs and the comments that they generated I have decided that it is more proper to see a lot of the gunzloonz as religionists, of a sort.
Upon reflection, I think that Mr. Obama's comment might better have been stated as:
"So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns AS religion...".
Those who see the 2nd Amendment as a sacrosanct utterance, direct from their heavenly father; a sacrosanct utterance that not only allows but virtually requires that they own and obsess about having taken away from them, vast quantities of firearms and ammunition--yeah, you know who you are--are Gundamentalists.
Gundamentalists--noun (Post modern AmEnglish)
1.) The loose network of "believers" whose sole article of shared faith, one that is fiercely (if illogically defended--to the "from my cold, dead fingers" sentiment of Mr. Heston) is the RIGHT to keep and bear arms.
Gundamentalism is, it seems, a sort of unfettered love of gunz; a tendency to see no possibility for any sort of gun ownership to be "wrong" and a tendency on the part of those who espouse that "love" to demonize any who oppose their cherished "beliefs.
Like other religious whackjobs, the Gundamentalists read scripture (in their case the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) as an inerrant document that reflects the thinking of and a direct command from GOD. That command is that they will accumulate as many arms as they can afford to buy, along with vast quantities of ammunition. They will spend hours every week, worshipping their sacramental "items", extolling the virtues of armed vigilance and communing with their brethren in the Gundamentalist faith. They will pray for the strength to withstand the rabid onslaught of unarmed and reasonable opponents of their fetishistic attachment to firearms AND for the clear eyed, steady breathed, "squeeze don't pull" grace to drop a homeinvadin'perp in his tracks with a triple tap, center mass.
Like other fundamentalists (of every faith) or ideologues (of any political stripe) they are "True Believers" in the "vision" and the "mission" of their chosen fantasy. And, like all delusional fanatics, they will brook no dissent. They will not compromise their "ideals". They will never admit that there is some possibility that their "belief system" might be just a tad bit "odd".