THE BLOG
05/05/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Gun "Nuts"

Let me start by saying, I own a gun. Gun ownership by itself doesn't make someone nuts. It just seems that lots of people who are nuts like guns a little bit too much. Today, one day after a man shot and killed 13 people in upstate New York, another man shot and killed three police officers in Pittsburgh. According to the article, his friends said "he feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns." Does this mean he shot the officers because he was concerned Obama was coming after his guns? No. It means AP knows how to come up with a provocative storyline. It also means the man was probably a bit of a gun "nut."

There are other countries with high gun ownership rates. It just seems that we Americans use them on each other more often. A gun is a tool. You can use it for hunting or you can use it for protection. It's a greasy hunk of metal. Yet some people seem to be obsessed by them to the point of it becoming abnormal. I suppose you could be obsessed by your tool collection, too. My father did seem to love his hammers and screwdrivers and saws. But I'm fairly sure he wouldn't have spent his hard earned money to join the National Hammer Association.

There is a reasonable argument to ban gun ownership and there's a reasonable argument to support gun ownership. There's no reasonable argument in support of owning an arsenal, for trading guns at "guns shows," for owning weapons with large magazine capacities and, in general, for treating gun ownership like just any other hobby. Background checks, gun locks, licensing and training just make good sense. Yet gun "enthusiasts" are paranoid about such things. Note: If someone is "enthusiastic" about their gun, start to worry.

When Obama was elected, gun sales skyrocketed. Why would people think they needed a gun all of a sudden, if they hadn't thought they needed one already? And if they had one already, why all of a sudden did they need more? Because there is a culture in this country that worships guns like a religion. They hold it up as holy. And they vow to defend unregulated gun ownership against any perceived threats as they would defend their children or their belief in God. And that is not normal. It's obsessive and paranoid. And obsessive paranoid people do crazy things. Which makes them nuts.