Personally, I’ve never been insulted by the term “gun nut”–hey, if the shoe fits, I’ll wear it till the leather runs out–but I won’t argue that it was originally coined to try to shame those of us who incorporate guns into our daily lives. One of the long-standing cultural tropes we see in the anti-gun media is that those of us who own more guns than we need (but fewer than we want, natch) is that we’re…well, nuts. That our paranoia has us stockpiling guns and ammunition against a crisis that won’t come, getting permits to carry those guns around, and assuming that the government default in a crisis will be confiscation of our guns. And then something like the Covid-19 pandemic hits, and the world gets to discover that we were right all along.
1. Make Sure You Have Guns and Ammo Before There is a Crisis
Although there’s nothing funnier than watching the mainstream media lose their ever-lovin’ minds whenever they get to report that somebody’s brick of .22 ammo got confiscated, it definitely points up some pretty strange hypocrisy on the part of the anti-gunners. Two thousand rounds of ammunition has them clutching their pearls, but I don’t see them mocking anyone who set aside a few thousand rolls of toilet paper against a possible crisis, do you? The point is and always has been that it’s better to have guns and not need them than it is to need them and not have them. We “gun nuts” buy guns, gear, and ammunition when there isn’t a crisis because we know that someday there may be one, and that it may be too late by the time we realize it. You know, like…right now.
2. Getting a Concealed Carry Permit Even if You Don’t Use it Much
As the wave of pro-CCW laws slowly washed across America back in the early 2000s, many of us kind of started collecting concealed-carry permits like Pokemon–building a little personal concealed-carry reciprocity network in our wallets, if you will. It engendered all sorts of hysteria in the media at the time–oh no, why are all of these people who don’t live in Utah getting Utah concealed-carry licenses?!?–and even some in the Second Amendment community saw it as a bit of overkill. After all, it’s true that many of us who have our permits don’t really “use” them all that often, especially in states where we don’t live. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling just a little bit smug right about now, because:
Yes, the above is real–it’s not “fake news”–but what’s going on here isn’t that Arapahoe County (which is actually sort of famous for being pro-2A) is trying to cut into people’s freedoms. What’s going on here is that area has already been hit by COVID-19, and they’re trying to slow transmission by limiting the number of people entering the courthouse and possibly getting law-enforcement officers sick. In other words, we “gun nuts” know that there’s no need for a vast anti-gun conspiracy in order for our Second Amendment rights to take a back seat–a virus with high transmissibility and long prodromal period will do just fine.
3. Assuming the Default Action is Confiscation
Naturally, one of the biggest anti-gun-owner tropes out there is that we’re a bunch of government haters who think that the first thing the .gov will do in a time of crisis is to try to physically confiscate legally owned firearms from their law-abiding owners. It’s true that many of us hold that attitude, and that many of us hold that attitude regardless of who is sitting in the Oval Office. Like, say, for example, what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. George W. Bush was in office for that one, and his fairly decent pro-2A record was good for exactly jack and sh*t when the levees broke. When you add in an anti-gun state governor, well, you get this 15 years later…
Now, of course, that’s not a confiscation order, and clearly it’s not just about guns. (It’s also about finding out what happens when you try to stand between the American public and their beer, because apparently some lessons need to be learned every 100 years or so.) However, as we watch more and more states using their emergency powers to ban large gatherings–a direct contravention of the First Amendment that is only tolerated by the Constitution in times of public crisis–it’s not difficult to imagine that we may see a repeat of 2005 New Orleans, in which law-enforcement officers were dispatched door to door to take the guns away from those hardy hurricane survivors who had chosen not to evacuate.
Sometimes, it’s a terrible experience to be proven right. Let’s hope that our predictions stop coming true soon.