But people familiar with gun culture will recognize it as something far sillier: a bunch of grown men collecting firearms like little girls collect Barbie dolls (we're not being insulting -- it's a running joke among gun enthusiasts).
So Ken is, what, an M203?
Take another look at the graph of murder by weapon type. Notice what's missing? Assault rifles. They barely chart -- even when lumped in with "other guns." The NRA isn't trying to arm a militia. They want to be able to sell silencers for the same reason Mattel sells hundreds of accessories for the Barbie Dream House. Hell, you can trick out your AR-15 with all pink "furniture" if you want to.
Amazon.comIt'll help you blend in if there's ever a firefight at a Victoria's Secret.
So the rural gun owner in Wyoming buys the biggest, sexiest assault rifle he can find and tricks it out with all the accessories from the catalog, but he never actually uses it because nobody is going to break into his house because he lives in fucking Wyoming. If he wants to murder his wife, he'll get the revolver from the nightstand -- he's not going to go dig out and assemble his huge assault rifle. So why did he buy it? For the same reason his daughter will buy a dinette set for her Barbie Dream House even though she will never get to eat actual food at that table: for the fantasy.
Maybe this explains how hospitalization for gun injuries can be up even though the three types of gun-related crimes that cause such injuries (murder, robbery, assault) are all way down. Those ads that treat guns like toys for grown-ups worked, and people are treating guns like toys, instead of deadly weapons.
American Tactical Imports"And what if that shotgun had a soft, nougat-y center?"
And maybe this new breed of mass shooters are just those rare people -- 1 in a million, or 1 in 10 million -- who don't realize it's all just porn and toys, that it's not supposed to be anything but a shared fantasy. Is it possible that all of the power fantasies and tough talk and murder simulators that pacify the rest of us have a different effect on these guys? And that the occasional horrific mass shooting is just the price we have to pay for a system that does a damn good job of keeping the rest of us on the sofa?
We'll probably be able to have a really good discussion about it as soon as everyone stops seeing it as a political issue, or accusing everyone who brings it up of having an agenda. So, by the year 3113 or so.
DISCLOSURE: One of the writers of this piece not only owns multiple firearms but has profited directly from fictionalized violence.
For more real conversation for your asses, check out The 9 Most Statistically Terrifying Days On the Calendar and 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 4 Insane Ways People Torture Themselves in the Name of Sport.
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover the best way to twirl your guns like Jango Fett.
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