What do you envision when you hear or read the term gun nut? Do you imagine someone who loves guns or someone who might possibly need committed? The word nut, when used in slang, refers to someone who is insane. Obviously, an accusation of insanity as a gun owner is detrimental to your liberty. That’s a good way to lose your guns. Wikipedia defines a gun nut as a “firearm enthusiast deeply involved with the gun culture.” Urban Dictionary defines gun nut as “Someone who completely ruins the image of respectable firearm-owning civilians. Gun nuts hoard guns and lash out at anyone who disagrees with their ideals, no matter the argument.” Which is more correct? I believe the Wikipedia definition holds truer.
In an effort to demonize all gun owners, the media likes to use the term gun nut in a derogatory way. In reports I have read gun nuts described as nervous, crazy, wacky, and delusional. The media paints such an ugly picture of gun owners that I totally get why you would shy away from calling yourself a gun nut. On the other hand, many self-declared gun nuts are reclaiming the term.
When I hear the word gun nut, I think of someone who has completely immersed themselves in gun culture. They are politically active, go shooting every chance they get, train daily, and spend all their money on acquiring new guns and accessories. Usually a gun nut will surround themselves with other gun nuts and the majority of their conversations and activities center on guns.
I’ve heard the term nut used for other pastimes, as well. For example, my mom is a Texas Ranger baseball nut. She never misses a game, knows every player by his first name and loves to talk about Ranger’s baseball. However, it isn’t all she talks about. She also loves to bake cookies and share recipes. There is nothing wrong with being mildly obsessed with your hobby or sport, and there is nothing wrong with NOT being a gun nut either.
I hope the word gun nut hasn’t scared off any potential new gun owners. You can own a gun. You can own two guns. Heck, you can own five guns and still not consider yourself a gun nut. Two prominent female faces of the gun industry are Natalie Foster and Shelley Rae. These women both love guns. In fact, Shelley Rae writes for Gun Nuts Media; however, both have other interests. Natalie is quick to say how much she loves to shop and in her bio, she says she likes to soak up the sun on the beach. On Shelley Rae’s personal blog she writes about wine, cars and whiskey.
I’ve noticed a trend in the firearms industry. Gun guys rarely talk about anything else on blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Gun gals talk about guns a lot, but not exclusively. Have you checked out competitive shooter Julie Golob’s Pinterest board? Along with guns are food, fashion and craft boards. Just because you are a gun owner doesn’t mean you aren’t also a horse owner, motorcycle rider, marathon runner, painter, or humane society volunteer. Maybe you don’t really have another hobby besides shooting, but that doesn’t mean that some days you just feel like shopping for new shoes or having a cocktail instead. Don’t let anyone discourage you from enjoying and involving yourself in the shooting sports. If you would rather go get a mani/pedi after time at the range instead of going home and cleaning your guns, then by all means go ahead—you are still a gun gal!
Am I gun nut? Some days I am. Some days I eat, breathe and sleep guns. Other days I watch Say Yes to the Dress all day and only think about guns when someone says “shotgun wedding.”
The perception that you must be a gun nut to be a true part of gun culture just isn’t accurate. Gun ownership has increased rapidly in the last few years. Frankly, it is impossible to nail down the typical gun owner these days.
Don’t get me wrong; I think we need to support our gun nutty sisters and brothers. And gun nuts, this goes for you too. If you know a gun owner whose passion is rock climbing don’t fault them for putting that passion first.
If you own a gun, then you are pro-gun. Every gun owner is a part of the gun culture and the best we can do is be supportive of each other. Gun nut or not—it really doesn’t matter. What matters is our mutual respect and enjoyment for guns and our belief in liberty and the Second Amendment.
Do you consider yourself a gun nut? Tell us why in the comment section.