Don’t Worry. You Don’t Have to be a Gun Nut to Shoot Guns.

Meme of a squirrel holding a gun. Picture reads, "I love guns and I love Nuts. They told me there is this thing called a gun nut."

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.

Picture shows the movie poster for "Gun Crazy"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.Meme of a squirrel holding a gun. Picture reads, "I love guns and I love Nuts. They told me there is this thing called a gun nut." 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.

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Comments (5)

  1. Natalie,
    Thank you for the kind comments! I am truly flattered. I love what you do and I am so happy to see you as one of the new faces of the NRA. They could not have picked a better woman in the industry. Take care!

  2. Well done! You are right on with this piece. I love being a gun girl, but I don’t call myself a gun nut. I agree that the context gets a little fuzzy and people (especially here in SoCal) aren’t exactly sure how to take it. I love my firearms and I will stand up for the 2A every step of the way, but in doing that I want to change the perception of what gun ownership means, as well. I want to open it up and make people see it for the positive, responsible thing that it is.

    Thanks so much for including me in this piece. Keep up the good work!

  3. You go Dave! I wasted 15 years, with my new wife asking;”Did you catch one?”, when I’d return home from deer hunting, and everyone in her family teasing me at family get-togethers, that I sniffed Coyote poop, calling me Nanook, etc. After a few years, and 5, 6, 8, 10 guns in the corner behind the bedroom door, it was hard for her to tell when I’d sneak another into the house. I wound up with my own 6’X8′ re-loading room (instead of closet) right off the bedroom, with a built in 26 gun stand up rack, with red felt backboard, and a big male Coyote hide showing, behind the long guns, a work station w/gun vise on the carpet covered table in front of that, a re-loading set-up on the L-shaped tabletop to the right of that,w/ shelves above for loading components, just to the right of that, from floor to ceiling, I had adjustable shelves holding stacks of gun,hunting,fishing, outdoor magazines stacked two wide, all the way back to 1943. The opposite wall behind me held a turkey breastplate/tail fan in a permanently mounted red felt backed wood frame, about 3′ square, with wooden pegs protruding from the wall to cradle my single action revolvers. That only left enough room for two stools, one for me, and one for a guest.
    Nowadays, I have 25 years with the used wife, and although I don’t have an elaborate set-up like that, I have a partner who will hunt and fish, or at least did most of those years, until I became disabled. She’d sit in the tree with me, and has taken deer, and fox. She’d help me butcher game and wrap it, and could cut a small bird in half with my 788 in .223. People in her family either hunted and fished themselves, or at least respected the fact that I did.
    Over the years, I’ve given away, or had stolen, more guns than the largest cross-section of housholds in this country probably have total in their homes today. I don’t call myself a “Gun Nut” nor have I ever given the term much consideration, but if a Charter Arms AR-7 Explorer is an assault rifle to a group of Left Wing Squirrels, then I’m probably as good as labeled already. I do believe Enthuseist better describes those of us who can effortlessly pass a background check, and have a passion and respect for anything to do with guns, ammunition, and events pertaining to such.

  4. Well after being in a bad marriage for 30 years and being told two years into it I had to get rid of my guns, I have become nuts again over guns. In the past two years I’ve rekindled my love for firearms! I’ve taken up trap shooting and love the friendship it has offered me. I go to the range at least twice a month to shoot my long guns and hand guns. Always a great experience! A friend has even asked me to go hunting when the season opens! Yup, I’m a born again gun nut!

  5. Am I a gun nut? Some of my friends think so. But a few others, that really KNOW me, would say no. After a lifetime of learning to be prepared; Scouting(not me, the neaigbor kids, but I got all their old books), Military, Law Enforcement, SAR, EMS, CCL, etc. I’ve learned that NO ONE will be there exactly when you need them most. You are your own First Responder. So I AM a Preparedness Nut, and guns are just part of that. Though these days, that has it’s own biased connotations thanks to the Liberal(government will take care of you) Media. And while I don’t have a fallout bunker like the folks on “Doomsday Preppers”, doesn’t mean I don’t think about having one or, more importantly, what to do without one.

    I know people with 50+ guns and they’re not Gun Nuts. It’s just part of life for them and me. I guess it tends to be more a Rural thing vs the Metropolitan mindset. Respect vs Fear, which is why the Media uses the derogatory version to promote their Metro Mindset. But like most people labeled with a derogatory term, we will embrace it and make it our own. It’s why we have Redneck Culture, Blacks call each other the N-word, Polytheist prefer Heathen/Pagan, even some Native Americans I know prefer Indian. It’s how we negate the derogatory use by those that think themselves better then us. It’s how we say “Screw you!”.

    So ya, I’m a Gun Nut, Bite me! LOL

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