I’m not saying it’s the be-all / end-all of ideological  tests, but you can tell a lot about a person by their reaction to this ad.

That was then, to understate the case. Nowadays we’ve done away with these dangerous violent antisocial pseudo-guns, and replaced them with merry-makers like Nerf guns and Supersoakers and other items whose makers encourage you to point them at your friends.

This does not seem like an improvement, if you ask me.

Obligatory disclaimer: I am not a gun enthusiast, any more than I am a hammer enthusiast or a potato-peeler enthusiast; they’re tools, albeit tools you should use with the utmost of confidence in a narrowly prescribed set of events. I support the Second Amendment, it being part of the Constitution and all that, and I support concealed carry laws and stand-your-ground laws. I don’t like guns, but I don’t hate guns. Some people admire them for the craftsmanship and styling, but that leaves me cold. But I have no problem with those who do enjoy the aesthetics. I grew up around guns; my Dad was a hunter, and he had a pistol and a shotgun, there were rifles racked on the basement wall. Including my Daisy. I still have the little vial of oil that came with the Daisy, and I still remember pumping that thing up until it could shoot a BB through a box of phone books. (Or so I swore.)

Once while hunting in the woods with my cousin at the farm, he shot me in the arse with his BB gun, an event I put in my first novel. (To everyone’s amusement: never forgot that, did you, now?) Obviously having a Daisy did not magically impart responsibility. But I’ll bet that the number of kids who got a Daisy, and later turned into homicidal fiends, was about 200,000 to 1. Why?