I was raised on a Wisconsin farm tended by the real-life incarnation of Oliver Wendell Douglas in the TV series, Green Acres. My father wasn't much of a farmer but he was an avid hunter, and a pretty good one, too. As such, I grew up with a fairly impressive collection of firearms which I eventually learned to use well enough, though no one ever called me crack shot.
As a teenager, I might occasionally take the 45-70 off the rack, go to the back yard and pop off as many rounds as I figured my dad wouldn't notice missing. I was on a farm, after all, and even if a neighbor did hear the gun shots they would have figured, correctly, that the only danger is to a rabbit or a fence post. I have genuinely fond memories of those warm summer afternoons when I defended the house against the hostile advances of bottles, tin cans and the occasional melon.
Let's be honest here. For their own sake guns can be truly seductive. I marvel at them as pieces of machinery. A fine rifle has the craftsmanship of a Swiss watch with parts that mesh and click with a near poetic beauty. Yet, it retains the utility and ruggedness of a jeep, without the slightest hint of estrogen. What's not to like? Form, function and beauty; this is a wearable machine with an ergonomic heft that fits into your palm as an extension of your arm. You and the gun become one.
This marriage is consummated when a talented markswoman levels a rifle to her shoulder and sights down the barrel, woman and machine merge to create a powerful experience. She pulls the trigger and a loud crack from the barrel reports the excitement while the recoil resonates through her body. When that bullet hits its mark there is a visceral excitement involving all of her sense, validating that union.
If you think I'm exaggerating, check out R. Lee Ermey (Gunny) gushing like a twelve-year-old when he obliterates commie watermelons with a variety of firearms. In those moments, there is no second amendment or gun control, no property to defend or to take, no God and Country. For now it's just him, a semi-automatic and a bunch of dead watermelons that makes him squeal with delight.
While you may think I'm picking on Gunny, I'm not, for two very good reasons. First is that even in his late sixties, if he told me to jump, I'd be wise to ask how high on the way up. Secondly, and more on point, I am absolutely no different. There is just no disguising the fact that guns are really, really fun. In one very limited sense, it could be argued that it is the same as a pinball wizard and his machine or an accomplished skier and his equipment.