How's that for a provocative title?
No, this post isn't about gaming search engines for traffic (not that I'm averse to such a thing...).
The purpose of this post is to address some of the psycho-sexual ideas that seem to have attached themselves to firearms.
We must begin our discussion by noting that firearms are nothing more than tools. The choice of which firearm to use for a given task is no more fraught with erotic tension than selecting the appropriate socket for your wrench or the correct type of screwdriver for the job at hand.
People who use firearms understand this. They know that someone who owns a long-barreled handgun isn't trying to "compensate" for anything other than the longer range at which they expect to engage their target.
All weapons carry about them a mystique. Swords in particular have a lengthy catalog of stories about them, whether one is speaking of Excalibur, Anduril, or the real-life Sword of Stalingrad.
The reason for this is quite easy to understand: Weapons are powerful instruments that carry with them the ability to take away life. A warrior is only as good as his weapon. Should his weapon break during the heat of battle, his death would surely follow.
Still, we live in a secular age, and gun control supporters (being overwhelmingly leftists) are also overwhelmingly secular. They can't really wrap their heads around firearms as sacred objects of defense, so they turn them into pseudo-Freudian sex objects.
If there is a sexual side to firearms, it is in the sense of power they provide to physically weak or small-framed shooters. Before any lurking gun-control partisans raise their voices in triumph I will spell this out for them: I am talking about women.
Anyone who has ever introduced a woman to the shooting sports will confirm what I am writing. Once a woman has received the proper training (so that she feels comfortable) and is using a weapon appropriate for her experience and stature (a .22 is perfect for this) she will in every case express exhilaration and profound satisfaction at the power now under her control.
I wish to be clear: This phenomenon does generally not attach to girls from rural areas where shooting is a way of life and something that the whole family does. No, I am speaking of women (that is, adults) who have been sheltered or perhaps fearful of firearms. They may even support gun control in their ignorance.
And then they feel the power.
People who have been following polls on support for gun control know that this is not mere anecdotal data. Women are buying firearms and learning to use them like never before. There are women-only shooting associations and "girls nights" at firearms ranges. The firearms industry has responded with an array of products to appeal to this growing market - weapons designed to be more ergonomically comfortable as well as aesthetically pleasing.
For the longest time firearms were limited to blued/black and stainless/nickel finishes. Stocks and grips were black or natural wood.
Now there is a dizzying array of options - not just pink but also purple, blue, yellow and so on.
Another segment of the shooting population are urban young men - hipster types who are finally coming to understand that the police will not always be there to protect them (particularly since the federal government seems to want to demagogue every police shooting).
With all of these facts, the whole "guns are men trying to compensate for sexual inadequacy" argument falls apart.
Of course it never really worked in the first place. If a man with a 7.5-inch .44 magnum was compensating for his small penis, what did it say about the other men who were afraid of his gun and wanted it outlawed? I have several times heard people arguing in support of gun control because they personally weren't sure they could control themselves with that kind of power.
Thus if one wants to get psycho-sexual about firearms, gun control supporters were projecting their own sense of inadequacy on others.
The irony is also rich when one considers that the Dirty Harry image was the creation of Hollywood, one of the most sexually twisted places on earth where perversion and pederasty is rampant. The People's Republic of California may be one of the most regulated states in the country, but only recently got around to preventing sex offenders from working with child actors.
No normal person uses a long-barreled .44 as a carry gun. The thing is awkward to draw and heavy to lug around. The biggest firearm I've seen someone carry is a Colt 1911 - venerable weapon and the standard sidearm for the US armed forces for 70 years. In other words hardly something extraordinary in terms of power. I've also met more than a few shooters who started out carrying a full-sized pistol and downsized to something lighter.
At this point, the gun control psychologists may ask: So given the issues with having a hand cannon (like the mighty .500 magnum) why would anyone purchase one?
The answer is that they are tools optimized for a specific kind of shooting. Long-barreled, high-caliber handguns are primarily used to hunt medium to large game - deer, bears and similar sized animals - in an environment where sight distances are small. These guns are also good at stopping large predators - such as bears - when one is out in the wilderness.
This is particularly the case in Alaska, where bears can wander into town. Alaska has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country and I am told that large-caliber pistols are often worn openly because of the bear population.
In states like Michigan, there are certain areas where hunting with rifles is prohibited due to the population density. This means hunters have two options: Shotguns firing slugs or handguns.
Handguns are a popular option because they are lighter to carry and one can practice at an indoor range where long weapons are often prohibited.
Just to be sure I've made the point, those long barrels aren't phallic symbols, they add extra velocity and range to the bullet that comes out of them. They also add weight, which helps absorb recoil.
In yet another case of irony, gun control supporters have the idea exactly wrong: Shooters would love to have a pocket-sized firearm that has the power and range of a .500 magnum with an 8-inch barrel. Physics, not some psycho-sexual need to compensate, is the reason these weapons have their considerable size and weight.
I will conclude by noting that a great many men are attracted to women who are comfortable around firearms. The reason for this is painfully simple: They want to associate with someone who shares their interest and won't be pressing them to give up their hobby.
Shooting is a fun and very social activity. In my opinion, going to the range and then having dinner afterwards is a much better date night than watching some crappy movie in a theater. Certainly the post-date activities were better.
It also promotes domestic tranquility. The stereotype of a anti-gun wife who constantly complains about having guns in the house and who uses the gun collection as leverage in a divorce has, alas, a strong basis in reality. I've known too many men who have been compelled to give up an enjoyable hobby by firearm-phobic harpies who ended up leaving them anyway.
Those that didn't ditch the collection during the marriage often find it split up as a marital asset, with the wife selling it off at rock-bottom prices - not for the money, just out of spite.
At a local gun store some time ago I found a Smith and Wesson 629 in excellent shape being sold for an absurdly low price on consignment. I asked the saleswoman behind the counter about it and she sighed: "A woman brought it in here. She got it in the divorce settlement. She didn't know what is, didn't care and wanted it priced to sell immediately."
Having shooting in common may not guarantee marital bliss, but it does at least remove and often problematic point of friction.
Since we are focusing on the psycho-sexual aspects of gun ownership, these anti-gun harridans are, from the pseudo-Freudian perspective, castrating their husbands.
Because humans are still animals, we can sexualize just about anything. Because of the power they possess, firearms can also carry some of the same mystique that has attached to other weapons.
The fact remains, however, that guns are just tools. People can purchase things for many reasons, but experienced shooters look at what the tool is designed to do when making their decision.
Yes, sometimes shooters will purchase collector's pieces of historical and cultural interest. Han Solo's blaster in Star Wars is a modified Mauser C/96 "Broomhandle" and many people want a Walther PPK because it is the gun used by James Bond.
These purchases do not make up the bulk of the market. The Walther PPK is an outstanding weapon in its own right (which is why real-life covert agents use them) and the Mauser Broomhandle is an excellent weapon that counted Winston Churchill among its users.
People who want to find sexual messages in everyday life will never be disappointed because they are projecting their own obsessions. Freud may never have said "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," but the statement remains true.