There’s one in every family…

Statistically speaking, about half of your relatives have guns in their homes. In some extended families, it’s more; in some it’s less. We also all have relatives who don’t own guns, but they respect your right to own one. They may not like the fact that you own a gun, but they keep that to themselves. You’re not hurting anyone and they know it. They may not like guns, but they’re sensible about the subject.

Then there’s that relative.

If you look at the anti-gun movement, you quickly see that these are people with an unhealthy fixation on firearms. These are the true “gun nuts”. And every last one of them is related to someone who owns guns. Conversely, every last gun owner probably has at least one of these people rustling around in the leaves somewhere in their family tree.

Yup… That relative.

You know the one I’m talking about. Whenever there’s an incident involving firearms, they take to Facebook or Twitter like Batman taking to the Batmobile. “Ah ha!” they shout with glee; “It’s happened again!”. And I do mean glee. They sound truly happy to learn that something awful has happened and that they have another opportunity to tell the world how right they are. But what they lack is any sense of perspective. We live in a nation of 300,000,000 people. Something bad happens somewhere, to someone, everyday. That some of these bad things involve firearms is not a surprise; nor  does it necessarily indicate any sort of societal problem. Far more mayhem is accomplished day in and day out with cars, but we don’t have any crazy cousins calling for a ban on cars. (Not out of safety concerns, that it.)

But guns are different. And if you’re hoping that I’m about to explain why, then you’re out of luck. I can’t tell you why your sister-in-law gets unhinged over  guns. I can’t tell you why she bitterly clings to long-ago debunked anti-gun studies or posts them to Facebook every two weeks. I can’t tell you why she acts like she’s deaf when you tell her that more people are killed with hands and feet in the US every year than are killed with any sort of rifle, let alone “assault” weapons. I can’t tell you why her every Tweet is a Michael Bloomberg talking point. I wish I could answer these questions because then we might be able to understand the antis and their special brand of crazy.

For now, they remain a mystery.