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Dear D Mitchell, I want to ask you about “proud gun owner.” I feel I can ask you, because I know you, at least a little bit, and I like you. Where does the “proud” come from? It seems such a strange modifier for “gun owner.”

I own guns. I am neither proud nor ashamed of the fact. It just is. Sometimes you need to shoot something, a rabid raccoon for example.

I also own a drill and a frying pan. They are tools.

It seems there is suddenly this whole culture of “proud gun owners” where once there were just “gun owners.” The whole “proud” thing, to my ear, smacks of belligerent defensiveness.

I don’t think you are belligerently defensive. You may just be repeating a stock phrase. So, edify me, what is up with that?