Let me start by saying that I, too, am 68 years old, so, like you, I've seen a lot a of changes toward guns over the many decades. If you go back far enough, I'm sure you'd find that most people thought of guns as tools - nothing more. At first they were used as tools to get food on the table. They were also used as tools to protect oneself and one's family. They were also tools of war, etc. But that has changed over the years. For good or bad, guns have become a whole lot more than tools, and they mean different things to different people and groups. To some, they represent nothing but evil - terrorists, assassins, felons; basically, they represent a threat to one's safety and way of life. To others, they represent human's degradation of the planet as they have been used to kill "defenseless" animals and drive some species toward endangerment and extinction. They are symbols of status to lot a of folks - especially sportsman, "I have more guns in my safe than you." (I am more successful than you.) And, yes, many consider them "toys" (things that really aren't necessary, but are fun to use.) Of course, they have been politicized to death by both major politcal parties. (If you see a guy driving down the street in a pickup with an NRA sticker on the bumper, can you even imagine he's a Democrat!) So, it's pretty hard to just look at a gun any more as only a tool. There just has been too much baggage attached to guns, their use and ownership. Personally, I would like to think of them as tools, period; unfortunately, that may just not be where we are as a society any more.
Last edited by onehorse; 07-15-2012 at 02:47 PM.