In another example of irrationality, the nation's gun fetishists are calling on the White House to deport CNN's Piers Morgan for forthrightly supporting gun control.
I don't think Morgan, who is British, will be going anywhere. But it is to wonder. What will the gun crowd come up with next? Deporting TV hosts -- or trying to -- hardly seems likely to be a winning strategy.
Still, perhaps the scheme should be no real surprise since they can't complete a logical argument and they face building opposition as they continue their constricted lives with guns as deities.
One of their current favorite assertions is this: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
It is nonsense on the face of it. Police officers, who are armed, have been shot. And, since today's gun cultists love the gun-wielders of the Old West, let me cite just one of many cases. Remember Wild Bill Hickok? Now there was a guy who didn't mess around, hot stuff with a gun, one to take care of business, and, to use a much-overused word, an icon. What happened to poor old Bill? Shot to death while playing poker in Deadwood, S.D.
But back here in the 21st century, let me just say I was delighted to see New York's two tabloids -- not known as centers of liberal thought -- come out as only tabloids can in assailing an executive with the National Rifle Association (NRA).
"GUN NUT!" shouted the New York Post.
CRAZIEST MAN ON EARTH," yelled the New York Daily News.
"Just 90 minutes after a moment of silence for Newtown victims, vile NRA nut blames everyone and everything except the guns," the News declared.
So it's starting to build following the Connecticut tragedy, but I'm afraid, alas, that I remain a pessimist. You're going to have to show me the votes on Capitol Hill. Still, in the long term, I do believe that we -- the sane ones -- will win.
Unhappily, though, it doesn't take much to understand the depth of the challenge facing gun-control advocates.
The gun, in a uniquely American way, is, for its lovers, a sensual object, something to be caressed, its beauty commented upon. For other gun-mad individuals, it is a deity, to be honored and sacrificed to. For some, just as dangerous, guns are toys.
Think this is an exaggeration? Look at popular culture. On TV shows focused on pawn shops, for example, guns are lovingly described, a wonder to touch and hold. Even the more upscale "Antiques Roadshow" on PBS has its gun moments.
And how many gun lovers who say they have a weapon for defense, really hope for a chance to use it?
Meantime, despite Newtown, talk is allowed to turn to mental health issues.But all countries have mentally ill individuals. What they don't have are regular massacres.
And what about the numbers? Are the gun crazies really so dominant? The NRA has 4.3 million members. Let's say that for every member, 20 other Americans hold similar views albeit probably with less intensity. That's some 86 million. The U.S. population is about 315,100,000. And since about 35 percent of Americans have guns in their homes, this means that most of us have clearly passed up the opportunity.
Despite this, somehow, because in a 1700s agrarian society we feared a government that we imagined might take on some of the less desirable aspects of our former colonial rulers in London, we live with regular massacres, as routine now as traffic fatalities.
As for Piers Morgan, this sideshow would be comical were it not for the subject and the idea that his gun-nut critics are quite serious about expecting the White House to deport him.
Finally, if you believe in violence, I wonder why you would want a gun. Surely, if the bad guys have guns, you'd want something that would give you an edge.
Who wants to be like Wild Bill Hickok? If guns are everywhere, the fact that you have one is hardly reassuring. You need the upper hand. How about grenade-toting bodyguards perhaps for those who can afford them? For the rest us, maybe chain stores could offer discounted, military surplus flame throwers and even small tanks.
But then, our gun fixation is not really about protection, is it? It's about fetishism.
Sarasota-based Hedley Burrell, a frequent Florida Keys visitor, is a former editor and writer for The Washington Post and The Associated Press and media adviser for U.S. government agencies.