Someone recently asked me if I believed that there was some sort of connection between owning firearms and being able to shoot and masculinity. The question boiled down to whether
you had to to be able to shoot in order to be a "real man".
My response - zero correlation. I think that firearms are like many other things that appropriated by men lacking character or a true understanding of masculinity. A firearm is a tool, a truck is a tool, getting laid is an exchange... None of these things are good or bad until they are used with good or with bad intentions. There are many men who carry a weapon every day, yet you would never know it. Their gun is a tool and is not connected in any way to their ego or personality. Others are like children, who's only purpose in life it to let you know that they have guns and are probably carrying at any given moment.
There is currently a great misunderstanding about the difference between masculinity, and the trapping of masculinity. Surrounding myself with billiards equipment will convince others that I am a good billiards player, but does not improve my skill in any way. Just like the TapouT idiots or the Harley Davidson fan boys who dress like bikers but have never been on a motorcycle.
Masculinity has nothing to do with the baubles and labels that you hang on yourself. It has everything to do with your character and how you behave, specifically to those who are weak, vulnerable, or can do nothing for you.
The question at the core of all of these issues is this false idea that there is a single, correct definition of a "real man". The idea that this sort of idealized character set is even a real thing or can and should be attained is ludicrous. Most guys are happy to list off an arbitrary set of attributed of this fictitious "real man". All of these lists will be subject to each man's experiences and values,