‘Gun worship is conservative virtue-signaling’: Former Republican goes off on GOP gun culture
Tom Nichols (MSNBC)

Conservative gun culture was blasted on Monday for being a litmus test for Republican voters.


U.S. Naval War College Prof. Tom Nichols made the argument on Monday, following a day of chest-pounding by gun enthusiasts.

"Even when I was a Republican, I never understood people who measure freedom by how many of us walk around with guns. This is a cultural change, the spreading of the gun culture from a corner of the GOP to the entire conservative moment," Nichols explained.

The Trump era is making it worse.

"The spread of gun worship is conservative virtue-signaling," he charged. "Never liked it when I was among my old tribe, and it's gotten worse as 'conservatives' try to figure out new markers for what makes them 'patriots' now that they've had to sell out so much actual patriotism to Trump," he explained.

"When I was a kid, everyone had a gun. Most of my neighbors. Teachers. (Lots more veterans in those days.) But it was not a culture of 'I went for a coffee and wore my gun because damn it, I'm an American.' My GOP voting family and friends never talked about guns. Why would we?" he asked. "Among the working-class guys who all owned guns, talking a lot about guns was weird. You had them, it was your right, you left it at that. We didn't measure our sense of worth by whether we were going to go face down the gangbangers around our church in the 70s."

"I'm uncomfortable with people who worship guns and feel the need to have them nearby 24/7 not because of guns, but because I'm uncomfortable with people who worship guns. That this is now a litmus test for 'conservatives' tells you something sad about conservatism," Nichols concluded.