Well for many years, since like when I was 6 or 7 and got my first BB gun and my first safety lessons, shooting lessons, etc.
I enjoyed plinking, hunting gophers in my Grandfather’s fields, he taught me how to trap them and gave my a Quarter!! per rodent. Many I ‘finished’ off with my BB gun.
Next it was a .22lr and spending much time with my Dad squirrel hunting and with every session, more safety and handling lessons! Dad was a combat vet (Korea) and a Firearms Safety Instructor for almost 50 years.
Gradually into pheasant and deer hunting.
Many hours spent ‘plinking’ and target shooting in my youth.
I enjoy guns and all aspects of them. Taking them apart, took a correspondence Gunsmith course many years ago (no online crap back then!), reloading my own boolits etc.
Make me an expert? Nope. But many blogs on ‘guns’ I read, so called ‘experts’, I can easily tell how much ‘actual’ experience these ‘experts’ have with ‘guns’ and the practical applications there of.
Self defense was never something I thought about, that has changed, changed after I bought my first house and one night a couple of crooked types tried to force their way into my house. I was probably 20 or so. I flapped the light switch on and they saw me standing there with my Ruger single action six pointed at them. They vanished in a hurry. It was ‘only’ a .22 but they did not know that.
That’s when I realized guns were more then a tool to be used for hunting, target shooting etc.
And then the attempts by crooked politicians to subvert the 2nd Amendment and try to take away my guns, or woke me up to that fact.
So guns to me mean a lot of things. To many for any of the anti-gun crowd to ever understand..