I grew up in a small town were the majority of men, and a sizable minority of women hunted. To say I grew up around guns would be an understatement. As a child, the National Rifle Association was such a common part of my life, that I didn't think there was anything odd about people getting together and shooting guns. Here's the thing, though, when I was growing up, the NRA was an organization that stressed hunting rights, sport shooting and gun safety.
What happened? Somewhere along the line, the NRA was hijacked by the gun extremists, who are more worried about the right to walk around in public, armed to the teeth, than they are about deer season. These extremists equate showing up at a presidential speech with AK-47's over their shoulders with the right to hunt, target shoot, and to defend themselves from crime. (An issue that's blown way out of proportion. Most Americans will never know crime beyond the level of irritation.)
Enter Glenn Beck and his border line endorsement of assassination as a form of political protest. Beck, Limbaugh and the rest of the far right hate mongers are playing to the gun extremists. Every time I read in the papers about an Obama town hall meeting surrounded by gun wielding nuts, I wonder just how long it will be until a few of these fools decide to rush the hall and try to take out the president. They probably won't get beyond the local police and secret service, but they'll probably end up killing a few people before they themselves are shot.