When I first started writing about guns more than a decade ago, I quicky realized there was no large overarching “gun community.” Instead, what we have are incredibly diverse groups of gun owners, as well as subgroups, sub-subgroups and sub-sub-subgroups.
There are tactical shooters, muzzle loaders, collectors who may seldom fire a round, hunters of all types and persuasions, varied groups of target shooters, at least a half-dozen different flavors of clay killers, single-action shooters whom I thought were crazy for dressing up and playing cowboy on the weekend until I actually attended one of their events – they have a lot of fun – long-range magicians, machinegun owners, gun-rights groups, instructors of all types, policy wonks who may not even own a firearm but who spend every waking moment making sure we can, gun dealers, AK guys and gals, AR disciples, liberal gun owners and minority groups, 1911 believers, and of course Fudds. (Note: this list is far from comprehensive.)
Over the years, there has been tension between some of these groups, mostly good natured. Serious bolt-action fellas occasionally look sideways at us tactical shooters, especially when we park our black rifles next to them at the range. A few gun-rights groups don’t play well with others. AK and AR owners will never agree on which is the better platform. The 1911 guys are mired in the early 20th Century and proud of it, and everybody hates the Fudds.