According to Urban Dictionary.com, a “Fudd” is “Slang term for a “casual” gun owner; eg; a person who typically only owns guns for hunting or shotgun sports” (drgrant, April 10th, 2007). We, and I of course add myself into this category, possibly know many supposed “fudds”. Many of us probably had an uncle we liked to hunt with or hear hunting stories from. Maybe some of us had dads or moms who took us to a target or skeet range once when we were small. So then the question may come to your mind that, with this knowledge of the word, why the term “fudd” has become so laced with both venom and mixed, turnabout pride by some in these past few weeks? The answer is simple.
As with any other month after some mysterious and questionable event has been revealed to the public consciousness, another mass shooting (or 3) has been carried out. Specifically, on the day El Paso, Texas shooting, carried out by a one Patrick Wood Crusius, I jacked into twitter both to feed my need for live updates and to feed my need for hot takes and reactionary tweets. One tweet in particular, though lost to the eternal sluice that is my mind, stood out to me. Paraphrasing, it quote tweeted a twitter user with the hashtag: #RepealThe2ndAmendmant in their post. In their post the user espoused how they were an ex-marine or Navy Seal and had owned and operated many fully automatic weapons in their life and that NO civilian should have the weapons he had. This quote tweet derided the user and called him a Fudd. This of course peaked my interest and on one of my nightly trips to the TREADMILL OF THOUGHT, I began thinking. Should this man’s opinion be regarded as essential to discourse?
Understand why I ask this; it is not JUST because some random twitter user called another random twitter user a Fudd, but it was because of the hashtag in the quote tweeted user’s tweet: #RepealTheSecondAmendment. This is important because it directly contradicts with their previous statements and what it implies. This person is an ex-marine/Navy Seal, they have owned, and I understand the word “have” also implies a lack of ownership now but I hardly doubt they had parted with ALL of their firearms, and yet they hard-line their tweet with a hashtag demanding a stripping of their own rights. The isn’t important because I seethe at those that would reject ultimate freedom and ask the governmental body to wrench away their god given right to inflict harm, no this is because this user was indeed a fudd, but in a new sense of the word.
The fudd IS a casual gun owner, and if I had continued the definition straight from dictionary dot com you would realize what makes the fudd identity so heinous, it is because the fudd “does not truly believe in the true premise of the second amendment” (drgrant, April 10th, 2007). Again, this is not for the reason you think. Though I hate people who ask for their rights to be taken away, the fudd is not disgusting because he wants his rights taken away, he is disgusting because he lacks conviction. Fudd is disgusting because it is an identity that is not limited to firearms, or any other aspect of self. The ownership and pride in identifying in the term “fudd” and any of the characteristics of said identity is deplorable because the identity is characterized by a meekling kind of knowing hypocrisy and worst of all, a lack of principled conviction. This essay was never truly about casual, gun owning “fudds”, but the very meaning of the word beyond its scope.
But why does the fudd lack in conviction? Why does the fudd participate in this knowing hypocrisy? Simply put, the fudd does not believe in the hobby or intrinsic action he performs. The fudd finds his enjoyment in the power, recreation, and comradery of gun ownership and usage. The fudd may even find a certain alter identity here, buying milsurp and larping with the boys on a Saturday afternoon. Adorning his walls in false fetishes like reproduction knives, flags, and historic depictions of favored pieces, the fudd is comfortable for he is within the law and not going to places like 4chan or the “deep web”. However when the law comes knocking after a man 18 states away is gunned down by someone who should not have even possessed the firearm in question by any tenet of the law and regulations the fudd holds so dear, he folds much like the common lawn chair. Breaking at the knees, the fudd is ready to allow the body above him, bureaucrats, activists, and people who would look at his cap-lock rifle with a dread akin to that of a bird to a pit-bull, to take another inch of his rights away. Eventually when it is all gone, and the inch becomes an autobahn’s length in miles of restriction, regulation, and outright seizure the fudd will still be there. He will still be there to teach the boys at the paintball or air-soft range the proper and enforced ball speeds and grain weights, ever vigilant to keep his orange tip on or his marker color extra bright.
Now that we have established who the fudd is, what he stands for, and why he is detestable, now we return to my question at the end of the second paragraph. Is the opinion of a person like this relevant to the discourse on gun ownership? It will not come as a shock to most who have made it this far but the answer to this question is indefatigably no. The reason why is quite simple, it is because the fudd lacks such conviction, that he is willing to bear and even become the fair-weather that befits his relation to the subject of gun ownership and usage that he cannot be taken seriously in a true discussion on the topic. The fudd will never wave a Gadsden flag or put that NRA bumper sticker on his lifted truck, nor will he share a Boomer meme on facebook about the NRA dealing in blood-stained checks or join the ATF (whether this is because of his lacking conviction or a fear of the “boogaloo” we cannot be 100% sure).
The fudd however must be realized for what he truly is. This essay was originally meant to bedraggle fudds but it has evolved to suit a dual purpose. Youtube personalities that deal in political theology and factionism are as old as time itself, however one youtuber by the handle “Jreg” has thrown some interesting ideas into the water for those of us willing to take the bait. Memes aside, I am fairly certain Jreg and myself do not align very well on the political compass, however many of his videos sit in a comfortable parallel to my own political philosophy which can be surmised as “reject centrists/centrism”, which brings us back to the question of the fudd. The fudd is a character to be disparaged because he is at heart, a centrist, but not only this, he is the worst kind of centrist. He is someone that seemingly stands for something, actively engrosses themselves in a lifestyle, and yet is ready to surrender it with only so much as a bluecheck’s tweets to prod him.
At this point, reading what has been written, I am sure you see now a thousand turncoats, spies, and traitors in your theological, political, and social circles, and you would be crazy to believe for a second that their aren’t. In each of our spheres they exist, the friend who won’t help in your time of need, the TradCath who pens entire threads about the evils of abortion one day yet simps for e-girls/e-boys the very next, or the party member who just won’t toe the line. At this point as well, some new epiphany must have come to you, that you are one of these people! You are the traitor! You are the centrist! This man is writing about and decrying me! Yes, yes I am, but know that I am thou and thou art I. We see now that the fudd or as he shall be forever known as the “eternal fudd” exists within all of us in some way, shape, or form. Know now that this is no great sin but a condition of human existence where compromise and favoritism reigns over our wants, needs, and values. However this leads me to my final point.
You and I as fudds have no place in the discourse of subjects to which we ourselves are not doggedly opposed or in favor of. Middling opinions in discourse of any kind serve only to confuse, obfuscate, and hinder the pure creation and destruction of possibilities for the subject, its laws, theories, and practical applications. An example would be on gun laws, I do not want to see your tweets unless you would want the government to put me 6 feet under to take my air rifle OR unless your only heartfelt desire is that my 3 year old should be allowed her god-given right to own a belt fed minigun. You would now naturally ask, why? Why quash thought that is not extreme? Why would it be better to assure the existence of a wasteland of constant death or a dystopia of an unarmed populace under the boot of government oppression? Why not have middling opinions in cases such as these to possibly allow yourself some form of the expression you desire if these discussions result in actual lawful change? Because of the simple fact that these middling opinions prevent a true outcome, a compromise is always less than what is truly intended and only breeds dissent and violence. This however is not the true problem.
The violence that compromise breeds is cold, methodical, not very lindy, or as marketable, actionable, or “true”. This premeditated violence is in a sense more horrific than the alternative. This alternative of allowing the pendulum sway of extremist thought, action, enforcement, and reaction is THE pure and natural form of mankind. This mode of expression is the quintessential essence of human nature. It is violent, it is cathartic, it has an effect of bringing the most disparate groups together under banners of hate and anger. Violence has always solved everything, if you can’t say something nice then say something cruel, and if you really wanted to save the planet then peace was never really an option. Conflict alone moves the wheels of progress and to think any different is to invite and even celebrate stagnation, bitterness, and contempt.
In conclusion, the opinions of those not possessing extremist modes of thought in certain subjects should be ignored or treated as targets of mockery in the discourse of that subject. The simple reason given, drawing back to the overall analogy of the “eternal fudd”, is that those without “do or die” mentalities often lack the will, vision, or basic desire to either die on the hill they support or to go against everyone that stands on the hill they oppose. These individuals provide only compromises which come under the guise of “solutions” which in the end serve only to erode the subject in ways of legality, enjoyment, and accessibility. Meanwhile, given the rapid nature of extremist action and discourse, allowing only these opinions while either serve to polarize the subject, keeping it free to those interested in it or will serve to heighten actions against its opposing parties as they vie to restrict or destroy it.