..."Passion" and "calling" come to mind.
For us, on this forum, an alternative might be..."way of life"
It is quite possible, no...it is very likely, that we, as Americans are unique among global cultures transcending history as "brothers in arms".
I have witnessed Isreali's who go on the Friday night outing with the family in Haifa with the Uzi as present a companion as Mom's pocketbook. I have seen the AK-47 in Somalia used to fortify the efforts of gunmen in Mogadishu to steal U.N. rice as often as the armed farmers in the interior east of Kismayu used it to protect the legitimate mango, papaya, and melon plantations. I know Haitians and Grenadians hopeless in their unarmed oppresson. I have seen Tommy guns in Viet Nam and M14s and 1911s boarding Sudanese merchantmen in the Persian Gulf.
Yet we, the descendants of the noble experiment of democracy, are unique in answering the call to arms to win and then to defend our freedom. We tore a nation from England at Yorktown, then preserved our sovereign rights on the decks of the Constitution.
How royal was the "long rifle"? How essential was the "Peacemaker"? How integral was the ".22"? What assault was excuted with the 30-40 Krag or the M1?
No....We alone "The Fair Americans" know the spirit of the gun, a thread woven into the fabric of our identity.
It is to us; "Airborne", the Green Mountain Boys, The 60th Rifles, The Seventh, PBRs, "Recon" and "Air Cav", "Saratoga Battle Group" "Stryker" to preserve the heritage.
Hobby...No....I don't think so.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson