I think the degree to which this resembles a sexual confession is not entirely coincidental. Learned (two-syllable pronunciation) papers and studies exist on the sexuality of guns, focusing always on the rather obvious phallic resemblance of the hand-held gun and the male organ; comfortable grip, extension, ejection, consequences of improper use … the list goes on.

The gun-confiscation paranoid mind-set is seen in these studies as — what else? — castration fear. And there’s the unfailing potency of the gun as a substitute for the failing potency of, well, you know. As Gore Vidal said, you can always get your gun up.

— Legendary talk show host and upcoming guest Dick Cavett ruminates on his former ardor for guns and the weapon’s latent equation with sexuality, via the NYTimes

Today would have been Hunter S. Thompson’s 75th Birthday, and how better to celebrate than to listen to this This American Life story from Sarah Vowell? In “Shooting Dad”, Vowell joins her gunsmith dad as they shoot off his homemade cannon. In the end, he asks the same request of her when he dies that Thompson asked of his friends: to have his ashes shot out of a cannon. The essay also appears in her book, Take the Cannoli: Stories from the New World.