The third issue of Trigger magazine, a fledgling editorial product of Guns & Ammo magazine, features a story on John Hinson, a Civil War-era vigilante in Tennessee who, the story relates, meticulously assassinated Union Army officers after two of his own sons had been killed and beheaded. The piece is written with unabashed admiration for Hinson's arbitrary justice:
Throughout history, man has had the responsibility to do two things: protect his family and provide for that family. In this day and age, some have steered away from their manly roots, but many of us still want to do right by our loved ones. Anyone who considers himself a red-blooded protector of his family will feel his blood boil when he hears the saga of Capt. John "Jack" Hinson.
If traditional masculine virtues are under assault elsewhere in Western civilization, they are vividly paraded in American gun culture. You can rate the top 10 "manliest firearms." Or peruse a Pinterest board of "manly weapons." A letter writer in the January 2015 issue of Guns & Ammo laments an essay by "a limp-wristed shooter." In 2010, the website Ammoland.com promoted a marketing game by Bushmaster, maker of the semi-automatic rifle used in the Newtown mass shooting, that all but shouted its intention to exploit masculine insecurity: "To become a card-carrying man, visitors of Bushmaster.com will have to prove they're a man by answering a series of manhood questions."