'And I do realize the original intent of this thread was humorous but developed into something entirely different."
Actually it didn't - it was hijacked by a few people, and those handful of people persisted. It is often the same handful that do it over and over again on the different threads. And some of those people took fairly simple polite comments, even from some of the known nicest people on here, and immediately twisted them around into fightin' words.
There is a word for it - Troll. It is something about certain personalities and the web that seems universal, but I think most bonifide trolls don't think of themselves as troll as all. But they are.
Anyway, the OP, and most of the participants, even after it was hijacked, were taking it humorously. The very title of the thread is a joke - of course almost no one DOES anything. In addition almost no one actually CAREs if you carry a gun, so get over it. Some of us might think is unnecessary, but I also think taking a ipad or kindle is even more unnecessary. If I run into Hannibal Lecter on the trail, or have a sudden uncontrolled desire to play angry birds, then I will feel like a fool.
Also I (and am guessing many others on here) don't give a damn about your politics, or those of the "other" side. If you guys want to just keep pissing on each other's shoes I think maybe a separate, clearly labeled thread might be more useful. Or maybe a more politics-related site altogether.
Of course it IS chaff so feel free. The main issue to my mind is that the trolls are not only intentionally offensive a lot of the time, but are terribly predictable and boring, and hence aren't that entertaining. It is kind of a pain to look through all their screeds to find entertaining stuff. Its an issue of efficiency.