Bernstein does not suggest the stereotypical “gun nut” of anti-handgun straw-man arguments — a yahoo itchy to open fire for the hell of it, anytime, anywhere. That’s not to say he doesn’t share much in common with those who fall under that umbrella. He thinks Obama is a disaster. He agrees with Rush Limbaugh. (He has no opinion of Bill O’Reilly because he hasn’t owned a TV in many years.) He loves goading liberals, and if the Tennessee legislature proposed to let kindergarten teachers pack heat in the sandbox, he would probably offer an MNEA discount.
But his calm demeanor, grad-school vocabulary and dry wit aren’t typical of the breed. He’s a progressive’s worst nightmare — a hard-line, pro-gun Tennessee conservative who doesn’t come off like a country bumpkin or raving lunatic. At least not in person.