This kind of thinking is hysterical.
But many liberals see advocates of individual self-defense as radical libertarians who care not at all for the greater good, and therefore seek the forcible disarmament of others, even those who use firearms responsibly.
This represents a profound misreading, and mistrust, of the public.
One expert on the irrationality of the gun debate is Dan Baum. A self-described liberal, Baum is also a "gun guy" - the name of his most recent book.
In "Gun Guys," Baum explains why so many Americans feel compelled to arm themselves.
Like me, Baum is an advocate of universal background checks, and stringent training and licensing.
But he is also a critic of his liberal friends who would deny others the right to self-defense, simply because they're uncomfortable around firearms.
"People on the left get the heebie-jeebies at the thought of individuals being vigorous and empowered and capable enough to use a gun," he told me.
After the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., last July, "There was this sneering on the left about the idea that things could have been better in the theater if someone had shot back at the killer.
"Why wouldn't you want to have a gunfight in that theater? How could it have been worse?
"These mass shooters don't want a fight, they want to kill. Someone firing back at him might have disrupted his rhythm. It might have caused him to run away."
I happen to agree with Baum. I'd rather be caught in a gunfight than in a massacre.
This doesn't mean I like the National Rifle Association. It simply means I think many civilians can defend themselves.
Alderden put it best when he said: "Your position on concealed-carry permits has a lot to do with your position on the reliability and sanity of your fellow man."
The recent debate in the United States over how to prevent mass killings has obscured three facts.
One, our country is hopelessly saturated with guns.
Two, new gun laws will only have a marginal effect on the ability of violent people to arm themselves.
And three, most people who own guns are actually quite careful, and quite sane.
Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, is a Bloomberg View columnist.