All About Guns


Beware, there’s a new gun writer in town, and he/she/it/they/them is kinda dangerous.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ve probably heard some of the fuss about artificial intelligence (AI). As a long-suffering tech industry guy, while there is truth to computers getting smarter, a lot is being blown out of proportion.

Doing math and “thinking,” as you and I understand the “thought” term, are very different things. Since day one, computers have mystified us because they can do math really, really fast on a scale our feeble brains can’t even dream of. So all the “computer smarts” are really just a result of encoding everyday problems like sorting a list of words or comparing whatever I write here against a big list of all known words in the language — and calling it some kind of intelligent smart grammar checking.

But to be fair, smart programmers are creating hardware and software that can “learn” to some degree, but the word “artificial intelligence” is still kind of a stretch. We’re still quite a ways from a sentient computer that thinks like a human. A lot of current AI is still just a big math problem. Computers suck up all known information on the internet and try to put it to good use when we ask questions like, “Write a story for me about the time Mr. Ed partied with My Favorite Martian, and they both got arrested for drunk and disorderly.”

All this does have something to do with writing about guns, really. You see, millions of journalists and writers are fretting about being replaced by AI because it can technically write stories about all kinds of stuff automatically in just seconds.

For example, I’ll ask one of the popular AI programs to write a gun magazine story about the classic Colt Single Action Army revolver. I’ll try this with a couple of “computer gun writers” to see what happens…

What could possibly go wrong?

AI Buddy 1


“In the quiet, dusty town of Tombstone, the sun beat down relentlessly, casting long shadows on the wooden boardwalks. Jesse, a seasoned gunslinger, strolled into the local saloon, his eyes scanning the room for trouble. Strapped to his hip was his trusted companion, the Colt Single Action Army revolver.

The bartender wiped the counter, eyes glancing nervously at Jesse’s iconic weapon. The town knew better than to tangle with a man who wielded the legendary “Peacemaker.” Its reputation for accuracy and reliability spread like wildfire across the Wild West.

As the evening wore on, tensions rose. A gang of outlaws burst through the saloon doors, their guns drawn. The room fell silent. Jesse’s hand instinctively reached for his Colt. With lightning speed, he drew his revolver, the distinct click of the hammer filling the air.

Time seemed to stand still as the Colt’s deadly precision unleashed a symphony of gunfire. Shots rang out, filling the room with swirling smoke and chaos. When the dust settled, the outlaws lay defeated, and Jesse stood tall, his Colt Single Action Army revolver holstered once more, its legacy as the ultimate symbol of frontier justice reaffirmed.”

Well, I did ask for a story, but even still, it’s a bit light on the details of the famous sixgun.

Just for variety, I tasked a different AI assistant with the exact same instructions. I’m not naming either specifically because we both know these machines are smart enough to raise a hit squad of minion appliances to come after me in my own home. Ever been attacked by a blender? Me neither, but I don’t want to start now.

AI Buddy 2

Here goes round two…

“He had always wanted a Colt Single Action Army revolver, ever since he was a kid. He loved the way it looked, the way it felt, the way it sounded. He saved up for years, working odd jobs and selling his old stuff, until he finally had enough to buy one.

He went to the gun store, his eyes shining with excitement. He asked for the Colt, and the clerk handed him one. He checked the serial number, and his heart skipped a beat. It was 1873, the same year the Colt was first produced. He felt like he was holding a piece of history.

He paid for the gun, and walked out of the store, feeling like he had just won the lottery. He couldn’t wait to try it out at the shooting range. He got in his car, and drove away, humming a tune.
He never saw the truck that ran the red light and hit him.”

I have to offer up the gun writer award to AI number two on this one, purely for the completely random ending—it did entertain me. I didn’t edit a word in either story, not even punctuation, so I guess this reflects the twisted way computers “think.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to suggest all our fabulous writers update their resumes just yet. But I guarantee you’re already seeing AI-generated content on some of the less reputable blogs and newsletters out there. If you spot any suspicious ones, feel free to share them with us!

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