Disambiguation for Newbs
your journey over the last year mirrors my own, although its 18 months. I appreciate the thoughts and the challenges to think.
I have only one minor quibble. Although I don't own one (other matters having required my money for a while now) I feel that I can intelligently discuss the basic AR-15 and its cousin, the M16A1. The latter was my assigned weapon for most of the sixteen years I spent in different parts of the Army, and even after 30+ years out of uniform, I am familiar enough with it to give an informed opinion - possibly more so than my Makarov pistol, which I have not spent nearly as much time on ranges with. I need to find some time to go out in the desert with Masha and do some plinking. Maybe after tax season.
You have such a strange sense of "stoic". The stoic doesn't presume their experience has authority over other people's experience, even those who don't have an experience the stoic recognizes. The stoic isn't offering guidance to others or upbraiding them. They're just narrating their own experience, they're curious about the world as they experience it directly. They don't make a distinction between people who have no right to speak and people who do; they make no strong claims about the "evidence of experience". The stoic is fascinated by people who have strong feelings in the absence of what seems like direct experience and by people who do make such claims. Curious, not commanding. Testify, work from what you see, don't draw boundaries. "Nothing human is alien to me."