This is a dangerous topic. I will garner the wrath of powerful enemies by merely writing about it.
I never owned a gun and do not recall ever having the urge to buy one. My father never expressed the need or desire to own a firearm. When I was a teenager, my brother bought a rifle. I don't recall that he ever fired it, but he must have. We lived in a residential suburb of Boston, which did not offer venues for firing weapons. This was before the time of indiscriminate shootings at schools, post offices, and fast-food restaurants. It made no sense to own a weapon, but he wanted one...so he bought a carbine rifle. It sat unused in his bedroom.
We were always different. He read GI Joe comics; I read Disney comics. He watched Victory at Sea on the television; I watched Howdy Dowdy. He attended West Point; I chose one of the most liberal colleges in the country. I liked Doonesbury; he didn't understand it. A pattern seems to be emerging...
The point is: I do not understand the fascination with guns. The underlying principle seems to be similar to the one in my previous post: it's all about money. Some people earn a lot of money by exploiting the system (clever interpretation of the Constitution) and human gullibility/weakness/fear. This is like an incurable disease, for which no one is seeking a cure. Those that recognize the danger are marginalized and outspent. Politicians are inexpensive to buy: a minor cost of doing business.
There are guns in European countries, but there are less and they are better-controlled. People seem to be more reasonable about the issue and less-demanding of an artificial "right". This may have to do with history; it may indicate a more mature society. My country of residence lies on one of the most-trafficked migration routes in human history. It has seen more than its fair share of violence (and caused a bit itself), so I am pleased to be living in one of the peaceful interludes.
By the way, I have carried a loaded firearm. Having served in the military and spent a year in a war zone, it went with the uniform. I do not recall feeling any boost to my ego. I am sure that I did feel some false sense of security, knowing that I could attempt to protect myself. Fortunately, I never had the need.
It is strange, but I feel as uncomfortable in many places in the United States, where gun laws are especially ridiculous, as I did in Vietnam. I am happy to live in a region where people do not demand the right to own and carry firearms.