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.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.