You see, juju, there are lots of Americans like yooperguy. They live out in the scarce regions and close to the land....it's a big continent. A gun was, and is, a tool. They treat it as such and appreciate the ability to own and properly use such a tool. That means it comes with another conservative stalwart, responsibility. In this case, individual responsibility, I would guess. Common sense.
What we see in modern America, usually in the more urbanized areas, where the unhinged can live off each others' psychoses, is masses of irresponsible individuals who mistakenly believe that owning a firearm will somehow protect them...when all evidence is quite the opposite. This is fed by the mass media. Most people who have firearms need training and never get it. Many, many more need to not have firearms at all. These people consider firearms to be some kind of toy. Toys are sold to make money.
I get the notion that most Americians have a spicial religion called "The Second Amendment". This religion means that you should have the right to own as many weapons you want. And like all religious people, they are not interested in reason (like that we live in another society today with more advanced guns). Religions are all about faith, not about logic.
And when I feel bitter, I say "Americans love their weapons more than their children". Though that's unfair of course, they don't expect that their own children will be killed.
Also, those people who are against abortions b/c "life is holy", support the death penalty. They also find it perfectly acceptable to kill off burglars or anyone trespasing "stand your ground".
We are famous for "Stockholm syndrome": "Q: Hey, what's up with Matt? His Dad is on social security, his mom got laid off, his sister's kids get free school lunches, he collects federal financial aid for college, and he only makes minimum wage working at Walmarts. Yet he keeps talking about how we need to cut taxes for the wealthy and quit spending so much on social programs. A: Yeah, he thinks he's going to be a millionaire soon. He's got Economic Stockholm Syndrome." (Urban Dictionary)
Circumstances can do that. In Lord of the Flies, a group of boys quickly become savages. We know that, individually, Americans are good people just like the rest of us but collectively, under certain circumstances, questions gave to be asked. Same with us here, I guess, but we just don't see it.