Guns are no problem. They make great toys for enthusiasts, and they are great male jewelry for those who buy guns so they can put them in a safe. Their usefulness in hunting is obvious. But, let's not kid ourselves. There are plenty of cowards and bullies who love guns too, and these can be counted on to keep everyone jumpy with atrocities, suicides and accidents.
Saddam Hussein allowed every Iraqi to keep an AK-47 for a number of good reasons. There is nothing like an automatic weapon to give every family a false sense of security, even though nothing can defend from a knife in the back. Instead of comparing notes and organizing for protection, everyone sits at home watching propaganda and cleaning their guns.
Handing out guns to a whole population keeps everyone worried about their neighbors and complaisant about themselves. A tyrant can always count on a occaisional outrage to justify a useless and bored Homeland Security. Soon, everyone is looking at everyone else. Half the population thinks they are the good guys keeping an eye out for bad guys, when the truth is that there is only a country of the weak and blind.
When the public is living with constant fear and anger they are demoralized and easy to fool. It is not that hard to convince them that a liar and bully is a protector. Handing out guns is the perfect con. Just like pirated video tapes, guns can be declared illegal as a pretext for a roundup. Everyone should understand that right-wing crooks really want names more than guns.