The great, defining American experience was, arguably, frontier life forging our national culture and collective expectations. We always had room to expand and wildness to civilize, and we needed to bear arms.
But the long-settled lands of Europe shaped different adaptations. Europeans have been rubbing elbows for centuries, with only their passions to tame. Without frontier, they never really needed personal firearms explaining why we view guns so differently.
Yet America, too, is growing crowded, squeezing most of us into cities and changing our civic interactions. Frontier is now but a memory ... which our Founding Fathers perhaps anticipated. Why else was the Second Amendment the only right they felt needed explaining, (with a now-obsolete justification)?
I understand the fascination of guns, the feeling of cradling such power in my hands. But even in my young days, flushed with the thrill of hunting, I recognized the NRA was reckless and overreaching ... realized guns really aren't such an all-consuming priority.
It's time for gun owners to stand up and settle down. It matters that citizens are routinely murdered. This is not religion, after all. We can and must reconsider and we must responsibly adapt to these changing times.