My friends - including non-gunners - and I are pretty live and let live as far as guns, none of us are fanatics in any form - so I don't get into much discussion about guns. But awhile ago a couple I know well expressed bewilderment that I could live in such proximity to something so unsafe as a gun which was made to kill and wound. They couldn't understand and were not "against" anything. This is what I told them:
To understand guns and safety look at cars. If they were to stand and watch either a car that is parked or a loaded gun on a table all their lives waiting for something dangerous to happen - the only result would be they would be among the few people to die of old age standing up. Meanwhile the parked car and the loaded gun would still be sitting there doing nothing. I.E, Guns Are Safe.
Their purpose? A cars proper purposes: transportation and recreation, sport ( i.e. car-races) and the saving of human life - i.e. fast transport of sick and injured or emergency responders, equipment etc. Cars can be involved in death and injury but in relation to total use that is small in number and is almost always user-caused, not car-caused - and their ultimate purpose is not to kill and injure. Safe-use and maintenance will keep our cars safe.
The proper purposes of guns: recreation and sport (range and target), hunting which involves food for consumption for most hunters and the saving of human life - the last in 2 forms: civilian use to save one's own life from a lethal attack and police use to save the community's lives. When used for THAT purpose it is to STOP death - and civilians and police would be most happy if it did that with no or little injury to anyone and still caused the lethal attack to stop. But that choice is sometimes not in their hands but lies elsewhere. Guns can involve death and injury, but in relation to total use that number is small and almost always user-caused not gun-caused and their ultimate purpose is not to kill and injure. Safe-use and maintenance will keep one's guns safe.
My friends said this made things clearer for them and appreciated my explanation.