Ego is a snare and a delusion. But worse is its power to distort and pervert. A gun is a physical thing. A simple machine for making its bearer lethal. The machine has no intention. The naked ape has no lethality. The combination of the two conjures and alters, borrows from the depths of hell, a power the ego desperately craves but the mind is not competant to use.
Questions of safety and protection seen only through the lens of self, the perspective republicans exploit well, are seen backwards. No amount of rationally weighed factual information counters the view in that sick fun house mirror image of security that the presence of a weapon you think of as your tool makes you safer.