The right to bear arms is a critical component of feeling competent and autonomous as individuals, rather than relying on the [historically uncertain] goodwill of a super-powerful, unassailable government. A disarmed population is, by definition, a population that has ceded the power to defend its homes against the local, state, and federal government.
This implies a level of trust much more consistent with that which children have for parents than that which thinking adults have in the institutions they have created to perform vital functions like defending the nation, keeping the peace, maintaining schools and providing clean water.
A disarmed population is allowed the toxic luxury of feeling that our way of life and our safety from oppression come without the tremendous responsibilities and moral complexities of wielding force. The same people who passively pay taxes that put tanks in the streets and fighter jets in the skies of our nation’s enemies cringe at the idea of owning guns themselves – projecting their survival instincts onto an all-powerful father figure (the state).
Every gun privately and legally owned in America is a tiny impediment to the citizenry assuming a docile, nearly delusional perspective that the world will always be predictable, that one’s home and loved ones will always be safe, and that government will always tend toward light and never toward darkness.