Bear with me. This might be a bit leftfield. This is a thought for thoughts sake piece (no pun intended) rather than anything practical.
Basically, guns level the playing field of physical prowess and defense/attack. A few hundred years ago in the Wild West, a wilderness without the rule of law, guns meant weak men could fight or fight back strong men in a way not possible before guns were invented. Obviously there's still the need to learn to use a gun but (in the main) physical strength doesn't matter.
Guns, in an odd way, reduce the impact of human difference and contribute to equality (at least for those who could afford a gun).
There are much better examples I could use but guns tickle my contrary streak.
And they're also a good idea of how social evolution can achieve results better than the practical technological situation. Today, men don't need to shoot it out. People don't carry guns and neither do the UK police and the vast majority of law breakers. Most people can feel safe and there are better dispute resolution techniques than pistols at dawn.
This mode of change I'd closer to what I would ethical than the wide spread availability of guns for obvious reasons and for the demonstration of change in society- even advancement- versus changing individuals. The former, in this case, clearly delivers much better results.
Individuals can also choose to own a gun except the mentally ill who, I think, are also banned grim joining a gun club and using a shooting range.
I'm not sure though. I've shot a gun. An old sniper rifle with a small bore. I did it at school. Other kids at school could join the Combined Cadet Force and play with modern weapons.
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