You can either use a pillow or a gun to kill a person, but people with guns kill more people than do people with pillows. Marshall McLuhan was correct: the medium really is the message.What is the message? It is not complicated. If you own a handgun or, certainly a semi-automatic rifle, the message you are sending is that you are willing to kill another human being at your own discretion. That is the only reason to own such a weapon. One can make the case that the message is that the gun owner will protect him/herself at any cost, but the end result is the same. Gun owners tell us: I will kill you if I feel personally justified in doing so.
The amazing thing is that millions of Americans send that message every day.