Though he was criticized for saying it, President Barack Obama was exactly right when he compared guns to religion. Guns are—for some—what religion aspires to be: a real source of meaning in life.
Politicians should talk about guns the way they talk about religion, with appreciation for their distinctive value. Imagine a politician saying, “Look, we don’t want to ban your religion—we just want to curb its most dangerous excesses.” Maybe have a government-determined waiting period to make sure you really want to join.
Or consider a politician’s reassurance that, “Look, we don’t want to take away your right to vote—we just want to make sure all of the voters are appropriately credentialed so there won’t be voter fraud.”
People find these statements threatening, and it’s easy to see why. They take something that many hold sacred, and treat its regulation as a matter of mere policy. The offense is in what is said; not what is planned.
— Ryan W. Davis in Guns and the Rural Vote