...for most gun advocates, this is fundamentally about freedom...
I've had a couple of margaritas, so be prepared for what I'm about to write to make not a lick of sense (for instance, writing "write" there was a bit of a mental block - was it really "right" or "write"? This is the sort of thing I'm warning against).
With that caveat in mind, my oft-quoted friend (who blogs at Triangulations) is someone I like having around, because he makes me think. There are other reasons I like him as well. But. He makes me ponder and reassess. He makes me reevaluate. He makes me think about political things when I'm in the middle of enjoying a delicious Mexican dinner and drinks. And at the end of it, I generally think I'm still in the right. But I - generally - have a stronger argument for it.
Here's my problem with the "for most gun advocates, this is fundamentally about freedom" line of reasoning: it ignores the gun's very function. It's very raison d'etre. Guns are, at their most basic, a thing of violence. They are an object of death and destruction. They aren't built for freedom's purpose. They can be utilized in defense of freedom, to obtain freedom, but they aren't pure symbols of freedom. Their use is - at times - instrumental in preserving freedom. But at their very core, they are produced not to be a symbol of freedom but a means of decimation. They used to be almost fundamental in obtaining food; Lewis and Clark would have been lost without guns by their side. Guns are still heralded as necessary for protection. Guns are still protected under the 2nd Amendment.
But. But a gun is no more a symbol of freedom than a bomb is. The gun can be a weapon of oppression. The gun can be used as a weapon of a totalitarian government. The gun can be the tool of a crazed person who seeks to kill a democratically elected leader. The gun is a thing we imbue with the principles of freedom because it was essential to our own revolution more than 2 centuries ago. That doesn't mean it is a thing of inherent freedom.
For those who can't tell the difference, who are offended that their own entirely legal gun carrying ways distribute the wrong message when they carry those guns near a president, especially a president who's election has meant more gun owners and more death threats, it is their privilege which blinds them to the fact that for too long a time, even in America, the gun was not a weapon of freedom but the tool of oppression. Guns are the weapon of the killers of Emmett Till as surely as they were the weapons of Alexander Hamilton. And unlike words, guns can kill with an immediacy. Which is, ironically, also represented by Alexander Hamilton.
This is the difference between the right and the responsibility of a thing. Guns, as a destructive a force as they've been built to be, have been a right of the American public for as long as there has been an America and are seen (possibly rightly) as a tool for maintaining American citizens' freedom from oppression. The responsibility of gun ownership is in recognizing where the gun's user's cries of freedom are drowned out by its oppressive past where it has been used to kill or intimidate American citizens, some of whom where president.
Because the gun is merely a conduit of freedom, not truly representative of freedom itself.