I've killed probably 4 deer in the last 3 seasons. Eaten most of them along with making jerky for family/friends. All taken with a .270 Browning high powered semi-automatic rifle (can't recall how many it holds...5?...because I usually only put one round in). Went dove hunting opening day and was teaching my son to shoot trap and took shots at dove if they came through. Killed 8. Ate them that night. Wrapped in bacon and grilled. I do have a pistol that is trigger locked and in my nightstand and has rounds in it older than my 14 year old daughter. It's not there for paranoia. It's just there. I don't stay up at night dreaming of scenarios whereby it may be needed. I have had a random pit bull come into my yard (twice) that was acting aggressive towards my family. I preferred having a pistol in my hand as it provided me the ability to keep my free hand attempting to entice the dog into a fenced in area to isolate him without having both hands handling a long firearm. Finally got animal control to come and remove the animal, but I had the pistol in the event I needed to use it. I didn't. It's killed more snakes than anything else (poisonous ones). I let the non-poisonous ones live. MAD is also a consideration on why owning weapons, but I don't own any M-4 type weapons. Shotty, rifle, double-barrel, pistol...that's about it. I've never felt the need to own a clipped AR type weapon outside of purchasing one for investment reasons in hopes to turn a profit later. Good guns usually maintain their value and can prove to be a good investment. But I'm too cheap to do that too.
It has to be part of the conversation because 1) it is a spelled out right within the Bill of Rights...specific to individuals and 2) it was reaffirmed by the courts (Heller) and 3) if a conversation does include a dissolving of the individual right not infringed by the government you must have a plan to amend the constitution. I blame reddit and 4chan for enabling mentally unstable jerks that could/would go out and do horrible things due to community prodding. But you don't see the 1st amendment being tackled through banning of forums.