Self defense, hunting food, education, and sport are all good points.
What got me interested is the history of our nation as being founded and guided by the citizen soldier. The rifleman, in what ever form (1700s minute-men to 21st cent. army infantry), is a part of our heritage.
I think, that it is all of the voiced reasons. For me it starts with our heritage but encompasses defense, hunting, education... it all comes down to being more self reliant, whether as individuals or as our small communities. Being able to be our own person, but heeding the call to come together when need be.
I think I'll stop rambling now... maybe my point isn't too buried.
Somewhere I read the following : "An armed society is a polite society""
What about that township somewhere in Georgia where each head of household is legally required to own a gun and ammunition. Since the passage of the mandatory ownership law they experienced a population upswing with almost no crime!
i always try to look at the other side. if we ban all guns in america then the bad guys have them still. but lets say magically we destroy every gun on earth. then bad guys will have knives or some sort of sharp object. theres no way to ban any sharp object making material. and how will LEO's and citizens handle bad guys now. melee knife fights?.. so bassically we would just end up reinventing the gun to handle the problem. guns are here to stay. we all need one.
If I was asked this question anywhere else but here I'd probably just shake my head and walk away. But since I'm hoping you're not trying to promote some liberal agenda, here goes. All the above answers are valid but I've also made some great friends shooting. Not to mention, We spend quality time as a family together shooting since my wife is a "shooter chic" and my 22 y.o. son and his girlfriend also have memberships to the range. We go to lunch together that day, head over to the range then stop for a coffee or ice cream afterwards. Additionally, I've spent some great times with my dad and grandpa over the years shooting and talking and laughing and joking each other. Bottom line, there's a lot more to owning weapons than just "protection" in my book.
My first thought was "why not?" but after awhile I thought about that if you have a "job" to do , you need the right "tools" to do a job correctly or make it easier. You got to have the right tools for any given project and you need to practice using said tools to be good with them....some tools make watermelons explode better than others..so you gotta find out,right?