In the raw aftermath of the second-worst school shooting in U.S. history, countless gun enthusiasts much like Lanza’s mother complicate a gun-owning narrative that critics, sometimes simplistically, put at the feet of a powerful lobby and caricatured zealots. More civilians are armed in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, with Yemen coming in a distant second, according to the Small Arms Survey in Geneva…

But in the U.S., gun-control advocates are up against a sizable bloc of mainstream Americans for whom guns is plainly central to their lives, whether for patriotism or personal sense of safety, or simply to occupy their spare time…

Mr. Moos turns down the volume.

“I guess it’s something you get used to,” he said of guns. “That you grow up around, and you enjoy them, and you accept the fact that you can own. It’s a privilege. It’s a whole different way of life. I guess I don’t need three pickups and a Corvette, but I have them.”