The bottom line is clear: For the gun controller, restrictions on gun ownership are a zero-cost policy while for the gun owner, gun control provides zero benefit. In other words, how does restricting my gun rights make my family safer — when criminals have proven hundreds of thousands of times over that gun regulations are irrelevant to them? But it goes even further. For many of us, the entire notion of a disarmed society is unpalatable and represents a change in national character from a culture of self-reliant citizens to one of state-reliant subjects.

This cultural divide is one of the reasons why the Left keeps arguing — despite millions of words exchanged on the subject — that we haven’t had a true “dialogue” about gun control. In reality, we talk past each other because we inhabit parallel cultural and moral universes. In a way, I’m reminded of the environmental and car-safety arguments back in the days when global warming was the Most Important Issue Ever. Prius owners claimed the air would be cleaner and roads would be safer if everyone just drove a Prius (or similar car), while the SUV or pickup truck drivers simply couldn’t see why they should sacrifice their (quite real) safety and transportation needs to achieve a net benefit to the environment or to others so small that it couldn’t be measured with an electron microscope. Even if an all-Prius world were possible, the SUV owner wouldn’t want to live in that world.