I have never, ever met a gun owner who actually believed that more guns would make people safer on the whole. What they do believe, particularly those with military backgrounds, is that their corner of the world is safer if they themselves have a gun. Failure to appreciate the difference is a major error.
The gun rights movement is about individual freedom and American individualism. These are people who believe in their right and obligation to control their own fate by carrying a firearm to protect themselves and those around them, even if that might disadvantage those who choose not to.
Gun rights opponents seem to take the position that this is selfish. But there has always been a tension between what is good for the individual and what is good for the collective.