And, why did we want the dang things? Well, me and my friend wanted it so we could play war. We had a rule though, no shooting above the chest. There's a certain degree of idiocy to kids.
In my defense, I grew up with Bugs Bunny cartoons, and outside of a bit of soot and loose feathers, Daffy Duck was just fine taking a double barrel of bird shot to the beak.
For a fair portion of my life I had guns - up until my early twenties, actually. I hunted, I target shot, and, I thought I needed one for protection - despite living in a very safe and quiet area.
My first understanding of how dangerous and disturbing guns could be occurred when I was a teenager. I'm not sure of the conversation or rationale going into this, but for some reason my father decided to point his 44 at me. He was sitting in his living room chair, I was at the other end of the room. I knew it was unloaded, I hoped it was, but there was something about having that gun pointed at me.... I still clearly remember that feeling, that vision of seeing that gun pointed at me. Helpless, afraid, threatened and hurt that he is making me feel this. He thought me a wimp because I told him I didn't like him pointing it at me. I believed him.
Another event; I rented a "duplex" (rough translation, 1/2 a house) with a coworker. I was 18, he was in his mid 20's. It was my first place away from home. He decided that he couldn't afford the rent anymore and moved out while I was at work. I came home,first stopping at a nearby friend's house to say hello. I thought it odd that she ran out of the house when I got there, but I talked with her two kids for a moment then went on to my place. When i got there, she was leaving with my rifle. When I asked her what she was doing, my now ex-roommate walked out with a box of stuff, got in his car and left. It was two days before rent was due. She was sure I'd shoot him. I just may have.
Only kids think guns are safe. Only kids think guns don't hurt people. Some people are still kids when well past 18. Some kids never get the chance to make it that far.