Fear amongst the masses is the result of the lack of education during the past 40 or so years, driven by federally funded education. Firearms should be taught in school just as sex education has been. Not merely the mechanics, but our heritage as well. Mandatory safe firearms education.
My Cub Scout troop were introduced to single shot .22 rifles back in the late 50s.
My son got his first .22 at age 8. He kept the rifle in his closet. I kept the little magazine and .22s until I was sure he understood how to properly enjoy the shooting sport.
The goal of government schooling is learned helplessness.