I don't know where you live, but the fact that it's not easy to own a rifle seems insane to me. Every person should be able to defend themselves from assailants.
Where I live guns are quite common. Thousands of shootings happen every year, and the majority of those shooting occur with handguns. Handguns are the most heavily regulated gun in the USA. You have to have a permit to own/buy them, and have to be trained in using them. Yet, criminals obtain them easier than a law-abiding citizen can.
AR-15's and other "long-guns" make up a tiny percentage of gun crimes in the US, and yet they are constantly demonized and called "assault-weapons" or assault-rifles. AR stands for the brand name of origin: Armalite-Rifle, and in order for a gun to be an assault-rifle it would have to be automatic fire. These rifles are not automatics, yet people seem to think that they are. All automatic weapons are illegal in the USA.
Criminals get guns through illegal means, and preventing people from legally owning a gun just means people who don't want to cause harm won't have one.
When someone is committing a violent crime what do we do? We call the authorities who have guns, but they can't be there while a crime is taking place.
In the USA, the most shootings happen in the most gun-restrictive places such as cities. In states where more people own guns crime is typically lower with far less shootings.
An armed society is a polite society.
Thank you for your comment though. And I want to tell you that I also used to think of guns in a negative way, and now I see them very differently.
I have no desire to harm/shoot another person, but I also do want to be able to prevent someone from hurting myself or my family.
People have been shot and killed less than a mile from my home 5 times in the past 3 years unfortunately. All with handguns.