Re: "What do you tell people..."
I like guns for a number of reasons.
Guns are historically significant. The guns themselves and the ability to handle them have changed the course of history. Each type of firearms represents certain demands on society and the responses to those demands.
Guns are mechanically fascinating. How they work, the timing of the parts, the physics of expanding gases and confined cylinders and springs and such.
Guns demand a high level of self control and discipline to use well. One doesn't get 'good groups' when venting emotionally.
Guns are very democratic; they do make all citizens equal. (At least more equal than when strong people can intimidate the weak. It ain't perfect.)