If carrying a rifle is an irrational behavior (which is a rather silly claim to make, IMHO), why is it okay for police to do it? Because we hire them to keep the peace, sure, but that inherently implies that there is a threat to the peace. They don't protect the peace in real time, they respond to violent events and do their best to eventually track down the perpetrator and remove them from society. That doesn't help you when you happen to be in the path of a nutjob on the rampage, but the police will be sure to remove the nutjob from society after they've finished killing you and a bunch of people around you. Is it also unfounded for the police to believe that a rifle is likely to be needed? Why is their belief valid and other peoples' not?
Handgun rounds are more likely to miss than rifle rounds. Do police therefore also not care about bystander casualties? If so, why is it okay for them and not us? Does carrying a gun automatically equal "you don't care about bystander casualties"? Our training involves evaluating backstops and line of travel for any rounds we fire. It's not a decision taken lightly. Let me remind you that, statistically, non-police who've gone through the process to obtain a carry license are less likely to commit a crime than the police, statistically more knowledgeable about local use-of-force laws, and statistically far better shots than the average police officer.