I also think it's sad. Why? When a gun/rifle is part of your life it becomes an option for everything. Should /. ever have a poll along the lines of 'When you find a burglar in your home, what do you do?" and answers along the lines of 'Call the cops'/'Throw Cowboy Neal at them'/'Scream like a girl'/Shoot them' I suspect most people who choose the 'Shoot them' option will be a) those with a gun in the house, and (more contentiously) b) from the States
I'm not a gun owner, but there are three counter-points I need to make:
First, those gun-owners that would vote "shoot them" would all most likely call the police as well, if it's at all possible for them to do so. It's not an either/or situation, so the question is biased. They just find themselves in a situation where their life is danger and happen to have a weapon with which they can protect themselves.
Second, the part that saddens you is that some people are willing to defend themselves instead of being helpless? The part that saddens me in your scenario is that there are people who think, "I'm going to break into that home and take property that doesn't belong to me. If anyone is at home when I do so, I'm ok with violently subduing them." Depending on the burglar, violently subdue may be as simple as tying people out, but it could include beating them, killing them, or raping people for fun. The fact that this is still a problem in our society is the part that saddens me.
Finally, not every person with a gun would consider it an option. I can see myself buying a gun in the future, because I've been to the range with friends and find shooting targets to be a fun enough activity. That said, I'm as non-violent as they come. I'm not convinced that even if it came down to my life or an assailant's that I'd have the balls to kill another human being. As a result, if I ever do end up buying a gun, it wouldn't be a home defense option, the gun would stay locked in the gun safe if my house got broken into. That's because I know that at the very least I'd hesitate at shooting somebody else, which is enough to get me killed. If the burglar has a gun and sees me armed, he'll shoot me while I'm indecisive. If the burglar doesn't have a gun and sees me hesitating, he might get it away from me, and now I've just armed the guy. It's entirely possible to be a complete pacifist and still in favor of gun rights. I find it consistent with the view that, for example, you shouldn't ban or block the bit-torrent protocol because it's heavily used for pirating material: the technology is neutral, it's what people choose to do it with it that is an issue. Especially when you consider that the vast majority of gun owners in the US have never used their guns to hurt another human being.