That's my point Airports are full of armed guards and police... At least UK ones are. Men and women, with guns, loaded, maintained, trained in their use and ready to act. Didn't seem to help here.
I'm going to add my experience to that of TWX's. Flying in and out of London in 2008-2009 was a little surreal relative to airports in the US. US airports are staffed by glorified security workers. In a literal sense. I had a roommate when the TSA was formed, who worked airport security. In his words, the only things that changed were his uniform, and getting a pay raise. I liked the guy, he was nice and honorable, but I'm not entirely sure he even graduated from high school. And he was, IMHO, one of the more qualified people I'm seen working for TSA. As far as weaponry, I've never even seen a rifle in a US airport. I'm sure there are some somewhere, but they aren't out in the open. A few TSA agents have handguns, but those are few and far between, and I'm not sure I'd trust them to actually shoot something with them. They occupy some state between rent-a-cop and actual-cop.
Compare that to the London security that was clearly military personnel, carrying fully automatic rifles, and wearing camouflage uniforms. They were scattered all over the place, and some were in fortified positions. These were not slack-jawed security guards, these were professionals putting off an air of menace. I recall at least most of them standing, being physically fit, paying attention to their surroundings, and properly holding their weapon. They were the exact opposite of what one sees in the US.
I imagine the type and effectiveness of a response to armed attack is completely different in the London airport than in the US, with the London response being far more effective. That US airport response was poor is not a surprise, but it has nothing to do with gun control.
Oddly, in London, law enforcement either had no firearm, or a fully automatic. There was no middle ground. No street police were armed. Compared to the US, people expect all public law enforcement to be armed with only a pistol. I found the wild extremes in London to be odd. Although I suspect the extra firepower is necessary to cover more extreme situations that regular law enforcement is totally unable to handle due to being unarmed (at least with firearms).