I guess what I'm really saying is that you'd get a lot more people to listen if you said "let's improve the licensing and background check system like in Czech Republic", instead of "let's enact an assault weapon ban, or ban all semi-autos outright, like in Australia". The latter elicits an immediate knee-jerk reaction, and for a good reason.
And it really doesn't help when prominent Democrat politicians - Obama, Clinton, Feinstein, Pelosi etc - all cite Australia as the role model. It basically validates all the NRA tinfoil hat rants about how the gubmint is coming for their guns, because, well, Australian system has gun confiscation ("mandatory buyback" - but that's just a PR-friendly label for the same exact thing) at its core. It's exactly what they did in 1996.
I agree that NRA is nutty and there's little logic there. But mainstream gun control proposals coming from the left are also largely devoid of reason, or constitutionally suspect (such as that whole terrorist watchlist thing - and don't take my word for it, see what ACLU has to say).
So it becomes a shouting match with little place for logic and facts. And in the meantime, those of us who would prefer some reasonable legislation are left without a place to go. I dropped my NRA membership 4 years ago because I couldn't associate with that organization in good conscience; but when I see the usually reasonable Sanders go on a rant about "assault weapons", I can only facepalm.
The other thing is, existing gun laws have many places that are badly in the need of reform, and this could be done in a quid pro quo basis to satisfy both sides. For example, silencers are currently heavily regulated, with a $200 tax for manufacture and then every transfer, fingerprinting, and a waiting period of several months for ATF to process it all. Does it need to be that way? UK - you know, that place with some of the most draconian gun laws in Europe - lets you buy silencers easily, and they don't have any problems with that. And it cuts down on noise - good for people who shoot, to avoid hearing damage, and good for those who happen to be in the vicinity, for the same reason and to minimize nuisance aspects. So, why not just treat them same as any other firearm, and drop all the special restrictions? And package it in a bill that does so, and introduces universal background checks on federal level for all gun transactions. I bet you could get quite a few Republicans in Congress to vote for such a thing.
Similar stuff can be done with legislation around short-barreled rifles, and quite a few other things.
The problem is that it requires people who actually know what they're talking about to come together and discuss it from both sides. And there's a distinct lack of such. On the left, most people who want gun control - including politicians who actually write laws - have literally no clue. On the right, it's not really all that much better - you have those Republican politicians frying bacon on their ARs as a publicity stunt, but they still have no idea how that AR works, or what laws regulate it.