I think as men moved west...and brought their families...either for a new start or to be left alone, they realized the guns they had gave teeth to their desires.
It wasn't about the vote, the illusion of democracy, or the collective consensus...it was about them ultimately as individuals being able to say "no". To enforce their will. And truly, an armed man has the ability to do just that. He has choices in everything...whereas one disarmed has choices in nothing.
An armed man has control of his life and his future whereas a disarmed man's life and future are controlled by others.
The primary reason I live in AZ.