I don't get it either. Protection and tyrannical government justifications are extremely flimsy to me. Recreational use I can at least commend for honesty, even if I personally will never see the appeal.
I agree that a large part of this is due to easy access to firearms, but I don't think tackling that should be the only issue. I would suggest that in addition to gun control methods, the United States should also be looking at an emphasis on mental health awareness and acceptance, and funding for anti-extremist groups. Evidently, I reject the notion that the US is just "more violent" than other countries.
Gun control has many avenues including very popular ones from the public that are far removed from the 'grab the guns' narrative that certain types would have you believe. Not having as many guns in circulation through buybacks where possible, actually putting some restrictions on proper training and usage of a firearm including storage for gun owners so that kids don't pick up a gun and shoot them with it, which is another issue that happens all the time in the US. The big problem with gun control laws is that they need to be done federally to have any effect. If your state implements harsh gun control laws, then it still isn't going to help when people drag them in from surrounding states other than maybe making it slightly harder for them to sell them (but probably not much).
Mental health is the pivot that Republicans will usually go to, but they seem unwilling to fund anything that would help in that area either. The US is known for having particularly bad stigmas and views towards those suffering - you just need to look at the conflation of mental illness and ringing of hands for that after these mass shootings. Most mentally ill people are not aggressive, but it doesn't take a genius to work out that a better societal acceptance of such issues would not be a bad thing, including reactions to those being abused (or being abusive or showing cruelty, towards animals or otherwise).
Funding for anti-extremist branches of government have been slashed, particularly in relation to far-right domestic terrorists. Where possible, government enforcement should work with local communities in order to detect possible radical groups, and actually put pressure on them. (instead of, in many cases with shooters, visiting them once and leaving - it's happened several times in the past) This is for all types of terrorism, and if you actually attempt to work with communities instead of making them pariahs, you may see better results (such as happened in Canada where there were multiple cases of Imams and Muslims reporting radicals that were planning bomb attacks). This is one that may be looked at as a crackdown on liberty or something like that, but provided it is done in the right way with community outreach and action after reasonable suspicion, it doesn't need to be.
But of course, apparently defunding one of these branches to combat far-right terrorism was the thing to do.
In addition to preventing mass shootings, you would also be helping matters in terms of accidents with firearms if somewhat trained and responsible individuals are the main owners of firearms, for the mentally ill, the majority of which are far more likely to hurt themselves than others, reduce gun suicides (easy access to firearms makes an easy suicide... while suicidal people may still do so through other methods, they will likely not be as guaranteed - i.e "what if it goes wrong?"), and stopping proliferation of radical or militant groups.
But now I'm expecting the US government to do anything about gun control, mental health awareness or combating extremism, so I suppose I'm just dreaming.