I know, this is WikiPedia, but still the info is supported by what i learned about the british and american history in the past 15 years.:
In an effort to consolidate power in 17th century England, the Catholic King James II of England sought to disarm Protestants by discharging them from the militia, both in Ireland and in England, replacing them with Catholics. This policy of consolidation also included an aspect of shifting control of the weapons from citizens' militia to the professional army, thereby reducing the number of weapons in the hands of his Protestant subjects and political opponents. This disarmament policy included enforcement of the Game Act, and an archaic measure from 1328 that forbade men to ride armed 'in affray of the peace'.
Any attempt to remove this right is met with distrust, isn't it? I am talking about the emotional response here, not reasoning based on the probable rise of gun related crimes.