Was that the only difference between the two, or was the national push for space exploration stronger than the push for stricter gun regulations? Is NASA politically stronger than the body of government which should deal with gun regulations on a national level, if there even is one? It’s an honest question; I really don’t know.
Those two examples aren’t picked at random, by the way. Looking at an external perception of the US (the only perception I can have), they are perhaps the clearest examples of nearly unanimous praise and nearly unanimous befuddlement.
We have one situation in which the country accomplished something seen as remarkable (putting a man on the moon) and another situation in which no one outside the US understands how things are allowed to continue the way they are (mass shootings).
That’s the essence of my post, really. From the outside, it’s hard to understand why one of the most advanced countries in the world doesn’t make substantial progress in this issue. I honestly can’t conceive the idea of someone still being able to buy 1,600 rounds of ammunition for personal use in a country with a history of mass shootings.
Maybe it is as you said and the US is still trying to find the right balance between controls and freedom, but does anyone there honestly believe they’ve found such balance? Do you?