Once taught that Europeans believed that sailing too far to the West one would sail off the edge of the world, I knew that was never true. Not only Viking sailed to find new lands to raid and conquer, the Basque fished far beyond that edge for a long time, and kept their fishing ground secret. But there were tales that told often enough, become a relative truth and increase a person's fear.
A much more modern fear is the one surrounding firearms that has cause the almost complete disarming of the citizens of Australia and Great Britain. You can look it up, frightened folks were fooled into their fears by media and the power hungry to protect lives. This fear is reinforced by media treatment of drama, adventure and exotic people and places - guns and sex and violence and adult language are entertainment or NEWS.
So in a planet full of billions of people, one to fifty humans acting criminally and killing, wounding or destroying property with firearms is something to be frightened of, really? The people engaged in such evil behavior are insane, possessed by demons, criminally intented (I made that phrase up), or on strange mental lapses from humankind. But they aren't Legion.
More people die by drowning in the United States than by firearms, but it makes a quick sad, sorrowful report that a child drowns. What does a sane society do? Well, they have swimming classes, they provide life guards and safe places to swim, and they avoid driving off of bridges into the water, they wear floatation devices when working and recreating on boats and hook themselves up in heavy seas. There are answers, but they never outlaw water of over a quart because it has the capacity to drown some one, or many people.
I would wonder why there aren't more Jaws movies, why most of the monsters for entertainment became Vampires, Aliens, dragons, dwarfs, trolls and orcs -- except that the summer spent on the beach didn't make tons of money after Jaws, and shark hunting went up.
So the media makes money on firearms by presenting humans in the worse possible way with the firearms, if sex were at all like the movies some of humanity would quit engaging in it - you just are never going to get the woman the way Bond does. Having watched professional wrestling, boxing, martial art combat and real combat - you will never fight nor see violence like it is presented in the media - it is quicker, uglier and often so ineffective.
My only point is the people start to believe the 'truth' presented by the media - especially in harmless entertainment. But it isn't harmless if it makes you fearful of things you can handle by rational thinking, training and good old common sense. Now, those in POWER, will always try to disarm the public, always -- or give them the illusion that the citizen has a right to arms - except the really lethal ones that those in POWER are afraid of.... rational thinking trumps media frightening movies, books and news.