I'm working on getting my hunting license here so I'll chime in since it applies to me. Before I get going, I want to say that at my dad's house we have an Enfield 308 from the Indian/Pakistani wars (with matching WWI bayonet!) , a Winchester 30-06 that's over 100 years old (octagonal barrel!), and a Colt 1911A1 .45 caliber handgun that belonged to my second cousin, who was a fighter pilot in Europe during WWII. We go out and shoot those things at the range and it's a LOT of fun. I think knowing how to strip, clean, reassemble and fire a gun accurately are very important skills. Having said that:
Concealed carry is a bit of a catch 22. The people that really want it probably shouldn't have it. There aren't any boogie men coming to kill your family in the night, at least no more than is statistically probable, and frankly the idea of having one or more random guys with guns standing around waiting to start a firefight at the slightest sign of a purse-snatching does not make me feel any safer. I've never been in a firefight but I have a friend in the Marines and I've heard that bullets do not always go where you want them to - and that's too much of a risk.
In France (like the rest of the EU) handguns, shotguns that are not side-by-side or over-under (meaning, you only have two shots before you have to reload) and rifles larger than 22 caliber are considered weapons of war and are absolutely illegal without any reservations (unless you're a cop or in the military and are on active duty, of course). The violent crime here is much, much, much lower than most of the US, so again, having the right to carry does not equal a reduced rate of crime. "If guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns" is, while true in a strictly logical sense, is as it applies to rates of crime demonstrably false.
In my travels I've found that (perhaps contrary to popular belief in the states) most people in Europe like the US, and recognize them to still be innovators and a land of good people. There's none of that "they hate us for our freedom" stuff, at least not from reasonable people (every country has its crazies). But things like concealed carry get many a raise of the eyebrow. To many people here, things like that are a bit like pretending it's the wild west, with outlaws around every corner trying to hijack your stagecoach. Something for the TV, but in real life might indicate a bit of an imbalance.
Living in the European Union, where unlike the US, more than one country here has been invaded and occupied as recently as the last 60 years, you would think that, following the logic of needing militias, freedom to carry for 'defense,' etc, many countries would have the desire to keep the populace armed. But they don't. Seems to work out pretty well here.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Homicide-world.png