Larry, that’s the worst straw man argument I’ve seen in a long time. The point here is to be educated about the subject and not willfully ignorant. Since shooting guns at a shooting range is perfectly legal and doesn’t harm anyone (unlike your example of rape), it’s a good way to be educated about them.
Sure some people may be able to learn about guns just by talking about them, but in my experience it’s hard for people to separate their emotions and prejudices from facts until they’ve actually handled and shot a firearm that they can comfortably shoot (generally recoil being the limiting factor for new shooters).
It’s actually rather cool to see someone who is uncomfortable about guns shoot something like a Ruger 10/22 for the first time at the 50 yd range and realize “wow, I can do this”. That’s generally when they realize guns aren’t just scary death machines like they see in movies, but something that normal people can enjoy. I’m not saying these people become immediate pro-gun advocates, but that shared experience allows them to relate to the other side and have a constructive conversation.