In case the point is lost, Neo and company needed guns very much as we do in the real world today. Why? Simple: to kill the enemy.
Here’s Obama on what it will take to defeat ISIS (which for some reason he keeps referring to as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL) (via RCP):
In order for us to defeat terrorist groups like ISIL and al-Qaeda, we must discredit their ideology. This broader challenge of countering violent extremism….Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas
Interesting how any sentient being could believe this, given how the gravest threats to human freedom were all defeated by guns (or the very credible threat of very, very big guns): slavery, fascism, communism. Whatever else they may have been, all were grounded in an ideology. As are ISIS and al-Qaeda.
Sure, we had “better ideas.” But we did not sit down with the Soviets in a faculty lounge and convince them that we had virtue. We fought them on the periphery, used every tool in our kit, but, mostly, let them know the pain that would be visited on them if they attacked us. It worked because it was credible: we had lots of guns (and planes, and Trident subs, etc.). With slavery, it took 600,000 and more deaths in the Civil War. With Nazism and fascism, it took World War II.