So, it's come to this: a peaceful nation has been rudely awakened by a madman's meleé, as he mows down children in a Newton, Connecticut school. The noise about this issue is deafening. This makes thought difficult. Let me sum things up for you:
1) Violence is timeless. Humans have engaged in it throughout human history. This is NOT an excuse, but an observation.
2) The availability of weapons has nothing to do with violence until society imposes restrictions on that availability. A weapon allows the expression of violence to determine the course of future action. Bans, if you look carefully, are just for some people, and in every case they reduce the security of those who would NOT misuse them.
There is supreme irony in the President's and Attorney General's calling for gun restrictions. Such restrictions allowed their ancestors to be terrorized and killed by Klansmen - with the full cooperation of law enforcement personnel who thought blacks were animals to be kept in line, not citizens.
3) The gun is not going away. If you look, you will see a service mark inscribed on Beretta firearms: Pietro Beretta and Sons - est. 1591.
4) You should think about the charter of this country. Throughout history, we can identify the leaders of any group by their access to arms. Our founding documents insist that you, the citizen, are responsible for this country's direction. If you cannot be armed, just who are you?
5) You are being sold your own fear. When you are shown "buyback" programs, shown pictures of a black gun (black is evil, how?) or someone publishes a list of gun owners, you are being manipulated into betraying your own neighbors. Subtly, you come around to the idea that the idiot (always an anonymous and inferior "someone else") should be stripped of her right to defend herself with effective weapons - that is, the same weapons that would be used against her.
6) If you are only a consumer of popular media, you do not know what gun laws are. Do not seek editorial material, however pretty it is; Rush and CNN, to cite just two popular examples, are both wrong about important details. Yes, wrong! Go to your State's Web site, and those of the Department of the Treasury to find these things out.
Yes, even the President and Attorney General do not cite actual law. They hold political office, and their goals are different from yours. At the link above, you will see that government reserves access to arms for itself. Who are you, again?
The bottom line is that the timid have been comfortable for so long, protected by rough men who would do violence on their behalf, that they have forgotton that massacres like the one in Newton happen only when the good rough men are not there.
This is the price you pay for abject foolishness, the folly of the insane, the stupidity of thinking that words on paper in the form of a law or regulation have the power to stop a killer.
The operative syllable in the term, "law enforcement" is force.
The operative syllable in the term, "self-defense" is self.
This is because of the laws of physics as well as how the legal system works: there cannot be a reaction by law enforcement until a crime has already been committed. That means that if only the law is depended upon to protect you, you will be a victim before it can act.
If you cannot figure this out, if you are intent on fantasizing a world where paper protects you, you doom your neighbors as well as yourself.