This has probably the most pointless discussion people can have. The issue is so emotional that no one is going to be moved from their beliefs by anything anyone else says.
The main thing that I have noticed is that the people who are known to me to be the most knowledgeable on the subject have been very quiet. I suspect that is because, if they are carrying weapons, they do not wish to advertise the fact. If they are not, they don’t need to shout about that, either.
With all the considerable rhetoric I’ve seen, I have yet to read one simple truth. Owning a firearm is a responsibility that demands you become, and stay, proficient. To do this requires more time, effort, and money than most people, even gun owners, are willing to invest. Even then, no amount of proficiency will prepare you to take a life when face-to-face with the situation. Winning target matches is not preparation for defending your life. Paper targets and clay pigeons do not shoot back.
I spent many years as a martial arts instructor and saw several instances where tournament champions were assaulted and, in one case killed, by people not fit to shine their shoes. Why? Perhaps on that day and time, the assailant was luckier. More likely, because the martial artist was not mentally prepared to take the instant and brutal action necessary to survive. That decision has to be made long before the need arises and most people never give it serious consideration.
If you think you need a firearm for protection, then be prepared to invest what it takes to be ready if you need it. Also be prepared for the financial, legal, and emotional burden of using it. In fact, these can apply even if you never use it. If you’re not ready for that, do not have a firearm no matter where you stand on the question.
Both pro and anti-gun people make good arguments for their respective sides. In the end, the decision has to be a personal one and no one can or should make it for you, either way. The issue of defending yourself and your family is something each of us has to consider whether we ever leave our home or not. Whether you use a firearm, flare gun, or baseball bat, you must still be prepared to perform a harsh and often fatal act to another human being. It’s a lot more difficult than you can imagine. It isn’t like movies, where you waste the bad guy and move on without another thought.
Ask any police officer who’s been there, you think about it for a long time afterward. Anyone that says you don’t either doesn’t know anything about the subject or is a very sorry excuse for a human being.
As far as gun ownership, perhaps it too easy for unqualified people to own a firearm? After all, you have to have a license and proof of at least minimal competency to drive a car, fly a plane, and in some areas, operate a boat. Why shouldn’t you have to show that you understand the care and maintenance of firearms and safety issues involved and are able to take all the correct actions? This would include an understanding of self-defense ordinances in your area as well as any laws concerning when and where you may or may not be armed.
Then you would be issued a license to own a firearm. Having the license would not be evidence that you did own a gun, but were qualified to do so. This would be the same as having a driver’s or pilot’s license would not prove you owned a car or plane, but that you could if you chose.
Naturally, none of this would keep guns away from criminals, no law can do that. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons they are criminals? Here in Brazil, for example, it is almost impossible for private citizens to legally possess a firearm. Yet, criminals frequently have more firepower than the police. In a country where private guns are very rare, criminals seem to be able to get all they want. That seems to be the case in most countries with restrictive gun laws. So much for “gun control.”