I know so many gun owners (myself not being one). When a long-time acquaintance dined with me in Austin, TX, he was carrying: a 9mm in a pancake holster, concealed. A colleague, in Seattle, told me he had over 20 firearms in his house: rifles, shotguns, pistols, and, yes, semi-automatic. He went target or clay shooting over the weekend as the primary family entertainment. He kept several unregistered, “so that the government won’t know about them.” Another friend, in New Jersey, complained long and vehemently how ridiculously the ammo prices had gone up, particularly .22 that he used for weekend “fun shooting.” He believed it was a government conspiracy. A close friend, in San Jose, recently acquired an AR-15 via mail-order, together with a scope and many expensive accessories. He practiced taking it apart while watching TV at night and goes to the range on weekends. All of them are peaceful and rational people. They like guns.
A recent robbery victim told me that the only things taken were two pistols: a Smith-Wesson and a Ruger. Police said that guns are easy to fence and therefore a popular target.
Unlike the rest of the world, the US is full of guns. Whatever gun control laws, they change only new gun sales. No laws can reduce existing guns in people homes today. Guns and ammo are very durable. Just minimal care will keep them operational for decades. This is simply and depressingly factual.
It is a statistical certainty that some owners, however peaceful and rational, will lose control sometime in their lives. They may have a mental break-down, under influence, get caught in a heated moment, have left it unattended, or simply be careless. Each and every one of those leads to a tragedy.
And I don’t really know if there is a quick solution to this.