X-man posted his thoughts on gun control in a very passionate post. I don't necessarily agree with his views, but far be it for me to tell him that he's wrong. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, much like the right to bear arms. I suspect you can take that or leave it as well.
I used to be a strong advocate of gun control for a couple days before I thought about it. Whenever there is a shooting of the magnitude of Virginia Tech, or even small-scale like Ward Parkway, the first knee-jerk reaction is to ban the guns. Take all the guns away, and the world can leave in peace, harmony and unicorns.
So, pass more laws. Make the wait time longer, the screening process more stringent, have more classes and training for those who want to own. Set the bar higher for law-abiding citizens to obtain a gun. I have no issues with that. In fact, I would even support legislation barring anyone with a mental illness from owning a firearm. Harsh, maybe. Infringe on the privacy of one's medical records, perhaps. I'm perfectly okay with that.
Maybe if laws were in place that prohibited Schizophrenic Stanley from buying a gun, Virginia Tech and Ward Parkway could have been avoided. Actually, they probably would have been avoided if assholes in government wouldn't have slashed funding to mentally ill treatment and programs so people like Cho and Logsdon could have gotten proper help, instead of finding their therapy in a hail of gunfire.
But what about those people who get guns without going through the proper channels? Those with felonies who also happen to own one. Drug dealers? I'm sure they are not registered (unless they are registered sex offenders). I'm pretty confident most those people bought their guns from some dumbass who sells them from the trunk of his car, his main source of income while he's trying to get his rap career off the ground. Pass thousands of gun control laws, and these people will still be able to buy guns as easily as I can go to Hi-Vee and buy a loaf of bread.
Not everyone is gun-owner material. Owning a gun is an immense responsibility. Just because the constitution says we can, doesn't mean we have to. I grew up around guns, my father was an avid hunter and sportsman. My brothers and I were brought up with the clear understanding of what they meant, what they could do...complete with a reverent demeanor when we were handling them (i.e. no clowning around). My brothers own guns. I do not (but I have been through gun safety classes anyway). It's a personal choice we all must make, but not a choice we have to force upon everyone else.
We do need gun control, but focus on the ones who shouldn't have them, and not the law-abiding citizens who do. We also need to remember personal accountability and that guns don't kill people, people kill people. Take away all the guns in the world, people will still be murdered in senseless acts of violence. People will have to find something else to blame instead of blaming it on the asshat that caused it. We've turned into a nation of pussies with no personal responsibility. A country of victims, and it makes me ill.