This is a subject that I have migrated on over the years and with the Newtown killings have really been thinking about lately. The following facts (and opinions) are what has led me to my current position.
1. I enjoy shooting sports in general and as a Modern Pentathalon olympic wannabe in the 70's and 80's spent a lot of time doing small bore pistol shooting. The ability to shoot one inch groups at is a hoot.
2. I have always had a weapon around the house. Call me paranoid but a 12 Ga pump with a turkey barrel and 00 buckshot is the finest close in weapon there is. I reluctantly agreed to unload it when we had kids but did. I still keep it around the house
3. There is much less training required for firearms safety and handling for a concealed carry license in states that have it then is required for a drivers license.
4. Very few states require any specific storage.
5. There is no excuse or reason for a civilian to have a large capacity magazine. The only purpose of a large magazine is to force the other guy to keep his head down, blow away a stop sign without reloading, walk into a bar, school, church, theater, mall etc and blow away as many folks as possible, or finally you are such a bad shot that you need 20 rounds to hit anything. There really arent any good reasons to have a large capacity magazine and I look forward to someone trying to state a good and legitimate reason for a large capacity.
6. Despite all the whining that assault weapons are only semi-auto's, that is bunk. An assault weapon can be characterized as: (semi) auto, shortened barrel and/or stock, flash suppressor, and frame cut outs to support cooling, and high capacity magazine capability. All these characteristics make it portable and an effective close range weapon on the run. Thats what they were designed for
So based on all this I have come to the following as my personal feelings on gun control.
1. Gun ownership is a privilege and must be earned similar to driving a car. You have a potentially dangerous product and must able to prove and show that you are capable of handling safely and responsibly. It can and should be rescinded if your actions threaten this.
2. the state has a legitimate interest in regulating gun ownership as a matter of public safety.
3. A gun license should have come with storage requirements especially for handguns.
4. Assault type weapons(described above) and large capacity magazines should be illegal for civilian ownership just as automatic weapons are now with no grandfather clauses.
5. there is a legitimate reason for a person to have a weapon in the house for self protection, any attempt to ban this stupid. A person has a right to self protection despite the number of times it backfires.
6. Weapons should be titled as vehicles are with an annual licensing fee to control transfer and confirm ownership. Yeah, I know that means someone knows you have a weapon and that will stick in the craw of a lot of folks.
7. I have left hunting out of the discussion. that is already pretty heavily regulated and licensed and has little if anything to do with the discussion
So I really hope that the upcoming discussion on gun control ends up in the realm of the rational and that a decent compromise is reached between gun rights advocates and the gun control advocates not that I have any hope that either group will be able to be adult and compromise. I do believe that it should encompass all of the above points. I am also sure that advocates on both sides think this is unreasonable which is why I really don't have much hope that anything will really be done