I need to start by saying that I have owned shotguns in the past and fired everything from an AK-47 to a 9mm Browning. So I know what guns do. I have competed in national clay pigeon shooting competitions and have probably shot over 15,000 shotgun cartridges, more than Farmer Giles will in a lifetime.
So what is my attitude to gun control? After the Dunblane massacre in UK the government decided to severely, and I mean severely, limit access to handguns and firearms in general. Handgun ownership was banned except in exceptional circumstances and even shotguns needed a mental assessment from a doctor.
In the United States there seems to be a bizarre intellectual avoidance going on. They say the problem is mental health not gun control. Seriously, can you fix the mentally ill and assume that will fix gun crime. The deaths caused by mentally ill people each year, as in the recent Connecticut massacre, is probably less than 300 people a year. This contrasts with the more than 10,000 people a year killed by handguns in the US.
The solution is simple. Don’t assume everyone should, by rights, have a gun unless they are mentally ill but rather make everyone who wants one prove they are mentally competent.
Just having to turn up to a hospital or doctors office and undergo a series of mental health checks will weed out more people than trying to look down the wrong end of the telescope and see which people are too mentally unfit to own a gun.
Gun ownership is an anachronistic, 18th century, hangover. Hey USA, join every modern democracy and outlaw firearms. Your founding fathers had a political reason for the second amendment, the British.