There is no place for guns in a modern, advanced society.
Part of our problem is that the political forces that have kept dangerous weapons available and proliferous, have scared us into only trying to accomplished the most scaled back of restrictions. Tighter background checks are a great example of this.
Why do we require everyone who will drive a car to take hours of practice and testing, but allow anyone to get a gun unless they are already a criminal? Why do we require a prescription for toe fungus cream, but require virtually nothing to purchase a gun?
There was a time in our country's frontier history when law enforcement was not nearly as developed, and available, and to a degree the citizens needed to be armed to fill in the blanks. We've all watched Little House on the Prairie, and can understand what place guns had in that society. Additionally, there was a time, which fewer of us are now remembering, where there were certain things were sacred. A man could avoid getting shot, simply by walking into a church. No one would even dream of getting near a school with a gun, much less shooting live children. Since 911, and this is so tragic, the walls have fallen, and people have sunk to lower and lower levels. Even the most evil of people at one time, still had some standards, but today there is nothing sacred. It is time for us to recognize the fact that we simply should not tolerate guns in our society at all. The nothing that we can predict someone's psychological future well enough to insure that not only will they only use their gun for sure, but also that they will always stay that way AND that they will never err in allowing someone else to get ahold of that gun, is just plaid stupidity.
It is time to stop pushing for baby steps. I am saddened that so many of us feel that the only way to be safe is to carry a firearm. And I myself know what the feels like, from time to time. Bottom line though is that there are other technologies out there which will do the same thing. And they work just as well as a gun in most cases, without nearly the risk of injury that can come from a gun getting into the wrong hands.
"Responsible" Gun Ownership
I know responsible people who own guns. Highly responsible people. However, if one is willing to simultaneously own a gun and support gun possession laws, while not also aggressively supporting laws that limit gun ownership to only those who have extensively proved that they are responsible (cue: Japanese gun ownership laws), then they are not responsible gun owners.
If you believe that you owning a gun yourself is worth having guns openly available for virtually anyone to possess, then you are not a responsible gun owner. The only way to responsibly own a gun, is to stand for gun possession to be an earned privilege, and not simply a right that everyone should have like being able to vote, or have food to eat.
As a gun owner, who is responsible, demonstrate that you are responsible by restricting gun ownership to only those like you who have the training, background and prevention measures in place to insure that your gun stays only in your capable hands, and only while you are capable.