this is how i try to look at it. you realistically have two scenarios, since ownership of weapons is really an all or nothing thing. i.e, you can't use the argument that "stupid people shouldnt be allowed to have guns" because there's no objective way of determining whether or not someone is stupid. you either allow people to certify themselves and purchase guns, or you don't. stupid, smart, vengeful, spiteful, responsible, clumsy people all included.
scenario one: everybody has the right to purchase and own a gun for self defense
in this scenario, you have:
- accidental deaths as a result of incorrect gun use
- confrontations that escalate to the point where people are getting shot
- the occasional situation where having a gun prevents crime or acts as a deterrent in some sort of heated situation that could have otherwise resulted in something much worse.
scenario two: nobody has the right to purchase and own a gun for self defense
in this scenario, you have:
- fewer accidental deaths as a result of incorrect gun use
- confrontations that escalate now no longer have the potential to turn into a gun fight
- the occasional situation where not having a gun has prevented someone from adequately defending themselves and resulted in a crime.
so lets look at the pros and cons. in scenario one, you have an awful lot of situation where having guns is a bad thing, and the occasional positive situation where having a gun might be used for good (a deterrent that aided in preventing a crime). in scenario two, you have an awful lot of situations where NOT having guns is a good thing, except for the occasional situation where not having a gun has resulted in you not being able to protect yourself.
so we need to ask ourselves, is it better to have the occasional criminal act committed because people don't have guns for protection, or is it better to have a ton of deaths as a result of guns for that one time where it might be used for good?
logically, i'd say that putting a gun in every home would be far worse than having no guns in any home. if you really want to protect yourself, do so by avoiding potentially dangerous situations, not by arming yourself to walk through the ghetto at 2:00am. and if you really feel that unsafe or threatened in your own home or neighborhood, to the point where having a gun helps you sleep at night, maybe you should a) consider moving, or b) consider a simple alarm system.
there are tons of ways you can prevent or deter crime without needing to flash a piece, so the fact that so many americans feel that they need guns to feel safe is only reflective of their own insecurity and sick desire to challenge someone and threaten their life to gain the upper hand in a confrontation.
that's my two cents on the matter, any way. i honestly feel like if i had a gun, it would only make things worse. i'd rather have some dude steal my wallet, than whip out a gun to protect myself and turn a simple robbery into a gun fight to the death. and i trust my own ability to be defensive and diffuse a situation without needing a gun. once in a while, do people get killed? sure, but do you really think guns are going to save you? if someone wants to kill you, they will. again, once in a while having a gun might be positive, but that doesn't overshadow the fact that there are so many more situations where having guns are a negative thing.
i should also add that im not talking about owning guns for target shooting. we even have that in canada. my brother has a couple rifles that he goes to the range with pretty often. this is strictly ownership of weapons by the public for self defense.