Are guns good or bad? Passing moral judgment on an inanimate object is a little silly. Guns are neither good nor bad, just us humans. Guns don't leap up and shoot people, it takes a human being to do that. Ready, Fire, Aim Pt. One did generate some response from what it would seem is a sensitive subject. Owning a firearm is fine as long as you are willing to take the risks....

Fear is a very effective marketing tool. Gun purchasers buy guns out of the unrealistic fear that having a gun will save their life in a home robbery. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Having a weapon at home increases the odds by 500% that the homeowner, or a resident of that home, will be the victim of a gun related accident.

At the turn of this millennia, the Y2K doomsday frenzy saw a huge influx of citizens buying firearms. Of course when the new millennia rolled around and society didn't collapse, many new gun owners must have felt a little sheepish. As well as having a lifetime supply of canned food and camping equipment.

Consider the scenario of having a gun for home protection. Coming face to face with an intruder in your kitchen at three in the morning. (gun is in the bedroom). You then have to reach the bedroom before the burglar, unlock the pistol trigger guard, and then somehow confront the intruder.

Of course the crook isn't going to be sticking around waiting patiently while you retrieve the firearm.

The burglar, who has the element of surprise could also retrieve the gun before you do. That's not a good thing.

There is an easy solution of course. Having a fully loaded handgun in every room, with an unlocked trigger guard ready for immediate use. That's a real recipe for disaster, particularly if you have children at home.

Carrying a gun on your belt would also be a solution, but that would be uncomfortable. It is legal in many States to carry a gun, as long as it is in plain sight. Carrying a weapon concealed requires a separate permit and is a little more complicated.

Guns are just as easy, but not as convenient to buy as cigarettes, and if you are youthful looking which I'm not, the State requires an instant background check in the form of a drivers license.

Most States have a ten day 'cooling off' waiting period after purchasing a weapon from a gun store. Background checks are done although they do not include fingerprints and for the most part are done at the Federal level. Background checks consist of a 30 minute waiting period while the clerk checks your criminal history on-line.

My girlfriend takes longer buying a pair of shoes.

Weapons purchased at Gun Shows or from private sellers also do not require a background screening. Any bad guy who wants to buy a handgun, can go to any Gun Show here in the DC or Northern Virginia area and just pick one up. Seller is only required to keep track of who it was sold to, not their criminal history.

I'm opposed to gun control, actually any control. The Second Amendment refers to the States Rights to have an armed militia. We have those already, they are National Guard and they do a good job.

Across the Pond