They’re just firearms
I will have to admit: I don’t understand the growing stigma against firearms. Most people I know either have a gun — or one of their nuclear family members has a gun — yet I know of none, excluding policemen, who has ever has used a gun in a violent act against another. As a testament to our former laissez-faire attitudes in the U.S., I have worked in high schools that still have an old rifle shooting range in their basements (I install and service networking and security equipment).
I live in upstate New York where we have tough pistol licensing requirements seemingly only because we share a state government with the fascist hell-hole on our southeast islands. Our neighboring state, Vermont, with whom we are more alike than NYC, has virtually no handgun regulations — you can buy a pistol and carry it freely, no license or registration required — yet, among U.S. states, they are ranked among the bottom three for violent crime, probably lower than many Euro countries with impossibly strict regulations. (Montana is in the bottom ten of U.S. states.) When examining the facts alone and without bias, it is hard to conclude a concrete relationship between lax gun regulations or incidence of ownership and violent crime rates, much less any causative one, regardless of what effect one believes mass gun ownership has upon crime.
Myself, I have both a shotgun and a rifle. I bought the 12ga; the 22 rifle was given to me — despite our retarded handgun laws, NY state is still relaxed about long guns. However, contrary to the NRA’s position, I don’t have them for hunting or protection; I’ve never hunted a day in my life and I don’t expect any home invaders in this part of the state. They just sit in a rack in my bedroom wall, at the ready should I desire to shoot clays, targets, or a dying animal. (When my cat, whom I dearly loved, became deathly ill, I mentally prepared myself in case I needed to end his pain. In the end, though, the vet put him down).
While I know that guns are unpopular even among the internet libertarians of the “I.T. persuasion”, please respect and protect our liberties, including gun ownership. Don’t allow it to become another moral panic; we have too many already.