Re: "How do we protect our 2nd amendment & our kids at the same time? "
I agree with John on this. Jake you need to look at the context. The basic premise is that more and more bad things are due to mental health or wellbeing so 'It isn't my <the perpetrator not the victim> fault that I just killed all those people'.
On general principles there are 2 arguments being made:
1) Limit the sale of assault type weapons, increase background checks, increase the age at which a gun of whatever type can be purchased.
2) By guns, buy more guns, buy as much ammunition as you can, then buy some more guns.....
The premise of option 2 is that if you have guns you can defend yourself (theoretically at least in line with the 2nd amendment), however the more guns that are available without reasonable controls, the more likely it is someone who is mentally unstable will acquire one and go on a shooting rampage.
Jake, your argument that guns don't kill people, people kill people is correct as far as it goes but the argument can't stop there. Ultimately making guns freely available leads to more of the bad (define this how you wish) guys getting those weapons and using them, they can break into a house and steal them then use them etc. This only works if people have guns available to be stolen.
The counter argument that if you take peoples guns away from them means only the bad guys have guns is also a valid argument, but again taking it a step further if you have a gun then you are a bad guy. It is easier to identify you as such and then take the relevant action to prevent you from doing harm.
I can see the American need to hold to the 2nd amendment and the right to bear arms, but it is an amendment so why can't it be further amended?
The Republicans are for more guns as far as I can see, don't want to allow more checks to take place, etc. This doesn't make sense. If you don't want to infringe on the normal persons rights to bear arms fine but why stop or restrict background checks which would stop at least some of the people who want to go a mass killing spree?
As has been mentioned above the UK only allow guns (primarily rifles) for certain activities such as pest control by farmers or sports shooting in controlled circumstances. Anyone else would have to explain why they have a weapon of any kind - this includes knives. If you get stopped and searched by the pollice you better have a good reason for carrying. Having said that you can carry a knife for example if you have a valid reason. I occasionally carry one for specific task at work which is legal, but I can't legally carry that knife at any other time. Rules also apply to the type of knife and it's use.
A bit of a rant, but I think Americans need to take a long hard look at what type of weapons they can access, how easily, and the devastating impact those weapons have when used for the wrong reasons by people who have 'issues' of some type and whether your personal right to live and bear arms outweighs the right of other people to be able to live at all.