Let me start off saying that I was raised around firearms and did actively use them for hunting while I was a youngster. I was taught gun safety and the true purpose of a firearm. A firearm is designed to kill, not to wound, maim or to backup a threat of violence, but to kill. Knowing this I learned to respect firearms and the lethal potential they posed. Over the course of the years of my youth and my military experience, I became quite proficient in their use. However, since leaving the military I have abandoned owning firearms since I have no desire to hunt. But, doing so, I have no problem in the responsible ownership and use by others. The problem really is with the numbers of firearms and their easy accessibility, including ammunition.
In a Gallup Poll published late last year, private gun ownership is up and the self reported number is 47 percent of the total population. This is the highest level since 1991. Estimates put the number of firearms at some 280 million, including all types. We are the most heavily armed nation in the world and of the 8 million new firearms manufactured each year; Americans purchase 4.8 million of them each year. Of all the homicides each year, 75 percent of them are from handguns.
Recent incidences of high profile shootings; Aurora, CO, Gabby Giffords, and Virginia Tech, bring to the forefront the real problems that firearms pose, in particular handguns. The question is what is the best course of action in light of the accessibility of firearms and ammunition.
Even if we banned handguns tomorrow, it would take centuries to get them all off the streets and out of private ownership. My best solution would be not to ban the firearms, per se; but to regulate the manufacture and purchase of handgun ammunition, including private hand loading of handgun ammunition.
We know something has to be done and to comply with the 2nd Amendment; controlling ammunition would not be a violation and those who wish to own and bear firearms, their rights would not be abridged.