Do you believe we have a right to own firearms, or not?
I thinkthat in the modern day, it is more of a priviledge to own a gun than it is a right. I believe that when the amendment was made in 1787, it was truly a right for a variety of reasons.
I had to go through a variety of hoops to get my gun license. I had to get fingerprinted and have those fingerprints run through the State Police, FBI, etc. I had to submit to a background check and the State Police definitely checked my background. I got calls from a bunch of people letting me know that they were contacted.
The main thing is to keep everything safe. Now that I have a baby on the way, I am going out to get a gun safe. I do not want little hands monkeying around with anything that will hurt them.
I own 2 shotguns myself. I like to go pheasant hunting in the fall. I've gone deer hunting a few times as well. You are going to meet jerks everywhere. Most of the hunters I see are stand-up people. But there are those who WILL shoot something and leave it (i.e. shooting a deer just for the antlers). Those people are the people who make the news and give the rest of the hunters a bad name.
If I shoot a pheasant, I feel badly for the bird because I just killed it, but I also know that I have a really good dinner coming my way in a few days. Same with a deer. If I am lucky enough to shoot a deer, I will have 200 pounds of meat in my freezer. Neck meat makes WONDERFUL chili!
I'll tell you something else about hunters (well... at least myself). When I go into the woods or corn fields to go pheasant hunting, I come out of the woods with garbage in my pack more often than I come out with pheasants. I am always picking up empty coffee cups, beer cans/bottles, and other assorted garbage and putting those items in their proper place.
In the US there is a group called P.E.T.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). 2 years ago, I had some woman from PETA screaming at me as I came out of the woods about how bad a person I was. After she was done with me, she started yelling at another hunter. I noticed that she was just finishing her cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee and she threw the styrofoam cup on the ground. I then went back to her and told her that, by her littering, she was hurting more animals than I was.
One of the PETA woman's arguments was that I could go and get a pheasant in the supermarket. This is true. But a fresh pheasant in the supermarket costs USD 25. For a shotgun shell costing USD 0.5 and an investment of time, I can bring home my own pheasant.
Besides, I love walkign through the woods and seeing what I can see. There was one time that a Bald Eagle let me get within 10 feet of him. Then with just 3 flaps of its wings, it crossed he Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. Amazing!
I agree with you as well regarding M-16's. I also draw the line with assault weapons. I do not know why you need an Uzi in your house.
Hanguns are another matter. I can see the arguments of both sides. But I support people owning hand guns. I can only see that if the hand guns were taken away from all people, the honest ones will turn them in, but the criminals will still have theirs.
Boy! That was long winded, wasn't it?