Perhaps I'm disillusioned because I work in the news industry. In fact I'm going on year 8 in the business. If people saw the gun issue from my perspective, they might have a different opinion. The news industry is a giant document of death, which is the main reason why people don't watch it. It's depressing. While other people are turning the channel I've chosen to make bedmates with it. Much, MUCH more than 32 people die, in this country and elsewhere on any given day, if you consider how many news stations across the country are reporting a death by someone else's hand (whether by gun or some other form of violence). Not only do I hear these stories, I listen to them over and over and over again, several times a day, and depending on the nature of the killing, depending on how salacious it is -- someone dying in the 'hood doesn't quite get the coverage the VA Tech massacre gets -- I might hear that story several times a day for a week or more. News industry veterans are a little like Vietnam war vets in that sense, in that some of us are just flat-out crazy from PTSD. In fact, in many ways it's worse because unlike a soldier, we can't shoot back; we can only sit there and take it in.
As to the "right and ability of people to purchase guns" ... I'm here to tell you, if there was some way to guarantee that the people purchasing firearms were thoughtful, intelligent, and rational, I wouldn't get on my high horse about it. There are other things I would much rather be writing about, believe me. I believe it's because people change the channel and turn away from what is really happening, people really have no idea just how bad it is!! Because of how easy it is to purchase a gun in this country the shooting is not just "in the streets" anymore. It has extended to places that SHOULD be safe, not just for kids but for everyone. There is no guarantee that even reasonable people like you and I won't one day just flip out. It happens; most adults who go to work and try to make a place for themselves in this world are under stress, and there is scientific evidence as to how stress changes the chemistry in our brains. And I'm not even talking about people like Cho Seung-Hui who already had a problem to begin with, who should have been ruled out (from buying a gun) from the get-go!
Not to mention the sheer number of kids dying from their curiosity. Everybody knows that, unless you remove it from the house altogether, you really can't hide anything from a kid who has a mind to go looking for it, especially considering most adults don't keep their attention on their kids 100% of the time. They can't, it's impractical. When you're at a pool, or at the mall, yes, a parent is stupid not to keep their attention on their kid 100%. But when you're at home, and you've got to sit down to pay the bills, cook dinner, take a shower, you are going to have your back turned on your kid sometimes. So why increase their risk for danger yourself by owning a gun? It doesn't make a bit of sense, and then you're teaching them violence is the way to deal with things, and then the cycle continues.
Look at what Al Gore accomplished as Vice Prez. Everybody pointed to how well he was able to deal with other world leaders by peacefully talking to them. Ronald Reagan brought an end to a War that raged on in another country for decades, without a gun ever being picked up, let alone fired. THIS is what we should be endeavoring towards. The gun debate is silly and detracting from real world issues like children living in poverty, young people who become parents before they're ready because of lack of education ... we need to put our efforts into making this world a better place to live in, like anyone who goes to college is essentially trying to do.
Guns do not make this world a better place, they make this world an unsafe place. People in this country are WAAAAAAAAY too desensitized to the potential for fatality from owning a gun. Owning a TV doesn't raise that potential. What are the chances a TV's going to fall on you and kill you? What are the chances that a crackhead breaking into your house will pick up the TV and kill you with it? What are the chances that he will know where people hide their guns (if he's a crackhead, then he's familiar with guns, trust me) and shoot you in the head with it before you have a chance to defend yourself? You're not equipping yourself with protection; you're equipping him. Why give him that chance? He will be far more desperate than you, or he's going to break into your house already equipped with the gun he stole from the last house he broke into (like most crackheads are).
What are the chances a bow and arrow cocked and ready to go is going to kill you if left laying under your bed? How many crackheads would know how to operate a bow and arrow? There are 10 steps involved to shooting a bow and arrow. How many steps, after the gun is loaded, are needed to fire a gun?
What are the chances a knife or a sword is going to accidentally kill you if left laying on the ground by itself? Trust me, if you come after a crackhead with a sword, he will NOT stick around to find out how you do it because he will figure you are crazier than he is.
Most items a person could own don't carry a high danger potential like guns do. Guns were created to maim and/or kill. Period. Why would anyone want such a thing in their lives? No good comes from a gun. No good at all. Buy a bong, and when that crackhead breaks into your house say, "Hey buddy I got something you will like," smoke him out, and not only will BOTH of you be much happier, both of you will also live to tell about it.