Remember that in the United States gun ownership is a legal right on par with freedom of speech/press/religion etc. I fully disagree with licensing, as everyone knew that I would. I'm nervy on the whole background check thing, but I'm not out protesting it either.
Actually, it's totally like that.
Based upon surveys analyzed by the Web site Just Facts, there are 47-53 million households where guns are present -- that's 40%-45% of all households in the country.
About 30 to 34% of American adults say the own a gun, translating into 70 to 80 million people who own those 300 million guns. A 2005 Gallup poll shows 47% of men in the country own a gun, while among women that figure is just 13%.
Republicans own more guns than Democrats -- 41% to 23%.
The same poll showed that owning a gun for protection was more important that having it for sport. Roughly 67% of Americans said they kept a gun to defend themselves against potential crime. Meanwhile, 66% said they possesses a gun because of target practice, and 41% said hunting. Obviously, people could pick more than one reason for their decision to own a firearm.
Those figures are from 2005. Every year since 2007 has broken records for new gun sales, ammo sales, first-time gun buys, and concealed carry permit issues.
They aren't illegal, the ATF just makes them a pain in the ass to get ahold of (the ATF might be the most clusterfucked agency in the Federal Government, and that's saying something). Basically you pay an extra $200, wait for a second background check, and wait 6 months for the ATF to pull it's head of out it's ass. My wife really wants this internally suppressed target rifle down at the local spot, but I'm not sure I want to pay a $200 tax on a $450 rifle (the ATF treats suppressors like machine guns, which is ironic, since legal gun owners can get suppressors really easily in Europe).
Also, since the National Firearms Act, only 2 legally owned machine guns have been used in crimes. One of those was by a police officer.
What you don't realize is that this has always been the case. When gun ownership was unrestricted in the US and the UK, the US still had a murder rate 2 or 3 times that of the UK. Today, the UK actually has more violent crime per capita than the US. They just don't use guns as much
Probably a bad idea, considering your stated goal...
Edited by Tormund Midgetsbane, 09 March 2012 - 10:07 AM.