Let's put a ban on all guns
I strongly think that Congress should actually ban all guns and not just assault weapons. A modern, democratic society in the 21st century does need guns in people's hands. Only the military and the police should have the right to carry guns.
We should follow and learn from other westernized, civilized nations and ban all guns. The NRA is delusional in saying that schools should be armed. The NRA should be permanently shut down. We can do without an organization that promotes weapons that kill people every day in this country.
We need to stop living in the past
Absolutely, automatic weapons should be banned. That does not undermine the Second Amendment. Automatic weapons are for the armed forces, not the people at home with families.
We do not live in 18th-century times. We are now in the 21st century and our laws should reflect that.
The NRA is real problem
A more appropriate question would be "Do you believe that people should have the right to any kind and amount of military style weaponry (assault weapons)? And for what purpose?" The answer to those questions should be weighed against the safety and security of the population, particularly in schools, movie theaters and shopping malls.
The NRA receives one half of its budget from gun manufacturers, who are the leading arms manufacturers in the world. Our country supplies almost half of the weaponry of the various wars and insurrections in the recent past and present time.
It is in the interest of gun manufacturers to control the dialogue about guns. In fact, last year the Connecticut legislature was unable to pass a law requiring stamp imprinting of guns so as to identify where guns originated that were used in crimes. How does that help hunters and home protectors? It doesn't, but it allows much crime to be unsolved.
Laws protecting society must be passed at the federal level because guns from states like Nevada end up in California. There are 4 million members of the NRA and 300 million people in the U.S. Its time to stop a small minority from holding our citizens hostage.
Sounds like we've had this discussion
Isn't this the same discussion that took place on the reduction of nuclear weapons? On an international scale, it was determined that a reduction would be most appropriate. Why would it be different on a much smaller scale? How much overkill do we need to have a deterrent? When we ever learn?
We need to look at the real problem
The Second Amendment states "a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
The reason for a militia is to give power to the people to overthrow an oppressive government. It isn't to allow home protection or to provide guns to hunters or to fight an invasion. Assault weapons are well suited to a militia but not suited for these other uses.
So, if you love your freedom it is appropriate to be able to own these weapons. The reason for the Connecticut massacre was that the gun owner allowed her son (with mental problems) to use her guns, giving him the feeling of power that a gun gives. It was her responsibility to manage her weapons, but she failed this task. If she was still alive, she would certainly be prosecuted for her actions.
Government didn't cause this problem, and whatever it does will probably do more harm, than good.
Militia must be properly armed
The militia's mission from the Second Amendment is twofold: (a) when the tyranny which threatens liberty of the people comes from without the country, the militia must be able to stand with the army to fight the common external enemy; (b) when tyranny that threatens liberty of the people comes from within the country, as today, the militia must be able to stand against the army to effectively fight the common internal enemy.
In either case, to be effective, the militia must carry the same weapons carried by the common infantry soldier who threatens the liberty of the people.
Congress must make changes
I strongly feel we should ban assault weapons ownership for the general public. Only the military and those in law enforcement should have access to them.
I also believe in the Second Amendment right to bear arms; however, the Constitution was adopted in 1791 -- long before the existence of assault weapons.
Over the years, there have been multiple innocent deaths due to the use of assault weapons. The massacre of 20 beautiful children and six adults in Newtown was unimaginable for many of us. To learn that some children were hit with 11 rounds into their little bodies makes you feel ill.
Yes, Congress needs to make changes immediately.
NRA's position is indefensible
Yes, the ban on assault weapons should be reinstated.
The leader of the NRA, in his first comments on the Newtown massacre, violated basic logic by recommending that more guns are what we need to curb gun violence. The next cynical thing out of his mouth was that our nation needs improved mental health treatment.
The irony is breathtaking. Who could possibly benefit more from psychiatric treatment than the leadership of the NRA? Their indefensible position on our national health epidemic of violence fits the very definition of paranoid schizophrenia.
It is as plain as the rear end of a goat: The leadership of the NRA is desperately in need of immediate psychiatric help.
With every right comes responsibility
Raised on a farm, guns and hunting were a part of my life.
No longer a hunter or target shooter, I'm a former gun owner who realized my guns were toys. I still appreciate the look and feel of a quality weapon, but for me it's just a toy.
In-home self-defense is a delusion. A weapon's useless unless one is prepared to pull the trigger. Given the conditions under which I might be confronted with that decision (darkness, uncertainty), if I am dealing with someone who intends to do me harm, he already has the advantage. He isn't operating under the same constraints as I and I won't add self-defense to his motives.
I'm reminded of the example years ago when a man shot through his bedroom door at night when someone rattled the door. Upon opening the door, he found his teenage daughter bleeding on the floor. She died in his arms.
I'm intolerant of assertions of Second Amendment rights unless accompanied by acknowledgment that with every right there's a responsibility; with guns, that's safety.
I concluded my weapons were a liability and a magnet for thieves. I installed an alarm system, disposed of my guns, and I feel relieved.