Eduardo et al:
Here are a few more thoughts for you -
"Extensive licensing" - In my area, Connecticut USA, to obtain a permit to carry a pistol, one must complete a state-approved safety course that includes the legalities of self-defense, complete a local and state-wide background check, an FBI background check including fingerprint analysis, and must have never been convicted of ANY felony or any of eleven violent misdemeanors. I would call this pretty extensive! If you don't feel that this is sufficient, perhaps you should worry, as it is MORE background checking than our school teachers complete - - and they take responsibility for our children all day!!
"Fully automatic, large caliber, etc" - There really is no need for such weapons to be in private ownership (this coming from a card carrying NRA member, registered Republican). However, the liberal legislators in our natoin are trying to redefine these terms to be broad and sweeping, to include handgun ammunition, andy gun with a "clip" or a grip handle that resembles a military weapon, or any weapon that the military does or HAS used. This could, potentially outlaw a .45 - - a very common handgun caliber! This would be like saying that "drugs are illegal", then saying that "drugs" are now redefined as including Tylenol, Advil and aspirin.
"99.9%" - Well, hyperbole - yes. But should one use hyperbole when attempting to persuade others by using false statistics? Most likely not.
Make guns hard to get, and criminals won't get them - Nope. Not really. It's illegal to hijack an airplane, but its done. Its illegal to speed on the interstate, but it's done daily. A more appropriate view of the situation would be: "Make guns hard to get, make victims more vulnerable." When a criminal knows that his victim is unarmed due to government control, he has the upper hand. I make it known to all that I own guns, and am often armed when entering questionable situations (city at night, carrying sums of money, etc.) My wife once felt the same as you... and even complained that I went to the movie theater armed. She changed her mind when I walked her to the next theater from ours to show her where a teenager was shot and killed with an Illegally acquired gun... right in our little town. Now, she feels better that on the slight chance that someone does choose to threated our lives, we have a chance at survival.
Here are some interesting facts gathered from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action
Handguns, Self-Defense and Public Opinion
** By an 8:1 margin, Americans believe you have the right to use a handgun to defend yourself in your own home. By a 3:1 margin, people believe that to fight crime, getting tough with criminals is more effective than banning guns. (Survey of voters, Lawrence Research, 1998.)
Defense Against Criminals** Handguns are used for protection against criminals nearly two million times per year, up to five times more often than to commit crimes. (Kleck, "The Frequency of Defensive Gun Use," in Kates and Kleck, The Great American Gun Debate, S.F.: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1997.)
Handgun Ban Failures** Washington, D.C.`s homicide rate more than tripled after the city banned handguns. D.C. consistently has the highest homicide rate among major U.S. cities. (FBI)
** Chicago banned handguns in 1982 and in a decade homicides with handguns more than doubled. (Chicago Homicide Dataset) Chicago has the fourth highest homicide rate among major U.S. cities. (FBI)
Regarding guns being taken from victims and used against them:
"At most, 1% of defensive gun uses resulted in the offender taking a gun away from the victim"- (Gary Kleck, analysis of General Social Surveys, Targeting Guns, 1997)
Well, I have grabbed a few quotes from outside sources, and I am sorry to make you read them, but when an anti-gun liberal presents false data or pure opinion as fact, the truth must be made known. Firearms, in the hands of law-abiding citizens is a GOOD thing. Let's enforce gun laws that exist, prosecute the criminals, and encourage more self-reliance rather than government reliance for safety. If you have faith in the government protecting you, keep in mind that In 1978, the D.C. Superior Court ruled that "a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen."... only you have the duty to protect yourself. (My comments in italics)