I am a southerner. I get the whole gun thing (as it were).
My grandparents going back centuries owned guns. I own several of those very guns handed down to me by some of those fine folks to whom I owe my very existence. Those who lived long before me surely needed guns to hunt and for personal pleasure (to shoot clay pigeons, skeet, cans and what not). Sure, an argument can even be rationally made that -- depending on where they lived -- they needed those weapons for their own defense especially those living in the wilds of colonial Virginia.
As technology progressed (so to speak. Is this really "progress?") the weapons have become capable of killing many in the blink of a child's eye lash - alas. Our founding fathers -- the very ones who created the second amendment allowing us to keep and bear arms for our DEFENSE -- would not even allow the average non-land owning person to vote! Do you think -- had they lived in our time -- they would allow the average citizen to own an assault weapon? Would they have allowed average citizens the right to bear these insane weapons for OFFENSE versus defense?
When you think about it, our country has tacitly approved the ridiculous interpretation that anyone who can fog a mirror (apparently) may be allowed access to weapons whose primary purpose is offensive. It's called an "assault" weapon for a reason. I do not own assault weapons. Why would I need a Sig? Or an AK-47? Or anything that is designed to obliterate a target - human or otherwise? There is only one reason someone might own such a weapon. For their own personal narcissistic pleasure or paranoia.
Oh, and the nutty idea that the same crazed and twisted murderer who snuffed out 28 lives this past week -- if they were hell bent enough -- could pack a van full of explosives and cause the same kind of murderous mayhem -- is specious at best. Sure, murder is a human constant; mass murder is as well. But we have reached a point where we must be as willing to die for a right to live in a society free of these kinds of narcissistic weapons as we are to live in one with this self-fulfulling gun culture tyranny.
We allow paranoiacs in the NRA and their lap dogs in Congress to convince us that the path to true freedom is accompanied an assault weapon Bull shit. Why not a rocket launcher? Or, my own personal tank? Flamethrower? I don't know that I want to live in a society that so easily allows every one to own a tool that is designed to annihilate everything in its sights. Sure, someone could come along and bludgeon me with a stick or an ax. But, he or she would have a helluva time using that same stick to kill and murder dozens in seconds.
You want to own an assault weapon for your own protection? Fine. Go live on an island then. Have all of the assault weapons you like. Just get out of my country. I don't want you here.
Ban these assault weapons. It won't stop murder. But, it will limit the devastation and the ability of someone like the crazed nut in Newtown from making a life-ending spectacle with the blood of small children. Enough. Please.