Ironmule- Your arguments are thoughtful, but I still say we have too many guns in this country for our own good. I have been an avid shooter, and in the past I have owned quite a few guns. If someone gave me a gun now, I'd probably really enjoy a little target shooting.
But I don't think you can deny the fact that the more firearms available, the more accidents there will be. When I was about 10 or 12, I blew part of the top off of my dresser. I was trying to shoot a .22 into a phone book, (use a thick one), in my bedroom. Unfortunately I didn't understand that the scope I was aiming through was sighted for fifty yards rather than ten feet, hence the chunk out of my dresser. I shouldn't have even had my dad's gun, and I got the bullets on my own. Kids are very clever.
My friends and I, (about the same time), managed to get ahold of a few .22 pistols. We understood that shooting each other with standard .22 ammo was not an option, but we quickly realized you can pry the lead projectile off with a pair of pliers, dump all or most of the powder out, stick the shell into a bar of soap and have a stinging but not deadly projectile.
Boy we had fun, shooting each other with abandon. We quit after a potent charge landed a wad of soap through my shirt and into my right deltoid muscle. It healed, without my parents ever knowing. I still have the scar, looks just like a smallpox vaccine of old. Good thing no one got one in the eye.
I think it is undeniable that with more guns, there will be more gun accidents. More kids will get ahold of them and do stupid shit like I did.
In Denver, in the last month, two kids are dead and one in critical condition because they got ahold of their dad's firearms. That's the only real statistic I have. Is that a fair trade off for your right to own and carry as many weopons as you see fit? Or is it just "collateral damage"?