I was surprised that the following is one of my most popular comments on Reddit. I expected the dumb children of America who are indoctrinated into socialism K-12 to downvote the H out of it, but that was not the case. The comment is a response to somebody who mentioned a couple of reasons gun-owners want to own those guns.
This may be the best comment I've ever read about the gun debate. All of your points are accurate, in my view. Gun culture is not limited to committing murder. The BBC disagrees, which is why I sometimes get frustrated by the left-wing portrayal of gun ownership. Some of the right-wing coverage is problematic too. I'm not Democrat or Republican. The BBC, which is left-wing, said a few years ago that owning a Glock could not have any other purpose than to commit murder. Obscene journalism. The right-wing, which I'm not aligned with much, is far more moderate. They advocate long-guns and handguns, but not mortars and tanks and nuclear weapons. They advocate defense of family and hunting, and not much else.
Another point to consider, which I realize sounds extreme in 2014, is that the framers of our Constitution were very clear about one essential point: The citizenry of America has the absolute right to overthrow the government by force if we believe it has become tyrannical. In other words, we can repeat the American Revolution if we (the people) believe that becomes necessary. Think the 2nd Revolution can't happen? I hope not, but the right is reserved, in writing, for just such an occasion. The concept was included as a warning to government that, while we recognize the authority of government, that authority is subservient to the people. Again, that sounds archaic, but it was, and remains, necessary to remind governments who is the ultimate authority in the land -- it's the people who install and remove governments. An unarmed nation cannot mount a revolution, so the people who just lived through the colonial days under King George, the framers, didn't want future generations to be unarmed for that very purpose.
From the pre-amble to the Declaration of Independence:
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
2.1 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
2.2 That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
2.3 Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Half of the Constitution is literal, meaning that it lays out what our government is, what it does, and how it's constituted. The other half, roughly, is meant to protect the people from government. That's because governments, all of them, everyone, throughout time, have one thing in common -- increasing power and control, sometimes (but not always) to the detriment of the liberty of the people. Jefferson said it best: "The beauty of the 2nd Amendment is that it will not be needed until somebody tries to take it away." We were not the originators of the concepts of freedom, but we were the first to put it into practice, from the ground up -- to build a country from scratch on the foundations of liberty, and to guarantee that liberty, we are armed as individuals. If that sounds extreme, I would ask that you consider which political ideology is feeding you news and information.