I am rather indifferent to the debate about guns.  I had a 22 rifle as a kid that I used to shoot tin cans and such.  I also had a handgun while in Vietnam but kept it locked up and never used it. 

My colleague at this site Mishelle makes a totally valid point, the Second Amendment to the Constitution clearly protects the rights of citizens to have arms.  Furthermore, she states correctly that the intention of the Founding Fathers in framing this amendment was to allow citizens to protect themselves from a tyrannical government, not to have guns for hunting or to protect their persons or property.  

It follows that if the reason for allowing the citizens to own arms is to protect themselves from the government there should be no limit as to what they own - assault rifles, machine guns, recoiless guns, rocket propellers, hand grenades and more.  

When one looks at the amendment in this light one sees that, while it may have been valid in the 18th Century to allow citizens to keep muskets in their homes to guard against an oppressive government, there is no way today’s citizens could have enough firepower to guard against a government that has overwhelming force of arms, think drone missiles.  Thus the whole concept must be revisited and changed. 

I also find it senseless to focus on regulating semiautomatic weapons.  Practically all handguns are semiautomatic since this simply means the gun rechambers a bullet each time it is fired.  No, we should be looking at the rationale for allowing gun ownership, perhaps reframing the Second Amendment to apply to hunters and self-defense.  More importantly, I would hope that in the aftermath of Newtown we should be looking at the causes of violent acts in our society, not just the instruments used to produce these.