Some gun-collecting friends of mine took me shooting a few times. I got to fire an AK-47 -- it was a lot of fun to hose down all that scrap plywood with lead. It was a real blast, and very easy.

I don't want an AK-47 in my home. I am not a gun owner, and don't intend to ever be one unless there's a clear need. A gun in the house would not make me feel safer; statistically speaking it's a lot more likely to be used on me or my loved ones, accidentally or otherwise, than it would be to aid me against an attacker. Having a lot of guns in the house would also make my house a more attractive target for burglary, and the criminal in question would be of a much more dangerous type than usual. I do have other weapons, ones that are generally only lethal if used with skill (the kids in the recent China attack are alive because it's a lot harder to kill a bunch of people with a knife than with a semi-automatic weapon).

Like most weapon owners, I tell myself that I keep my ridiculously large knives around for practical purposes like self-defense, or as a part of a wholesome collecting hobby, and not as a sad form of ego-boost or because of primitive aggression or a magpie attraction to shiny objects. I do have some martial arts training in blade and baton techniques, so I feel somewhat confident in my ability to use what I keep around the house for effective self-defense if the need arises (and I take steps to ensure that the need doesn't arise). My confidence could be completely misplaced, of course, and my blades could turn out to be useless. In the meantime, I don't have to worry about an accidentally-flung knife going through my wall into my neighbor's living room after a moment of clumsiness. 

I find the argument that we the American people ought to have lots of guns to keep the government in line to be antiquated.  We're not living in 1776. The government has tanks and rocket launchers and nuclear weapons now -- am I supposed to keep a Black Hawk gunship in the garage, just in case? We have all those guns, and yet the TSA still has managed to turn our airports into cancer factories in the name of safety and I still have to pee in a cup to get a job. Freedom of information and freedom of speech and the exercise of those are a lot more important in fighting tyranny in this country, in my humble opinion. 

You know what machine gives me the greatest sense of safety and freedom in my life? My car. An automobile can certainly be deadly, but its use as a weapon is secondary at most. I have to navigate a lot more regulations to drive a car than I do to own a gun. And yet with all those laws telling me how to drive and when, I don't feel that Big Brother is somehow conspiring to keep me from being a car owner. 

Some have suggested that school staff be issued tasers to prevent future massacres. Tasers are far less lethal than guns, I'll grant you that. But I'm not in favor of school teachers carrying tasers or any other weapons on school grounds. I don't feel it contributes to a positive learning environment.

Others have suggested that cops or armed guards be stationed at schools and campuses. Which, if you discount the potential cost and the possibility of police abuse of teachers and students, sounds great ... except that Columbine had an armed sheriff's deputy on duty the day of the massacre there. And at the time of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, the university had its own police force with an on-duty staff of 50 armed officers. And the massacre at Fort Hood happened in the middle of one of the biggest military bases in the world. 

I'm pretty sure Joe Average NRA Member wouldn't feel safer if his neighbor was building dirty bombs in his basement "for protection".  So there's clearly a spectrum here weapons-wise. It bothers me that semiautomatic weapons like the "Consider Your Man Card Reissued" Bushmaster AR-15 are so readily available, and that the reaction of a lot of people to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was to run out and buy one. There is no "alternate use" of a semiautomatic weapon other than to kill, or to threaten to kill.

Exercise your Second Amendment rights if you like. Keep your dad's favorite shotgun and your deer rifle and your fancy antique revolvers, and I'll keep my ridiculously inefficient but oh-so-shiny bread-slicers. But let's please try to get the lead hoses off the streets. Yes, it will be difficult. But it will be impossible if we as a society don't even try.

And finally, I do not feel than an armed society is a polite society. The recent shootings in Florida courtesy of white guys with guns who have felt empowered by the "stand your ground" law have seemed impolite at best.