Gun ownership is enshrined in the Second Amendment. For women, the right to bear arms predates the right to bare arms.
Americans resoundingly, if not universally, agree that hunters should be able to purchase rifles, and that all, who believe the risk of criminal assault exceeds the danger of accidental discharge, may buy a pistol for self protection.
Gun control legislation consistent with this consensus, would ban automatic and semi-automatic weapons, as well as custom magazines that may chamber as many as 90 rounds. James Holmes would not be able to purchase enough rounds online, to slaughter the entire deer population of North America. An efficient and interconnected federal, state and local data base would track such purchases, as well as, multiple gun purchases. Better background checks would be possible through shared information.
But legislation is prevented by a fringe phalanx that is locked and loaded by the NRA. America is a long standing democracy with an intricate system of checks and balances. But some believe that the federal government is, or about to become, a gestapo trampling on their rights. They reason that only a well armed citizen militia can protect freedom and liberty. Gun control is held hostage, by this well financed minority.
If the inmates are allowed to run the asylum, we should at least ensure that they do not have assault rifles.