Mass shootings like Orlando make headlines and rightly so. They are disgusting and they certainly justify state authorities using their powers to review people applying to obtain or renew gun licences as, at present, they often don't. They also justify closing loopholes in the system, for example around trade fairs. There is a lot that could be usefully done to promote public safety around firearms. No-one, least of all a responsible gun-owner, wants guns in the hands of minors, the mentally-disturbed, people with criminal records or, I would suggest, anyone who has declared public support for a terrorist group or foreign power hostile to the United States.
The fact is that gun ownership in the USA has risen in the past twenty years, while the homicide rate has fallen. Before we reject the Second Amendment as so much American craziness, we should bear that in mind. As someone in the UK growing older and more vulnerable to crime, I wish I could carry a weapon to defend myself. I also wish that the law in the UK was as robust as in most US states when it came to the issue of a home-owner's right to defend himself, his family and his property.
The law in the UK does not restrict the supply of firearms much more effectively than it restricts the supply of drugs. Everyone who wants either guns or narcotics has them. There are millions of guns in circulation; more than enough to serve the needs of active criminals. Many of those criminal gun users are also drug users and therefore less likely than a sober citizen to use them sensibly.
In awkward reality gun control is a state guarantee to armed criminals that their victims will be defenceless.
I don't want to be the guy who responds to events by using them to support long-held views. There is anyway no support for wider legal gun-ownership in the UK. So much so that merely writing this post guarantees I could never be nominated as a candidate for political office. Yet minds should be open when we discuss emotional issues and I feel that on this occasion someone needs to say what no-one wants to hear.