So, a friend on Facebook posted a note about this bill that would create federal gun control. That prompted me to do a quick write up on gun control.
Number one, gun control on the federal level is definitely unconstitutional.
Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Essentially, since it is necessary to keep our freedoms secure, there should be a 'well regulated Militia'. In order for that Militia to exist, we have the right to bear arms. Gun control takes away, or infringes on, that right. How are we supposed to have an effective Militia to deter the Government from taking away our freedoms if we have to tell the Government about every single gun we own and can't buy effective weapons? (Side note, people might think the National Guard fulfills this role, it doesn't. If people actually started to form the kind of militia the founders imagined, they'd be called extremists.)
So, to put it bluntly, there are no limits on what kind of arms (read 'weapons') we can own. The founders imagined a militia that could effectively fight the Government if they had to. At least, that is the way I read it. We can't do that if we can't even own a handgun without the Government regulating it.
Another, far more immediate, reason that gun control is a really bad idea, is that it leaves you and me defenseless. Criminals are hardly going to follow the law, the best you can hope for is that it is harder for them to get guns. It certainly won't be impossible. Whereas law-abiding citizens would be stuck without.
If a criminal invades your home, you can keep yourself and your family pretty safe if you have a gun. But if you don't have one, then you are in far more danger. Even if the criminal is unarmed, they are likely much better than you at fighting. You need something to equalize the force, preferably something that stops them cold. Gun control would make it much harder for you to defend yourself and your family.
One reason many people support gun control is the number of children who accidentally shoot themselves or others. This is tragic, very tragic. But, it can be ameliorated by educating children on how to handle guns correctly. The way I would do it with kids of my own would be this: When they are under 7, or whatever age is best, show the kids the guns so they know what they look like, then tell them that they cannot touch them at all. Also keep the guns safely stowed where the kids are unlikely to get to them. At 7, or when they are ready, teach the kids how to handle guns safely. Basically, if kids grow up respecting guns, accidents are less likely, and kids are far less likely to use them wrong. Smart parenting.
So, that's a quick overview of the subject. I'll make sure to have more research in future posts, if I write more on this subject.
Edit 3-1-2010: Here is a blog post that links to some information about how crime rises as a result of gun bans and lowers when those bans are lifted.