Following a discussion on this topic - over at Mr Cranky's (initial discussion here) then via email. Mr Cranky left this comment on my last post and I thought it would be good to pull it out and put it in it's own post for (polite & respectful) discussion:
Julie, I lost your email address, I think I owe you some answers re gun control in the US.
According to my friend a semi-expert I could buy an AK47 today in less than an hour (except currently there has been a run on them and the supply is very low). A pistol might take me 2 weeks.
My expert once worked at a sports store that sold guns. One day a person came in wanting to buy a gun. He was very upset and clearly looking for revenge on someone who had beat him up. My friend could not talk him out of buyung a gun and could not turn him down legally. He informed me that he was able to sell him a gun with the wrong ammunition and thinks he saved someones life by doing so.
Personally, living in a country with very strict "gun control" and seeing that it really doesn't make a shred of difference - there are shootings here weekly across the country - I do not see the benefit of it. Other than it makes it harder for those who choose to follow the law.
Would I be concerned that someone could buy a fully automatic gun over the counter? Not really.
Would I be concerned that a gun shop employee HAD to sell a gun to someone that was obviously going to use it to kill someone? Yes, because AFAIK no one HAS to sell anything to anyone. Shop owners / employees always have the right to refuse a sale.
Maybe that's different in the US?