Actually I'm not so much a gun nut...any more. I still believe in the ability of people to defend themselves, and I even think it's very important.
Obviously, when some asshole goes and shoots up a school full of children it's not too decent to bring this up.
Personally, when I finally started buying guns (after an attempted holdup), I was ambivalent. I had always thought guns were cool, but I didn't want them in my house because I didn't want anyone to get hurt. After that incident I spoke of, it kinda tipped me over to the other side because I decided that as adults, we have a responsibility to protect ourselves. It's one of the most basic responsibilities, along with feeding, clothing, and shelter. And while I think it's fine that people want to help each other with these things, I think it is simply madness to remove that basic responsibility from the individual.
That being said, some people are not responsible, and cannot be trusted. We often put those people into a special building where they cannot escape, where they are confined with others who have been found, through due process, also to be deficient in the qualities necessary for good functioning in society.
It would be great to find out ahead of time. I'm not at all sure it's possible.
I know I spent a lot of time contemplating the possible negative consequences of my owning firearms--but I know for a fact that many who buy guns do not.
I would be on board with requiring some significant training in firearms before an adult can legally purchase them. We do that for driving cars (slighly) for the exact same reason we should do it for guns. If someone wants to seek out technology assisted power, we should make some attempt to ensure that they know what the fuck they are doing. And if they are obviously flaky, the officer giving the test can stamp a bit X on their application.
I realize people can still buy guns illegally. But that doesn't mean we should make it easy for assholes and crazy people to do so.