I've been to the states a fair bit, I am also a UK license holder and own a couple of shotguns, whilst my father has a FAC and a proper centre fire rifle.
I can tell you this. The way in which Americans treat and handle firearms of all kinds scares the utter shit out of me. They are treated as fashion accessories. Too many Americans have watched too many movies and do not have the faintest idea of how to own or store a weapon, and yet they have access to weapons which are purely designed for killing people, not for sport or hunting.
No genuine American or British gun owner who shoots for sport wants free access to weapons of any kind, much less pistols or automatic weapons and massive magazines. Why? Because they have no need of them, they are utterly pointless and have no place in modern society. They don't want their sport tarnished by the actions of gun nuts.
In my travels in the US, I have seen people wearing pistol on their hip to Walmart. I have seen shop owners have one in easy reach on the side. This kind of thing is mind boggling to me. If I decided to take a shotgun shopping with me, or had it, even in a black bag in a public place, the police might well decide to shoot me. There is no legitimate reason for me to have a weapon, or a knife, of an axe or any kind of offensive weapon in public. Even being caught with a weapon and no license in the UK is an automatic 10 year prison sentence and rightly so.
Various studies have shown that by simply owning and posssessing a gun you are 5 times more likely to be shot and killed or wounded during a criminal act. Therefore, the idea that guns protect you, is rubbish. If Americans are that afraid of criminals, they should buy a kevlar vest. It would be more effective.
I fail to see how more and more guns in the US helps anyone. You all want these little toys because they are fashion accessories. If someone in my circle of friends who I shoot with began to desire to own an AK and massive box magazines or any kind of weapon other than ones designed for sport/hunting, I would think he is nuts. Same as if he developed a fascination with dental instruments. The scores of Americans who own such weapons, with no license and even worse, no insurance, scares the hell out of me.
Seriously, guys, ditch the guns. You claim you need them for protection, that they preserve life. Only that isn't the case. This year, your backward laws, are going to kill and maim many hundreds of Americans.
3 laws the US desperately need.
1. No ownership of weapons purely designed to kill people. Good bye pistols and assault rifles. Good bye high capacity magazines. TOTAL BAN on weapons on public places.
2. No ownership without registering and full licensing, licenses only granted after individual is vetted by a law enforcement official AND a medical professional (more than half the deaths from firearms in the US are suicides).
3. Proper storage and licensing for those owning or retailing the weapons or ammunition. The fact is more than half of the guns in America are not stored in secure cabinets, and many have thousands of rounds of ammo in their possession. This is a serious safety risk to little kits, as well as a fire hazard.