The recent controversy over gun control provides yet another opportunity to educate the left about individual rights and the U.S. Constitution.
First, let's consider the concept of "safety", which evidently is of paramount concern to those supporting the legislation. As usual, this term is being used out of context. For example, if safety is the goal, perhaps we could station government agents in our homes to regulate our movements just like at airports. After all, they could make sure we are clothed properly for the elements so that no one is ever cold. They could make sure we eat only nutritious foods and beverages that have been approved by Michelle Obama and Mayor Bloomberg. They could make sure that we are not warping our minds with violent video games or television programs unsanctioned by the state. They could make sure that no "offensive" speech is uttered, particularly, by the racist tea party talk radio show hosts. They could make sure we carry the appropriate medical coverage. To really thwart potential danger, we could all live in cages and have government agents decide when we are allowed to leave and with whom we may interact. Then all would truly be SAFE!
The reason that these satirical fantasies are becoming reality stems from a misunderstanding of the nature of individual rights and the governments role in protecting these rights. Freedom means freedom from physical coercion or force. The governments role is to protect individuals from violations of their rights, i.e., protect them from physical force by other individuals or states.
The government can outlaw murder, rape, robbery and other crimes that involve the initiation of physical force, but it can not prevent you from eating (or smoking) what you want, saying what you want, or voluntarily trading with other consenting adults.
In other words, the government's role is not to keep us "safe" in the sense of protecting us from nature or the consequences of our own decisions. Rather, the government's role is simply to protect our freedom of action so that each individual may decide how best to live. It is only in this context that the government's role is to "keep us safe."
Once the government goes beyond the function of protecting individuals from force, it turns from a protector of rights to a violator of rights. The ignorance, evasion, and distortion of the concept of rights is what is responsible for the continual erosion of liberty in this country today.
With respect to the gun issue, the second amendment was not put in place to protect the right to hunt squirrels. It was a recognition that individuals have the right to protect themselves from other individuals and more importantly, from government tyranny. Without the right to bear arms, we would still be subjects of the British empire. Given the left's adoration and desire for infinite state power, it is not surprising that they, like the old loyalists to the British crown, trust the government to be the only ones with guns. Madison and Jefferson knew better.
In a free society, people will do wonderful things. They will also do stupid things. The government role is to outlaw and bring to justice those who violate others rights, not violate the rights of those law abiding gun owners who have not committed nor threatened to commit crimes.