Would you be in favor of gun control if it made your children less safe?
The studies and statistics about guns have been so completely obfuscated by special interests that it's nigh impossible for an average citizen - even smart ones like Slashdot readers - to answer the simple question: "is free access to guns good or bad?".
Looking into this in depth is really hard, but when you go back to basics there's a glimmer of truth.
Firstly, the thing to measure is mortality rate. Not all gun incidents lead to death, and if you have no money for medicine (or food) because you were robbed at gunpoint, it affects your chance of death.
Secondly, socialized medicine has such an enormous impact on mortality that you can't simply compare American mortality with, for example, the UK. You could compare UK mortality with, say, Swiss, or you could compare areas within the US which allow/disallow free access to guns. New Hampshire versus Michigan, for example.
When you do the proper comparison, you find that easy access to guns lowers the mortality rate.
This is counter intuitive simply due to the badly-cited statistics. Yes, if you let your kids play in the front yard of a gun owner their chance of death by accidental shooting goes up; however, their chance of death by all causes drops precipitously. You can believe the chosen statistic and it's unspoken implication, or you can dig into the real issues.
I'll leave you with this recent paper which attempts to sort out the issues in an academically rigorous manner. Here's a quote from that paper:
On the one hand, despite constant and substantially increasing gun ownership, the United States saw progressive and dramatic reductions in criminal violence in the 1990s. On the other hand, the same time period in the United Kingdom saw a constant and dramatic increase in violent crime to which England’s response was evermore drastic gun control including, eventually, banning and confiscating all handguns and many types of long guns.
[...] To conserve the resources of the inundated criminal justice system, English police no longer investigate burglary and “minor assaults. As of 2006, if the police catch a mugger, robber, or burglar, or other “minor” criminal in the act, the policy is to release them with a warning rather than to arrest and prosecute them.
I'm happy to discuss the advisability of gun control with anyone, so long as they don't cite a misleading statistic out of context, or focus on the wrong issues.
I like to form my opinions based on science. If you know of convincing counter studies, I'd like to read them.