I appreciate your rational look at this issue, Deuce. As you mentioned, it's such a hot-button topic that it's often hard for folk to discuss it without anger and hysterics.
I have a friend who hunts and so am pretty sure he owns at least one gun. But he's the nicest guy I've ever met, and very responsible and respectful of others. As a result, I'm not worried about him owning a gun at all.
I think requiring training before sanctioning someone to carry a firearm is a good thing, but I wish there were some way to regulate this based on attitude as well as aptitude. But I don't know how that would be possible without going down that slippery slope to "thought police", which would be awful.
One thing I'd like to see more is for rational and responsible gun owners to publicly/openly denounce irrational and irresponsible ones. Irresponsible gun owners may ignore what gun-control advocates think because they're on the other side of the issue. But maybe they'll listen to other gun owners and, through peer pressure, become more responsible themselves.