Way too much to comment on since my last post - but I'll try.
First, statistics are SPIN material - the numbers you get are those you seek, every time. Watch political polls and see how the wording changes the numbers to reflect on what ever the party wants it to convey.
This topic has gotten very generic, missing the real basis of why we still hold the 2nd so close to our culture. Our country was formed in bits and pieces, first the Eastern regions, later the far Western lands of California and finally filling out the middle states where life is supported by ample farm land and good water and other needed resources.
People moved to where life could survive with minimal imported resources, people tilled the land, grew crops and raised animals for food, clothing, sale and barter.
Weapons fed your family, no one was out there with a knife tackling a buffalo for food or trade, they had guns and it kept them alive through the harshest of Winters. Guns were protection against anyone who threatened the Pursuit of Happiness (as was brought up earlier) people took their families across this landscape to never return to where they came from. The branched out, forming camp villiages, farming lands, town and cities and all this will minimal police and armies. having weapons and everyone in a family knowing how to use them saved countless lives throughout history.
These were tough times, handguns we mostly revolvers, typically 5 shot and often carried two at a time, on horseback or on foot, and in wagon trains. Those with weapons survived, no less than the animals with larger teeth and bigger claws feed well over herbivores who mostly crushed grass and seed and were low on the food chain.
Of all the species in history, man was the only one to make tool to benefit him in battle, from the earlies spears, shields and swinging and throwing weapons - man's superior ability to make tools that both defended himself and also feed him destined him to be a survivor.
Many people say MAN is at the top of the food chain, I say no - toss a naked and unarmed man in a ring with a tiger, bear, even a badger or POed opossum - the man will likely not fair very well. It is our ability to create equalizers that raise us above the others.
So back to today and in America the citizenship has some neat weapons at their disposal. Most are well regulated and of tend very costly "stamps" are purchased to improve the effectiveness of a weapon - $200 for a suppressor (silencer) stamp - add some subsonic ammo and even a .22LR pistol can be a formidable weapon.
I'm late into this whole gun thing (what you guys who can't have weapons call foolish) my first gun purchase was at 55 years of age. Guns in the Central Eastern US states are far less prominent the in the South and in those Western States where farm animals out number humans hundreds to one. Areas where you are the sole protector, the law on your own expanse of land - a place where intruders and rustlers are foolishly on the wrong piece of land. I know several people on this forum with thousands of acres of property - when livestock ends up missing or mutilated, it's time to find the problem and solve it, not times to call the police who will them the "This is a private issue, we are here to uphold the law, not to babysit your herd". Police recognize the law and the people have the right to protect what is theirs.
So let's leave the country, now we are in a neighborhood of people who go to work everyday, spending 2/3rd of their lives awaiting retirement - doing what is right and being part of a community. Then someone's home is broken into, jewelery taken, things of value and great memories, items past down generation to generation - luckily no one hurt this time. The neighbors learn of the break in and step up their vigilance at protecting their homes - hoping they aren't the next target. But the cocky thief returns, this time to find someone home - someone unable to protect themselves and the get pushed around, tied up, possibly beaten and worse of all, maybe killed. Now the neighborhood is at full alert, ready for anything and willing to put down anyone entering their homes with intent to do what it takes to rob the homeowner blind. You tell me, what is the home own supposed to do? whip out a golf club, a fly swatter, wave a knife at them - what if you are out numbered, caught off guard and can't get to a phone (don't worry the police will be there in 20 minutes if you do get to call 911) - I'm sure you can keep them entertained for at least 20 minutes.
The homeowner who is prepared will make it known that whatever the intruders planned has now change dramatically - likely the bad guy(s) can see they are now on the wrong end of a powerful weapon and the just run - or drop to the floor as the homeowner tells them to do so until the police arrive. If the bad guys insist on tempting their luck, I see no alternative for the homeowner to show the intruder who is in control - there is no need for the infamous Warning Shot, the first shot is paced into the intruder where he likely will finally understand the game is over and if he lays down and stays down, the police will get them out of their, still able to walk out alive.
I'll state this, reading Spain and Australia and other gun restricted countries - you learn to start fires with 2 sticks because you can't have matches and because you have gotten good at it, see no need for matches. This is how your thinking on guns is - you can't have them, and interestingly think that the bad guys don't have them either - so you are even going in. Well.... here the bad guys have guns. The law abiding citizen may never shoot their guns, some will at the ranges, other on their open properties - but shooting at a person is the farthest thing from their mind. But in that million to one chance a madman with homicidal thoughts breaks down your door, I'm not depending on pepper spray, or the better option wasp and hornet spray which shoots a stream 20 feet and can cause permanent blindness - I'm assuming the worse case scenario, which is the intruder has a gun and plans to use it if needed. My only job at that point is to get my family to a safe place if there is time, and if not make use of knowing my home layout and beat the intruder to the draw - ending the situation, saving my family and neighbors from the terror that threatens them and thanking the Forefathers for having the foresight to cement in our doctrines that life is the most precious gift and it is to be preserved at all cost.
I'd love to know what either of you would do (if you had a gun) and God forbid found someone physically punishing someone you loved at gun point. You gonna put your gun in a safe and grab a frying pan? You gonna chance that if you jump on him that you are strong enough to not become another victim? Call your 911 service? Or are you gonna use that gun in some fashion, pistol whip him, shout "stop I have a gun" or plug the creep in the back of the head putting him out of your miser.
I don't know what I would do, seriously I believe you need to quickly evaluate the situation, the take the right action - if he needs to be shot to stop a deadly assault, then do it - don't worry about the law, let the police or the courts figure it out. It is not your job to determine the degree of the assault, it is your job to stop the attack, and if the attacker is bigger and stronger than you, seemingly hopped up on drugs and you need to decide if this man charges me, will he get my gun, will he kill me and then my loved one - that's a lot to think about and there is no time to think about it - it's then you use the gun, stop him in his tracks, make sure the threat is over, place your gun safely out of range of the body, but where the police have access to it when they finally arrive - and explain your case.
I never want to kill anyone - I know you think that Americans wait around every day for the situation to arrive so they can pull out their guns and shoot and kill anyone they can deem a bad guy. That is as foolish an idea as saying people buy cars and ride around with intent of running over an elderly person because old folks have lived long enough and you'll be doing the world a favor because the old person is a danger behind the wheel.
I have 5 guns, I will have more soon - and I never want to have a reason to use one to end another persons life. I think that same thing goes for everyone here who is law abiding and just wants to be left alone to live their live in an honest and wholesome way.