To the Capital Punishment point; I agree with the death penalty. Not because it's "an eye for an eye" but because the idea of knowing that you can commit a violent crime and end up in a jail cell with free food, water, shelter, and cable television as a "punishment" doesn't seem a fair trade for the person who is now buried and in a box in the ground. Depending upon what crime was committed, you can even end up in a segregated unit in which you have your own cell to yourself, access to wifi or other internet services, and a special "shower time" in which you are sure to avoid being molested. I think that the money I pay to taxes shouldn't be used to help "accommodate" people who willingly gave up what I see as their "rights" by committing an act (Murder, Mass-Murder, Rape, Child Molesting) that I feel should cause them to surrender such rights. If you want to act like an animal and not a competent human who can act in a civilized way, you should be treated as such; I personally would kill the stray dog who attacked and killed one of my dogs, so why wouldn't I be willing to accept this punishment for someone who killed one of my family members who I surely value higher than my personal pets.
If we want things to be an even playing field and people are so against the death penalty, I suggest we impose the "Coffin for a Coffin" idea in which if you are convicted of killing a person and within a 5 year period no "new evidence" is brought up to suggest your innocence, I say stick them in a coffin. Allow 1 hour of exercise a day, but the remainder of their prison term is to be served in a 7' long, 4' wide, and 4’ deep box. That would be a good way for someone to truly understand the depth of their crime outside of just having to sit in a room, watch TV, and play dominoes with other inmates. I think some, at that point, would be more willing to accept death as a punishment as they could truly grasp the idea of how much damage they cause the families of the person who they caused so much damage to.
What do you qualify as a "regular civilian"? Would I be a "regular civilian" even though I am an avid hunter, have at least 5000 round per weapon (we'll say 750 for my rifles) in time spent at the range or on the ranch, and since I know how to clean, process, repair, and even refill my weapons and ammo casings? If someone was to log 250-500 hours in flight, you would say that they were on their way to being a professional pilot, but because I am not the type of person who could join the military or civil services, my knowledge and training deems me "unfit" to own weapons due to the fact that I am a "regular citizen"?
I agree that there should be a way to process and determine who is competent enough to own a firearm, but the previous "Background Check" legislation that was recently rejected at the Senate stated that if you were on medication for ANY mental issue, you were to forfeit your right to guns. This means that if a female who is going through post-partum is issued some Xanax in 1997, they would be refused the right. If you were issues an anti-depressant med after a death of a close family member 5 years ago, you were still subject to confiscation of weapons. If I was to have taken anti-anxiety med to help with my sleeping aids that were working to battle my insomnia, I am now subject to lose my weapons. Yes, back ground checks are a GREAT idea before just handing a weapon over to someone, but they need to also understand that just because someone was issued Prozac two decades ago does not mean that they are in the same state of mind today.
If anything, people should be subjected to something closer to what we have for new drivers before being allowed to own weapons. 6 week courses to learn about the weapons you are planning to use. We have to take Concealed Handgun courses before we are allow to have our license, so why not utilize the program and expand it. You can buy a fishing pole, but you cannot be caught with a fish (outside of your personal stock pond) without you license. You have to purchase tags during hunting season. Utilize a similar process in that you must have your weapons license with you if you are caught in possession of a weapon. Persons who sign up for said course are subject to a Federal Background Check and gives officials 6 weeks to find any evidence that said individual should not possess a firearm.
I grew up around guns as did my entire family. I shot my first firearm at the age of 6. I got my first shotgun at 12 and rifle at 15(as will my sons). I believe I have the right to own such weapons for the purposes I use them (hunting and defense of property). The idea of having 2 men break into my home, both holding handguns, and my only line of defense is to call the police and ask these two men to not take my stuff, hurt my family, and wait patiently until the police officers come to arrest them is pretty silly as well as foolish. You can implement as many gun restrictions and call for citizens to "turn in their firearms" all you want, but the chances are that the "bad guys" who own the guns (illegally) aren't going to hand them over just because the government tells them they should; that's why they are career criminals in the first place.