With few exceptions, debate on gun ownership is settled. Americans can own guns with or without the propaganda of the National Rifle Association. But with every right comes a solemn responsibility to honor, protect, and preserve such right and here is where the debate and legislation should focus.
As with any valued property, guns must be registered with unique product identification so it can be traced back to its rightful owner who has the onus of keeping it safety stored and used. Whenever a gun is improperly discharged by whomever, at worst causing death, the registered owner will face consequences commensurate with the constitutional right imbued to gun ownership. There will be no 3 strikes requirement on any crime and maximum sentence imposed on homicides with the use of a gun. Death penalty readily imposed. Supreme right deserves supreme punishment.
Gun manufacturers must also be held to the highest standard for producing a weapon with a built-in demand and which is inherently dangerous. Cars are held to the highest safety standard because like guns, they do cause the death of thousands. Should gun manufacturers be held less responsible? When was the last gun product recall? Why are there no insurance requirement for gun ownership? Food manufacturing and ingestion are regulated to the extreme while unregistered guns and "midnight specials" are not regulated as poisoned. Cigarettes are taxed and restricted to the hilt while guns can be sold, bought, or bartered without taxation or restrictions.
Guns have skated around regulations because the debate has centered on ownership and the second amendment, not on self-regulating responsibility for ownership. Background checks and regulating private sales become unnecessary if irresponsible manufacturers and owners face severe penal consequences if guns traced to them causes injury and death.
If America is to be known as the country of guns, it must also be known as the nation with the most responsible gun owners. The former reputation is given, the latter reputation needs to be achieved.