As for gun control...
On Livejournal I was asked my opinion on gun ownership, related also to knives (think of the Chinese school attack yesterday)- this is what I replied:
Both knives and guns have practical uses in certain situations (knives in the kitchen, guns in defending yourself against wild animals in some parts of the world, for example) and are easily misused elsewhere.
I really think the problem with most people's contributions to debating gun ownership - on whichever side, in whichever country - is that they think there's some universal value about it, and don't get that different countries have different societal and cultural contexts as a result of their histories and populations.
So people will say "oh, what worked in... Japan, say, will work in the US." But it won't, because one is a country that been ethnically homogenous for millennia, and spent centuries evolving a tiered social structure in which everyone knew where they fit in, and the other is a random mashup of peoples who came together in a war against a colonial centre...
(In the UK, by the time handguns came along, they were already established as upper-class duelling weapons, not something of use or interest to the lower classes, for whom the shotgun was a more practical game-hunting and pest control device - which is why the UK never had that big a handgun lifestyle)
To discuss whether gun ownership is good or bad, right or wrong - and to discuss what the nature of that ownership should be - you have to be discussing it about a specific society and with and understanding of how and why they are the way they are.
That said, the US constitution was designed, contextually, to evolve and be amended over time, and the Second Amendment - written to cover swords, muskets, and pikes (there were *no* repeating weapons then) - was intended to be used for something akin to Switzerland's defence force laws, not to become the religious fetish totem that it has become, and they really need to think about updating it as it was always intended to by the Founding Fathers.
Also, I'm with Chris Rock on the matter of ammo, which would solve a lot of problems!