A reader recently pointed out this article which reported that US civilians own 400 million guns compared to the military which has about 4.5 million guns. Those are good numbers IMHO. And the second amendment of the constitution which states that 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed' is one of the most important rights we, as Americans, have. Compared to other countries I have been to where even carrying a pocket knife is legally questionable, I fully appreciate the freedom we have to own guns.
This is also a freedom we can not let be taken away from us. Even with as much flack that is heaped on the NRA, I still think it is a very important organization which protects our gun rights. And even with as many gun crimes as we see in the news including mass shootings, I still think that the vast majority of gun owners are safe, responsible people.
I highly recommend that those who can, should own and practice with firearms. Obviously there are people who definitely should not own weapons (those who are suicidal, mentally ill, or have temper issues), but the use of firearms is a great way to protect your rights (it may be a "use it or lose it" sort of thing if following generations become apathetic to keeping their gun rights), bond with others (your kids, your friends), be competitive (shooting competitions are a lot of fun), develop skills (hand-eye coordination, etc), and, if worse comes to worse, protect yourself or your family in a life or death situation.
In a couple of weeks we will be celebrating the independence of our country. That would be a great time to check out your local shooting club, take the kids out to the range for a refresher on gun safety and shooting skills, find out about getting you CCW license, or even shop for a new gun.