Courage and Common Sense
Liberals aren't generally big fans of firearms. But there are those whose fear is such, that they would turn this country into an armed camp in order to feel secure.
The mistake that our founding fathers made was in assuming that their descendants would have courage and common sense.
Certainly, risk can be managed to a point (that's the common sense part). But after that, you begin trading liberty for what is often the illusion of security. As far as courage, well, the conservative obsession with the myth of a risk-free existence is indicative of a cowardice that is embarrassing to watch. Their response to that fear is to actually make things more dangerous. Maybe it's because they believe that it's not their liberty that they'll be trading.
There is no such thing as a risk-free existence, nor should there be (that way lies extinction). A certain amount of stress and strife is necessary. Of course we would prefer it to be more in the way of positive challenges. But, life is risk, and all the firepower in the world won't change that.
Big business, and the politicians that they own realized long ago that fear is a great tool for manipulating the masses. A very lucrative tool, at that. It's unlikely that those who crave power could ever take our freedom by force. But they don't have to. They have frightened people to the point where they've been gladly voting against their own interests, and selling their security and freedom, a little at a time, for decades.
It isn't a TV show, or a video game. I can guarantee that anyone who says that they could have prevented a tragedy like this, if only they had been present and armed, hasn't ever actually had real bullets shot at them. A firefight is the very definition of chaos, and, unlike TV, someone who is mortally wounded rarely has time to deliver a moving soliloquy before a graceful exit. The end is most often horrifying, undignified, and immediate.
It's impossible for a sane person to take a human life without some damage to the psyche. It's the curse of having imagination and empathy. In times of war, or self defense, it has to be overridden, and that's when the damage occurs.
Most recover, but like any injury, there are scars.
So when I read about people like Russell Pearce, and his armchair heroics, I find it decidedly less than credible.