I am not intending to pick on you, mcbear, but I don't find the responses too convincing. I am also not advocating that all guns should be taken away from their present lawful and security minded owners.
Don't worry, for the most part, I find this very fair and square. I am not trying to change minds, my only real objective would be to point out where there are misconceptions. I have no skin in the game. I am not an FFL, I don't teach any longer and I have not shot competitively in a few years. I don't anticipate a armed insurrection and the largest assault rifle I have is a Ruger 22. Last purchase I made was a Winchester Model 94 Lever Action that I bought last year when I found they were moving production from Conn. to China.
First the use of guns is increasing along with their availability and the growth in the population. Not everyone using guns today, apparently, is getting enough marksmanship training because they often use them to commit violent crime, but don't always kill their victims. Even Cho, shooting students and teachers like fish in a bucket managed to let some he hit, even more than once, live. And, I don't want to belittle the efforts made by those who run these summer camps for kids. I just don't see how that is making headway to solve the socio-economic problems, or the attitude that guns can be used to make a quick change in your socio-economic situation.
Nothing is going to be quick.
Twenty years ago there were no gun incidents reported in my neck of the woods. Zero all year. Now we have up to several a month at times. Relatively few are fatalities. Many if not all involve kids in gangs or wanna be gangs, drugs or other pointless bullshit. Guns are involved in more crimes and assaults because they are more available to people who cannot possibly qualify for legal ownership.
Kids in gangs and getting stolen guns from peers, that can be addressed with the laws on the books. Society really doesn't want to address 13-15 YO kids in gangs but that is where it has to start.
I fail to recall the NRA campaigning for any weapon being transferred from the "you can have it" list to the "you can't have it" list. Granted, I am not the most ardent follower of the NRA. I may spend some time to look up their historical position on the cop killer bullets. I would bet a beer they were not the ones initiating even that legislation. I would bet a second beer they took their time lining up behind it as well.
It is not the Mission of the NRA to help write legislation for the Gun Control lobby. I don't follow the NRA myself other than I have a couple of friends who are members but I do know that they were hard on the cop killer bullets issue as MANY NRA members are members of Law Enforcement.
As for the truckloads of bad stuff being stolen, that was not a statistic or other numerical assertion by me. It was postulated that gun and ammo theft, by others, was this "shit happens" kind of situation that can't be addressed, and that is how all these illegal weapons and ammo get into the hands of gangs and the like. I don't buy the idea that there is any problem that can't be identified and addressed, and thoroughly.
From knowing a guy who is the Regional Glock and H&K representative [I have known him since he was 10] I asked earlier this evening at the Gallery Hop what the transportation procedures were for weapons and ammo. He said that handguns and rifles are shipped by FedEx or UPS along with everything else. Ammo goes by FedEx or UPS Ground.
And I am sure I am misunderstanding your last point, but are you suggesting that there is nothing that can be effectively done about the 12,863 number because of how big it is? I would agree that once the socio-economic gang phenomena is eliminated the remaining problems may be easier. Not being easier does not put the problem in the "can't be fixed" bin.
Absolutely NOT what I meant. Here is my Systems Analyst brain working. You start with the 29,569 number and work down. Since 56.5% are suicide, you have to assume that these folks are going to try pills, razor blades, plastic bags, guns, driving into lakes... So drop that group off the list.
That leaves 12,863. Of that number about 1000 are considered accidental. That is things like kids playing with daddy's gun, Officer Bob playing quick draw, Bob and Ted learning that you don't play Russian Roulette with a semi automatic. That takes the number down to 11,863.
From that you have a quantity which is gang related including "gangland", Juvenile gang, institutional gang which add up to another 1000.
10,863. Now you have domestic violence. Much of that is husband against wife and you rack up another 1804.
9,059. The next two biggies on the list are Armed Robbery which killed 988 in 2004 and Drug related which killed 554.
7,517. Now there were a bunch of other causes, from fights to sniper  to "other".
One set of numbers that stuck out a bit was these. There were 434 Police Justifiable Homicides in 2004 and 170 Civilian Justifiable Homicides by firearm in 2004. That is 604 included that the courts ruled justified. "the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty" and "the killing of a felon during the commission of a felony by a private citizen"
So that starts the breakdown. How do you fix it. You don't just throw you hands up and give up.
If we assume that as of today EVERY gun owned by a law abiding person is accounted for we will still have a high number of guns that are not in the system for various reasons. Theft, lost, confiscated and "lost". THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT NEED TRACKED. And that is the hardest ones to track.
I hate to beat a dead horse but if the current laws are strictly enforced, much of this problem will start going away. It will take time no matter how it is done but it will go much easier if everyone is fighting to get bad guys with guns off the streets instead of 1/2 the people fighting to get the guns off the street and the other half saying no.
The key is to pick the right fight. Go after the criminals. Everyone, NRA included will back that.