This was so nested I hope I got the attribute right.
Way back in this thread someone pointed out that other countries that also have privately-owned guns have much lower mortality rates.
When I look at this table I can see why Canadian gun mortality rates are lower than American ones. Look at the large proportion of deaths caused by handguns. In Canada there are extremely few handguns legally owned by civilians (and yes, there are illegal ones, mostly smuggled in from the US and popular with gang shootings, I am not talking about them). We have lots of long guns. Even our original long-gun registry was focused mostly on guns that could fire large amounts of ammunition without reloading, and being more careful about emotionally unstable people having access, basically as a result of the Ecole Polytechnique shooting. There has never been an overall consensus that no-one should own long guns. The general consensus is that if someone needs a long gun (target practice, coyote control, whatever) that is a legitimate need. Being able to take out multiple targets without reloading (like all those students) is not generally seen as a legitimate need.
By the way, nice to see so many Americans discussing appropriate and inappropriate use/storage/choice of guns. From outside you all seem to be knee-jerk pro-gun the way you seem to think we are all knee-jerk anti-gun.
Question - not trying to be inflammatory - if there are so many laws already enacted about safe use/storage etc., whey are there so many accidental deaths? People being stupid? complacent? not following them because they are not strictly enforced? I mean, say for example the law in one state says guns must be stored unloaded in a gun safe, how often is there any enforcement of that condition? I am having a hard time picturing the local municipality doing safety checks like fire departments do for smoke detectors.
There is already data out there that rifles in general are used in very little homicides yet CA NY MA etc still have assault weapon bans and there are bills brought up in congress pretty often to reinstate a federal AWB. As far as accidental shootings go if a firearm is loaded and the trigger is pulled it will fire. I don't see a reason to ban a firearm that operates exactly how it was designed to do.