Gun ownership and gun rights are important to American identity and historically have been considered protected by the US Constitution.  There is ample evidence that founding fathers considered gun ownership an individual right.  Firearms can be useful for many things including hunting, personal protection, and in a worse-case scenario provide a last defense against tyranny. 

However, I'm painfully aware of the huge amount of death, pain, and suffering caused by mass shootings in recent years and it gives me pause.  Rational checks and balances should be put in place such as limiting ownership of certain types of weapons and accessories, making private firearm sales illegal, and increasing purchase age.