I would hardly call people who lied about the circumstances behind shooting their friend "responsible gun owners".
That's the thing. It is hard to tell the responsible gun owners from the rest. Because a lot of the time the non-responsible ones look just like responsible ones, until they don't.
Take the fool who dropped his gun in the men's room. Never happened to him before. Yet, the accident happened because he did the stupid, negligent thing he always did, and this one time it went wrong. Up until that point, he was a "responsible gun owner". Unfortunately, his idiot employer still thinks of him that way, instead of adding new information and re-evaluating his value to the company.
I do FMEAs - Failure Mode Effects Analysis - for my job. It is a system whereby you look at how a design or a process can go wrong so you can hopefully correct it before it happens. You make certain assumptions (the materials are good, etc) and you brainstorm where errors can be introduced. You then evaluate them based on 3 factors:
- likelihood of happening (1 being the least likely, 10 being a certainty),
- likelihood of detecting the error (1 being it will be found always, 10 being it will never be found until too late) and
- the severity of the error (1 being inconsequential, 10 being death)
You multiply these three numbers for each failure mode and address the highest scores first. Anything with a severity of 8 or higher, no matter the score, goes right to the top of the list, since it involves hurting people. In the airline industry, the severity is almost always a 10, because almost any failure can lead to a plane crashing.
It is the same thing with guns. The problem is, we do not really take guns or gun safety seriously in this country. If we did, the Big Foot hunters, and all the rest of the responsible-until-they're-not gun owners would not get within shouting distance of guns.
Instead we have this: (warning, rude language) http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2013/11/guns-and-ammo-magazine-firing-shows.html
Pro-gun guy writes an editorial for Guns and Ammo suggesting that maybe a little regulation in the form of 16 hours of quality training is a good idea. How was that received? With howls of indignation, promises to cease subscriptions and his ultimate firing. Yay responsible gun owners.
As I've said before, if these idiots were only shooting themselves, then I would be completely behind their agenda of inadvertently improving the gene pool by subtracting themselves from it. But that isn't what happens. More often than not, someone else pays the price for their stupidity.
So, please pardon me if I get a little liberal about who is or is not a responsible gun owner.