How many lives were saved by the misguided attempt to ban handguns in SF? None.
Sure, handguns can be used to kill people. They also have other uses, such as deterrent, shooting sports, etc. Lots of things can be used to kill people, including buses, trains, cars, scissors, bleach, baseball bats, rope, etc. That doesn't mean it's a good idea to criminalize people for owning, using, or carrying these items. Supporting the idea that government has the right to disarm us for our own good, or for "public safety," threatens not just our right to self defense, but our ability to put cannabis or other substances of our choice into our own bodies. Because the "War on Drugs" is strengthened by the same kind of paternalistic, authoritarian thinking that fuels the "War on Guns."
I'm not sure what you mean by "a completely different perspective constitutionally." The right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) is one of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, as is the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures which is part of what makes Drug Prohibition unconstitutional. Both of these rights were listed in the Constitution because the men who wrote that document understood what an out-of-control government with too much power over people could do. Consequently, they wanted ordinary people to be at least as well-armed as government so that they would have the power to resist tyranny. They didn't even want the U.S. government to have a military except during times of war!
As to those who insist the fact that the Second Amendment is somehow invalidated by the fact that the founders couldn't have anticipated a world with automatic weapons, their logic would destroy the rest of our constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties too. When the founders ratified the First Amendment, they couldn't have anticipated television or the Internet, and when they ratified the Fourth Amendment they couldn't have anticipated jet airplanes being used as bombs. Those who want to destroy our freedom always claim that "circumstances have changed" as a justification for imposing more government control.
Preserving freedom needs to take priority over attempting to save lives, because as Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety,” and letting freedom be eroded will cost many *more* lives in the long run. Just look at the democide that has been committed again and again in countries where people have not been free -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democide.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))