I did not mean to stir up such a firestorm with the first post, so let's try it with a little more clarification and nuance.
I am getting on in years, but though I am a reasonably intelligent individual with a good education and a lot of experience, there are still plenty of things I am woefully uninformed about. I usually but do not always have the sense to keep my mouth shut on these issues. This would separate me from:
• celibate old men who make authoritative pronouncements on the evils of abortion
• privileged whites of either gender making authoritative prounouncements on lazy minorities
• Kossacks who have never touched a gun making authoritative pronouncements on guns and/or gun laws
Now, all of the above may make their statements from a position of sincerity, but sincerity does not make them any more informed or qualified to speak on the issue in question. It is easy enough to be sincerely wrong. So, on the assumption that Daily Kos readers and diarists do have the courage to stand up and be counted for their beliefs, a simple poll.
But first: Everyone is allowed to have an opinion, but that does not mean you have any experience to speak authoritatively on the issue. I have strong opinions on nuclear disarmament, but I do not think I am qualified to sit at the negotiating table or advise the President. Because it is just my opinion. In the wake of Newtown (and elsewhere), parents can be concerned for their children and have strong opinions on guns, but these are not necessarily informed opinions. Since forty percent of Democratic households have guns, an awful lot of liberal/progressive parents may have a different opinion or degree of opinion on guns than those households without guns.
Similarly, if you or someone you know has been the victim of gun violence, you almost certainly have a strong opinion on the issue, but that does not mean it is an informed opinion.
So, to rephrase the poll choices:
1) I have posted, commented on or rec'd blanket pronouncements on issues of guns, gun owners or gun control, but I have done so from a position of opinion or gut feeling rather than any first-hand knowledge or research on that particular aspect of the issue. For instance, speaking up on what specific bits or types or features of guns should be banned without actually knowing what you are talking about. I do not know the technical details of different types of nukes, so even if I dislike nukes, I keep my mouth shut when other people talk about these details. If you have been or know a victim of gun violence, you would be in this category if the events gave you a perfectly justifiable strong opinion, but one which you never followed up on by educating yourself on the various issues. There are a few RKBA diaries at Kos devoted just to educating the non-gun owner about guns. Have you read any of them?
2) I have posted, commented on or rec'd on blanket pronouncements on issues of guns, gun owners or gun control, but I have done so from a position of first-hand knowledge or research on the issue. You do not necessarily own a gun or have owned a gun or used a gun, but the latter is pretty useful to be considered informed. For instance, I doubt Rachel Maddow owns any guns, but she has gone to gun ranges and shot them. That puts her a step ahead in "being informed" over everyone who has absolutely no experience with them. Being in a war zone and having to wear body armor for her own safety, likewise. Take the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence. Presumably they have done some research after the injuries Jim Brady sustained during the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. They have a strong opinion, and they try to back it with hard data rather than just having a strong opinion all by itself. Is this the category you fall into?
3) I have kept my mouth shut and fingers off the keyboard when I have only an opinion I have not done any research on.
Let's see if I can offend fewer people and get a better selection of responses. It was commented in the previous (deleted) diary that I am implying that there is a single class of people qualified to express their opinions on this subject. Yes, I am implying that, at least for blanket statements and specific details, for this and any other subject. Despite what some may think, the purpose of the diary and the poll is not to make people angry that I am saying they shout out things they cannot support with anything other than gut feelings. People do that.
I am just trying to see what fraction of people are doing it on this issue, which is a relevant question, regardless of which side of the issue you are on.