When two of my three officers came in for xrays this week, they were armed. One of them asked if their weapon would affect the xray machine, so I (quietly) asked one of my instructors. (It didn't.) Afterwards, she told me about working on an officer and being uncomfortable because his weapon was between her and him and she was afraid she would bump in and make it go off....
People, if you really know absolutely NOTHING about guns and have NO experience with handling firearms, go into a gun shop and ask someone to let you handle one and show you the basic features. It will not be loaded, and will often have a locking mechanism to prevent firing even if it was loaded (which it 100% WILL NOT BE.) Once you've handled them, you may realize that not only do most guns have very good safety features (I personally love grip and trigger safeties,) without intent and handling by a PERSON, guns are inert. They are as inherently dangerous as a paperweight. Bumping someone's piece, in the holster, is not going to make it go off. A gun on a table is not going to randomly fire. Like any other weapon, it is harmless unless handled with intent (or ignorance.) The potential for danger does not come from a weapon; it comes from the person handling it. Stupid/angry/crazy people can be just as dangerous with a car, or a 2"x4", or a freakin' pencil, as with most any weapon short of a WMD. Intent, people.
I believe that all people should have a basic knowledge and understanding of firearms before they go all gung-ho get-'em-out. My mother-in-law hated guns until she handled them and learned to use them, and now she has one of her own. I'm not trying to make people rush out and buy a gun... I'm just saying I think people would be much less afraid of them if they really understood them and how to safely operate and manage them. Knowledge dispels fear, and also helps to prevent accidents.
Ok, off my firearms soapbox. I had started this as part of my other entry, but decided it was long and wordy and some people don't even like to talk about guns, so I'd cut it to another entry and give people the choice of reading. My stance, for anyone curious... I'm not a fan of "assault" rifles, I support 100% background checks (including private sales,) mandatory waiting periods, mandatory classes, and licensing of owners, and yes, I am definitely from Texas.