Educated estimates show that around 1000 death last year were criminals who were shot in self defense.
I wonder how many people lived because those criminals weren't running around. No less than a 1:1 ratio, and most definitely more.
Compare this to the 32k+ deaths that were a result of gun related suicides/homicides last year.
I'd be careful including suicides in this number. Knives, buildings, bridges, and pills are just as deadly to someone intent on ending their own life.
Why is it so hard to realize that the tool used to commit murder is nowhere near the main issue? If someone wants to kill someone, and their isn't a gun available, you think they just say "oh well" and move one?
In the 50 years you estimate it would take to get rid of guns, how many people do you think would be killed with guns in the hands of criminals in the meantime, partially due to the fact that the victim obeyed the law? I guess you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, eh?