I'm all for law-abiding, mentally competent citizens having whatever shotgun, rifle or pistol they feel is necessary for home protection, hunting, etc. When farmers in North Dakota, my original home state, couldn't hunt deer during and immediately after World War II, the deer population got out of hand and were destroying crops, hay, etc. As soon as a hunting season was declared and ammunition was handy, the over-population problem went away. There are still lots of deer in North Dakota, but a yearly regulated hunting season keeps the population in check.
You don't go hunting that 12-point buck with an assault rifle. A bolt-action rifle with a moderate ammunition clip suffices just fine. Even a slug-loaded shotgun will do. People aren't contemplating hunting animals when they buy assault rifles. What's in their heads is the possibility of hunting people they regard as enemies and/or threats or nuisances.
That's where the "assault" part and the multiple round clips come in.
A lady who attended one of our free-thought get-togethers summed it up succinctly when she stated that we need them to protect ourselves against "the government." Our group doesn't endorse that kind of thinking and she hasn't been seen again. I think she was looking for something much more anarchical than our opposition to religious and philosophical despotism.
There is an undertone of suspicion in the minds of too many Americans. They regard "governemnt" with a jaundiced eye, forgetting that the government is us and is controlled by those we elect. They're absolutely convinced that there is some grand conspiracy to impose a dictatorship on all of us and that dictatorship comprises anything with which they happen to disagree.
If the government doesn't go along with what they demand, they dream that they can take to the hills and trenches and forceably supplant it with the "freedom" of their government -- which would be the real dictatorship. Their 'Ramboesque" dream is made all the more erotic by holding that marvel of assault power in their hands. They might not be all that well endowed down below but that assault rifle is a mightly potent phallic symbol -- in their fantasies. Real he-man stuff! (I haven't quite figured out the basic appeal to some women.)
We have enough problems to deal with in countering foreign terrorists. The last thing we need is a Middle Eastern style civil war erupting in our own nation. Our problems need to be hashed out in legislatures, not battlefronts. We haven't totally recovered from the effects of our last civil war, a century and a half ago. We don't need crazies bringing on another bloodbath while they sacrifice themselves to jet aircraft, missiles, drones -- you get the picture -- and tear our beloved nation apart, making our international position all the more perilous.
It's time for reason and cooperation, not assault!