Automatic weapons are already heavily controlled through the National Firearms Act. From what I've read, you can't even legally own a receiver for a fully automatic firearm that was made after 1994 as a civilian, even if you go through the NFA. I could be wrong on that, but that's how I understand it. Civilians don't own "assault weapons" legally without going through the NFA. If they do have one and have gone through the NFA, you can bet your buns they aren't using it to commit a crime with.
See this informative you tube video for more information.
It's a complex issue. Canadian firearms ownership is twice as high per capita than the USA, yet the death by gun rate is 10x less, but we are also 10x less populated, we have less density and population strife than the USA. Mind you, most guns up here are hunting rifles, not semis and automatics!
When you look at countries rebelling, like Libya, I am constantly amazed at how armaments so accumulate outside of government... notice how these recent successful rebellions were not necessarily armed? When it comes to rebellion, numbers and popularity are more important than weaponry it seems.
In the end, I think the use of the word gun is inefficient and misleading. All weaponry/arms should to be classified according to lethality and specific regulations passed accordingly for each category. There is I think a tendency in the USA to oversimplify this debate, that is a disservice.
Here's my 2 cents. When people ask me why I carry a gun at all times, my standard response is "Because a cop is too heavy." If I'm in a situation like being robbed, I'm not going to take a chance on a cop who's minutes away in a situation that will be over in mere seconds. Especially where I live. The cops are spread so thin that you will be waiting a while. Shit's too crazy nowadays, and I'd rather have one and not need it than to need it and not have it. And you gotta love the lifetime permits. Regardless of the laws, criminals will always have guns, bar none.
And don't think Uncle Scam won't take them either. They already did in New Orleans during Katrina. It sure was nice of the gubmint to leave all those homeowners defenseless against looters.
Come on Phister, if the brady campaign had their way, that criminal would only have a 10 round clip while you wouldn't have a gun at all on your person, and when they tried to rob you you'd be duty bound to retreat, and he'd only have 10 bullets to try and shoot you with as you were fleeing, until he reloaded the next magazine in 1 to 2 seconds, putting you about 10 to 20 more feet away calling 911 for police assistance who aren't duty bound to protect you (see Castle Rock v. Gonzales, No. 04-278).
You don't think you really need a firearm to protect yourself do you? ;-)
I don't look at it as having power, more of a sense of security. It's not something that I get belligerent about, but it at least gives me a fighting chance. If you just want to let someone rob you, then that's your choice. I'm going to protect myself and people I care about. You think the cops will do any good trying to find him? They can't tell their ass from a hole in the ground.
If I die trying to protect myself or my property from a violent crime then so be it. Why is it ok to tell me I can't have a firearm because I have a higher statistic of dieing due to having that firearm? Is your assertion is that because I have a higher chance of dieing by having a firearm, which I realize is true, means that I shouldn't be allowed to have it? If so, why does this not apply to life in general? We should certainly get rid of motorcycles then. They are nothing but death machines compared to cars. Same with smoking, let's make it illegal. Of course I don't really believe those last two, but it's not a stretch with the logic you are proposing. Who are you to tell people what risks they can or can't take? Better yet, who are you to tell government to use force to tell others what risks they can and can't take?
If someone is willing to take the extra risk of firearm ownership, then why should we stop them?