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I'm late to this thread (TMF has been especially problematic for me lately, I can't be the only one no?)... but I'll say this:

I agree that this situation is a good example of why the Founding Fathers insisted upon the government recognizing our inherent (and ancient) right to keep and bear arms. The "security of a free state" is, frankly, up to each and every individual to help uphold... and the ability of each and every citizen to uphold it is contingent upon their being armed with the weaponry necessary to do so if need be. The existence of professional soldiers/police/national guard does not eliminate this fact since there simply aren't enough solders/cops/guardsmen to protect every square inch of this vast land and/or each individual citizen 24/7/365. In fact it is well-established legally that they (the police, et al) have NO expectation/responsibility to protect each individual, or else you could sue the state every time you were the victim of a crime (our your estate could if you didn't survive said crime).

It's your responsibility and duty to protect yourself, it is thus a violation of your rights for your government to deprive you of the most effective means of doing so and in a case where the agents of the state won't approach a specific individual or group without (at the very least) semi-automatic rifles that's proof positive that you shouldn't be expected to defend yourself from them with any less. If you don't "need" it neither do they. They obviously do, thus so do you.

If you use it irresponsibly, hey, you lose your right to it, fine, whatever. But that should be the criteria... irresponsible USE, not a need to prove you have the right (it's inherent unless you've ceded it) or a need (the state just proved a need).

If we can start from that understanding then perhaps we can work out the arguments about background checks (which are already far more universal than made out to be, but I digress) and the like. Some things would have to come off the table (bans on semi-auto weapons for instance), but those are pretty much impossible to enact anyway so I don't think it's all that hard of a concession to make. But we aren't there yet... if we were Feinstein would have been told to pound sand on her bill from day one.

Contrary to popular belief I care far more about the inherent right being defended than my being able to obtain said firearms personally. I can and will be able to regardless of what hoops are tossed up short of outright bans, that isn't my gripe at all. It isn't about me. It's about the millions of other Americans who have the same right that so many appear to be dead-set on de facto depriving them of via legislation. In fact I'm not personally a fan of loud things in general... a rather odd situation for a "gun nut"... if anything I'm a "freedom nut" in this argument. I've read the historical documents going back to Aristotle... one would have to prove to me the entire concept of Western Civilization is flawed in order to get me to agree to anything less than full support of our right to keep and bear arms. I'm biased as hell, but with a lot of evidence in my corner. :-)
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