Dear Mr. Stacey;
You have fallen for the anti-gun lies of the liberal media and politicians. Most of their "facts" are outright lies.
The so-called Assault Rifles ARE NOT Assault Rifles. Assault Rifles are full automatic/semi-automatic select fire. The so-called assault rifles function in only semi-automatic mode, and thus function exactly like common hunting rifles, and only look like the true assault rifles, being black and looking mean! I have one, and use it for target shooting, and have found it to be one of the most accurate rifles I have ever shot, and I grew up with a rifle in my hand from the age of 8. They are used all over the US in rifle competitions, and also for hunting varmints. You stated that you have never heard of one being used to stop a crime. You need to do a little research, as they have been used in self defense many times! The liberal media just doesn't want to publicize that! Check with the NRA, of which I am a life member.
At the very least, you should talk to a knowledgeable gun expert, such as someone at Noonday Trader, Lock and Load, or even someone at Academy or Gander Mountain. Find out the truth about the "assault rifles": They are not generally used for big game hunting, as most states have regulations about the size, or caliber of rifle you can use. These guns are .223 caliber, or less than 1/4" bullets. The AR-15 designation is mis-applied as meaning Assault Rifle. Actually AR-15 means Armalite Corporation Model 15, but the designation has been applied to a general class of guns made by many different manufacturers. Armalite Corp. first designed the AR-10, which was .30 caliber.
The Army wanted a smaller caliber rifle for it's poorly trained infantrymen so they could carry a lot of lightweight ammo. I was a Captain in the US Army, and served in Vietnam for 18 months. I started out as a Private, and the Army really doesn't teach fundamentals of shooting, like they did in WWII, or the Korean War. They are taking city kids and training them to shoot by spraying a lot of rounds in the general direction of the enemy. In WWII, most of the infantrymen were farm kids who grew up with rifles in their hands like I did, and could shoot accurately, and actually aimed at their target.
Yes, Newtown was a tragedy, but gun control is not the answer. The answer is people control, by putting the crazy people away, and banning the violent video games, and movies. These games and movies have deadened the children morals today to violence. It seems to be a game to them. Guns are not toys. My son never had a toy gun, and I would not give him one. He did have a .22 to learn to shoot with, and was taught shooting safety. I taught many handgun classes on gun safety, sponsored by the NRA, mostly to women. The NRA is also not to blame.