I'll have a go at this.
1. While I fully support the right to defend your home with a 9mm, shotgun, and other small capacity weapons, I feel like a semi-automatic assault rifle serves no purpose other than carnage. You, as the owner of an assault rifle, purchased that weapon because it offers what advantages, which a 9mm or shotgun does not?
I personally see disadvantages to defending one's home with a rifle, at least in most situations. The problem I have is that in a close quarters tactical situation, it is too easy for your attacker to gain partial control of the weapon by grabbing the barrel. Additionally, rifle rounds can easily penetrate the walls of the home, entering another home and potentially harming a bystander. That said, in situations of civil unrest - which we know DOES occur - the visual intimidation factor and capabilities of the AR-15 or similar weapn can be a very intimidating thing. The intimidation factor alone might mitigate the need to fire the weapon period. I'd much rather someone who intends on causing me harm runs away scared than me having to pull the trigger. I am not someone who you will hear bragging about how I will shoot anyone who harms blah blah blah as if he is looking forward to it. I hope I never have to draw a weapon on another human being, let alone pull the trigger. My stuff is not worth living with the thought that I shot someone, even if it is an intruder. Harm to my family members is another matter.
2. If you are into game hunting, does an assault rifle offer you something that a standard low capacity rifle, or shotgun style weapon does not? If so, what does it offer?
From a hunting perspective, hunting potentially dangerous game, such as wild hog, is a safer activity for the hunter when a large caliber weapon capable of firing multiple shots quickly is used. I would never try to hunt hog with a bolt action rifle, because I can put a .30-06 round into a hog, and it can charge, not giving me time to get a second round re-chambered. I'd much rather have 19 additional rounds at my disposal. That said, the argument can be made of simply shooting accurately, but anyone who hunts will tell you that this is not always possible, because the animal may move in the instant the trigger is pulled or any number of other variables completely outside the control of the shooter. I do not use my semi-automatic rifles for hunting non-dangerous game, such as deer, pronghorn, etc. When I was last in Wyoming hunting pronghorn (yes, with my bolt action .30-06), a bison came into the processor when I was dropping off my game. The bison was taken with a Remington 700 chambered for 7mm Rem Mag. The bison turned, charged the hunter, and gored him in the buttocks with a horn. It put him in the hospital, because it happened quickly enough that the hunter did not have time to rechamber (I wasn't there, I don't know why that was, but that is the story). Luckily, his son was quick with his .270wsm, and managed to shoot the bison again while it was attacking his father. This situation could have been avoided with a semi-automatic rifle.
3. Do you think that going out to shoot game with laws saying you can't have big magazines and semi-automatic rifles would be worth even the possibility that just one life would be saved? Or do you feel it's the status quo, and people will die anyways, why should my hunting be affected?
I have a hard time believing that if someone wanted to harm just ONE person, that the lack of a semi-automatic rifle with a large magazine would deter them. Therefore, this question is faulty.
I also know that for every person that commits one of these unspeakable acts, there are millions people out there with the same type of weapons. Those people and those weapons have never, are not, and will never be party to these acts. The value of human life is immeasurable, but at the same time, the value of freedoms and liberties is also immeasurable. I do not see how two immeasurable things can be effectively compared, outside the realm of personal opinion. What I do know is that there is no clear evidence to suggest that gun control will solve anything. What we have is a people problem, not a gun problem. Everyone could own any weapon they wanted and there would be no problem if people wouldn't use them for these atrocities.
At the risk of sounding indifferent to the tragic side of things, liberties and freedoms have immeasurable value to those that cherish them. For those that do not mind surrendering them willingly to the government in the name of security (made up term by the way), perhaps it easy to make a comparison.
4. Lastly, I know a lot of NRA'ers are scared that "it's a slippery slope" when it comes to this. You start with assault rifles, but where does it stop? Before you know it, they outlaw all guns, and it's just the criminals, nutjobs, and government who have weapons while law abiding citizens will ultimately be the ones who get screwed. Is this a genuine concern?
I'd say it's definitely a genuine concern. Again, the problem is not the guns, it's people who are using them in this way. The "assault rifles" are the weapon being used most often simply because it is what is most efficient and because it's available. If they are taken away, these acts will still be committed, just with other weapons. Lest we forget that some of the most horrific mass killings in this country's history, such as Oklahoma City and 9/11, were committed without the use of guns. 9/11 is a good example. Guns were not available, but it didn't stop the crimes, they used the most efficient weapon that they could use at that time and place, box cutters. It serves as an example that if we don't address why the killings are taking place, and instead only focus on what was used to do them, we are not really solving the problem. If we don't solve the problem, and only ever look at this from a gun control perspective, then the only continual solution is to keep banning more and more weapons. First all guns, then it'll go from there. The acts are the problem, not the tools.
And also, do you believe that one day, you may actually need an assault rifle to fend off the government, or government troops, and that the second amendment gives you that right?
Actually, I believe that the founding fathers, if nothing else, intended the 2nd amendment specifically for this purpose. This country was established for a number of reasons, the biggest of which was to escape the tyranny of King George III. The framers set out to ensure that this sort of thing never happened again. To quote the declaration of independence:
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Our system of government is all about checks and balances. Their intent was that an armed populace served to counter the potential evolution of our government into a tyrannical one.
Do I think it is likely to have an all out war between our citizens and the armed forces? No. However, I do believe that the right of the people to bear arms for that purpose is specifically enumerated in the 2nd amendment. Of course, there is also the fact that the amount of small arms registered in this country serves as a deterent to other nations as well. Ask yourself, would Germany have invaded Poland if they had the number of armed citizens that we do?
Discounting those possibilites as unlikely to the point of being unconcerned or unprepared for it is as much your right as it is mine to be concerned and prepared. However, it is not your right to try to take away those rights because you think you know better.