Automatic (and probably semi-automatic) weapons are weapons of war and the general public has as much business in having them as they do a tank or a nuclear warhead. A simple rifle or shotgun is more than adequate for hunting purposes, self-defense or recreation. This would allow people to feel safer (as important as actually being safe) in their own country and their daily lives - something that should be a requirement for a "free" country. As the poster above also mentioned this would have lots of positive effects on gang and spree incidents.
Many people will say "guns are not the problem, people are the problem" and this is true. However unless they have magic ways to make everyone into a reasonable person with no psycopathic tendancies or anger we have to be realistic. Otherwise you can fight for the utopia of freedom where everyone is well-adjusted and gun-toting; just don't think too much of how many will die on your journey there - if you ever reach it...
An effective law forbidding automatic weapons would save lives. It would not keep hunters from hunting, because they never use automatic weapons, which would shred their duck or deer.
It would not keep homeowners and business owners from defending their
property, because they can do so quite adequately with an ordinary single-shot
weapon. It would, however, prevent gangsters from accidentally killing bystanders with overspray when they murder their rivals. It might also prevent spree killers from killing in quantity because they’re mad at an ex-girlfriend or old boss. Too bad Congress is afraid to ban automatic weapons.
An automatic firearm continuously fires rounds as long as the trigger is pressed or held and there is ammunition in the magazine/chamber. In contrast, a semi-automatic firearm fires one round with each individual trigger-pull.
So no they should not pass a law regarding something that is already near impossible to obtain. If you said yes to this question go to your local gun shop and tell the clerk your interested in buying a fully automatic weapon and you will learn how stupid this whole issue is.
An insane mass murder would use any weapon available to them. The media loves to point out the shooters and their guns but tend to overlook the poisoners and their poisons, the stabbers and their knives and shivs, the mad drivers and their cars, the chokers and beaters and their bear hands, and other killers who use different ways to kill people.
Not only that but, criminal are willing to break the law. If Automatic weapons are banned, this would effect law bidding citizens, not criminals, gangs, or thugs. They're free to commit crimes with out fear of the law bidding citizen. Calling the cops might send them to jail, but it won't reverse the killings that would've been all ready committed; and could've been prevented if the victim had a weapon of the same kind of their own.
Congress should not pass a law about automatic weapons. Even though there have been too many high profile shootings in the past year, automatic weapons should be up to the states to regulate and not the federal government. Besides, Congress has way too much on their plate any way- if they had this too, they wouldn't pass it for about 5 years.