Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog
I haven't seen much about the weapon used in CT yet, except reference to a .223 rifle. Given the number killed, there's a good chance this guy was armed similarly to the Aurora shooter - an assault rifle with a large magazine.
Even if it's not the case here, large magazines in high-powered rifles have clearly upped the carnage that shooters were able to inflict in recent attacks. (Compare the Giffords shooting - handgun - to Aurora - AR15 w/ drum magazine.)
In my experience, though, even many die-hard gun owners (like my dad) understand that you don't need this kind of armament for any vaguely rational gun-owning purpose like home defense or hunting. In fact there's lots of guidance from gun experts (or gun nuts, depending on your perspective), that a standard handgun or shotgun is more effective if you're concerned about a home invasion situation.
Really, the ONLY justification for these assault rifles and large magazines (other then the malicious intent to kill a lot of people quickly), is if you truly believe the delusion that we have to be prepared to one day fight off the oppressing might of the US military and/or UN, "Turner Diaries"-style.
I think the fact that these types of weapons are much less defensible creates, if not a good opportunity, at least the best we have to drive a wedge between the large gun-owning public and the far-right fanatics, and make near-future policy progress here. And banning these weapons would, while certainly not ending all shootings, dramatically reduce crazy people's capacity to commit large-scale massacres.