Undercover explained some of what I wanted to point out. An assault weapon by definition must have the capability to select between fully automatic(machine gun) and semi-automatic fire. The trigger must be pulled for each shot in semi-automatic fire while in full auto the trigger is pulled once for multiple shots until the trigger is released. Fully automatic weapons have been strictly regulated since the early 1930's. Regulated full auto weapons for restricted civilian use are very rare and expensive with even the lowest priced ones being in the $3000.00 range not to mention the Class 3 taxes which must be paid even if you are approved and can find one for sale.
By definition the weapons used by these shooters so far have NOT been assault weapons but merely cosmetic copies. These rifles look like military weapons but do not fully function like them and, in fact, are missing key components needed to make them select fire. Any semi-automatic rifle functions in basically the same way as they fire each time the trigger is pulled one shot at a time until the magazine is empty. I hear the term "heavy weapons" or "large caliber" thrown around when the media talks about this subject but these are untrue as well. These weapons, even when in military configuration, are classified as small arms and the ammunition is actually much smaller and less powerful than most common hunting rounds. Even small .22 bullets can kill you so most of the descriptions from the media or politicians describing how deadly these bullets are is simply an exaggeration since all bullets and rifles can be deadly, especially when shooting densly packed children at less than 20 feet. In the case of shooting children or adults trapped in a room while holding them at bay with multiple weapons even bolt action or pump action weapons would be devestating so I'm not sure how the high capacity magazines are an issue either, most especially since the shooter had no intention of making it out alive.
Banning cosmetic military gun look-alikes would not "solve" the problem since any semi-auto gun would be just as deadly which is why most countries that impliment strict gun restrictions allow only single shot weapons which is what the gun control crowd will continue to push for if not a complete ban on civilian ownership of any and all firearms. Any gun of any type in the hands of a crazed killer who does not care if they get out alive or not are as dangerous as any other chosen weapons used by crazed suicidal killers bent on killing randomly using motor vehicles, petrol bombs, or any other items a sick mind can envision being used for destructive purposes.
The assault weapons bans implemented in the 1990's had no effect on violent crime according to government statistics so any future bans are purely emotional-feel-good-laws which do not address complex and perhaps unsovable problems like predicting who is a nut job killer who might snap at any moment and randomly kill strangers for no good reason. Murder rates using various methods are similar for most countries, it is only when specific killing methods are used such as gun-deaths, that the U.S.A. has a greater comparible number than other countries but dead is dead no matter the tools used.
It is also wise to keep in mind that the greatest mass murders by any measure have always been commited by governments throughout all of history both before and after the invention of firearms. The primary purpose for the 2nd amedment was for individuals to have access to weapons so that the government did not have a monopoly on deadly force. When civillians are unarmed we know what Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and numerous other governments tend to do with their unlimited powers. I'll take my chances with a few individual wackos against the monster of government any day.
I don't even want imagine how hard it is to lose your child to such random madness. I really wish we knew how to stop it but crazy murderous humans are much like natural disasters or accidents that take lives without any warning and which cannot be legislated away.