As this conversation has evolved, I have expanded my thinking on my original subject and now I am amending my first post to include this new question. I include this to attempt to bring my point into focus.
What do we NEED Semi Auto for?
I asked myself this question and realized that I couldn't come up with a specific answer.
The answer is, we don't NEED it, we WANT it, yet we are allowed to have Semi Auto.This is important to note, because it speaks to the reason why we have the 2nd A.. If we can identify WHY we NEED SA, then the issue of "Are we entitled to easier FA access" becomes much easier.
As I opined in an earlier post, there are only so many reasons that could have existed in the minds of the founding fathers for inserting the 2nd A. Since we all have different theories about the context of the 2nd A. and why the FF inserted it into the US Const. the only way to gather consensus is to put all the issues into a group and agree that these issues are ALL the possible reasons why the 2nd A. was inserted.
Then once those reason are compiled, we need to ask "Do we need Semi Auto for this?"
First, lets look to the reasons for 2nd A. insertion:
1. Sporting/Hunting - This category includes target shooting, skeet shooting, hunting and similar.
Is Semi Auto NEEDED? The answer is "no". Manually cycled actions can be used (even preferred) for many target shooting events. Pump action shotguns are great for clay pigeons and revolvers can be used for anything requiring higher ROF.
2. Self defense from non-governmental aggressors (I.e. criminals) - Most would agree that a shotgun is a very effective self defense tool for the home, office or vehicle. Revolvers are still favored by many over semi autos for their reliability in a CCW situation. Thus, making a case for NEEDING a semi auto in the SD category is possible, but the argument is not strong.
As I see it, the best argument is the incredibly poor accuracy that afflicts most shooters in a real, life and death situation. Thus, for most citizens, having the ability to "Shoot till the target is hit" could provide some argument for the need for higher capacity semi autos. Still, some wheel guns can hold 8 rounds (Equivalent to some single stack Semi Autos).
3. Deterrence against governmental aggressors (Foreign or domestic). - This is of course the "Insurrectionist" theory. I.e. that the founding fathers intended the 2nd A. to be a last line of defense against an encroaching domestic government OR a compliment/supplement to the existing (small) standing army against a foreign force.
IF this (reason #3) was at least ONE of the reasons for 2nd A. insertion, then the argument for civilian ownership of Semi Auto becomes very strong.
Here is why this is so critically relevant; If the 3rd theory is accepted as being at least ONE of the reasons for 2nd A. insertion then the reason for civilian firearms ownership is to deter GOVERNMENT FORCES (Again, domestic or foreign).
To be an effective deterrent against government forces, the civilian force should have weapons that are capable of being a sufficient deterrent to government forces. Many government forces have full auto. If full auto is superior in any form to semi auto, then the government would only be deterred by civilians possessing full auto. (Hit rate aside, the ROF is superior to semis)
Hence, if the 3rd theory is correct, then full auto would be fully protected by the 2nd A.
If FA is fully protected by the 2nd A. then the strict limitations imposed upon its ownership might be unlawful. I.e. unconstitutional in the same way as the D.C. firearms regulations were deemed unlawful. (I.e. not officially prohibiting them, but making it so difficult that ownership was severely limited).
In addition, the issue of whether the FA guns are "More likely" to cause more or more severe collateral damage is not truly relevant. Not because its not important (No one wants collateral damage) but because, the issue isn't about collateral damage.
The issue is whether we as American Citizens are ENTITLED TO OWN FA in much the same way as we own Semi Auto guns now under the 2nd A. (I know, it is possible to own FA).
Hence, "More lethal, less lethal", or "trained or not trained", "accurate or less accurate" is as relevant to FA as it is to SA. In other words, its not relevant to legal civilian ownership.
(Ex. you walk into your local gun shop and ask to buy that new Mini 14 hanging on the wall. The gun shop does not ask you if you are trained to use a semi auto, given the increased ROF and the fact that it is capable of firing many rounds quickly.)
I mean this with ALL POSSIBLE RESPECT for all of you. You are all obviously quite intelligent and undoubtedly many of you have much more experience, wisdom and perhaps even knowledge than myself. That said, I am not afraid being proved wrong, but I am equally unafraid to stand firm when I am convinced I am correct.
For me this academic, not personal and I know you all probably feel the same way.