He is right but I think the next AWB attempt will include the Mini-14 and will be pointed more at capability and not looks. I have heard Carolyn McCarthy say that as well.
Then they will have to ban any semiautomatic rifle that takes a detachable magazine. That's all the mini-14 really is. It's a .223 rifle which accepts a detachable magazine. It has no other "cosmetic features" which would make it an assault weapon.
I agree with you that they will try to include the mini-14 to take away the arguement that banning AR-15's while not banning the mini-14 is pointless. But then they start trampling on the rights of the "sporting arms" gun owners. This could help to unify more gun owners.
I also think that they will eventually run up against some opposition at the USSC if they try to ban the mini-14, as it is no different from other semi automatic rifles out there. It has no flash suppressor, bayonet lug, pistol grip, etc. It's a common "sporting" rifle, at least in my opinion, whatever that's worth.
We will have to fight hard against a new assault weapons ban when they get ready to try and ram it through. They are biding their time for now, but they are also planning. The Mexican Drug cartel issue is just one piece of that plan. They will continue to lump any crime where a semiautomatic firearm is used into a call for a new assault weapons ban. The media will carry their water for them. They hope to eventually have the political winds blowing in the right direction to enable them to strike. I have no doubts as to if, but I don't know just when.