I had a friend tell me the same thing a few years ago. She's not wildly anti-gun, just someone who doesn't know much about them, and who'd believed the nonsense that was spewed around the last AWB.
I tried to explain the difference between automatic and semi-automatic, but I don't think she really wanted to hear it.
"Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."
(Milan Kundera, Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 1980)