From what i understand, the idea behind the gun rights in America are because they think that civilians should be able to defend against the government. (And probably also for personal protection against other people. )
Sometimes governments can turn against the people so you need a gun to keep some power.
Why are governments powerful in the first place? It's because they have a monopoly on violence against their own people. The strongest always wins.
Flexible gun laws are good. We need these gun laws here in Europe. It would be a much safer place. It makes no sense to make guns illegal or hard to get because criminals will buy them anyway. You are mostly just taking the right away from civilians to defend their selves.
I don't get why people/governments think that banning anything will help. Like everyone will suddenly be peaceful.
My guess would be when we were being ruled by a tyrannical monarchy and we needed to find a way to protect ourselves and our property. After that, who knows... I really think it is more political than anything else. I think it has less to do with the fact that anyone wants or needs an assault rifle, but the party they don't support doesn't like them so they think they need to have like fifteen of them. It is pretty juvenile and pathetic in my opinion. Own several guns. I think healthy, law abiding citizens should be able to own them. I don't think anyone needs an assault rifle though...
Guns are just machines, designed with one purpose in mind - to propel a projectile at high speed. What folks do with them is a different thing.
Living outside of the US, I find the love of them that we often see as obscene. The most common thing that we hear is that the right to bear arms is enshrined!(!) in one of your ammendments. Looking at things though, that right was given in a time of war, cwhete the population was small and sparse compared to now and people needed guns to survive. It's a very different world now and demanding the right to bear a weapon is as crazy as a kid demanding the latest toy.
It's sad that the largest and most warlike nation feels that its citizens need weapons.