Hm. You and I, I think we're working with different definitions. Moving goalposts, for instance:
ME: Assault-style weapons seem to be defined primarily by their effective marketing, which is baked into gun design and promotes a militaristic approach to gun ownership and operation.
YOU: I have NEVER SEEN this marketing of which you speak.
ME: here it is on the gun, as explicitly advertised on the manufacturer's website.
YOU: I have NEVER TAKEN such claims from the website or features of those guns seriously. Also, try to define assault-style weapons, but in a way that's different than how you've already defined them.
Motte and Bailey?
ME: Assault rifles are becoming the weapon of choice for mass shooters.
YOU: prove that AR15s are the weapon of choice for mass shooters.
ME: I didn't say that, as such a claim would be unsupportable. You changed what I said to make your position defensible.
YOU: I win!
It's not that I WON'T engage with your arguments, it's that I CAN'T because you haven't yet leveled any. "I disagree" isn't an argument, it's a basic opinion. "people who don't own guns obviously don't know anything about guns, and thus are unqualified to contribute to the national debate" is kind of like saying "only gun owners should be allowed to speak to and shape policy on gun restrictions," which isn't so much of an argument as it is an absurdity. You're acting as though my inability to map out the differences in firing mechanisms between rifles renders me unfit for debate on policy, which is semantic bullshittery and you know it.
Which brings me to our biggest gulf in definitions: debate. You seem to think that it's sufficient just to lean on all the old semantic talking points that I always see trotted out in these discussions: "assault style can mean anything! you don't know the difference between a clip and a mag! those guns don't even work the same way!" Because it's easier to tout your mechanical knowledge of the tool than to defend the nature or necessity of the tool. You also seem content to constantly call me out as "naive," and then when I repeatedly invite you to develop your argument, start pouting about how I characterize gun owners as "brainwashed psychos," which I never did or even came close to doing. Ever. Explicitly or implicitly. At this point, my best guess is that you've had this argument so many times that you're responding to what you think I'm saying rather than actually examining my argument...?
And FWIW, I never addressed your "prove that previous policy has changed public perception" retort because that's a way larger discussion than just guns, and requires nuance, and this exchange has left me with little faith that we can speak to each other in the language of nuance, or even mutual respect. Which is a basic prerequisite for complex discussions.
Sorry you got bent out of shape over this topic. I do appreciate a lot of what you contribute on this site. I don't believe the above exchange represents the best of what you have to offer.