Those who fail to learn history are condemned to repeat it — usually in summer school.
The argument that the Second Amendment applied only to a narrow range of contemporary arms is no different than arguing that the First Amendment applies only to the unamplified spoken word (non-mechanical, non-electronic megaphones allowed) or the freedom to worship any Protestant faith but none other.
In the time of the nations founding, “arms” meant the entire panoply of weapons. This included swords, pikes, spears, bows, daggers, pistols, rifles, muskets, cannon, rockets and bombs. Firearms known to the Founding Fathers included not only the musket but the British Ferguson breech-loading rifle. It was superior to the Brown Bess but was expensive and time-consuming to make. Also available at the time was the Girandoni repeating rifle, in use by the Austrian army. It wasn’t just rifles, either: the seven-shot Lorenzoni repeating pistol was introduced 100 years before the Declaration of Independence.
James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights and the last surviving signatory to the U.S. Constitution, saw the development of the Collier flintlock revolver, the percussion cap, the pepperbox pistol and died four months after Samuel Colt introduced the Paterson revolver.
Weapons were evolving during the lifetimes of the framers of our nation’s legal framework. They embraced the change: Thomas Jefferson purchased two of the Girandoni repeating rifles for the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
Can you honestly believe that the visionaries that produced our government and enshrined rights that the citizens of no other country enjoyed thought that technology ended with them?
Americans have been able to buy semi-automatic firearms since 1896. Semi-automatic pistols with detachable magazines came along in 1900. The first commercially successful semi-automatic rifle was the Winchester 1903. In 1911, Remington introduced the magazine-fed Model 8 and magazines with capacities of up to 20 rounds were available. These were offered to civilians and police years before the U.S. Army adopted a semi-automatic rifle. The Remington Model 8 was very popular: more than 80,000 were sold before it was replaced with the Model 81 in 1936.
Eugene Stoner developed the Armalite Rifle (AR) in the 1950s as a replacement for the M1 Garand. The original design, which is now the AR-10, was a huge advance over existing rifles. It was less costly to produce and easily maintained. The recoil buffer system allowed for reduced recoil and the pistol grip was ergonomically superior. The flexibility of the platform allowed Jim Sullivan to shrink the AR-10 down to the AR-15.
One of the biggest advantages of the AR design is its modularity. It is easy ot change the caliber of the rifle by simply changing the barrel, although most people change the entire upper assembly. This makes it a superb rifle for hunters because the same basic rifle receiver can be used for hunting different types of game. The standard .223 can be used for varmints, the .300 AAC Blackout can be used for feral hogs, such as javelina, and smaller deer. The larger AR-10 can be equipped with uppers to fire the .308 Winchester, which is the most popular deer caliber in North America, or more powerful rounds suitable for bull elk.
The .223 cartridge is well-suited to home defense for the simple reason that it is less likely to penetrate interior walls than 00 buckshot or even many handgun rounds. It tends to break up instead of penetrating and there are various cartridges on the market that ensure overpenetration isn’t an issue.
You claim to be a veteran and a former law enforcement officer. Do you recall an oath that you took upon entry to the military service? Do you recall any exclusions to that oath, such as “only the stuff I like” or something similar?
You have no standing to dictate what someone might need or even want in the way of a firearm — for any lawful purpose. You are more than welcome to determine your own needs and wants but your freedom ends there.