My young friend at the Rightsided blog has found the answer to my question about why someone would “have a reasonable need for weapons that fire multiple bullets in a second or why they have a reasonable need for extended clips or magazines, or why they need dozens of weapons that are capable of the above”:
The Los Angeles riots.
During a full-scale riot, some people might want to loot your store. But this definitively proves that they won’t loot your store if you and your friends have guns and are staked out on the roof.
I’ll begin by agreeing that this is an excellent argument in favor of gun ownership. The L.A. riots don’t happen very often but, when they do, you want to be prepared.
What this isn’t, though, is an argument for "weapons that fire multiple bullets in a second or … extended clips or magazines, or … dozens of weapons that are capable of the above."
And that’s true not only because most of the people who were defending the store were clearly armed with regular old shotguns and rifles. It’s also true because they were defending their store against looters who were unarmed.
If you want to keep a shotgun in your place of business to defend your possessions against rioters? Well, be my guest. I’m not out to ban regular old shotguns. Most rioters are looking for an easy target, not to get into a firefight. Up on your roof, with your shotgun, you’re demonstrating that your place of business isn’t an easy target. They’ll probably move along … especially if your friends have shotguns too.
There’s no difference between brandishing a shotgun against an unarmed group of looters and brandishing a semi-automatic pistol with an extended clip. Either one seems pretty capable of deterring an unarmed looter, especially when there are other stores without shotgun-wielding owners on the roof.
The big difference is that the shotgun is very, very unlikely ever to be repurposed for a mass shooting and the semi-automatic pistol or rifle with extended clip or magazine is … well … look around.