There is a tendency on the American "right to bear arms" debate to simplify the sides to "more order, more regulation" and "more freedom, more weapons." But there are several kinds of firearm restriction:
1.) Weapons restrictions - prohibiting weapons that fire automatically, semiautomatically, beyond a certain caliber, or prohibting broader categories of guns such as rifles, shotguns, pistols, machine guns, and howitzers (exploding shells).
2.) Ownership restrictions - prohibiting certain kinds of people, like mental patients and former criminals, from owning weapons.
3.) Usage/Carrying restrictions - prohibiting weapons in certain areas and under the influence of drugs, alcohol, et cetera. Might theoretically also include certain weather conditions, like fog, or certain seasons to prevent poaching out of season in forested areas.
Even the most ardent/extremist gun rights activist (like me) would generally support some degree of (2). (3) would be acceptable in certain kinds of places to nearly everyone, including me, though for me the list may not be as extensive as some would require. It is (1), the debate of the kind of guns you can own, that generally is the source of debate.
The trouble with the debate on (1) is that the result of banning assault weapons is to make single individuals helpless against a mob. There is a reason why infantry began fighting in smaller squads once assault weapons came out. The less abillity to spray fire that a particular gun grants, the more limited you are in your abillity to engage groups.
Now, it is true that most of the time the criminal would win anyways, but if an innocent had even a 10% chance of defeating his assailants with his assault weapon, innocents would, as a corporate, have the edge, as an innocent must only face this situation, at most, once every few months, even in the worst parts of town, but said streetgang will likely have to face this every night, meaning that, on average, they die in 10 days!
It should be noted, however, that this situation only works well if some degree of semi-millitary training is required for all participants in assault weapon ownership, as it is in most countries (like Switzerland) that allow such. This also provides a great opportunity to catch criminals, as they need only make one slip of the tongue or act suspiciously once during training to become automatic suspects. The training would be funded, of course, through an assault weapons ownership fee and held at local police departments.
(Howitzers, however, may create too much spray and property damage potential, and there is nothing that can be done with a howitzer in a normal person-to-person setting that could not be done with an assault rifle much more safely.)