You normally take delight in disagreeing with others on here. Even if I don't agree with your views a lot of the time, your comments usually have the merit of being well thought out. Your comment above was nothing short of disgusting in the wake of a tragedy like this.
If I really have to answer your questions - No, I don't think there is any need for automatic weapons either for home defence or hunting. That still doesn't make it acceptable for someone with a weapon he may or may not have held legally to do what he did.
Whether or not you have sympathy for the Americans doesn't even come into this.
You can be disgusted at my comments..., and I'll be disgusted that a nation's attitude to guns and their government's continuing impotence at protecting it's own citizens.