"It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection."
The NYT mentions "insurrection"--why do liberals refuse to believe that citizens should be able to resist the government if it becomes oppressive? Aren't these the same liberals who loved to "question authority" in the 1960s and who constantly whine these days about what they see as the excesses of the police?
The real reason for the Second Amendment is this: guns aren't important to have for target practice, or duck hunting, or even personal self-defense against criminals. Those reasons are all well and good, but it's really for potential use against the government that matters. If the Second Amendment were repealed tomorrow, Americans would still have the right to keep and bear arms since this right wasn't generated by the Constitution--it pre-dates the Constitution and even America itself.
At this point, liberals usually say that you can't fight the government anyway since they have tanks and planes. Well, that's why you don't shoot at the tanks and planes...you engage in guerrilla warfare--you opportunistically hit targets of value to the regime and escape and evade, staying mobile, and blend back into the civilian population until the government's accountants can't take any more losses (the same way the Iraqis recently waged their campaign against U.S. forces).
Liberals can't stand this line of thinking. They hate the idea that individual people have an ultimate "veto power" over the policies the NYT "democratically elects" for us. But that power is there, and it always will be, regardless of any editorials the media writes or any laws any government passes.