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Assault Weapons Ban

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/20/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 958 times Debate No: 63599
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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I will be arguing against a ban on so called "Assault Weapons" with rational arguments based on facts and science, and not hide behind the second amendment. I believe that people who respond to proposals to ban AR-15's or anything like that with "God says I need one!" or "You can't ban any guns or pass any regulations" or "I need machine guns to fight the government!" to be ignorant. Well, not really, because I can't judge someone I have never met, but it is an ignorant and counterproductive argument for gun rights. Please stop using it. Why? It is essentially telling your opponent that yes, you are talking about powerful machine guns, and yes, that it would reduce crime to pass such a law, but that you don't care and the law would still somehow be morally wrong to pass even if it would save lives. Anyway, I will respond to all these points in my debate.

My opponent is free to begin with his or her arguments. Thank you!



Let me begin by saying that in defense of a home, nothing more than a handgun is needed. Gauging the defense capability is not by the size of the gun/bullet, but the skill of the person.

I will not argue that Americans have the right to bear arms...but I will argue that assault rifles are NOT necessary. There is no need. The only reason someone would want an operational assault rifle is to cause inhumane damage to whoever or whatever they're aiming at. I personally would also rather have a Glock than an AK-47 against a burglar. Just a thought.

It wouldn't reduce crime to pass such a law, but it would make it a LOT easier to stop the person with the gun if they intended to do illegal damage with it. Anyone can use any gun to kill someone. The model does not matter. However, for the reason being that the majority of people who would even want an assault weapon in their household would probably want it for reasons other than home defense.

Basically, unless someone has a small army looking for them, it is not necessary.

Thank you. :)
Debate Round No. 1


My proponent is forrest in stating that a handgun can be used to defend a home, but he does not explain why a rifle of any sort should not be used. Many rifles in fact fire smaller bullets than many handguns. The gun used for any purpose should be the choice of the person using it.

My opponent may say that assault rifles are not necessary, but there are several problems with this claim. Firstly, virtually no one outside of the police or military owns an assault rifle. Assault rifles are by definition select-fire, which means they can be switched to fire as a machine gun. These have been banned from manufacture since 1986, currently demanding obscenely high prices to buy, in the range of 20-30,000 dollars for an M-16 assault rifle. They are also accompanied by numerous registration processes and extensive background checks and a special tax stamp under the NFA.

What he is referring to in actuality are simply civilian semi-automatic rifles. Any AK-47 that a civilian owns in the US is semi-automatic, which means it is not a machine gun. It fires one shot per trigger pull, just like any handgun, such as the Glock my opponent referenced as an acceptable firearm. It loads from a detachable magazine, which can vary in size. Rifles can be loaded with any imaginable size of magazine, from 5, 10, 20, 30, 50, to 100 rounds, just like a Glock. Many large magazines are available for both semi-automatic rifles and handguns. The AK-47 also fires a cartridge similar in power and size to an average deer hunting rifle. Approximately .308 caliber.

AK-47's, AR-15's, and such rifles as these are commonly used for collecting or for target shooting, or in some setups, for hunting. Once again, hunters only are able to fire one shot at a time from these guns, and usually do, to avoid wasting ammunition. The image of a hunter spraying a deer with machine gun fire is completely inaccurate when portraying hunting with an AR-15. The damage is the same as from the bullet fired from any other rifle, no matter how the gun may look.

My opponent is correct in that it would not reduce crime to pass an assault weapons ban, as was demonstrated by the 1994 bill, which has never been shown to have had a negative effect on violent crime.

What my opponent calls assault weapons are technically rifles, and function as rifles. Rifles of ANY KIND are used in a tiny fraction of gun-related violent crime, and only some rifles would be commonly classified as assault weapons due to their appearance.

I believe my opponent is referring to mass shootings being perpetrated using an AR-15 or other rifle, and I will clarify this by saying that the majority of mass shootings are committed using semi-automatic handguns. Few are committed with rifles of any kind. In fact, they are not even shown to be particularly deadly. The most deadly attacks in history such as the Norway attacks or Virginia tech shooting were committed, respectively, with a rifle specifically EXEMPTED in the proposed assault weapons ban, and a handgun.

For these reasons, I am against any ban on so called "assault weapons".


"Firstly, virtually no one outside of the police or military owns an assault rifle."

This is doing nothing but proving my point. They own these types of weapons because they actually use them correctly. They are used for either the defense of a country or the defense of a town. Neither of these on on the tiny scale that is a home. Therefore, any ONE citizen should not own one.

You mentioned how easy it is to change the clip size, caliber, and fire rate of an assault weapon. This is all the more reason NOT to allow them, this is because if only semi-automatic AK's were legal, then wouldn't that mean that they could illegally change them easily?

Also, anyone with thirty grand to spare on something like a gun can also probably afford security if they feel threatened.

Also, might I add, the bodyguards in the link are perfectly capable of protecting someone with their pistol, just like the secret service on a normal day of protecting the executive politicians.

Argument 1

These big, bulky guns were not created for the purpose of being kept in a household. They were designed for war, or something of the equivalent chaos. There is nothing to support the idea of weapons of WAR being legal in a residential area.

Argument 2

You also stated that assault rifles are only used In a fraction of shootings. The statistic does not matter. It is still an unnecessary shooting and very possibly death. Why would we allow that to stay? Any crime removed from society is a good thing, whether it is a small fraction or not.

Thank you for your participation :)
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent has civilian and police weapons confused. The weapons the police use ARE NOT OWNED BY CIVILIANS. I am not saying that not very many civilians use them, I am saying that NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO OWN THEM UNDER CURRENT LAW.

The police and military use FULLY AUTOMATIC ASSAULT RIFLES.

Civilians can virtually only own SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLES.

Assault rifles are by definition fully automatic, and thus the term can not be used to describe semi-automatic AR-15's or AK-47 variants that can currently be bought and sold by civilians.

My opponent may believe that machine guns should not be owned by civilians, and then he should be glad because civilians are ALREADY for all intents and purposes prohibited from buying one.

I did not describe any firearm as an "assault weapon". I said that it is possible to change the magazine of any rifle with equivalent speed as a pistol magazine, and thus in terms of magazine capabilities,
what my opponent is calling "assault weapons" are FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL to the pistols he believes are acceptable.

Again, my opponent is confused on what the term "assault weapon" refers to. It does not refer to fully automatic machine guns, which are the guns that run huge price tags. These are not the subject of the argument.
It refers to semi-automatic look-alike firearms that fire ONE shot per pull of the trigger just like a handgun or deer hunting rifle that look a certain way.

Very very few people own actual machine guns and those who do only do so as a financial investment or for collecting.

The secret service have a vast arsenal at their disposal to protect the president including machine guns, submachine guns, and handguns.


"Assault weapons" are not weapons of war. No military uses semi-automatic guns. These guns function the same as a handgun or a semi-automatic deer rifle, but the outside of them is made to LOOK like that of a military firearm. And they are hardly ever used in crimes. Pistols are criminals' preferred weapons. The cosmetic style of a firearm does not in any way determine its functionality.

Assault rifles are never used in public shootings in the US. Only semi-automatic guns are used and even with a ban on so called "assault weapons", every other weapon in the market is capable of being used to kill someone and a criminal does't need a specific brand or model of gun to commit a crime. He can simply buy or more likely steal a different non-banned gun because that other gun is exactly the same, functionally, as the ones that were banned. Some of the worst mass shootings occurred in places with such "assault weapons bans" and/or with weapons that such a ban would not cover. Such as the Norway attacks, Virginia Tech, germany's public school attacks, Columbine, and so forth.

And while I agree that crime must be lowered, my opponent has already admitted that such a ban would not reduce crime.

Thank you!


Okay well first let me explain what an assault is.

Assault: make a physical attack on.

Under no circumstance, unless defensively, is it okay to PERFORM A PHYSICAL ATTACK ON SOMEONE. Guns were created for the simple reason of hurting someone. I don't mean to sound like a hippie, but the easier guns are to get, the easier it is to kill more people.

You say that I "admitted that suck a ban would not reduce crime". I also said that it would be a lot less violent if someone was surrounded by police and had a Glock, than if they had an "AR-15". Whether it is semi-automatic or not.

Also, what about the Sandy Hook shooting? And I quote from the Wikipedia article from the incident:

"Shortly after 9:35 am, using his mother's Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle,[29][30][31] Lanza shot his way through a glass panel next to the locked front entrance doors of the school."

Notice that it is an m4 type rifle. What if the man only had access to a Glock. Would he have made as much sick progress to the killing of innocent children? Why take the chance by making it easier to get your hands on weapons of the sort? The chance is too high, no matter the pros and cons.

Personally, I think that is a criminal were to be surrounded by police, he/she would be unlikely to attempt to open fire with a Glock in their hands rather than an assault rifle. If they did, the damage would be lower due to them having a much more ineffective gun.

I look forward to seeing your round 4 arguments. :)
Debate Round No. 3


If an AR-15 or AK-47 is never used to hurt anybody and is only used in a lawful manner, which the vast, vast, VAST majority of them are, then how can my opponent can it an assault weapon if it is never "assaulting" anyone?

While guns make it easier to kill, the banning of them has never improved the situation. Britain is now worse off than when it had no gun laws. Along the lines of 4 or 5 murders a year I believe. Now they are up to 50 or so.

And this debate is not about general gun control it is about the specific proposition of an assault weapons ban. I am sure many people will be glad to debate with you about general gun control however :).

All Ar-15's are semi-automatic, and if they were surrounded by police, I don't believe many people would start shooting, but an AR-15 shoots at the same rate as a Glock and thus can kill the same number of people in the same amount of time. We could debate the characteristics of the different bullets, but I think we can agree this is not very relevant. Almost all police shootings, even with no assault weapons ban currently in place, take place with handguns. I don't see how further restricting certain rifles would improve the situation.

In the Sandy Hook shooting, a horrible tragedy, the glass door could have been shattered with a .22 pistol. Glass is very fragile and mostly any gun can break it if it's not specifically bullet resistant, which it clearly was not.

Adam Lanza fired significantly less than 30 rounds from each of his magazines, sometimes only 15, the same capacity as most Glock magazines. And I believe the tragedy would have ended the same way if he had only had handguns. They are just as fast to reload and can fire at the same or faster rate, due to a shorter bolt. Keep in mind most shootings are already perpetrated with handguns.

And not passing a ban would not make it easier to obtain anything. The situation would remain the same. And we have not seen similar tragedies in a while, so hopefully they are on the way out.

If a criminal was surrounded by police, again, I believe he is still more dangerous with a handgun. It is much smaller, easier to hold on to and hide, more maneuverable, far easier to change a magazine for, and harder for a police officer to grab. And cheaper for that matter. Most criminals are poor. And this is a completely hypothetical situation. The kinds of criminals you are talking about who get surrounded by police simply do not own rifles. They own handguns for the reasons I discussed. We can always go into hypotheticals but we must look at what actually happens in practice.

I challenge my opponent to explain to me the functional difference between these two guns: Bushmaster AR-15, and Ruger mini 14 ranch rifle.

The former would be prohibited under an assault weapons ban and the latter would be exempted as a "sporting firearm".
I would appreciate this explanation.

Thank you!


"If an AR-15 or AK-47 is never used to hurt anybody and is only used in a lawful manner, which the vast, vast, VAST majority of them are, then how can my opponent can it an assault weapon if it is never "assaulting" anyone?"

My opponent clearly has very little ACCURATE knowledge of the statistics of guns.

The Taliban, Al-Quada, and currently ISIS ALL USE THE AK-47!

If you call this a lawful manner, where the guns are used to kill innocent men, women, and CHILDREN daily, then you need to do some research.

Malala Yousafzai: shot in the skull with an AK-47 because she wanted to be treated like a human. Yeah, very lawful. So the vast majority is NOT in a lawful manner.

Also, I said before that I would rather have a Glock than an AK. This means that I don't support full gun control.

Also, a Glock would not be as effective because of the shorter range, the inaccuracy, and the better weapons the police would have.

DO you read the news? Where people are gunned down in countries? Or the gang shootouts that happen? Both done by ASSAULT RIFLES.

How about this article?

Notice the gun choice. And this is a teenager.

Closing arguments:

Assault weapons were made for war. So why should we, as civilians, be allowed to have them, no matter the fire rate? The idea is giving people another way to die, which is just not necessary. Allowing people more powerful weapons gives them a sense of power. In human nature, there are just some people who SHOULD NOT HAVE power. There are people who could shoot up houses, former work places, SCHOOLS, etc.

No matter the fire rate, the caliber, giving people another weapon to easily work with is just a bad idea. There is simply too many chances involved.

We need to think about the bigger picture. Saying that people should have more guns because they already have guns is asinine. All it would take is someone, even with a clean background, to snap because of stress, being overwhelmed, etc.

Thank you for hearing my closing arguments. Good luck in the voting.

Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by EliasL 3 years ago
Also keep in mind that the debate itself is over. No need to attempt to influence more.
Posted by paulbrevik 3 years ago
Voters keep in mind that the debate here is not regarding fully automatic military rifles. Any proposed ban would affect only semi-automatic civilian rifles. These are hardly ever used in crimes.
Posted by paulbrevik 3 years ago
I agree :) This is why all the crime in the US is in gun-banning areas.
Posted by cheyennebodie 3 years ago
The very nature of a weapon is that it can assault someone. A stone is an assault weapon. When you ban guns and make a gun free zone, you create a void of protection. The criminal mind is not stupid. They will ply their lifes work where the danger is least.All they have to do is get in and get out before the cops arrive.Because cops are not first responders. The victim is.That is why where I live we do not have rampant crime. Most people here own guns, and the criminal knows it.They will go to the next town where there are gun free zones.And that is the brutal reality .

So, if you want to be safer, by all means move out of gun free zones.

The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
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