The Instigator
Raul
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
JoeDraper
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Please define your definition of Assault Weapon

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/3/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,148 times Debate No: 29833
Debate Rounds (5)
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Raul

Con

Saw your post I would like to debate you but please define your defnition of assault weapon before I debate you because I want to know your knowledge level on the subject.
JoeDraper

Pro

By definition an assault weapon is any of various automatic or semiautomatic firearms. The definition is not important so much as the fact that they can kill people by the dozens and that they can be accessed by any mentally-ill madman. Aside from this, there is NO realistic reason to own one. All an assault weapon is good for is destruction.
Debate Round No. 1
Raul

Con

First your argument doesn't make any sense. You lump a fully automatic firearm that can fire up to 1,000 rounds per minute in the same category of a semi automatic firearm which can fire up to 60 rounds per minute.

By that very standard alone a fully automatic firearm (which is HIGHLY regulated since 1934 and only 1 person since WWII has committed a crime with one) causes significantly more damage than a semi auto.

Also, ALL firearms are meant for killing. That's what they do. What makes a semi auto less dangerous than a pump shotgun? Or a revolver? or a bolt action? They all fire bullets! And to be honest a pump shotgun which fires 00 buckshot (which is 9 .33 caliber pellets with one trigger pull) is immensely more devastating than an AR-15 which fires .223 or 5.56 mm rounds at the distances of Aurora or Sandy Hook. I can fire 12 rounds in 30 seconds from a pump action which includes reloading. That's 108 projectiles being sent in 30 seconds or less traveling 1,600 feet per second.

But lets stick with semi auto since that's what's actually being discussed as being banned and lets leave out the fact that semi auto technology is over 100 years old because well that would just kill any argument you would have since what we are talking about has been around long before you were born....

The ban being proposed doesn't do anything! It didn't do anything in 1994. Zero. Limited magazine sizes didn't stop any crime. Banning features didn't stop anything either. Not to mention NONE of the features banned has anything to do with the functionality of the weapon.

Dont believe me? Lets take the AR-15 variant rifle... take away the flash suppressor, pistol grip, bayonet lug, collapsable stock... what do you get... A Ruger Mini 14 which shoots the exact same ammo at the exact same rate of fire with comparable precision. And the Ruger Mini 14 is ALLOWED under the new proposed ban. So what are they trying to ban? Something that "looks" scary to those who never used a firearm.

Mad men, you say? Yes some people out there are not wired right. I agree. As a responsible firearm owner I dont want a bad person to have a firearm. I also practice safe handling and I ensure my firearms are properly locked and secured.

However, it seems the growing sentiment from a lot of people who choose not to own firearms is that all firearm owners are crazy. That is just not the case. Firearm owners are from all walks of life. Nurses, to teachers, to accountants, to farmers, to construction workers, etc.

I agree the current process we have now needs work. For several reasons:

1) The NICS is not strong. It doesnt have enough data to ensure the buyer is properly mentally capable because mental illness data is not uploaded. Do you support strengthening this process with mental illness data? Also, if someone fails a NICS check that person should be reported and investigated within a week!

2) Firearm safety is not stressed enough. I suggest a firearm safety class being part of owning a firearm. As a hunter I am required to have a 16 hour safety course before being issued my license. This process is paid from taxes on ammunition. I suggest this also be a requirement being paid from the same funds for new gun owners. Possibly a refresher course every 3-5 years like a defensive driving class.

3) Possibly mandating background checks for all transfers. However, this only sounds great on paper. Enforcement of this is extremely difficult. Very hard to ensure all private sales have a background check.

4) Stronger penalties and ZERO plea bargains for those who commit violent crimes with firearms. No brainer.

Now let me ask you this.... why is it when something like this happens the first response is to encourage the criminals (media coverage) and disarm the future law abiding victims (banning of various things)?

I just dont get it. The legislation should be to empower future victims NOT make them more susceptible to future crime!

How do we empower future victims:

1) stronger penalties on criminals like I mentioned above

2) uniformity of self defense laws. In many states if you protect yourself which results in the injury or death of the attacker (normally a home invader) the victim who successfully defended themselves in charged with a crime or is allowed to be sued by the attacker in a civil court. Seriously. Lets make it if you perform a home invasion or are robbing a store and you get hurt or die... and the investigation leads to a justified homicide.... No crime charged to the successful victim. Makes the criminal think twice about doing something that would result in their own demise or injury.

3) Gun free zones... get rid of them. If it's public land and you have a legit CCW permit... carry is ok. If it's private land or building it's up to the owner. There's no way you can legitimize an argument that gun free zones work... when all these mass shooting occur in these zones.

4) CCW license should be recognized in all states. Just like a drivers license. Make it a uniform course. In fact make it so you have to take the course over every year or a refresher course to qualify 2x a year. This will generate money for the state/federal gov't, force CCW holders to be at a high skill level, and allow carry in all 50 states. It's a known fact that those states that allow CCW and issue them see the benefit of lower crime rates. Why? Because even if you choose not to carry the thought process by criminals is that EVERYONE is carrying.

Like it or not a firearm is a right to own in our country. It is a right because we as citizens are free to protect ourselves from those out there who would do us harm. Police based on the Supreme Court Ruling of Castle Rock v Gonzales even admitted that the police do NOT have the responsibility to provide a person protection. So it is up to you to protect yourself and use police as your back up.

Will we be able to stop everyone to obtain a firearm if they are the bad guy? No. Nothing is absolute. But as you can see above I don't advocate to do nothing. But empower those that would be victims and strengthen the controls we have to actually work to deter, proper enforcement and prosecute.
JoeDraper

Pro

I am very impressed by your deep knowledge on the subject, however, the question I posed dealt with the need of assault weapons. I do believe that 99% of gun owners are responsible and safe with firearms, however the 1% that remains can do more harm than should be humanly possible. The 1% can be the shooter in Aurora, Portland or Sandy Hook. You don't need any guns for anything other than defense purposes. Recreational gunmen are being asked to sacrifice a part of their sport to ensure safety in schools and elsewhere. That is not to much to ask. It is in fact a constitutional right to own firearms. It is a right I would die to protect, however, the Constitution was written 200+ years ago, when a mass shooting would NEVER have happened the way it happens today. They are not trying to take away your firearms, they are trying to take away needless killing machines. Why do you need them anyway?
Debate Round No. 2
Raul

Con

What makes the AR-15 Rifle Popular the past 20 years:
Now you really need to let go of the term "assault weapon". You have to. As stated in my bigger response you can see what you are referring to is a semi auto rifle and NOT an assault weapon. Because an assault weapon is a weapon that can fire automatic fire (aka machine guns) and not semi auto fire.
But ok lets talk about the semi auto rifles. I"d assume more specifically rifles that are chambered in .223/5.56mm (AR 15 rifles). BTW ALL of these rifles for civilian use are STRICTLY semi auto fire as mandated by Federal law since the 1930s. I know I seem like a broken record but this has to be hammered in especially if you have never fired or owned a weapon.

What makes these rifles so appealing and effective:
1)The round .223 or 5.56mm is a significantly small caliber bullet. So small this round is not even considered a "Battle" round like the .308 used in the M1A Rifles used during WWII. Because it is small and less weight it enables the magazine to carry more (20-30 rounds are the standard magazine).
2)The round does not over penetrate like other rounds. Therefore once it hits the target it rarely goes fully through and exits and cause unintended casualties. However, 00 buck shot, slugs, 9mm handgun ammo, .40 handgun ammo, .45 handgun ammo, 30-06 rifle ammo, etc has a high degree of over penetration.
3)The recoil is significantly less which allows for greater accuracy and follow up shots if you need to continue shooting to stop the threat.
4)Customization " Because this rifle can be easily customized it can altered to match the users height, length of pull, and eye sight (optics or scopes or iron sights)
Because of these traits even the Dept of Homeland Security has explicitly stated that these properties makes the AR-15 style rifles extremely favorable for home defense! Yes the Dept of Homeland Security said this". Look it up if you don"t believe me.

Why do you "NEED" anything:
First you have to get off this "need" theory all together. We are talking about the Bill of Rights not the bill of needs. If you keep dancing on that "need" slope I can easily counter your need argument with:
Why do you "need" a car that goes over 65 MPH when that is average federal limit? By FBI statistics and CDC Deaths car accidents and car related deaths are ALWAYS higher than firearm deaths every year. Why do you "need" a house that big? When all you need is something that is within a certain square footage to be more economical with the environment and less of a carbon footprint.
I can go on with this whole "need" argument as you can see. But I don"t want to cut you off right there I will entertain this thought process and utilize real life circumstances as to why you would need a rifle that can hold a magazine of 20 or 30 rounds as opposed to a 10 round limit.
Now who am I to tell anyone what they should use to ensure the safety of their self or family? How can I tell a free citizen what is the appropriate method of self defense when every self defense encounter is different? Especially since based on the Supreme Court ruling that police do not have a duty to provide me or you protection!
But lets take a look at the police" when an active shooter is present the police show up with body armour, comparable FULLY AUTOMATIC AR-15 rifles, a sniper team, and a SQUAD of men. However, when the active shooter is present either at a home or in a public setting the civilians who are always the ones on the front lines do not have the advantage of these things.
My question to you is what makes the life of a police officer more so than a civilian? In America all are created EQUAL. So why shouldn"t a civilian have a method of protection that is comparable like a Semi Auto styled version?
What if I am home and 3-5 armed criminals are breaking down my door. I call the cops and the response time is 10-20 minutes. You have a wife and kid. What would you rather have" a 7 round handgun now mandated in the State of NY or an AR-15 with a 30 round magazine? Chances are you want something that has more rounds until the police (back up) arrive and then you can concede your self defense actions to their authority.

Now lets look at more real life instance:
Natural Disasters leading to societal break downs " During the Superstorm Sandy my neighborhood was affected as was much of NY and Long Island. The police were not out stopping the looting. They were out securing the gasoline stations due to the limited supply. Looting became a significant problem. I had my shotgun with a capacity of 5 rounds (the same one I use for hunting). However, seeing how looters usually come in groups of 3-8 I was a bit nervous and wished I had something more. Luckily I never had to fire nor was my home directly affected by looting but it was a concern. Especially when I was away and my family was without me I was concerned. My wife isn"t very comfortable with the recoil of the shotgun. Having something with a smaller caliber with less recoil probably would have been a legitimate response for home defense. However, now based on the NYS SAFE Act that passed 1/15/13 I no longer have that option. And getting a handgun based on NYS standards takes over 6 months for a license approval. Yes 6 months! I"m still waiting for my license which I applied for in June 2012. And even so my wife cant fire the handgun without a license of her own (which she does not have). If she does, she gets charged with a felony even in a life or death situation.
But that"s just one real life scenario. As a law abiding citizen I value the lives of others so my deployment of my firearm will be in self defense of my family, community or country. I already showed what I feel needs to be done to secure that firearms go into the right hands in my previous argument. So please defer to that.
You have to understand that government is never there when it is really needed. Police will not be deployed to ensure your safety when the bad guy has the drop on you. Hell even in the LA riots in the 1990"s the entire LA police force vacated the city and left the civilians on their own for 3 days subject to looting, rapes and murders. The same when Katrina decimated Louisiana. You are your first line of defense. You are a free individual which is entrusted with the high responsibility of security of yourself, family, home, community and country.

It"s a 200 year old document:
Yes. A document made after the defeat of the greatest army in the world at that time by civilians. A document which for the first time in the history of the world acknowledges the inalienable rights of human beings. This was distributed on a printing press.
The second amendment acknowledges that as a civilian you have the right and duty to come forth and create a militia to protect yourself, community, and country in times of dire times. And as you can easily see the rifle was the arm of choice granted to the militia. So any argument that involves the private ownership of a tank, F-15 fighter jet, nuclear arms is clearly not the intent of the second amendment and completely stupid by anyone who starts with it. It"s about the private ownership of a firearm. Rifle is the most common.
As with the advancement in technology like the internet, newspapers, radio, and television the respect for the First Amendment has held solid. Why not with the Second Amendment? Can the police or government tap into your emails without a warrant? NO! Because that is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment!
Since the document has been created there have been several nations which have been subject to tyranny " Germany, Russia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, China, etc. Most of which happened in the mid 1900s and some of which is happening right NOW! All of which have disarmed the citizens prior to subjecting them to tyrannical activities. So as you can clearly see the threat of tyranny is no less today than it was in the 1800s.
JoeDraper

Pro

I'm still very impressed that you can debate further than what I have already seen. You pose several good points however I am VERY confused. You attacked me on several points totally unrelated to the subject. "Why do you "NEED" anything:
First you have to get off this "need" theory all together. We are talking about the Bill of Rights not the bill of needs. If you keep dancing on that "need" slope I can easily counter your need argument with:
Why do you "need" a car that goes over 65 MPH when that is average federal limit? By FBI statistics and CDC Deaths car accidents and car related deaths are ALWAYS higher than firearm deaths every year. Why do you "need" a house that big? When all you need is something that is within a certain square footage to be more economical with the environment and less of a carbon footprint." You pose an excellent point however, the speed of you car and the carbon footprint of your home have nothing to do with GUN control. Even after the violence this year in schools, the likelihood of an attack is still dramatically low. The likelihood of you being attacked is still VERY low. Give me 10 SPECIFIC situations in which a high capacity gun would be vital, and I will see when a assault weapon is NEEDED. I will go on about the "need" argument until you prove me wrong. In another DRAMATICLY desperate attempt to save face you stated (I copy and pasted this from your argument) "My question to you is what makes the life of a police officer more so than a civilian? In America all are created EQUAL." Let me ask you this, did I EVER suggest that some Americans are inferior to others? NO.
Debate Round No. 3
Raul

Con

Sorry if I am confusing you. I tend to think in complete thoughts and actually show reason and actual statistics in my arguments. I'll try to make this brief as I have been shoveling 25 inches of snowfall all day and I'm tired.

My 2 "need" examples are actually quite relevant. Because this is not about gun control... it is just about control. How can you tell a free citizen what they need? When will it stop? Hell even NYC which has one of the strictest gun control measures out there (DC and Chicago trump it) recently passed a ban on the size of soda drinks! Your argument is based on what you perceive someone should have... my argument is that as a free citizen who are you to judge anyone on what they utilize as long as it is within their rights granted by the Constitution. Ya know, the same document you said you would die to defend but in the same breath want to limit others from receiving equal rights within it. Because that is what you are doing whether you believe it or not.

And I again wish you would stop using the term "assault weapon" because you should know by now your definition is inaccurate. It is a semi auto rifle. This firearm does not have the same function as a fully automatic military style firearm. It never did since the 1930s. So you either aren't getting it or refuse admit that your term is incorrect.

Give you 10 examples... well I gave you a few in my last discussion. Did you even read that? But the answer should be just one reason - because I am free and having this semi auto rifle is what I deem necessary to defend my life and the lives of others if the need ever arises.

But I will give you some personal experiences and recent events:

1) Looting during a natural disaster where multiple people are present. I lived in the dark for over 2 weeks while these things were occurring in neighborhoods around me and my family.

2) Since the NYS SAFE Act was created there have been 8 home invasions on Long Island which involved 3-5 armed criminals (some with rifles). This resulted in one 21 year old resident losing his life. Seems like the only life these laws are saving are the criminals. There is now a disparity of force... criminals with rifles clearly banned in NY vs Law Abiding Citizens armed with only 7 rounds if they choose to exercise their diminished 2nd Amendment Right.

3) Recently a Georgia woman home alone with her 2 infants was the victim of a home invasion by one man. She hid and when he found her she fired her 6 shot revolver till it was empty. It hit the man 5 times in the neck and face. He lived got up and drove away then crashed. She needed more bullets... because every encounter is different.

4) LA riots the use of AR-15 rifles with 30 round magazines were utilized by the Korean market merchants to protect their stores from looting and being burnt to the ground. They were successful despite the LA PD vacating the city for their own safety. How successful would they have been with a 6 shot revolver?

5) Flash robberies - Apparently there's a new crime going on where 20-30 people will raid a store at once and commit mass looting. Several store employees have been severely beaten during the process. Again a disparity of force. Having a large capacity magazine would be appropriate in that instance.

6) Hurricane Katrina - people were without power for over a month. Looting was occurring within days. Communities had to ban together and use firearms to secure their blocks and neighborhoods.... then the government illegally came in and disarmed the law abiding citizens leaving them to the mercy of their looters. The national guard never stationed troops in the neighborhoods.

7) Australia disarmed their entire country in the late 1990s. The law abiding citizens handed their firearms in. Crime, especially home invasions, rose over 20%. Criminals do not abide by the laws and will thrive when their life is no longer threatened. I bet they wished they never gave up their arms.

8) UK banned guns and had similar results. Now the UK is looking to ban kitchen knives because there is a stabbing problem.... yes you read that correctly they want to grind down the point on knives. Take away the weapon, new weapons will be used. Focusing on the object never stops the operator.

9 & 10)Tyranny is present in ALL forms of government. Nazi Germany, Communist China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, etc... What makes you think this wont happen here? None of these regimes happened over night. It was the systematic dismantling of rights from their citizens... which became their subjects. (I'm cheating on the numbers I know... I'm tired)

The likelihood of any attack is low. I will not argue you on this. In fact over the last 30 years violent crimes in the USA have steadily been declining. But does that not mean we shouldn't prepare ourselves? People do martial arts, based on your reasoning would that just make them paranoid and their efforts are not "needed" due to the low probability of getting into a fist fight?

And keeping with that, the actual deaths that occur with semi auto rifles is actually in the extreme minority. Based on your reasoning why would you want to place a ban on a firearm which causes the least amount of deaths? Because to me it seems the reason is because it looks scary. That's it. The AR-15 chambered in .223 is significantly ballistically inferior to all other hunting rifles. So inferior it is only deemed a varmint rifle commonly used to harvest coyote.

PS... Don't select quote me without using the entire subject because I wasn't saving any face:

"But lets take a look at the police - when an active shooter is present the police show up with body armour, comparable FULLY AUTOMATIC AR-15 rifles, a sniper team, and a SQUAD of men. However, when the active shooter is present either at a home or in a public setting the civilians who are always the ones on the front lines do not have the advantage of these things.
My question to you is what makes the life of a police officer more so than a civilian? In America all are created EQUAL. So why shouldn"t a civilian have a method of protection that is comparable like a Semi Auto styled version?"

I believe my point above is clear when you see it as a whole. I never said you referred other Americans were inferior but was showing how the argument that only police and military should only own the AR-15 creates an inferior class.
JoeDraper

Pro

Thanks for the clarification. I too have spent FAR to much time this week shoveling snow.... Anyway, again you amaze me.... So, you gave me 10 examples. Good. Are they likely? Kind of.... most of them are either unlikely or bogus, take number 3. This unfortunate Mother might not have had to shoot the man in question if the local law enforcement had prevented it. (By the way, how on earth did he live if he was shot 5 times in the head area? That should kill anyone). Let me ask you this, do you need as many shots as your talking about to defend yourself? If she had shot the man once he would have ran off. Are you suggesting that she should have killed him? I'm sure the police found him and eventually put him behind bars. Quite frankly, there are few excuses for killing, I personally would rather have our foolish friend in prison rather than the morgue. In reasons 1 and 6 you used hurricane Katrina and looting, again, you can get rid of obnoxious looters with 1 shot. The bans allow this. Other than that I live in Utah, not the Middle East... maybe they need guns, but not us. As for your other reasons, maybe you have a point, but I can't see it.
Debate Round No. 4
Raul

Con

Joe,

Seems this will be our last round. First I want to thank you for being courteous during this debate. If you want to continue I will gladly accept a debate from you to further this discussion.

Unlikely or bogus examples? Please explain because I was explaining reality on what really transpired.

Your rebuttal to # 3 really doesn"t hold much water:

"This unfortunate Mother might not have had to shoot the man in question if the local law enforcement had prevented it"

Thanks for making my point clear, they didn"t and they cant. Law enforcement isn"t a 24 hour search every inch security force. Law enforcement normally comes in after the crime has proceeded. And with this economy and States producing budget deficits what do you think gets cut" government jobs specifically police. Even the Police Chief in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Gun Control recently admitted his staff has been cut due to budget constraints. Less police = increased response times. Simple math.

"(By the way, how on earth did he live if he was shot 5 times in the head area? That should kill anyone)"

Nothing is absolute. And this is a prime example. You don"t know how many bullets it will take to put down the threat. Police are trained to keep firing until the threat has ended if deadly force is required. Many times they reload and continue firing. Because in a stress oriented environment your accuracy goes down hill fast due to the adrenal dump and you may not hit your target. Accuracy goes down even further when someone shoots back. Many people tend to take that out of the equation but it needs to be considered.

"Let me ask you this, do you need as many shots as your talking about to defend yourself? If she had shot the man once he would have ran off. Are you suggesting that she should have killed him?"

As stated before I will never know how many bullets I will need to stop the threat. You will never know. So having your best option available based on your finances is always your best solution.

Are you absolutely sure he would have run off? How can you guarantee this? He just broke into the home with a crowbar after determining she was alone, searched the house until he found her. He had determination to do her harm. He wasn"t there to steal anything or else he would have entered when nobody was home. What if the one shot missed? Then the gun jammed? You can what if all you want but if she was your wife and your kids what would you have her do?

In the circumstance in #3 I have instructed my wife to fire until the threat ends. That means they leave, give up or die" nothing less. And I would expect nothing less for your family as well. But I have instructed her deadly force is a last resort.

"In reasons 1 and 6 you used hurricane Katrina and looting, again, you can get rid of obnoxious looters with 1 shot. The bans allow this."

Again, how do you know? How many looters have you scared away with one shot? Are they armed? How many are they? Are they determined and not there for property but there to harm, rape, kill? How long has it been since they ate or had water" how desperate are they? Too many variables.

Just because you live in Utah doesn"t mean you are not exempt from a home invasion (See embedded video) -

Look" I was where you were in this discussion 10 years ago. I remember running on my treadmill hearing that Bush was going to let the AWB of 1994 end. I remember shaking my head saying to myself, "wow you are really going to let people have machine guns?!!!!".

Then I decided to actually research the subject. Understand what they banned and the relevance to crime. The more I researched the more I realized the ban wasn"t on machine guns. It didn"t reduce crime. And other states, cities and countries that proposed further gun control or eliminated guns all together didn"t see the benefit of less crime. Actually they saw the exact opposite. Yes we have a problem with mass violence in the USA lately. Yes I want to have a meaningful discussion on this. However, I don"t support a ban that was already proven not to be a game changer to crime" it failed which is why it was allowed to sunset. Doing the same thing twice expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. I already stated what I think we should do to deter this going forward in Round 2 of our debate. I feel that is a more comprehensive way to tackle this issue. Empower the future victims and keep the criminals on their heels.

You get the luxury of the last word. I"m sure I won"t be able to change your mind. But if I got you thinking about things you wouldn"t normally consider I feel that"s a step in the right direction.

Kind regards,

Raul
JoeDraper

Pro

Raul,

It has been a pleasurable exchange of ideologies that I greatly appreciated. You have astounded me with your deep understanding of firearms. Thank you.

This said, I still believe that there is no need for any kind of assault weapon, I also maintain that you can stop a crime with no deadly force. There are few criminals who could do serious damage after being shot any amount of times. True, Utah is no exception to the violence and evil in the world. My saying this was a blunder. I have always prided myself on being a Republican. My opinion on this issue is entirely centered around one thing. The tragedies America has experienced over the past year. Statistically speaking, you are right. However, if the men who committed unspeakable evil had not had access to weapons like the one you are referring to, the people killed by lackluster control could have lived. It ,to me, is not a question of statistics. It is the question of maintaining human life by whatever means possible.

I leave you with this to ponder.

Sincerely,
Joe Draper, 14, Saratoga Springs, UT
Debate Round No. 5
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