The Instigator
Trystanharpold
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
drhead
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

Should assault rifles be banned (semi-automatic assault-style weapons)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
drhead
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,228 times Debate No: 31195
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

Trystanharpold

Con

The United States Government should not restrict our right to bear arms. Our founding fathers gave us this right not to form a militia but to allow our citizens to defend ourselves against an oppressive government.
We should not allow our government to have the power to force our vote or opinions. The only thing preventing a dictatorship is the ability of our citizens to defend themselves. We cannot prevent an oppressive government by using pistols and other inferior guns to our military.
drhead

Pro

I would like to start by saying that an assault rifle is not a semi-automatic assault-style weapon. An assault rifle is, by definition, a fully-automatic rifle.

Furthermore, I argue that a semi-automatic rifle would not help you when the military has tanks. Whatever guns you have are ALWAYS inferior to what the military has, since they get things before civilians do in any case. A semi-auto rifle won't do you any more good than a semi-auto pistol.

Furthermore, I assert that, as the Constitution wrote it, that the right to bear arms was indeed for the purpose of forming a militia:
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
This is the second amendment as ratified by Thomas Jefferson. It quite clearly asserts that the main thing here is the militia. It does not say anything about defense against tyranny.

I await a rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
Trystanharpold

Con

Definition of assault rifle:
1.
a military rifle capable of both automatic and semiautomatic fire, utilizing an intermediate-power cartridge.
2.
a nonmilitary weapon modeled on the military assault rifle, usually modified to allow only semiautomatic fire.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Assault weapons would aid us in repelling a tyrant government and would make a major diffrence in a battle with the military. We would need all the help we could get. Also it is possible to take out tanks without other tanks.
"No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson.http://www.c4cg.org...

Also you have not supplied a reason the government should be allowed to ban guns, only a false reply on what an assault rifle is and that it was not a defence against a dictatorial style government.

Tell me, how could the tunisians over thrown their oppressive government without the use of the very guns their military was using at the time
drhead

Pro

You may be able to take out a tank with an IED, but what happens when an army of aerial drones comes in? A gun would not help you.

I do not see how a quote from Thomas Jefferson would bear much relevance due to the fact that he is the person who ratified the second amendment in its current state, which clearly focuses on a well-organized militia, not necessarily on personal ownership of firearms. Furthermore, the second part of that quotation does not appear in any of Jefferson's writings:
http://www.monticello.org...

The government shoud be able to put reasonable restrictions on ownership of certain arms. I could cite grenades as an example. Fragmentation and incendiary grenades are certain to cause property damage or harm to the owner or innocent bystanders. Why would we want people to own something that would only burn their house down or turn them into swiss cheese? This would likely hurt others around them - fire spreads.

In addition, in the event of a military takeover, it would be possible to get guns from the military by using an improvised weapon (like a brick), killing them, and taking their gun. This is really the only way you could get access to anything you could really expect to match up with what the military has, anyway. Militaries have access to every kind of weapon, as well as experimental weapons which you couldn't get if you had all of the money in the world (without well-placed bribes, that is).
Debate Round No. 2
Trystanharpold

Con

You still have not commented on why the government should ban assault weapons. What you are saying is that since the military could out match any weapons we could own we should just hand them over to the government and let them miss use their power. That we should not use what little we have to protect our freedom and god given rights.

Further more we are speaking of assault rifles, not explosives which I completely support the banishment of.

Also I apologize if I gave the impression that the only thing the right to bear arms is for is to defend against a tyrant government. Definition of Militia:
1. a body of citizens organized in a paramilitary group and typically regarding themselves as defenders of individual rights against the presumed interference of the federal government. http://dictionary.reference.com...
The preamble to the constitution ensures Domestic Tranquility, Which encompasses a tyrannical government.

I await a response.
drhead

Pro

With my arguments, I have rendered your reasons for an unlimited second amendment invalid. Your primary argument is that an oppressive government cannot be prevented with inferior arms to the military. However, I have argued that private citizens will never have any hardware on par with the military.

That being said, it is reasonable to ban assault weapons since a ban, while impossible to perfectly enforce, would make it more difficult to acquire a weapon that is more easily capable of killing large amounts of people. The common argument against such a ban is that criminals don't follow the law and will get one anyway. While this is true, law-abiding citizens would follow the law. Today, you can get an AR-15 from a gun show without a background check. With all of the proposed gun control measures taking place, a criminal would have to have a background check and wouldn't be able to purchase an AR-15 legally regardless of whether or not they passed a background check. This forces them to buy it on the black market. However, this is still more difficult than before for the criminals. Criminals aren't always the brightest people. Not every junkie will know their local neighborhood black market arms dealer. And even if they did, the price of acquiring such a weapon would inflate with the extra difficulty of having to hide it from customs and the police. Therefore, you have less assault weapons in the hands of criminals because acquiring one isn't a trivial task anymore.

Now, I don't agree 100% with an assault weapons ban. This is because the background check is the greatest inconvenience for criminals, while it is the least inconvenience to honest gun dealers and honest gun owners. I don't agree completely with an assault weapons ban, but I can at least justify its logic.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Mrconstitution 3 years ago
Mrconstitution
the pro was an idiot. George Wythe said, and as was agreed with by the founders, that the militia consisted of the whole people. second, thomas jefferson was not even in the country when the second amendment was ratified, the honor was james madisons.
Posted by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
I meant to say, "Con's Thomas Jefferson quote" rather than "Pro's Thomas Jefferson quote".
Posted by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
Con argued "assault weapons should not be banned".

First, Con argued the founding fathers gave us a right to arms to defend against a tyrannical government. Pro rebutted this was not stated in the second ammendment and Pro's Thomas Jefferson quote was definitively shown to be fake.

Second, Con argued this would give the government the ability to force us to vote a certain way. Pro rebutted that with aerial drones and high-tech weaponry, whether or not civilians had semi-automatic weapons would not be an important factor, but rather how quickly and how many military-grade weapons civilians were able to obtain.

Finally, Pro argues that reasonable weapons limitations (and assault weapons include fully automatic weapons per their definitions) save lives. This was uncontested.

In my estimation, the remains of Con's constitutional and 'against tyranny' arguments were not strong enough to overcome the uncontested 'saving lives'.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Grantmac18 4 years ago
Grantmac18
TrystanharpolddrheadTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con seemed to cling to some conspiratorial belief that small arms possession would surely be a reasonable defense against the impending US government dictatorial take-over; I assume Obama would be at the helm of this absurd coup d'etat. Conduct was even, S&G appeared to be fairly even. But Con's arguments were void of logic and thus points were awarded to Pro. Sources to Pro for accurately citing Jefferson's quote.
Vote Placed by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
TrystanharpolddrheadTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. Arguments as explained. Sources to Pro for demonstrating that one of Con's key sourced statements was fake. Conduct was good on both sides. S&G was reasonable on both sides--I had no problems reading either argument.