The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

The United States Should Ban Assault Weapons

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/26/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,711 times Debate No: 76976
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (25)
Votes (2)




Hello all. This debate is on banning assault weapons in the United States, which I am wholeheartedly for, and my opponent will be against.


R1: Acceptance
R2: All Arguments
R3: Rebuttal (no new arguments)
R4: Final Rebuttal/Conclusion


assault weapon:
  1. [Assault weapon is] a term used in the United States to define specific types of firearms. The definition varies among regulating jurisdictions, but usually includes semi-automatic firearms with a detachable magazine and a pistol grip, and sometimes other features such as a flash suppressor or barrel shroud. (Wikipedia)


I await my opponent's acceptance.



Really funny song if you know John Lennon

Good luck
Debate Round No. 1


Hello all. These are my main arguments in favor of a ban on assault weapons in the United States.



I. A Ban Would Save Lives

Out of all mass shootings in the US since 1982, 67 out of 142 were carried out using semi-automatic handguns, while more than 30 were carried out by assault weapons. During the period when the Federal Assault Weapons Ban was instituted, mass shootings reached an all time low.

Although assault weapons are responsible for little of total gun deaths, any saved life is worth it. Between 1% and 7% of gun murders are committed by assault weapons, and even then, between 90 and 700 lives can be saved with this ban in place.

All of this data shows that a ban on assault weaponry, no matter how small of a portion of gun murders are committed by them, is worth the effort in terms of lives saved.

II. Assault Weapons Are Not Necessary

For purposes of hunting and self-defense, assault weapons are not necessary. For self-defense, response with an assault weapon would be astoundingly disproportionate, and would risk injuring people around the defender with both the rapid rate of fire and the spray of fire emitted when shot. For hunting, even proponent Dave Kopel concedes this point, as he says that a hunter will only carry a few rounds, therefore a high-capacity assault weapon that shoots 50-60 rounds per minute is not needed to hunt.

Police chiefs and law enforcement officers argue that the risks outweigh the supposed benefits, as assault weapons are "made for war" and are not appropriate to be available in the public sphere, only appropriate for a war zone.

III. A Ban Would Increase Liberty and Security

Proponents of assault weapons argue the illegitimacy of police having assault weapons while they are banned. However, police forces are much more likely to give up assault weaponry if this danger mentioned above is reduced. In the UK, for example, there is little reason for a police officer to carry more than a taser or baton, as there is such a low rate of gun crime, especially against police themselves. Moreover, banning assault weapons would reverse the arms race between criminals and police and allow for a safer environment for both law enforcement and the general public.

Also, without as much police involvement or concern with the arms race or the exchange of these weapons, civil liberties would be enhanced in this respect.

As shown above, banning assault weaponry grants the most prized liberty of all: life. If we ban assault weapons, the lives saved are priceless for the general liberty of public.


It is shown that since banning assault weapons saves lives, assault weapons are unnecessary, and a ban would increase liberty and security, the US should institute a ban on assault weaponry.





When a government plans a large ban, such as a national ban on guns, it must be under the intentions to create an environment that is safer, more beneficial, and statistically safer/beneficial as a result of the ban. My stance will be to show how a ban on guns is not beneficial for our economy, the people, or the general safety of the American people and the statistics prove it all. I look forward to this debate.

Guns bans are counterproductive

In order to show that it must not be in the government’s interest to ban guns, one of the most important things that come into mind is, “how effective will be the ban if it is placed in action”? The answer is, the ban would probably be incredibly useless, a waste of time, and a threat to the general public. If a government had intentions to create a gun ban that would overall benefit its people, then it turns out that a gun ban would actually do much more harm than good. This claim is supported by numerous studies and pieces of evidence.

  1. Harvard Study, (Volume 30, Number 2 of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, pp. 649-694)

If the mantra “more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death” were true, broad cross-national comparisons should show that nations with higher gun ownership per capita consistently have more death. Nations with higher gun ownership rates, however, do not have higher murder or suicide rates than those with lower gun ownership. Indeed many high gun ownership nations have much lower murder rates.”(p. 661) (1)

The study also shows that Russia, who tried to completely ban guns, has a 4 times higher

than murder rate than the U.S (p.651). This tells us the the high gun ownerships have much

lower murder rates and low gun ownerships have much higher murder rates. This is not at

all beneficial for the people of the U.S.A (I will do a rebuttal to my opponent’s claims in

regards to whether a ban would save lives. My stats clearly show otherwise)

2. What we should learn from other countries

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The only reason why Britain's murder rate went down is because they had a tremendous increase in the police. Which shows why gun bans are a complete waste of time and money, since the U.S government will have to waste more time and money on the police force due to the gun ban.

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These graphs clearly show the correlation between Gun bans and homicide/murder have a positive correlation. Which is why, we are expected to see a huge increase in murder rates and the police force. (2)

Stupidity with Gun stupidity does not require to ban guns

  1. Recall, that this debate is in regards to a ban, not a heavy restriction. This would mean that you will be taking away guns to a lot more moral and “good” people, than you will be with people with immoral intentions. (Crime, murder, etc….) We can have a whole other debate whether if the 2nd amendment really means that regular citizens can have guns, however lets not go there. However, we can certainly conclude that the government will be taking away guns to good people, unfairly.

A gallup poll shows that, 60% of the people wish to own guns because of personal safety, while 36% wish to own because of hunting/sports. (3) A person who would give an Uzi to a 9 year old is no reason destroy people’s interest in this hobby or their protection. For an example, this debate is not whether we should increase background checks-This is a full ban. Giving an Uzi to a 9 year old is full blown stupidity. While some people may lack the common sense to handle a gun, these cases are rare and should not strip other people’s guns. Now, this is not a very strong argument nor is backed up by much statistics, but I felt I had to get my point across as a reply to my opponent’s death by guns argument.

2. However, my next point is backed up by facts.

“The 31 states that have “shall issue” laws allowing private citizens to carry concealed weapons have, on average, a 24 percent lower violent crime rate, a 19 percent lower murder rate and a 39 percent lower robbery rate than states that forbid concealed weapons.”

This is being used as an argument, however I will repeat this statement as a rebuttal to my opponent’s first round. Just to clarify, deaths by gun are at an all time low with only 142 children under 15 years of age died in gun accidents, and the total number of gun-related deaths for this age group was 642. Also,

“The 31 states that have “shall issue” laws allowing private citizens to carry concealed weapons have, on average, a 24 percent lower violent crime rate, a 19 percent lower murder rate and a 39 percent lower robbery rate than states that forbid concealed weapons. In fact, the nine states with the lowest violent crime rates are all right-to-carry states.” (4)

This basically proves that guns are beneficial for society. There is absolutely no reason for the government to pass a ban on guns.

Gun Ban and the dreadful impact on the economy

Currently, the gun industry is worth around $31.8 billion(5) with 134,429 jobs(6). This would mean, you are destroying a multi-billion dollar industry with each company making millions to billions, and hundreds of thousands of jobs. This is a huge part of the economy during difficult economic times and high unemployment rates nationally, the gun industry has grown and created over 34,609 new, well-paying jobs over the past two years (6). Banning guns means you are banning an entire industry that makes billions.

In the United States the industry and its employees pay $5.8 billion in taxes including property, income, and sales-based levies. The government is basically throwing $5.8 billion down the drain if it chooses to ban this industry. Not to mention the very high chance of increased spending on the police force and increased murder rates.


If a government has the intentions to pass a ban which create a more beneficial society, a gan ban is not one of those intentions. Multiple studies have shown increased homicide rates with gun bans, and how “more guns more crime” is simply not the case. Not to mention, proof from other countries, clearly show the dangerous risk of increased murder. Statistics from the U.S show that states that do permit guns have one of the lowest crime rates. A couple gun crimes or accidents is no reason to ban guns, like a couple car accidents is no reason to ban cars (or anything else with that logic). Guns are extremely beneficial to the economy and the government, so a ban on gun is just a really bad idea and very impractical. Thanks for reading, and I await for my opponent's reply. (970 characters remaining)








Debate Round No. 2


My opponent and I have mutually decided to cancel this debate. Please vote for a tie.


Disregard this round, we decided to further argue
Debate Round No. 3


I apologize for the confusion in the previous round, and I hope that I can accurately rebut and summarize in this round.


R1: The Institution of Gun Bans Is Not Uniform

My opponent suggests the uniformity of gun bans, and defines them strictly to mean the complete confiscation of various weapons, rather, this definition is unjust to the topic at hand. A federal assault weapons ban would mean the complete stoppage of manufacturing, akin to the ban in 1994, or else the ban would be blatantly unconstitutional. I am assuming the definition of a ban to be within the limits of the Constitution, which is a fair assumption.

R2: The Federal Ban Fulfilled Its Purpose

The gun ban of 1994 was effective in reducing murder by assault weaponry. In a study by the Brady Campaign, it was found that there was a drop in 66% from the pre-ban rate in the usage of assault weaponry for homicide. This supports the argument that gun bans save lives, as mass shootings reached an all-time low during the institution of the ban.

With a halt in the manufacturing of assault weapons, lives can be saved, and no statistics have been brought up to claim otherwise. Regardless of whether there are 90 or more than 700 lived saved annually because of a ban on assault weaponry, these are lives saved nevertheless.

The same study also concluded the following: "if the Act had not been passed and the banned assault weapons continued to make up the same percentage of crime gun traces as before the Act’s passage, approximately 60,000 additional assault weapons would have been traced to crime in the last 10 years—an average of 6,000 additional assault weapons traced to crime each year."

R3: There is No Reason to Own Assault Weaponry

My opponent presents a poll, which shows that 60% of the people which own guns wish to own guns because of personal safety, while 36% wish to own because of hunting/sports. Assault weaponry has been proven in my arguments above to be unnecessary for both of these purposes.

R4: A Ban Will Not Take Away Guns From Responsible Owners

A ban within the limits of the Constitution, such as the federal ban in 1994, would not take away guns from responsible owners. It would simply halt the manufacturing of assault weaponry, and freeze access to these guns. Responsible owners prior to the ban would still retain their ownership rights, as per the Constitution.

R5: The Gun Industry Will NOT Be Banned

My opponent claims this ban will instigate the collapse of the gun industry, however, there are no sufficient statistics to prove that the ban on the manufacture of only a particular type of gun will destroy the entire gun industry. The preventing of the manufacture of assault weaponry is not an outright ban on the whole of the gun industry.



Simply put, placing a ban on the manufacture of assault weaponry is a step in the right direction. Statistics point to a reduction in gun crime from these weapons if they are barred from manufacturing; as the Brady Campaign study pointed out, proving the effectiveness of the federal ban in 1994. There is no reason why this same tactic can be used again in the present to prevent gun crime.

I reiterate that a ban on the manufacture and availability of assault weaponry would save lives, as many as 700. This is proven in countless countries across the world, such as in the UK, where the gun ban reversed the arms race between criminals and the police. Since the ban, there has been little need for the police to carry much more than a taser or baton. This reduction in weaponry necessary for police would increase public liberty.

Assault weapons are evidently unnecessary for activities such as hunting, as conceded by pro-gun activist Dave Kopel, and in the act of self-defense, users of these weapons risk putting innocent people, aside from the perpetrator, at serious risk. My opponent produced a poll explaining that gun owners buy weapons for precisely these reasons.

In all, as a society, we need to recognize the lives saved by a ban on the manufacture of these horrendously dangerous weapons. These weapons are meant to kill; they must stay on the battlefield, in the hands of soldiers, where they belong. It is unacceptable that the practice of manufacturing assault weaponry, and making these weapons available to the public, continues to this day.

I thank my opponent for this debate. Thank you for voting in advance.



I highly appreciate my opponent continuing to argue. First of all, it appears that my opponent never really meant a full out ban which, in my case, is really confusing and perhaps a little frustrating. However, I will argue, and refute my opponent's points, regardless of what him or I had in mind. When labeling “ban” its pretty safe to assume that my opponent is referring to a normal ban, such as taking away things or officially prohibiting items. My opponent never meant this “type of” ban, and he never addressed it. Furthermore, it was never even implied that he meant a 1994 ban, where only assault rifles were banned. However, regardless of this scenario, I will continue to argue. I will use the argument as a rebuttal to both of my opponent’s rounds.


The 1994 ban did not fulfill its purpose

In order for my opponent to advocate that bans are effective, he brought up the 1994 ban on assault rifles and claims how it was effective. However, this neither refutes any of my statistics, nor provide a strong case for my opponent. To directly refute my opponent’s stance on how the 1994 ban was effective, I will bring up that,

LaPierre said of the 1994 ban that, “independent studies, including one from the Clinton Justice Department, proved that ban had no impact on lowering crime.”

The testimony LaPierre submitted to the committee cited the first of the three major studies on the ban — this one by Koper and Jeffrey A. Roth in 1997 — in a footnote to support that claim. (1)

The 1997 study in regards to this ban, said its analysis, “failed to produce evidence of a post-ban reduction in the average number of gunshot wounds per case or in the proportion of cases involving multiple wounds.” (1)

While gun violence did fall in the 1990s, this was likely due to other factors. Here's the UPenn study again: "We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.” (2)

My opponent has yet to bring any solid evidence that the 1994 ban was really effective, yet there are multiple viable sources clearly showing that the ban was not effective at all! My opponent claims that murder rates decreased after the ban, however he does not show, in any way, that the murder rates and the ban had any type of relation.

Furthermore, my opponent did not refute any of my statistics.That being said, I extend my arguments in regards to how guns bans are counterproductive….I look forward to it in the comments, unless my opponent decides to drop my arguments. (Which is what it appears to be)

“There is no reason to own weapons” is completely irrelevant

This argument is completely irrelevant because people have their own subjective reasons to own a gun and there is no way to prove/disprove/justify/ their reasons to own one. I tried bringing up that many people personally own a gun because of hunting or protection, but in the end this does not affect-in anyway weather gun bans should be permitted or not. The real reason is whether it really does any benefit to society, which is what I have advocated and shown.


In regards to my opponent declaring that there is not enough statistics to prove that a 1994 ban would collapse the gun industry, well I was writing my arguments under the assumption that it was not a ban like the 1994, and I still hold my stance of how a ban would hurt the economy. This also includes how morale people won’t get guns. Although, this is unfair to future potential gun owners. This is extremely unfair since my opponent never specified in his arguments of what ban we were referring to, therefore it appears that my opponent changed his definitions-This is because he never even mentioned it in the second round.

Final remarks:

Regardless of my opponent’s definitions, my opponent hardly had any rebuttals to any of my arguments of how gun bans are counterproductive-He did not even mention my statistics. Assuming that he dropped those arguments, he tries to rebut my other arguments by changing the definition of ban (which was never mentioned earlier) which is very unfair. I clearly showed how my opponents arguments on “death by guns” are too insignificant, and by using my opponent's logic the government ought to put a ban on everything else that poses *some* degree of miniscule threat. This of course, is ridiculous. Hope this goes for a fair vote, and good luck Pro




Debate Round No. 4
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
>Reported vote: TheJuniorVarsityNovice// Mod action: NOT Removed<

6 points to Con (Conduct, Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Comments

[*Reason for non-removal*] The basis for this report was that the vote doesn't contain justificaiton for conduct or sources. This is an expansion on a previous report, which was also not implemented as a removal. The voer does explain both his reasoning for conduct and sources, the former because of a late interpretation of the resolution that was perceived as shifting the debate, and the latter because of the lack of application of sources to specific arguments, which thus failed to clarify their relevance towards the debate. It is at the discretion of the voter to determine whether these reasons are sufficient to allocate points, and the voter has provided sufficient reasoning to explain his decisions, and as such has produced a sufficient vote to explain all 6 points. In the future, unless this vote changes, further reports will not be addressed, as this is the second time we've been over this.
Posted by Zarroette 3 years ago
(RFD 0/2)

This was a neat debate that could have done with an extra round. I think Con misses the meaning of "assault weapon" and argues a few irrelevant things, with this presumption. Whether Con is still able to negate enough is something we are about to find out.
Posted by Zarroette 3 years ago
(RFD 1/2)

=== Pro ===

== A Ban would save lives ==

This is the primary argument from Pro that has both a link and an impact. Whilst the impact is relatively small (90-700 lives), it is still an impact that may be impactful enough, in the scope of this debate. The assault weapons causing 67/142 mass shootings point did not seem to be contested by Con directly, however Con did try to counter-argue the 90-700 lives lost. The counter-argument from Con basically argued that these reduction in deaths was "likely due to other factors ["] can"t be attributed to the ban". Con highlights a correlation/causation issue, wherein I am not sure whether the guns are the reason for the crimes. However, Pro wisely elaborates on his argument, saying that 6000 assault guns per year were attributed to crime. I think this trumps Con"s research which merely declared that the lowering in crimes "can"t be attributed to the ban" " it is quite impossible to argue that assault weapons cannot be attributed to assault weapon mass shootings, too. I think that in the scope of this debate, Pro has done enough to affirm this point.

== Assault Weps are not necessary ==

This is a rhetorical BoP flip by Pro onto Con, hypothetically forcing Con to show why Assault weapons are necessary. This point is never really contested (Con did show that people do use assault weapons for hunting and self-defence, but that does not mean they are necessary per say). This does not help Pro affirm the resolution, but it does run a pre-emptive anti-negation case point. Still, this does not have much impact on this debate.

== A ban would increase liberty and security ==

This point is purely theoretical, as it is not referenced. Furthermore, there is no impact attributed to it. At best, I can give it very minor impact for the theoretical impact " Pro"s first contention is by far the strongest and gives Pro his best chance of winning.
Posted by Zarroette 3 years ago
(RFD 2/2)

=== Con Case ===

== Gun bans are counter-productive ==

The problem with this argument, as Pro points out, is that Con is arguing against a gun ban, rather than *an assault weapon* gun ban. Therefore, the statistics are at least mitigated, if not nulled. I am finding it very difficult to (1) decide whether a partial (i.e. assault gun ban) would effect a country significantly differently and if not (2) most much of the statistic is retained to give Con impact. I really do not know.

== Stupidity with Gun stupidity does not require to ban guns ==

Again, Con is compromised by misaligning the resolution"s assault weapon clause with his arguments. Furthermore, Con"s statistics relate specifically to concealed carry, of which will still be retained under an assault gun ban. This argument of Con"s is rendered useless.

== Dreadful for the economy ==

Whilst Con"s argument is again compromised by the misunderstanding, the one actually retains a degree of impact. Whilst only a fraction of the 34000 new jobs and 5.8 billion is being effected, it"s still a sizable number. Since this contention is the one which has a large amount of impact, the most important question of the debate is this: how much of these statistics can be attributed to assault weapons? Unfortunately, I am never given the answer to this question. I do not think that it is fair to make Con"s arguments for him, so even if this fraction is large, it simply was not here in the debate.

=== Conclusion ===

Pro"s initial argument had small impact, was neat and to the point. Con"s counter-arguments were far more scary, however a lot were misaligned, and the ones that were not wholly were not linked to the resolution. I learned that the Con argument has enormous potential, though. It is a shame that Con loses due to misreading the resolution, but that is what has happened here. Arguments to Pro. Source, conduct and S&G were fine.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
>Reported vote: TheJuniorVarsityNovice// Mod action: NOT Removed<

6 points to Conduct, Arguments, Sources. Reasons for voting decision: Comments

[*Reason for non-removal*] The reason this was reported seems to be for the conduct point as the arguments point was sufficiently explained in-depth. The voter does explain that he awarded conduct because he interpreted Pro as shifting the resolution late in the debate and explains the specific arguments that he thought were indicative of that. While there won't be universally agreement on it, the voter does the minimum required to pass moderation review by explaining in specifics what he perceived to be unethical behavior.
Posted by Commondebator 3 years ago
mhm, understood

next time ill extend the economy argument. I didnt have much space left

thanks again
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 3 years ago
Yea, no problem. I cant actually vote on this yet though, I made this to get my voting privileges back, hopefully it gets approved. If so I'll definitely vote
Posted by Commondebator 3 years ago
both will keep in mind for next debate
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 3 years ago
end rfd
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 3 years ago
This match was very disorganized, this can be credited to the fact that apparently only pro knew what he was arguing. The debate changed from a debate over the ban of assault weapons in general into a specific assault rifle ban which Clinton did in 1994. Thus many of the arguments presented are superfluous, yet I will still go into them.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. Basically, Con was unable to address the resolution due to misreading it.
Vote Placed by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: comments