The Instigator
ufcryan
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
WilliamofOckham
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

We Should Not Ban Assault Weapons or High Capacity Magazines

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
ufcryan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/8/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,455 times Debate No: 33465
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

ufcryan

Pro

For the rest of this debate, I am going to assume:

There is NO second amendment
We do not need assault weapons or high capacity magazines to defend ourselves against potential tyrannical governments.
We should not ban all guns (my opponent may challenge me to this debate later if they wish)

Given these assumptions, I believe I can still argue against banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

Rules:

My opponent:
Round 1) acceptance & arguments
2) arguments/rebuttals
3) arguments/rebuttals
4) rhetorical statement of choosing.

Me:
Round 1) terms and conditions
2) arguments/rebuttals
3) arguments/rebuttals
4) conclusion

May be done through political, medical, economic, or philosophical arguments.
No plagiarism.
Both parties must adhere to the previous assumptions.
WilliamofOckham

Con

I accept. Please present your arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
ufcryan

Pro

Firstly, I want to end one of the most common arguments against guns and especially assault weapons. It is what I call the Purpose of Guns Argument.

Purpose of Guns Argument:
1. Objects designed to inflict harm should not be created or possessed.
2. Guns (or assault weapons) are designed to inflict harm.
3. Guns (or assault weapons) should not be created or possessed.

This arguments fails for a couple reasons. Premise 2 (P2) is fails because the purpose of any object is up to opinion. Some say the AR-15 is an assault weapon, others say it's the civilian issued version of the M16 and doesn't possess the military features that makes it an assault rifle. Ultimately it's simply people's opinions and creates and endless, pointless cycle.

The main reason the Purpose of Guns argument fails is because P1 is false, or at least flawed. In the end, it does not matter what an object was designed for, all that matters is how it's used.
An example could include tasers: tasers were designed to reduce the number of times police had to use lethal force in apprehending a suspect. All they did was reduce the amount of pepper spray used, and have been documented as being used when less painful methods would have been suitable as well as to torture captured convicts. (Please note I do not believe we should ban tasers, but we do need to better regulate their usage). See http://socialistworker.org...

Therefore, the purpose of an object does not matter, only how it's used (something I'm sure we will agree on).

Next, let's address the flaws of the proposed assault weapons ban. For a complete list of the definitions of the 1994 Assault Weapons ban, see http://en.wikipedia.org.... The majority of the features that make a gun an assault weapon are purely cosmetic, such as pistol grips and flash hiders (neither of which would make much of a difference in a mass shooting). The only features that make an assault rifle, pistol, or shotgun any more deadly than any other semi-automatic weapon is the fact that they can except high capacity magazines, are able to hold a large number of bullets, or perhaps the grenade launcher (It is however illegal to own explosive grenades).

NOTE: The proposed 2013 Assault Weapons Ban used the same 1994 definitions but with a one feature instead of a two feature test.

Therefore for the rest of this debate, we must discuss banning weapons based on their capability to inflict harm, i.e. semi-automatic rifles (as far as I'm concerned, you can hunt just fine with a bolt-action rifle), and high capacity magazines/weapons. I will still call them assault weapons to keep it simpler.

The next most common argument I've heard against these weapons and magazines is why would anyone NEED an assault weapon or high capacity magazines (which is typically returned with defense against tyranny, but let's ignore that). Contrary to what many people believe, the demonized AR-15 can actually serve as a better defensive weapon for some people than a shotgun can (it's easier to handle and has more built in safety features), but most people use shotguns mainly because their cheaper. However this argument itself is also flawed, because it dictates someone must NEED an assault weapon. We live in a society which values liberty, and one of the core aspects of liberty (from the philosophical perspective) is that you have a right to own anything you want until proven otherwise, or that by owning that object or by allowing people to possess that object more people are being harmed. And if owning that object is harming others, you would have to show that enough rights are being violated to outweigh the property rights of others. For example, no one NEEDS a tv, but they're not harming anyone else by owning one, and thus they have a right to own a TV.

Does Owning Assault Weapons and High Capacity Magazines Create More Harm?

Now we must weigh benefits vs. harms vs. rights. First let's address high capacity magazines. If we examine the results of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban (see https://www.ncjrs.gov...), we find that around 16%-25% of crimes utilize high capacity magazines, but whether or not all the bullets were fired is unspecified. If you go to the Brady Campaign website, go to studies and reports, and read through all the incidents involving assault weapons (I did, it was a pain), you'll find that when assault weapons were used, roughly 16% of the incidents involved cases where more than 10 shots were fired (including where no one was hurt), and about 1% involved more than 75 shots. Therefore a very small fraction of crimes utilize high capacity magazines to their full extent, and we must weigh this against the number of times a law-abiding citizen uses more than 10 shots to defend themselves. Ultimately, we don't really know if having high capacity magazines would save more lives during mass shootings (while the shooter reloads) or if it would lead to MORE innocent deaths. What is apparent is that, at best, it's not going to be very many, and given the durability of magazines it may take more than 50 years before we can start to detect any changes. Given the uncertain and extremely small potential return weighed vs. the property rights of the millions of gun owners, we shouldn't ban high capacity magazines.

Next, let's evaluate banning assault weapons, which now we can boil down to simply talking about semi-automatic rifles, since I've previously argued for high capacity magazines. What can a semi-automatic rifle accomplish that a pistol cannot? I've talked to a few soldiers, and it mainly comes down to ease of handling, range, accuracy, and (depending upon the rifle) firepower. Range isn't going to affect someone's ability to commit a mass shooting since they tend to happen in closer quarters. Accuracy mainly ties into range, and at close quarters it's not going to make a large difference, if any. Ease of handling, again they may be inconvenienced but they could still accomplish the same shooting with a semi-automatic pistol, so we're left with firepower. How many extra people are killed by having larger bullets, and how does that weigh against the property rights of gun owners? If it doesn't than we shouldn't ban them, if it does then we should ban the rifles that fire the larger bullets (bullets that can't be quickly fired out of handguns), but the AR-15 may not be among them. (The AR-15 fires the 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington, which sometimes have even less stopping power than other, such as a 45 ACP). So if we ban these semi-automatic rifles, we violate the property rights of millions of Americans for a very small (and potentially no) positive net gain.

Therefore, given the property rights of gun owners and the small, and potentially zero or negative net gains from banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, we should not ban either.
WilliamofOckham

Con

Thanks to my opponent for posting his argument.

1. Assault Weapons Aren"t Needed

Assault rifles make up only 1.7 percent of all guns in America. Their function in society is dispensable. A 2005 Gallup poll found that 67 percent of gun owners carried firearms for protection, 66 percent for target shooting, and 58 percent for hunting. None of these activities"the three most popular for gun users"requires assault weapons. The possibility for extra civilian casualties in a self-defense scenario outweighs the benefits of being able to shoot more often. Assault weapons are by no means required to be effective at hunting or other recreational activities. They are inaccurate, highly visible, and bulky. Given assault weapons" limited practicality, why even involve the risk?1

2. Assault Weapons Bans Have Worked

Criminalizing the ownership of assault weapons dries up the supply, decreasing the ability for most potential criminals to gain access to such weapons. Furthermore, it decreases the risk of a citizen committing an atrocity because they have an assault weapon. The rules of supply and demand will cause prices to increase, deterring certain criminals from buying assault weapons over cheaper and far less lethal firearms.

Following the now-defunct ban, the amount of assault weapons traced back to crime decreased by 66%. As of 2001, only 1.1% of weapons traced back to crime were found to be assault weapons named in the act. This is a sharp decline from 3.67%, the first year before the ban.2

In Massachusetts, where assault weapons are banned, firearms kill three out of 100,000 people each year, compared to national average of 10 out of 100,000.3

3. The Assault Weapons Ban Overturn Was Disastrous

Since the law"s expiration, police deaths from gunshot wounds have increased substantially. In 2009, 49 police officers died from gunfire, a 24 percent increase from 2008. In 2010, 61 officers were shot and killed, a 37 percent increase from 2009. And in 2011, 68 officers died from gunfire. In fact, 2011 represents the first year of the past 14 years when the leading cause of on-duty police officer death was from gunfire and not from traffic fatalities.1

4. The Assault Weapons Ban Makes Sense

If we allow both officers and criminals to obtain high-powered weaponry, we"re simply asking for death and instability. Banning assault weapons would not only save civilian lives, but also would help protect police officers on duty. The move would allow for tighter, more aggressive enforcement of the law. The fight against assault weapons should be framed not as a limitation of rights, but as a stand against criminality and criminal violence. The net benefit to society is positive.

Works Cited:

1 http://www.iop.harvard.edu...
2 http://www.bradycenter.org...
3 http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 2
ufcryan

Pro

WilliamofOckham your bradycampaign link did not bring up any results, could you re-post the source.

Also please cite where you got the following statistic:

Following the now-defunct ban, the amount of assault weapons traced back to crime decreased by 66%. As of 2001, only 1.1% of weapons traced back to crime were found to be assault weapons named in the act. This is a sharp decline from 3.67%, the first year before the ban.2

Next, plagiarism was against the rules. You plagiarized from the following sources:

http://www.iop.harvard.edu... (three of your paragraphs were plagiarized from this source)
http://www.debate.org... (a plagiarism directly from Stupidwalrus on debate.org)

Additionally, I already addressed why the argument that no one NEEDS an assault weapon is a bad one. America is a Libertarian State, and liberty dictate you can own whatever you want until proven otherwise. I then went to attempt to prove that banning assault weapons would not have any effect on the net crime rate. Since it would not have a net effect, or at the very least a enough of an effect to justify violating the property rights of millions of Americans.

Nonetheless, let's address the statistics and arguments you proposed.

"Assault Weapons Bans Have Worked"

If the end goal is to eradicate assault weapons then yes criminalizing their ownership would make it much more inconvenient to own them. However this does not stop criminals from smuggling them over the borders or committing atrocities with other firearms. The deadliest mass shooting in US history was the Virginia Tech Shooting, and he used a Glock 19 pistol. The Glock 19 fires a 9mm (arguably less powerful than the 5.56 NATO that the AR-15 fires) and he used a variety of 10 and 15 round magazines. But I still say our goal is not to eliminate assault weapons, it is to reduce violence as much as possible while respecting the liberties of others.

"Following the now-defunct ban, the amount of assault weapons traced back to crime decreased by 66%. As of 2001, only 1.1% of weapons traced back to crime were found to be assault weapons named in the act. This is a sharp decline from 3.67%, the first year before the ban.2"

What crimes, exactly, decreased? And was this crime per 100,000 people or total crime? For those of you who do not know, crime per 100,000 is the proper indicator to detect changes over time because it takes into account fluctuations in populations. Next, if you plot the US total violent crimes rate over time you'll find that crime was decreasing before and after the Assault Weapons ban. They have actually linked this to, among other reasons, a decreasing youth population in the US (youths commit the most crimes, so when you have lower concentrations of youths you have less crime). See:

http://www.fbi.gov...
http://www.csmonitor.com...

"In Massachusetts, where assault weapons are banned, firearms kill three out of 100,000 people each year, compared to national average of 10 out of 100,000.3"

This fails to take into account the many, many other reasons crime rates differ. I could just as easily point to Wisconsin where in assault weapons are legal and the murder rate was 2.4 per 100,000 in 2011 vs. Massachusetts where the murder rate was 2.8 per 100,000 in 2011, or California which has assault weapons bans and had a murder rate of 4.8 per 100,000 in 2011. These statistics, however, fail to consider other factors that create violence and murders, such as population concentrations, drug trades, unemployment, under-educated societies, poverty, etc. See:

http://www.fbi.gov...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

"Since the law"s expiration, police deaths from gunshot wounds have increased substantially. In 2009, 49 police officers died from gunfire, a 24 percent increase from 2008. In 2010, 61 officers were shot and killed, a 37 percent increase from 2009. And in 2011, 68 officers died from gunfire. In fact, 2011 represents the first year of the past 14 years when the leading cause of on-duty police officer death was from gunfire and not from traffic fatalities.1"

The problem with this is that it's looking at changes that are actually extremely small and doesn't factor in population (did the total number of police officer in America increase?), it doesn't specify how many police officers were killed by assault rifles, and it doesn't specify whether or not the incidents involved cases where the police officer would have died even if the perpetrator didn't have an assault rifle (for example, if someone came behind a police officer and shot them in the head, the police officer would have been killed just as easily by any other gun or even a blunt object).

"If we allow both officers and criminals to obtain high-powered weaponry, we"re simply asking for death and instability. Banning assault weapons would not only save civilian lives, but also would help protect police officers on duty. The move would allow for tighter, more aggressive enforcement of the law. The fight against assault weapons should be framed not as a limitation of rights, but as a stand against criminality and criminal violence. The net benefit to society is positive."

Assault weapons are used in roughly 6% of crimes, and those are mainly assault pistols since they're more concealable (which fire the same bullets as other handguns). Then, we have to ask "what can an assault weapon do that a pistol cannot?" Honestly not much, and I addressed this more thoroughly in my previous arguments. If citizens owning assault weapons DID lead to more death and instability this argument would be valid, but it hasn't. Few people are killed by assault weapons and few crimes are committed with assault weapons. So if millions of Americans own assault weapons and mainly shoot them for recreation (some use them for self-defense), and you cannot PROVE that banning them would have a positive net effect on the total people killed, then you would be violating their property rights without justification. See

http://www.cdc.gov...
https://www.ncjrs.gov...
WilliamofOckham

Con

1. Source problems:

For the Brady Center link, this may work better: http://www.brianfrosh.com.... If not, please play around with the Brady Center website. I will continue to look for the link myself.

As for my alleged plagiarism, first of all, my opponent"s first link I cited in my first argument. It was the first source: http://www.iop.harvard.edu.... As for the second accusation, I was merely using pro"s arguments as help for my own debate. That is where I got one of those sources, and that paragraph was a paraphrasing of my source 2.

Now as for the criticism of my usefulness of assault weapons argument, my opponent cites that it is a violation of liberty. However, allowing assault weapons will actually decrease liberty in the long run. "Even the claim that banning assault weapons would limit Americans" freedoms is largely unsubstantiated. If anything, I"d argue the reverse. Legalized high-powered weaponry forces public safety agencies, mainly the FBI, to attempt to monitor more civilian activity."1

2. Assault Weapons Only Bans Do Work

According to the FBI"s handbook on gun regulations, an AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle based loosely on the military"s M-16, "will fire automatically merely by manipulation of the selector or removal of the disconnector." With relative ease, assault rifles can be made to mimic weapons of war. Their potential for destruction is staggering.1

Take, for example, the massacre in Aurora. Despite the limited time, Holmes killed twelve viewers and injured fifty-eight others. Scarier still, Holmes" .223 caliber assault weapon, a semi-automatic AR-15, jammed during the shooting. When we hear about the massacre in Aurora, we must remember only twelve were killed. An AR-15 is capable of carrying a 100-round drum magazine and of shooting between 50 and 60 bullets per minute. It"s incredibly fortunate more lives were not lost.1

Banning assault weapons would take out a set of guns that are extremely dangerous compared to guns such as handguns and ordinary hunting rifles.

3. Assault Weapons Bans Lower Crime

A Justice Department study of the assault weapons ban found that it was responsible for a 6.7% decrease in total gun murders, holding all other factors equal. The same study also found that "Assault weapons are disproportionately involved in murders with multiple victims, multiple wounds per victim, and police officers as victims."2, 3

The 1994 ban, according to a Department of Justice review, also appears to have caused the percentage of crimes involving assault weapons in some major US cities to drop from 72 percent to 17 percent.4, 5

The expiration of the federal law, on this paper"s model, has gotten roughly 239 people killed on the Mexican border per year since 2004. This is consistent with another paper that found "the expiration of the AWB is responsible for at least 16.4 percent of the increase in the homicide rate in Mexico between 2004 and 2008."4, 6

Moreover, when you compare different states with different gun laws at the same time, you find states with tighter gun regulations (including assault weapon bans) have significantly lower rates of firearm death. This suggests that, independent of whatever good fortune the United States has seen the past decade, better gun laws could significantly accelerate decline in lives lost to gunfire.4

Overall, the 1994 ban on assault weapons did lower crime.

3. Assault Weapons Bans Solve the Crime Problem

The reality is that even a minor percentage decline in fatalities could means hundreds of fewer people killed per year. Estimates about the percentage of crimes involving assault weapons range from two to eight percent. But if the Feinstein law could make a dent in that number, that"s still a big deal. Consider one estimate, based on federal gun trace data, that the original federal assault weapons ban reduced the national percentage of gun crimes involving assault weapons from about five percent to about two percent. Assuming that, because assault weapons are rarer and deadlier and hence more likely to be responsible for homicides, this translated to a one percent decline in the homicide rate. That"s 110 fewer murders per year given the roughly 11,000 Americans killed by gun homicide every year. We can debate whether would-be murderers would simply use other types of guns, and whether they"d be as deadly, but the point is that even a small percentage drop in gun homicides nationwide would be a huge victory.4

Works Cited

1 http://www.iop.harvard.edu...
2 Jeffrey A. Roth & Christopher S. Koper, "Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994," (March 1997).
3 http://www.feinstein.senate.gov...
4 http://thinkprogress.org...
5 http://www.sas.upenn.edu...
6 http://themonkeycage.org...#
Debate Round No. 3
ufcryan

Pro

In the future WilliamofOckham copying and pasting other people arguments is considered plagiarism unless it is placed under quotations and the source it was taken from is referenced directly. But no harm no foul and it's insignificant the process of this debate.

Next, it is true that the actual process of converting an AR-15, or most other rifles for that matter, to fully automatic isn't very hard. Getting the parts necessary to do this is EXTREMELY difficult. Most states do not permit anyone other than government and law enforcement to own machineguns, the ones that do usually require the machine gun be made before 1986, they need to be registered, they cannot be transported across state lines without prior ATF approval, you must undergoe extensive background checks and waiting periods before you can own one, and some other restrictions. Therefore machineguns are practically illegal and citizens cannot own them.

http://www.bushmaster.com...
http://www.cga.ct.gov...

Next, let's quickly discuss the Aurora Theatre shooting and the AR-15. Yes the AR-15 jammed, and according to a CNBC documentary "The Rise of the AR-15," 68 spent .223 casings were discovered after the shooting. The reason only 12 people were killed, and what most people gun control proponents don't realize, is that the reason only 12 people died is because the .223 bullet is more likely to wound its victims than to maime them.

Our military found over history that they were actually more effective when they killed a certain number and wounded a certain number. When an enemy soldier was wounded, two more soldiers had to pull that soldier out of the fight, so now you've taken three people out of the fight instead of just one. This is why we still use the 5.56 NATO (or the .223 remington). The main difference between the .223 bullets Holmes used in the AR-15 and the .40 caliber bullets he used in the handguns he had on him is the fact that the .223 can go farther and is more accurate. Mass shooters rarely spend much time aiming and they don't tend to take place at extreme distances. Therefore with the exception of the 100 round drum magazine, Holmes could have accomplished the same task with another handgun.

Next, the "assault weapons ban" does NOT ban firearms based on their capability, but their external looks. The ruger mini 14 literally fire the exact same bullet and functions the exact same as the AR-15, but it would not have been banned under the assault weapons ban of 2013. If anything, it would have exempted rifles that function similiarly but fire bigger and deadlier bullets to the AR-15, such as the remington 750.

http://www.chuckhawks.com...

If we wanted to talk about banning firearms based upon their potential killing power vs. weighing their practical defensive use then thats fine, but the AR-15 may not fall under that category. More and more people are using the AR-15 for home defense. It's far easier to handle than a shotgun, especially for smaller framed shooters such as petite woman. If loaded with the proper ammunition, its actually less likely to penetrate walls and hurt other family members. And the only reason most people use shotguns over AR-15's is not because their easier to aim (at close range a shotgun functions the same as another rifle), but because their cheaper. See the home defense video.

As for the effectiveness banning assault weapons and reducing crime, I'll repost the links to the studies that report it had either no effect or one so small that it was undetectable. One is provided by the center for disease control, one is provided by the US Department of Justice.

http://www.cdc.gov...
https://www.ncjrs.gov...

Next let's talk about how many people are approximately being killed by assault weapons each year, how many shots are fired by assault weapons, and how many crimes are committed with assault weapons.

Below is a list of data I personally developed using a list of assault weapons crimes that was posted on the BradyCampaign site. It is no longer posted on the Brady Campaign website, but I'll include a full MLA citation so you or anyone reading this can look it up on the date it was posted.

After factoring out suicides and gun accidents, since those happen with all guns independent of whether or not a gun its an assault rifle, I developed these approximate numbers:

People Murdered By Assault Weapons:

2004: 12
2005: 33
2006: 30-41
2007: 46-50
2008: 63-70
2009: 64-89
2010: 9-17
2011: 9-14
2012: 41-43

People Injured:

2004: 4
2005: 31
2006: 17-24
2007: 34-41
2008: 80-100
2009: 72-22
2010: 15-24
2011: 10-14
2012: 76

Total Reported Crimes (involving where no one was hurt):

2004: 7
2005: 31
2006: 35
2007: 30
2008: 128
2009: 148
2010: 17
2011: 12
2012: 11

Over 5 years, approximately 66 incidents out of 419 incidents utilized more than 10 shots (including where no one was hurt). 5 out of 419 incidents utilized more than 75 shots.

Over 5 years, around 21 AR-15's were used to commit crimes, 159 crimes were committed with an AK-47 or SKS, and 234 incidents either didn't specify the weapon used or used a different assault weapon.

Full Citation:

BradyCampaign. "Examples of Assault Weapon Violence Reported Since Ban Expired in 2004." 1 August
2012. bradycampaign.org.
http://www.bradycampaign.org.... 13 April 2013.

It can also be viewed here: http://issuu.com...

There were approximately 250,000 reported firearms crimes in 2010, around 17 of which involved assault weapons. Given how criminals would substitute assault weapons for other weapons, it is unlikely it would have reduced crime.

http://www.fbi.gov...

"Moreover, when you compare different states with different gun laws at the same time, you find states with tighter gun regulations (including assault weapon bans) have significantly lower rates of firearm death. "

Well no kidding. The greatest fallacy of the gun control lobby is the assumption that if we got rid of more guns or certain guns the total people killed automatically goes down. Our focus is and always should be on the TOTAL number of murders and crimes committed, not just firearm deaths and firearm crimes. Also this is blatantly false. California (Ranked number 1 in gun law strength by the brady campaign) had a firearm homicide rate of 3.2 per 100,000 in 2011 and Texas (one of the weakest states for gun law strength) had a firearm homicide rate of 2.7 per 100,000 in 2011.

http://www.fbi.gov...
http://www.fbi.gov...

The assault weapons ban did not lower crime because, even after the ban was lifted, the contributions assault weapons had on crime were extremely small and probably would have been substituted for other firearms or even by means other than firearms.
WilliamofOckham

Con

Thanks for your dedication to this debate.

1. What the 2013 Proposed Assault Weapons Bill Bans

The bill that was proposed earlier this year in Congress has made the assault weapons ban more comprehensive compared to the prior assault weapons bans. One such provision is that any firearm manually operated by a bolt, pump, lever or slide action are the only assault weapons excluded from the bill (besides prior owned and antique weapons (i.e. ones that don"t work)). It also improves the range of weapons prohibited by the ban. For example, bump or slide fire stocks, which are modified stocks that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire at rates similar to fully automatic machine guns, so-called "bullet buttons" that allow the rapid replacement of ammunition magazines, frequently used as a workaround to prohibitions on detachable magazines, and thumbhole stocks, a type of stock that was also created as a workaround to avoid prohibitions on pistol grips are banned. Note also that many of the dangerous "assault pistols" my opponent mentions are also banned in the bill.1

A complete list of improvements on the previous ban, and weapons banned under the bill can be found in source 1.

In other words, weapons that are modified so as to work around the ban have also been banned under this bill. It is more comprehensive than the last one, and bans many dangerous guns that cause many dangerous deaths.

2. The Proposed Assault Weapons Ban Can Make a Dent in Modern Violence

My opponent is trying to downplay how bad assault weapons are. While they are not used that much, when they are, the results are devastating. The reality is that even a minor percentage decline in fatalities could mean hundreds of fewer people killed per year. Estimates about the percentage of crimes involving assault weapons range from two to eight percent. But if the Feinstein law could make a dent in that number, that"s still a big deal. Consider one estimate, based on federal gun trace data, that the original federal assault weapons ban reduced the national percentage of gun crimes involving assault weapons from about five percent to about two percent. Assuming that, because assault weapons are rarer and deadlier and hence more likely to be responsible for homicides, this translated to a one percent decline in the homicide rate. That"s 110 fewer murders per year given the roughly 11,000 Americans killed by gun homicide every year. We can debate whether would-be murderers would simply use other types of guns, and whether they"d be as deadly, but the point is that even a small percentage drop in gun homicides nationwide would be a huge victory.2

Even if the assault weapons ban prevents just one murder, we can call it victory for that one person. We can"t not ban assault weapons just because fewer people are killed by them. Not to mention the potential that assault weapons possess in the hands of crazed murderers where they are a lot more dangerous than a simple gun.

3. States with Fewer Assault Weapons Have Fewer Murders

States with the most laws had a mortality rate 42% lower than those states with the fewest laws, they found. The strong law states' firearm-related homicide rate was also 40% lower and their firearm-related suicide rate was 37% lower. Specifically, Fleeger pointed to states with many gun laws like Massachusetts, which had 3.4 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people, and New Jersey, which had 4.9 gun-deaths per 100,000 people. Conversely, he focused on states with fewer laws like Louisiana, which had 18 deaths per 100,000 individuals and Alaska, which had 17.5 deaths per 100,000 individuals.3

Only opponent is simply cheery picking data by comparing one high-gun control state to one low-gun control state. We have to look at the bigger picture, which says that, in general, states with more gun control laws have less crime and fewer murders, and the assault weapons ban would help with this.

4. The Previous Assault Weapons Ban Worked

Here were the total effects of the previous ban: Justice Department study of the assault weapons ban found that it was responsible for a 6.7% decrease in total gun murders, holding all other factors equal. The same study also found that "Assault weapons are disproportionately involved in murders with multiple victims, multiple wounds per victim, and police officers as victims." The use of assault weapons in crime declined by more than two-thirds by about nine years after 1994 Assault Weapons Ban took effect. The percentage of firearms seized by police in Virginia that had high-capacity magazines dropped significantly during the ban. That figure has doubled since the ban expired. When Maryland imposed a more stringent ban on assault pistols and high-capacity magazines in 1994, it led to a 55% drop in assault pistols recovered by the Baltimore Police Department. 37% of police departments reported seeing a noticeable increase in criminals" use of assault weapons since the 1994 federal ban expired. Since the ban expired, more than 350 people have been killed and more than 450 injured by these weapons.1, 4, 5, 6

The previous assault weapons ban worked better than my opponent cares to admit. He hasn"t really provided a lot of evidence saying the contrary on this point.

5. There"s Only One Thing to Do " Ban Assault Weapons

Mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson have demonstrated all too clearly the need to regulate military-style assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines. These weapons allow a gunman to fire a large number of rounds quickly and without having to reload. An assault weapons ban gets these dangerous weapons off the streets and saves lives. The only people who should not support the assault weapons ban are criminals themselves. Ban assault weapons and save lives.

Thank you.

Works Cited:

1 http://www.feinstein.senate.gov...
2 http://thinkprogress.org...
3 http://www.usatoday.com...
4 http://www.washingtonpost.com...
5 Police Executive Research Forum, Guns and Crime: Breaking New Ground by Focusing on the Local Impact (May 2010). Q95;
6 Douglas S. Weil & Rebecca C. Knox, Letter to the Editor, The Maryland Ban on the Sale of Assault Pistols and High-Capacity Magazines: Estimating the Impact in Baltimore, 87 Am. J. of Public Health 2, Feb. 1997.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by jackintosh 4 years ago
jackintosh
ufcryanWilliamofOckhamTied
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Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited when he plagiarized. You directly copy and pasted arguments that are not your own. I realize that you cited the source, but you did not use it to bolster your own argument you used it AS your argument. I have to try to be fair in this vote, and because I feel it was dishonest to directly copy/paste and use that as your whole point rather than assist your point, I give the majority of points i can with good conscience to Pro. You did improve towards the end though and that is the only reason I only gave the conduct vote to Pro. I feel a rematch would be beneficial.