"assault weapons" should NOT be banned
Debate Rounds (4)
Now, to ban assault weapons as per the way I have defined it would be to ban altogether shotguns, rifles and most types of pistols and handguns. This leaves a small portion of the latter, which I feel can be removed as well once the illegal sale of guns has been cut down.
As this debate progresses, I seek to establish certain facts that will make the job of the voters easier. These include:
A) Assault Weapons are NOT used primarily or even secondarily for self-defence
B) Assault weapons being legalised for self defence can lead to a society that is brutal, chaotic and vigilante in nature
C) The legalisation of assault weapons has an adverse impact on homicide rates
I look forward to an open and healthy debate, with each voter acting fairly and impartially.
AR 15s are sporting/home defense rifles. They are NOT assault rifles. (FYI, AR stands for Armalite rifle) Nothing special about them. Tell me something. Why should "assault weapons" be banned if less than 300 people are killed a year by them (75% being criminals since most murder victims are criminals) but alcohol shouldn't be banned when 10,000 people are killed a year by drunk drivers?
"Assault Weapons are NOT used primarily or even secondarily for self-defense" something you should be aware of is that tactical professionals say AR 15 rifles are the best rifles for home defense due to the fact they are compact and conformable.
So I mentioned before about alcohol. Why should we ban the most popular sporting rifles in America (which make up less than 300 deaths per year) from mentally sane law abiding citizens, but not ban alcohol when there is over 10,000 drunk driving deaths per year.
http://tinyurl.com... ), Americans use guns mainly for protection, target shooting and hunting. None of these activities actually require assault weapons. Less than two percent of America's gun stock could be unambiguously classified as assault weapons. Now, given this very limited practicality, why even INVOLVE the risk?
It's interesting, you bring up the AR-15. The AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle loosely based on the military M-16. The AR-15, a weapon that according to the FBI Handbook on gun regulations, will "fire automatically merely by the manipulation of the selector or the removal of the disconnector." The AR-15, a weapon that is capable of carrying a 100- round drum magazine and of shooting between 50 and 60 bullets per minute.
"Why should we ban the most popular sporting rifles in America from mentally sane law abiding citizens," you say. Have you heard of a man named James Holmes? I'm guessing you have, but nevertheless, James Eagan Holmes is the admitted perpetrator of a mass shooting that killed twelve people at a Century movie theater in Aurora ( http://tinyurl.com... ). Now, Holmes just happened to use a LEGALLY purchased .223 caliber semi-automatic assault weapon. This weapon is commonly known as the AR-15, which you call the "best rifles for for home defence."
James Holmes' shooting in Aurora lasted for less than a minute and a half. Twenty-five police officers had arrived at the scene within two minutes. Within six minutes, over 200 officers swarmed the theater. Amidst all this, Holmes used "America's most popular sporting rifle" to kill twelve people and injure fifty-eight others. Moreover, this is despite the fact that his AR-15 jammed in the middle of the shooting. We're actually lucky more people weren't killed.
As of now, Holmes has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. I recall Pro saying something about "mentally sane law abiding citizens." And, by the way, insanity as opposed to temporary insanity means that he is a long term sufferer of a mental disease. Which probably means that he legally purchased his AR-15 and his Glock 22 Pistol while allegedly suffering from this mental disease. It's scary how easy it is to become a legal gun owner.
This concludes my statement for round 2.
Now there may not be many gun owners that own A 15s, however they are the most popular rifle out of any other rifles in the country. "fire automatically merely by the manipulation of the selector or the removal of the disconnector." Now I love when people say "you can easily convert an AR 15 to full auto." Not as easy as you think. Only the best gun smiths can properly convert a rifle to fully automatic. Fun fact for you; in I believe in 1980 something, there was a meeting in Los Angeles with LAPD and California congressmen and women. The chief of police discussed the illicit firearms found in Los Angeles. He said out of the 50,000 firearms recovered by the police, not a SINGLE firearm was converted to fully automatic. (By the way, AR 15s were around in the 80s and were common.) So no, VERY few AR 15s have been converted to full auto. Adam Lanza tried to do it and failed at it. My father was a cop. Not ONE single weapon he found was a fully automatic convert.
"The AR-15, a weapon that is capable of carrying a 100- round drum magazine and of shooting between 50 and 60 bullets per minute." A Ruger mini 14 (which is not an "assault weapon") is also capable of holding a 100 round beta magazine like other hundreds of rifles NOT classified as "assault weapons" Any semi automatic rifle has the capability of firing 50-60 rounds per minute accurately.
"Have you heard of a man named James Holmes?" Oh, you mean the man who was on 3 different psychiatric drugs before he went on his mass shooting? Do you mean the guy who took psychiatric drugs before his mass shooting like over 90% of all other mass shooters we have had? Well, yes, of course I do. Fun fact for you: Doctors and psychiatrists are saying psychiatric drugs are the link behind mass shootings and not necessarily the mental illnesses which the "medications" are meant to treat. So was James Holmes a criminal before the shooting? No. Was he a government test subject before the shooting? yes, he was.
Anders Brevik used a rifle NOT classified as an "assault weapon" and was able to kill well over 6 times the number of people Holmes killed with his "evil AR 15 that is able to blow up trains and airplanes" (as some people actually believe) His AR 15 jammed due to his 100 round beta magazine. I thought I should share that.
So while I gave you sufficient proof an "assault weapons" ban would have no effect on crime, the total number of people killed in a mass shooting, and the mere fact that 90% of law enforcement said a ban would have no effect on crime, you still ignore these truths and continue to try and make an argument for a ban on specific rifles because of their "fearful look".
Please read my comments in regards to psychiatric drugs and mass shootings. I will add a few links at the bottom for that.
Again, you refute my other statement, which was "None of these three activities ( self-defence, target shooting and hunting) actually REQUIRE assault weapons." Your problem with this is that AR-15's are the supposedly the best weapons for home defence. This may or may not be true (I'm going to presume it is), but that in no way means that you "require" them, in any sense of the word. They are replaceable, and if there could be a positive impact from replacing them and bringing down the homicide rates to some degree, then they should, in fact, be replaced.
You also seem to disagree with what the FBI Handbook on Gun Regulations has to say about AR-15's when you rubbish the claim regarding the conversion of AR-15's to full auto. Now, I'm of the opinion that the FBI knows what they're talking about. I may be wrong.
Whether James Holmes committed the mass shootings as a result of the mental illnesses he was supposed to be suffering from or whether he carried them out due to psychiatric medication is irrelevant. The point I am trying to make, which you seem to have missed, is that the shootings probably would not have taken place if he hadn't had legal access to the AR-15. Simple.
You raise repeatedly some fairly important points about the limited use of assault weapons in mass shootings, saying that they are barely used at all. However, contrary to this, here's a fairly interesting survey: http://tinyurl.com... . Now, this survey, despite being around a year old, states that 20 assault weapons out of a total of 143 firearms were recovered from perpetrators of mass shootings taken into consideration. These figures are in no way overwhelming, but are irrefutably valid. Assault weapons are used in mass shootings to a considerable degree.
Also, it is undeniable that that assault weapons are a firearm of choice among criminals. In a study of young adult purchases of handguns in California buyers with minor criminal histories were twice as likely to purchase automatic pistols as those with no criminal history. This was even higher at five times as likely for those who had been charged with two or more serious violent offences (Page 17 of http://tinyurl.com... ). This goes to show, though you will no doubt find a way to disagree, that assault weapons are often purchased by those looking to use them for violent ends.
I would also like to base my debate on the principle that a single life saved makes the ban worthwhile. Even so, if you take the lowest estimate of assault-weapon caused deaths to be true (1%), it means that 90-100 lives a year could be saved by an assault weapons ban, while the highest (7%) means 630-700 lives. I ask you, is even the possibility of saving 630-700 lives your definition of "no effect?" Is that how a little a human life means to you, and is that how little it should mean to a country?
They are not required for hunting. Just as alcoholic beverages are not required for a party. So, is the option to prohibit these 2 things? I highly doubt you agree with with banning alcohol. If we start stripping people of " the non necessities" what will we become? We don't need violent video games to play videos games, so is the option to ban M Rated video games? "They are replaceable, and if there could be a positive impact from replacing them and bringing down the homicide rates to some degree, then they should, in fact, be replaced." You are not listening. In order to make such a controversial claim, you need facts to support it. I told you that less than 2% of homicides are committed by "assault weapons" each year (which are some of the most commonly found firearms around, yet they STILL only make up less than 2% of gun homicides) the 2 worst mass shootings in the ENTIRE WORLD were not committed by "assault weapons" (which dismisses the claim that "assault weapons" have the ability to kill more people thus ALSO proving that any homicide committed by a rifle classified as an "assault weapon" can be done with a different kind of weapon) (I hope you are paying attention here) and in the past TEN YEARS, less than 70 people have been killed by 'assault weapons" in mass shootings. With these facts, how can you prove that an "assault weapons" ban is capable of decreasing the already excessively low homicide rate committed by these types of firearms? 90% of law enforcement even say it themselves that a ban on "assault weapons" would have no positive effect on crime rates.
"you also seem to disagree with what the FBI Handbook on Gun Regulations has to say about AR-15's when you rubbish the claim regarding the conversion of AR-15's to full auto. Now, I'm of the opinion that the FBI knows what they're talking about. I may be wrong." The FBI did NOT mention anything about being "easy to convert to full auto" And you clearly ignored the fact that out of the 50,000 illicit firearms the LAPD recovered, not a SINGLE ONE was converted to fully automatic. Did you know you can remove the computer which controls the speed of a car? Not to mention BATF regulations require that semi-automatic rifles be manufactured so that they cannot accept parts or modifications that would allow them to be capable of fully automatic fire.
No, I'm not missing your point and I am dumbfounded by the fact that over 90% of mass shooters were on psychiatric drugs means nothing to you. It isn't a matter of the fact that Holmes had access to an AR 15. What matters is that he was mentally insane and had access to guns IN GENERAL. james Holmes could have use a totally different rifle and killed just as many, if not more people. Anders Brevik, the Norway mass shooter proves my point. He used a rifle NOT classified as an "assault weapons" and hold the record for the worst mass shooting in the WORLD.
2 things wrong: 1, didn't say many mass shootings are not committed by "assault weapons" 2. You are proving NOTHING because AGAIN, the worst mass shooting in HISTORY was NOT committed by an "assault weapon". The worst mass shooting in the U.S was not committed by an 'assault weapon" and even the SECOND worst mass shooting in the world was NOT committed by a rifle with "assault weapon" features. I've seen that article before. You haven't presented me any arguments I haven't seen in the past. So i will make it clear, I did NOT mention anything about "assault weapons" not being used in mass shootings.
Actually there are some major flaws, and before everyone votes, please pay extra attention here. The reason why 'assault weapons" are the popular choice of firearms for gangs and legal gun owners is because of the mere fact that their cosmetic looks makes them look very attractive. There is a reason why the AR 15 is the most popular sporting rifle in America. Its looks attract buyers. Semi automatic rifles with the "hunting look" are in the past. AR 15s are the new trend because they are sexy looking rifles.
"In a study of young adult purchases of handguns in California buyers with minor criminal histories were twice as likely to purchase automatic pistols as those with no criminal history. " There is a problem here. You cannot legally purchase ANY fully automatic weapon in ANY gun store in the country (unless you are talking about semi automatic). Incase you didn't know, most 99% of handguns these days are semi automatic so I don't really believe your "statistic" that criminals have a higher tendency to purchase handguns that are semi automatic because I know no one who would buy a single action revolver these days.
Also, .01% of gun crimes are committed by legal gun owners. (half of those offenses don't even involve a gun threatening someone) Your argument doesn't prove a ban on "assault weapons" would save lives. I certainly agree with making tougher background checks however.
"I would also like to base my debate on the principle that a single life saved makes the ban worthwhile." So your saying that 4 million people should give up their guns just to save one life (which could be a gang member since 75% of gun homicide victims are criminals in the first place due to their high risk lifestyles) So if you are willing to ban the most popular sporting rifles in America, (which make up less than 2% of gun homicides or less than 200 homicides) are you willing to prohibit alcohol to save thousands of lives from drunk drivers?
That concludes my argument for round 4. I will assure that if my opponent replies to this, I will continue the debate in the comment section here.
OK, since this is my last chance to put my case forward, I'm going to attempt to list and highlight all my arguments in this round:
1. An assault weapons ban would save lives
First of all, I am in no way pretending that the homicide rates will plummet the moment assault weapons are banned. That doesn't mean, though, that placing the ban will not have a notable impact. Over 70% of the USA's homicides are carried out by firearms. In 2012, 8855 were killed by firearms as opposed to 2785 by all other types of weapons and methods (http://tinyurl.com...). Gun control has to start somewhere, and assault weapons are well suited for that.
According to some estimates (it is uncertain which of the varying figures are correct), assault weapons are involved in 7% of homicides. In the above FBI source, that would be around 814 human lives taken by assault weapons. Of course, due to the uncertain and incoherent nature of these surveys, the real number may be a great deal lower. If the popular estimates of 2-3% are to be taken as true, then that itself means around 300 lives. 300 lives. The possibility of saving human lives in this magnitude itself outweighs the importance of assault weapons in society. A survey I cited earlier stated that 20 assault weapons out of a total of 143 firearms were recovered from the perpetrators of mass shootings.
Put simply, assault weapons are designed for assault. Their proliferation should be prohibited by law.
2. The function of assault weapons in society is entirely dispensable
The three legal uses of firearms are self-defense, hunting and target shooting. In all three fields, there are a large number of guns NOT classified as assault weapons that are as well, if not better suited to the purposes in question. For example, Kahr PM9's and Glock 19's are considered by experts to be some of the best guns for home defense. Colt Frontier Six Shooter's and Winchester 1873's have few legal rivals in the field of hunting.
Now, I do understand that certain assault weapons may be preferred by several law abiding citizens. But honestly, if there is a possibility of saving lives of the aforementioned magnitude, then it is but a small sacrifice. If giving up your gun of choice means that over at least 300 innocent people could continue to live, then is it really not worth it? Considering that assault weapons have such limited practicality, is it in any way fair to continue pretending that they should stay legal only so we can have a greater range of choices when we purchase guns?
3. The previous assault weapons ban was effective
The Justice Department released a study which categorically stated that the AWB of 1994 was solely responsible for a 6.7% decrease in total gun homicides, this too while holding all other factors equal. This 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 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. 37% of police departments reported seeing a noticeable increase in criminals’ use of assault weapons since the 1994 federal ban expired. Here's the source, in case anyone wishes to carry out a fact check: http://tinyurl.com....
Now, if a ban which was criticised by even the pro-gun lobby as being to weak could achieve this kind of change, imagine the effect of an updated version which stronger laws. "'Assault weapons' ban would have NO POSITIVE EFFECT," my opponent once said. Huh.
4. An assault weapons ban would help root out domestic terror
Legalizing high-power weaponry only forces public safety agencies to carry out more monitoring of civilian activity. The FBI is charged with “preventing homegrown attacks before they are hatched.” This would naturally involve extensive and comprehensive research into the lives of all legal gun owners, which is especially unfortunate in a day and age when extensions of this kind of monitoring are such a big issue.
Also, as I read on a very interesting article on a similar issue (http://tinyurl.com...), which pointed out how an assault weapons ban would allow agencies to go after all assault weapon owners instead of worrying about the intent of those who had purchased them.
This same article mentioned the issue of assault weapons being involved in a high amount of killings of police officers. In fact, as I mentioned before, the expiry of the AWB lead to a consistent increase in the number of police officers dying from gunfire (2009: 49 < 2010: 61 < 2011: 68). 2011 marks the only year for a while in which the leading cause of on duty police officer deaths was gunfire and not traffic fatalities. If we continue to arm both criminals and officers with this level of high power weaponry, we're genuinely asking for instability, chaos and anarchy.
Throughout this debate, my opponent and I have agreed on the fact that there are no real negative effects of an assault weapons ban. His case is that there is no positive effect, mine is that there is. I've tried my very best to convey the latter to you. Now, if, despite that, you still are of the opinion that an assault weapons ban will have "No positive effect," then you should go ahead and vote Pro. But honestly, how, despite all this evidence, can that still seem a valid statement?
An assault weapons ban is NOT an attempt to limit American gun rights. It is a last firm stand, one of the many required measures we can take to reduce the blatant, ugly criminal activity that fills the streets. A measure against crime, homicide, terror and fear.
Choose, today, as you vote, the country which you want to see.
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