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Should assault weapons be legal for civilians?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/30/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 870 times Debate No: 112024
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
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Although I support guns such as pistols, rifles, and shotguns, does anybody know why people should be allowed to own assault rifles that are military style weapons, intended to kill as many people as possible?


Yes I sure do asta. There is a very simple argument as to why people should be able to own "assault" rifles (by which I assume you mean scary looking semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15, since assault rifle is not a category for anything). It goes something like this: The Second Amendment is not in place to protect your rights to hunt and have fun at the shooting range. It is there to protect us from a tyrannical government. If our government were to turn tyrannical the populace has the Second Amendment in place to defend itself. That was its very purpose when it was penned by the founding fathers. They understood how crucial it was for citizens to be armed since they had just revolted against a tyrannical government themselves.

Does that give you an idea of the purpose of "assault" rifles?
Debate Round No. 1


There are many types of guns. The 4 basic types of guns(measured by their power) are:

1) Hand Guns/Rifles. These guns can shoot one bullet, then have to be reloaded by hand, which is slow, unless you have a bump stock, in that situation they shoot faster and emulate gun type #2 and #4. These can protect citizens from a tyrannical government.

2) Semi automatic weapons. These don't shoot bullets like an extremely fast paced metronome but every time you pull the trigger, it shoots unless the gun is out of bullets. These also can be effective in hunting, which is totally okay.

3) Shotguns. These are effective for defending your house against multiple attackers, whether they be criminals or corrupt police. They also can be used for hunting since if you have bad aim, it's okay because when you shoot the deer, the shot gets spread around. They can be used if multiple people attack your home.

3) Assault weapons (I said Assault rifles in my intro, and I meant Assault weapons. Typos happen and I apologize for them): These should be banned. Any reason why guns should be legal (for protection, hunting, target shooting etc) can easily be fulfilled with gun type #1, #2, or #3.

The 2nd amendment wasn't written when AR 15s existed and the constitution allows it's citizens to change it when necessary if enough states agree to it.


Sorry Asta I have been incredibly busy and have been doing some other debates. I hate to keep you waiting.

There are so many things wrongs with the list you just posted it is hard to know where to start. Hand guns can be semi-auto. Rifles are often be semi-automatic weapons and don't have to be reloaded after each shot. Semi-automatic weapons are not typically used for hunting since they aren't real sporting. I can see you have never been hunting and have no idea of the concepts of hunting. A shotgun is never used to hunt deer. Never. You also have not defined "assault weapons." Do you mean automatic weapons? AR-15's? Which are "type 2" semi-automatic weapons in your dichotomy.

Your lack of knowledge on guns is shocking but I will help you out as much as I can. If you want to learn more you can send me a message and I will do my best. Or if you have no desire to learn about them that is fine too. Just don't talk about banning things you know so little about.

You are right that the Second Amendment wasn't written when AR-15s existed. The problem is that none of the weapons you listed were around when it was written. You could literally apply that statement to 99% of the guns owned today. Just because they weren't around back then means nothing.

The internet wasn't around when the First Amendment was written. Does that mean you don't have First Amendment rights on the internet? Or television? Or telephones?

This is a really basic argument against a specific type of gun. The majority of things we have today were not around when the Constitution was written. That does not mean that all things created after the Constitution was written are not subject to it.

You are missing a crucial component of the Second Amendment as well when you list the reasons for guns existing. Resistance to tyrannical government is why it is there. And gun types "#1, #2, or #3" don't really fulfill that.
Debate Round No. 2


You are correct in the sense that I haven't gone hunting or that I don't know too much about guns. I have shot at targets before.

But in order to defend against yourself against a tyrannical government, you can easily use a pistol to do it. A shotgun will also work since it spreads out the shot and can injure multiple people with one gun click, if multiple police officers or multiple criminals are attacking you.

When I refer to assault weapons, I mean automatic weapons, weapons that are designed to kill and weapons that are used for the battlefield. Should those weapons be legal for civilians?

What's wrong with background checks? (As a metaphor) if people can't come into this country without papers (which are essentially a citizen license) , then why should people be allowed to own guns if they don't have a gun license?


Ok I don't want to dwell on your lack of gun knowledge here other than to state that it is difficult to propose policy on a subject of which you don't have much understanding. Also, I have never in my life heard someone refer to pulling the trigger as a gun click. Just as an aside.

Interesting argument that you could defend yourself against a tyrannical government with a pistol. What weapons does the government have? Do they just have pistols? I suppose you could defend yourself against the government with bows and arrows if you wanted to... Probably wouldn't work out real well right?

Automatic weapons are not what you are talking about I am pretty sure. Although I would argue that these should be legal for citizens as well. You have referenced AR-15s before in this debate and I was assuming this was what you meant when talking about assault weapons. These are legal and can be purchased pretty easily. They are also semi-automatic weapons. Automatic weapons have not been used in any mass shooting in the US in a long time. The only one I can even think of was the North Hollywood shooting and that didn't kill anyone. That is why I've been assuming you were using the commonly referred to semi-automatic weapons like AR-15s as assault weapons this whole time. I am pretty sure that is what you are talking about or maybe you don't know the difference.

All of the recent mass shooting have not been done with automatic weapons. In fact, the majority of murders with firearms in the country aren't done with rifles of any kind. Over the last five years or so there have been around 6,000 people killed every year by handguns. There's are somewhere around 300 a year killed by rifles. Should handguns be legal for civilians?

All I can tell you is how the Constitution and the Founding Fathers answered these questions. Yes, we have a right to bear arms and that right shall not be infringed.

There really isn't anything wrong with background checks for the most part. They are already done every time a weapon is purchased. If you would have ever bought a firearm you would know this. Go to your local gun store and try and buy a gun. They will require your I.D. and will do a background check before you can buy a weapon.

Again, I hope this discussion has been useful to you and if you have any other questions concerning guns feel free to ask. The more educated everyone can become about this topic the better! Thanks
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheTrueBeliever 3 years ago
What you said in your summary in your last comment, I think is a very good position. I know definitions etc can be difficult, but I think that position you summarized is very reasonable.
Actually, I think the important thing when defining "mental illness", is defining exactly which ones are indicators of violence.
In those cases, I think we need to be extremely careful. Everyone should have a right to some basic self defense, so, in my mind, the debate should be if those people ought to have access to maybe a single-shot shotgun to protect their home or not. I'm just not sure.
Posted by Apolitical 3 years ago
I completely agree with this statement; "Banning guns won't prevent them from still being owned. If guns are illegal, those willing to commit homicides would get guns illegally and commit homicides against people who can't defend themselves."

Actually most of what you said was pretty good there and it seems like you may have changed your position. In fact I think you've gone further towards individual gun rights than even I have. I would agree that a mentally stable person should be allowed to own any gun (including "assault weapons") however, I am not sure I agree with the blanket statement that mentally ill people should be allowed to own a hunting rifle, shotgun or pistol.

I can also back up this statement with the Second Amendment as well. It does say a "well regulated militia" which would exclude mentally ill people to an extent. If you are seriously mentally ill they would not include you in any militia or let you have weapons in _________________ (insert a time period and place). Autistic people especially those with high functioning autism such as Aspergers should be allowed to own firearms.
Posted by asta 3 years ago
I have high functioning autism; Aspergers.

All weapons should not be illegal because a hand gun can and often does provide protection for families. Hunting guns also should be legal for people, whether mentally stable or not.

Banning guns won't prevent them from still being owned. If guns are illegal, those willing to commit homicides would get guns illegally and commit homicides against people who can't defend themselves.

However, what if a weapon is not needed for self defense or hunting? If these weapons do more harm than good, should mentally ill people be prohibited from getting these guns so mass shootings (and homicides) can be reduced? Mentally ill people can still have pistols and shotguns for the same reasons anyone else needs them.

My current belief (in summary) is:
-A mentally stable person should be allowed to own any gun.
-A mentally ill person should be allowed to own a pistol, a shotgun, and a hunting rifle.
Posted by Apolitical 3 years ago
Sable is not a word just FYI... I hope you meant stable. Also the same argument that you are making for the banning of automatic weapons can be made for __________________ (insert weapon). Every weapon that has ever been invented since the dawn of time has given crazy killers more power to kill. Why not ban them all?

I don't disagree that you should have access to a gun, including automatic weapons, if you are a sane individual and are mentally stable. That would depend on your level of autism and where you are on the spectrum I suppose.
Posted by asta 3 years ago
Murder has existed before guns. But automatic weapons cause more murder. They give crazy killers more power so they have the ability to create massive homicide.

Here you talk about Shariah law. I hate it and I'm worried that Muslims in the US, if they get the numbers would emulate the Muslims in Europe. No go zones would be established in the US.

While mentally sable people should be allowed to own automatic weapons, why should people who have autism be prevented from having pistols and shotguns? I have autism and I need to protect myself like anyone else.
Posted by TheTrueBeliever 3 years ago
No, don't think we're trolling, if you feel that at any point, just tell me and I'll let it go. It'san important and even emotional subject for people on both sides, so enjoy when I can sort of hash it out with someone who disagrees with me, but it isn't emotional.
Crazy socialists as we see in Venezuela, these people are literally rabid in their views. On the other side of the aisle, we have seen fascists in history who are literally rabid in their views. People in history with such views, have had little problem killing people as a means to whatever ends they seek. They have killed hundreds of millions.
Anyhow, my major point is (and is the view of the NRA and American gun owners) is that violence in the world and in history has little to do with gun ownership of citizens. While there are CERTAINLY murders in our country from guns, because we happen to allow them, the phenomenon of murder and violence has nothing whatsoever to do with guns. It has existed way before guns existed. The idea behind gun rights for citizens is for protection from tyrants, and "strong-men" and groups of thugs, who have killed so many hundreds of millions in history. While mass-shootings in the US make headlines, so do 86 people in France getting run over by a truck from a jihadist.
Reasonable ownership of assault weapons by individuals with no psychiatric problems and no violent criminal record(and there should be stringent filters) simply is not an issue pertaining to violence and murder in the world. If anything, it could lessen it. People in the US Army are only required to have a HS degree and little criminal record and they can be trusted with every manner of weapon. In the US, concealed carried permit holders have a lower crime rate than do the police. Assault Weapon ownership in the hands of responsible gun owners, simply is not a threat. The MAIN thing is trying to prohibit guns of ANY SORT getting into the hands of criminals and mentally ill.
Posted by asta 3 years ago
I honestly think talking about guns is okay. Neither of us are being trolls. Venezuela has a high homicide rate due to it's socialist policies making the country broke so people kill each other for food since poverty is widespread in Venezuela.

Homicide could have been higher in Mid evil times because there was more poverty under a government that had high taxes for it's citizens to pay. When midevil people are poor, some are willing to kill just like those in Venezuela.
Posted by TheTrueBeliever 3 years ago
No, automatic weapons were banned in the 1930s, this was the National Firearms Act.
I agree with what you said about Wayne and Monroe Counties, which demonstrates that there are many more factors than firearms. Places in S America where gun ownership rate is very low, knives are used much more often and the murder rate is much higher as well. Also murder was much higher before guns were ever invented.
I'm a lifetime member of the NRA, so you probably know where I'm coming from pretty well. I think we'll probably just end up agreeing to disagree, which of course is fine. I enjoyed reading your debate, and thanks for the follow up discussion with me.
Posted by asta 3 years ago
Automatic Weapons (I think, I might be wrong) were made illegal under Donald Trump, so they were banned but very recently. I didn't say semi automatic weapons were used by the military. Just because a weapon isn't used by the military doesn't mean it's safe enough for civilian use.

Regardless on where you live, a semi automatic weapon isn't the only gun that can be used in self defense. Many other guns work just fine.

While a minority of lives are lost due to semi automatic weapons they are nonetheless, still lives lost. Assuming a home can be defended by a pistol/rifle and a shotgun, why would people want a semi automatic rifle?

The reason why Wayne county has a higher homicide rate than Monroe is because cities tend to have higher homicide rates naturally because you are less likely to shoot someone if you know the person if you know them as a friend. In Monroe County, everybody knows everybody. In Wayne county, not so much. It's easier to shoot a stranger than you best buddy from football practice since you know the guy from football practice.

In the United States, the states with loose gun laws have higher homicide rates, despite them having a rural advantage.

Does "A History of Violence" state the reason for the dramatic homicide increase? It may be due to poverty. Poverty can be fixed by capitalism and self reliance.
Posted by TheTrueBeliever 3 years ago
Con, I just have to disagree that it can be done with a pistol in any sense, or a shotgun for that matter. One of the most difficult points I personally have is with your use of "automatic weapons". Automatic weapons are severely restricted by current federal law. They are not legal (w/ exceptions). When we talk about "assault weapons", this is not what we are talking about. Automatic weapons spray bullets. "Assault weapons" are semi-automatic, which means 1 bullet comes out with every pull of the trigger. There are 0 militaries on earth that use semi-automatic weapons for standard infantry use. The reason for this is that they are not sufficient for that purpose. This is why I say it is the absolute minimal necessary for even defensive purposes if defense against tyranny is the goal.
I agree with you that shotguns are very useful for home defense against an intruder or even a couple. If you live in an extremely high crime, gang area, assault weapons are your very best defense.
Once again, very few people are murdered by assault weapons in the US, but they tend to be highly publicized incidents.
There is no correlation with lower crime and gun-control. The countries with the strictest gun control on earth occupy both the most violent and most peaceful countries on earth. Examples of the most peaceful are found in Europe and Japan. Examples of the most violent are countries such as El Salvador and Honduras with very strict gun control.
Counties in America, such as Wayne County (Detroit) have much lower gun ownership rates as more rural adjacent counties such as Monroe County, but have a far higher murder rate.
Before guns were ever invented, the murder rate was higher than today. Read the historically renowned "A History of Violence" from the Middle Ages until today. The murder rate was much higher, and there were 0 guns.
In short, banning assault rifles will do nothing to make us safer. They are used to afford opportunities to both defenders and offenders.
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