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Government and Gun Control

Guns have been a controversial topic since the founding of the United States. Our forefathers decided that "a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". From the very beginning our government has controlled a citizen's rights in regards to firearms. In 1999, citizens are being limited just as our ancestors were only the government has taken the responsibility away from the individual and placed it on the manufacturer of the firearms. Media coverage and firearm-related deaths have caused the government to intervene on the manufacturing and banning of firearms.

In order to discuss firearms we must understand its definition. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary a firearm is "a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder- usually used of small arms". The Oxford Dictionary simply states that a firearm is " a rifle, pistol, or other portable gun". These definitions are vague and somewhat confusing to those who are not very knowledgeable in the firearm subject. Many reporters and anti-firearm organizations also include assault weapons and semi automatic weapons. So I will go ahead and speak of firearms to include all guns and rifles.

Anti-firearm groups have been around since the Constitution was written. These organizations believe that gun ownership should be limited and very strict. Their quest is to reduce violence, ensure that the government enact national regulations, ban all types of assault weapons, and restrict the number of guns individuals can buy during a specified time (Carter, 47). The banning of assault weapons is thought to reduce violent crimes. And therefore, anti-firearm organizations feel that private citizens should not be allowed to own them. Gun restriction has been aided by Brady Handgun Prevention Act, which requires a waiting period of 5 days for a handgun. This waiting period allows local law officials to conduct criminal record checks on prospective gun buyers. However, waiting periods do not stop felons from obtaining guns illegally. Ninety-three percent of career criminals get their guns from sources other than gun stores, mostly by theft or black market deals (online). One bill that Congress is trying to pass places a restriction on the manufacturing, transferring and possession of certain semi-automatic assault weapons. These weapons include the Beretta Ar70 and the Colt AR-15. The proposition is known as the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the pro gun activists that believe people should have the right to go and buy a gun or firearm if he/she feels the need to protect themselves. Of course, there are many reasons why a person would own a gun. For example, recreational shooting is one hobby that many people enjoy. Another reason some citizens might feel the need to own a firearm is that they do not live in a safe, environment, so they do what they can to protect themselves. Now if the manufacturing of certain firearms is banned, then hunting sports and personal safety are threatened. Pro gun activists also feel that law-abiding citizens should not have such rigid laws forced upon them. As I stated earlier, convicted felons who have access to firearms through an underground market commit most crimes. They do not follow the laws of the states or the country. In 1976, Washington, D.C. enacted a virtual ban on handguns. By 1991, D.C.'s homicide rate had tripled, while the U.S. rate rose 12%. New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and D.C. -- with very restrictive gun laws -- make up only 5% of the U.S. population, yet account for 16% of U.S. murders (Kleck, 225)

Now there has been room left for misinterpretation. Most pro-gun activists do believe in some form of gun control. However, they feel that the laws that are being established are not resolving the current problems. Groups such as the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation try to help Congress pass legislation that is equal and just to the private citizens as well as the general public. They are also firm believers of tough laws, but they want to make sure that these laws will make sense and are applicable.

The United States government is trying to have an impact on violence. Members of government feel that by going straight to the manufacturers of the firearms private citizens would not have to be burdened by the temptation to purchase firearms. In order to go about banning certain assault weapons drastic and fast action must be taken. If the government passes the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, gun owners of certain firearms must have their guns checked before a certain date (online). This is the exception to the law, but it is still a restriction. While most government officials believe that getting rid of firearms completely will reduce crime and eliminate firearm fatalities they are wrong. Statistics show that there are more fatalities due to automobile accidents than by firearms. Banning the manufacturing of firearms is not going to stop criminals from using firearms. Instead, these laws are only going to hinder the citizens that follow them. So the end result will be the same violence by criminals. However, there will be something added, angry law abiders who do not deserve nor think that these laws are just.

It all began when the United States became an independent state. Regulations, laws, and restrictions were placed to ensure that citizens did not undergo monarchist persecution. However, it seems that as the country gets older the reigns are tightened. And while government officials believe that certain laws are needed to further develop the United States, the free citizens of the country are losing their freedom. The banning of manufacturing firearms does not solve the problem; it only creates another one. Convicted felons are being let out of jail on good behavior while free citizens are being punished for obeying the laws of the land.

Carter, Gregg. The Gun Control Movement. New York: Prentice Hall, 1997.

Kates, Don. Great American Gun Debate. San Francisco: Pacific Research for Public Policy, 1997.

Guncite: Gun Control and Second Amendment Issues. Available:

NRA Homepage. Available: http://www.nra.org/

Second Amendment Homepage. Available: http://rrnet.com/

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Реферат: Gun Control Overview Essay Research Paper Gun

Gun Control: Overview Essay, Research Paper

Gun Control: Overview

The issue of gun control has been debated for a long time, probably ever

since they were invented. The gun is a small, rather easy to obtain, weapon that

is lethal if used in the right (or wrong) way. This makes the gun an extremely

dangerous factor in our lives. If used improperly, a gun could be lethal to not

only the target, but the user as well. The availability of guns has sky rocketed

in the past decade or so, and the immense population of guns in our society make

it a dangerous place to live. Gun violence claims approximately 38,000 lives in

the U.S. each year, including 5,000 children and teenagers.(1) In the past few

years, many steps have been taken to help reduce the risk of fatal accidents or

intentions. One of these steps was the ban of assault weapons.

Two years ago, congress passed a landmark bill, banning the sale,

manufacture and, importation of semi-automatic assault weapons and large

capacity ammunition clips. Due to this ban, the number of crimes traced to

assault weapons has decreased almost 20% from 1994.(2) This ban was repealed by

the House of Representatives. On march 22, 1996 another big legislation in the

fight against guns was the Brady bill, which demands a 5 day waiting period for

all handgun purchases. These legislation’s are some what effective and in

different ways. The only real way to eliminate most gun violence is to eliminate

the availability of guns. Surely making guns illegal would do this but this

raises a very important issue.

If you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns. Simply put, no

matter how many bans you put out, there will always be the black market to

support the criminals in the U.S. Needless to say the law abiding citizens of

our country would be defenseless. The NRA has made sure that this will never

happen. What the United States needs is some one to pass a bill that will

protect all our citizens. Some men and women in Washington think they are that

some one. Some think that there should be more availability of guns. Let’s see

what they both think.

Two years ago, as I mentioned, Congress passed a ban on the sale,

manufacture, and importation of all semi-automatic assault weapons. Soon after

the 104th Congress resumed power, The House of Representatives repealed the ban

as a pay back to the National Rifle Association (NRA) who had funded thousands

of dollars to Congressional candidates through their Political Action Committee

(PAC). According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA has spent over

$3 million in 1993 and 1994 alone on campaign commercials. The NRA is one of the

major organizations and the biggest in the fight for pro-gun ownership.

According to polls, 65% of Americans say they would be more likely to vote for a

Congressman who would not vote to repeal this. 18% said they would vote for some

one who would repeal this ban and 15% said it would not effect their vote. It is

important for Americans to know how their Congressmen stand on the issue.(3)

In 1981, the current president Ronald Reagan and his assistant, James

Brady, were both shot in an assignation attempt on Reagan. Brady was paralyzed

and has been ever since. The man who shot them had bought his gun no longer than

a day or two before the shooting.

On March of 94′ a bill, quite appropriately named The Brady Bill was

passed demanding a mandatory waiting period on all hand gun purchases. The

period is used to do background checks on the customer. Each state has the right

to regulate restrictions as to what on this background check would prevent a

customer from purchasing a gun. In Massachusetts, the restrictions are as

The person must be over the age of 18.

The person must be a United States Citizen

The person must never have been convicted of felony

The person must never have been convicted of a drug charge, even a

The person must not have any reported mental illnesses.

In other states these laws are different but, they are very similar.

This bill was signed by President Bill Clinton. Although this is a federal bill

a problem arises with states not willing to accept this bill for some reason are

using the 10th amendment to ignore the Brady Bill. The 10th amendment gives the

powers, not given or prohibited by the constitution, to the states. It is a slim

chance, if any, but some lawyers in these states are fighting the Brady Bill.

Another restriction on the purchase and owner ship of guns is a

mandatory permit or License to carry firearms. These permits are issued by a

citizens local police department and must be presented when buying a firearm.

These must also be shown when a police officer request a gun owner to display

his/her license. If you do not have a permit and carry a gun it is a mandatory

sentence of one year.

Politicians feel this bill will help prevent people from getting mad

with some one and going out, buying a gun and killing them the next day. This

also reduces the convicted criminals sources to the black market. Recently,

there was a suggestion for a increase of 100,000 police officers. This is still

being decided but it certainly couldn’t hurt. What does the future hold for gun

control? It all depends on who we vote for.

President Clinton during the past four years signed two major bills for

gun control. The Brady Bill which I discussed earlier and the ban on semi-

automatic weapons. Both actions were criticized by the NRA and other pro-gun

ownership organizations. In fact the NRA’s lobbying efforts are the reason it

took thirteen year to pass the Brady Bill and the why the ban on semi-automatic

weapons was repealed. The NRA say’s “Bill Clinton has had the most anti-Second

amendment Administration in our history, and he’s proud of it.”(4) They believe

that if Clinton achieves his goal for another four years in the house, he will

eventually license, tax, and ban the second amendment out of existence.

President Clinton’s administration believes that he will bring many pro-

gun control supporters to the 105th congress. The NRA takes a direct approach to

the second amendment. The Right to Bear Arms, period. Clinton, an the other hand,

takes a different approach, that of a more complicated nature. He has passed

different bills with different regulations on buying a gun and has said to, by

the NRA, the have created gray areas of the law. But if the NRA were president,

then this country would bleed to death. We simply can not let anyone and

everyone have the power to kill another human being by twitching their index

finger. On the other hand, the absolute ban of guns would not successfully

disarm the criminals while it would disarm the civilians of the country.

The NRA has sent many complaints to the Clinton administration about the

destruction of guns. Clinton’s gun buy back program destroyed countless firearms

including collectors items and valuable guns that had never been fired. They

complain that historians, collectors and, target shooters are not happy. They

claim the reckless destruction of historical artifacts is inexcusable. However

it is said that the rate of gun violence has gone down since the passage of the

Brady Bill and the gun buy back program. This program however was very costly

but, not as costly as 38,000 American lives each year.

Maybe a different approach to the gun control question is that of Canada.

Canada’s crime rate and gun violence are impressively lower than the U.S. Lets

take a look at how they do things. Aside from just guns, bow and arrows,

crossbows, and just about any harmful projectile is subject to licensing in

Canada. Any .25. 32 caliber pistol, or guns with barrels shorter than 4.14″ are

completely banned. Everyone must buy there own gun, meaning not to give them as

gifts or anything. Bill Clinton praises Canada’s system of gun control highly.

All guns there must be registered by make, model, and, serial number. A new law

in Canada will soon ban 58% of there guns, even non-firing replica’s of these

particular weapons. (I don’t think this is necessary). This maybe extreme but

registering your gun is not difficult to do. I think if Clinton is reelected,

some or even lots of these laws will be implemented in this country.

Not as much can be said about Bob Dole’s views because he has not been

as much of a spot light however, he has done allot for gun control as a U.S.

Senator. On November 23, 1993, the Brady bill was considered dead for a year. It

was killed by bipartisan filibuster. On Nov. 24, Bob Dole agreed to stop the

filibusters and pass the Brady Bill. However, he opposes a seven day waiting

period for gun purchases. Bob Dole’s big claim to fame on the gun control issue

is that when only three senators were on the floor, and all others were home for

Thanksgiving, only he could have rejected the vote and the future of the Brady

Bill conceivably laid in his hands. He allowed the bill to pass. Bob Dole

quote’s on his actions:

“I know the Gun Owners of America, another group, have a little different view.

They are blaming me for the Brady Bill that passed because I sat there with the

majority leader and everybody else had gone home, and we made an agreement. We

let the bill pass. I was picketed, and they called me a traitor and everything

else… because that happened.”(5)

On November 19, 1993 Bob Dole voted for the crime bill. This bill

contained the Feinstein gun ban, proposed by a California Senator, on more than

180 firearms. Two weeks earlier Dole broke an agreement a prevented a filibuster

on the Feinstein amendment from ever happening. Dole urged Clinton while on

national TV to support this senate crime bill. On February 94′ Bob Dole

introduced the S 1815 a bill that made the government pay people for turning in

guns. Another of Bob Doles ideas is mandatory sentencing for criminals who use

firearms in committing crimes.

A study conducted by two Ohio coroners and two professors from Case

Western reserve University conducted a study proving the ineffectiveness of a

gun for protection. Their result was surprising. It is seventy percent more

likely for a gun in the home to kill some one you know than an intruder. They

can out to the fact the for every one intruder killed by a gun, four family

members are killed. To put it simply, if you come for a large five person family

and you shot a burglar coming into your house, statistically, you have killed

your entire family. Another study has proven that seventy percent of murders in

the U.S. were committed by family members or acquaintances. People allegedly get

so angered they use the protection gun to shot a family member. This contributes

to the percent of family members killed. Would people think twice before killing

or committing if they had to use a knife or a bat? Some people think so. I agree.

Researchers have proven also that area’s of the country that have high gun

control, have lower crime rates. If no one has a gun, you need not protect

yourself with one, true? Toledo used to be the highest gun populated gun city in

America, they passed a gun control law and successfully dropped the crime rate

Countries with gun control as liberal as the United States’ are hard to

come by. This may contribute to the nearly 85 times more gun deaths per year

than England, who have a strict gun law. Japan has the lowest murder rate of all.

Standing at a low. 02 percent per 100,000 people Japan is a country to learn

from. In 1972, Japan suffered a astoundingly low 28 gun deaths. The U.S. on the

other hand incurred 10,017 deaths. Japan has completely outlawed the possession

of hand guns for civilians. This may not be as bad of an idea as I though.

Although Japan holds the idolized lowest rate, they are closer to the rate of

other countries than the U.S. They, in fact, are not at the extreme end of the

spectrum the U.S. is. England, France, and the Netherlands are all examples of

major countries with low murder rates. They all have one this in common, they

require citizens to register all guns. Point being, if you won’t protection,

protect yourself by keeping guns out of the house.(7)

My practical thoughts on gun control in the U.S. are this, one can not

follow the Second amendment literally and give the country complete freedom to

bear arms or, completely take away a citizens right to protection. Because not

all citizens are fit to own a gun and, not all guns are fit to be owned by

common citizens. My thoughts one the matter lie in the middle, most near the

ideas of the Canadian system of gun control.

I think that a mandatory waiting period for the purchase of a gun is an

extremely good idea in that it will not allow minors, criminals, drug users, or

mentally ill people to buy guns. A permit is good idea so that police may check

to see if a gun owner is legally certified. Since protection and hobby are the

main (and should be the only) reason for a civilian to buy a gun, guns that are

made for killing, for example all assault weapons, should be banned. There is

simply no need for them. This would put only protective guns into the hands of

law abiding citizens.

Now what about criminals. They get guns by making them, buying imports

or let’s not forget stealing them. First off, In my opinion it should be illegal

to import guns or gun related material to anyone accept the U.S. government. The

black market would surly suffer. For those who make guns, there should be a

restricted supply of materials to make guns. This supply should be government

regulated. All firearms should be registered by make, model, and serial number,

and police should be able to run checks on this mass catalog of guns and owners.

While I am on the topic of police, the number of police should be increased to

help increase the number of confiscated guns. Not much in my opinion can be do

about stolen guns. If a criminal takes a gun from a citizen who should have a

gun, there is no way any bill or law can stop him. Since it is obviously already

illegal. The only way to stop that is more police.

Simply put, an intense amount of regulation should be put on guns. It’s

like having a fire. If you keep it in your fire place, know exactly were it is,

and control it, it will heat your house and cause no danger. If you randomly

spread fire everywhere forgetting where you placed it, lighting it where it

doesn’t belong, you then have a problem and you may get hurt. Well, the fire is

spreading fast and people are burning everywhere. The government has no idea

where the guns in this country are or where the next piece ,of what once was our

home, will burst into flames. If we don’t act quick, this country will burn to

the ground. We need a giant fire extinguisher and a responsible person operating

it. We have to put the fire back in it’s place.

My person al views on gun control are a bit different. Ideally I would

become the Japanese as far as gun control and outlaw guns for private citizens.

I think that if your want protection, get a security alarm. 1 out of every 4

burglaries occur when the home owner is not even home, and in no danger. A

toddler looking around in her daddy’s bedroom however should not have to be. If

you want a gun for leisure or hunting that is a different situation but take my

word for it, getting a gun for “protection” is a false sense of security.

Assault Weapons Are Weapons of Mass Destruction and Should Be Banned

Assault Weapons Are Weapons of Mass Destruction and Should Be Banned

The tragedy in Connecticut forces America to confront a simple question: Why should we allow easy access to a weapon of mass destruction just because it could conceivably be referred to as a "gun"?

I count myself among the many Americans who at various points in their lives have owned and used long guns -- hunting rifles and shotguns -- for hunting and target shooting. No one I know in politics seriously proposes that ordinary Americans be denied the right to own those kinds of weapons.

But guns used for hunting have nothing in common with assault weapons like the ones that were used last week in the mass murder of 20 first-graders -- except the fact that they are referred to "guns."

Rapid-fire assault weapons with large clips of ammunition have only one purpose: the mass slaughter of large numbers of human beings. They were designed for use by the military to achieve that mission in combat -- and that mission alone.

No one argues that other combat weapons like rocket-propelled grenades (RPG's) or Stinger Missiles should be widely available to anyone at a local gun shop. Why in the world should we allow pretty much anyone to have easy access to assault weapons?

Every politician in America will tell you they will move heaven and earth to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists. Yet we have allowed the ban on this particular weapon of mass destruction to expire. As a result, a terrorist named Adam Lanza was able to have easy access to the assault weapons he used to kill scores of children in minutes.

Let's be clear, Adam Lanza was a terrorist just as surely as he would have been if we were motivated by an extreme jihadist ideology. It makes no difference to those children or to their grieving families whether their loved ones were killed by someone who was mentally deranged or by someone who believed that by killing children he was helping to destroying the great Satan.

When an individual is willing -- or perhaps eager -- to die making a big "statement" by killing many of his fellow human beings, it doesn't matter what their motivation is. It does matter whether they have easy access to the weapons that make mass murder possible.

And after last week, can anyone seriously question whether assault weapons are in fact weapons of mass destruction? If Lanza had conventional guns -- or like a man in China who recently went berserk, he only had knives -- he would not have been physically capable of killing so many people in a few short minutes.

Of course you hear people say -- oh, a car or an airliner can be turned into a weapon of mass destruction -- many things can become weapons of mass destruction. And there is no question after 9/11 that we know that this is true. But cars and airliners have to be converted from their primary use in order to become instruments of mass death. It takes an elaborate plot and many actors to take over an airliner and it isn't easy to methodically kill 27 people with a car.

More important, assault weapons have no redeeming social value or alternative use whatsoever. The only reason to purchase an assault weapon, instead of a long gun used for target practice or hunting, is to kill and maim large numbers of human beings.

And it is not the case that if assault weapons were banned ordinary people would get them anyway. We certainly don't take that attitude with nuclear weapons or dirty bombs. We make it very hard for a terrorist to get nuclear weapons or dirty bomb. It used to be hard to get assault weapons.

When the former President of Mexico visited the United States some time ago to discuss the drug-fueled violence on the Mexican border, he pointed out that the end of the assault weapons ban in the U.S. had resulted in an explosion of smuggling of assault weapons from the United States to Mexico. Weapons that were previously unavailable in large numbers, became plentiful. He begged the United States to re-impose the assault weapons ban.

Allowing easy access to assault weapons guarantees that terrorists, criminals and mentally unstable people will use them to commit future acts of mass murder -- it's that simple. There are seven billion people on the planet. Try as we may, we are not going to prevent some of those seven billion people from becoming terrorists, criminals or mentally unstable. Why make it easy for them to do harm to their fellow human beings by giving them easy access to a weapon of mass destruction?

Since this tragedy, there have been calls for greater restrictions and background checks on those who can buy guns -- and there should be. But from all accounts, the weapons used in the Connecticut murders were purchased legally by the shooter's mother -- who herself appeared to be perfectly sane right up to the moment that Lanza used those same weapons to end her life.

The NRA will no doubt repeat its mantra about the "slippery slope." "If we ban assault weapons, shotguns will be next," they say. Really? By banning anyone from buying Stinger Missiles that are used to shoot down airplanes do we make it more likely that the government will one day prevent people from hunting ducks?

The simple fact is that no right is absolute because rights come into conflict with each other. Your free speech does not give you the right to cry "fire" in a crowded theater.

Is the NRA's concern that banning assault weapons will put us on a "slippery slope" more important than the lives of those 20 first graders? Should it really take precedence over the fact that today in Newtown, Connecticut there are 20 families with holiday presents on a closet shelf, that were purchased for an excited six-year-old who will never open them?

Are the NRA's fears more important than the terror faced by children in the Sandy Hook Elementary school last week?

Does the right to own an assault weapon take precedence over the right of those parents to see their children grow up, and graduate from college, and stand at the alter to be married, and have children of their own?

The bottom line is that there is no reason why weapons of mass destruction of any sort - chemical weapons, biological weapons, RPG's, improvised explosive devices (IED's), missiles, dirty bombs, nuclear devices, or assault weapons -- should be easily accessible. For 10 years there was a ban on the production, ownership and use of assault weapons in the United States until Congress and the Bush Administration allowed it to lapse when it sunset and came up for reauthorization in 2004.

A serious response to the tragedy in Connecticut requires that Congress act to reinstate the assault weapons ban before the children of other families fall victim to the fantasies of some other mentally unbalanced individual -- or the ideology of a terrorist who has been empowered by our failure to act.

Robert Creamer is a long-time political organizer and strategist, and author of the book: Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win, available on Amazon.com. He is a partner in Democracy Partners and a Senior Strategist for Americans United for Change. Follow him on Twitter @rbcreamer.


Assault Weapon Ban - does it work?

Assault Weapon Ban - does it work?

Does an assault weapon ban provide us with a more peaceful society? Well, backers like Senator John Kerry sure seem to think so. What does it mean, and how does it work?

And, most importantly, do gun bans like this have a positive effect on reducing crime, preventing accidents, and reducing or preventing suicides? The Libertarian in me says "no" but the proponents of such laws say otherwise.

It's clear why "no" is the right answer - first and foremost, laws like this don't apply to criminals.

Moreover, it isn't a crime to have an accident, and suicide and it's methods are an individual choice, not any of my business and therefore not any business of my government either.

The Concept and Objectives

The concept isn't really all that clear. An "assault weapon" is defined based on features. For example a rifle with two or more features like pistol grip, bayonet lug, collapsing or folding stock, flash suppressor and auto-loading receiver action are defined as "assault weapons" no matter how the weapon might be used.

There are specific features for handguns and shotguns as well, but let's not go into such detail here. For purposes of discussion, let's just stay with the example of a rifle.

The ban also restricts the manufacturing of high capacity magazines for use in assault weapons and other firearms. The magazine capacity limit was ten rounds of ammunition.

Objectives of the law are:

  1. Eliminate the availability of high powered and high capacity military style weapons.
  2. Make certain "assault weapon" features unavailable in combinations of two or more.
  3. Reduce crimes committed with these weapons.

Effects of the law are:

  • Allowed gun dealers to sell out their stock of "assault weapons" at elevated prices before the ban takes effect.
  • Raises the price of similar firearms immediately before the ban goes into effect.
  • An assault weapon ban increases the sales of guns in general based on the fear that more restrictive laws will be passed.
  • Bumps up the sales of high capacity magazines before and shortly after the ban.
  • Forces firearms manufacturers to retool to create new models of guns that comply with the feature restrictions of the assualt weapon ban.
Does it Prevent or Reduce Crime?

Criminals rarely use assault weapons in violent crimes. They are large and so not easily concealed. They are heavy and therefore not conducive to carrying around all day. And, they aren't as nimble as a handgun for close quarters "work" like that required at a liquor store or other "stop and rob" convenience store.

The choice of weapon for the criminal is the hand gun. It is easy to conceal, easy to carry, and plenty powerful and intimidating, regardless of its caliber.

"Assault weapons" have been used for crimes like bank robberies, drive-by shootings and school shootings, but these are rare. The hand gun is by far the preferred weapon for criminals.

Does it Prevent or Reduce Accidents?

Limiting the features by instituting an assault weapon ban does nothing to prevent or reduce accidents. Firearms accidents are not the result of pistol grips, flash suppressors or folding stocks. They are the result of careless handling and use of firearms.

Expecting a reduction in accidents based on prohibiting certain features on a weapon would only be possible if those features promoted unsafe handling or use of the weapon. Such is not the case with an assault weapon ban.

Does it Prevent or Reduce Suicides?

Suicide by firearm can be accomplished using many other styles of weapon, including a knife. I've know of plenty of shot gun suicides, but none with an assault weapon. Besides, isn't suicide a personal choice, and not a matter of availability of options? Of course it is, so an assault weapon ban will have no influence on suicide - it's just another excuse for more illogical laws.

Besides, what ever happened to sleeping pills, carbon monoxide poisoning and jumping off of a tall building? Have all those methods of suicide become unpopular?

Let's stop making excuses for passing laws and start understanding that we need sound reasoning behind legislation. Of course, that would require clear thinking and rationale individuals to propose, discuss and pass the legislation, and that seems to be our most significant obstacle - we just don't seem to be able to put people like that into public office.

My Observations I object to the idea of an assault weapon ban based on several considerations.
  • The an assault weapon ban is another example of a law that only applies to the law-abiding. Instead, we should be focusing our laws on criminals, and leave the responsible citizen alone.
  • As a crime fighting law, it does nothing. Criminals already have all the assault weapons they want. And, if they want more, they can buy them on the black market.

  • Such a gun ban only prohibits the manufacture of assault style weapons and high capacity magazines. It doesn't outlaw the sale and possession of such guns and magazines. So, what is the point? If they are so bad, why aren't they made illegal to own?

    It's clear to me that an assault weapon ban is just the first step in making such weapons illegal. Step one, make them illegal to manufacture. Step two, make the illegal to own.

  • The law allows for misapplication, much like the days of prohibition where the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibited the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors". Enforcement nevertheless involved raiding clubs and private homes to confiscate and destroy liquor, and arrest people consuming it. Despite the fact that owning liquor or consuming it was not prohibited by the 19th Amendment.

    Misapplication of an assault weapons ban is so easy to do. Like prohibition, if you can't legally buy one, we'll take it away from you because we believe you shouldn't have one either.

  • This type of law interferes with free trade of an otherwise legal product. We aren't restricting knives with double edges or baseball bats that have a rubber grip, so we shouldn't do that for other products simply out of fear that someone might misuse them. Instead, punish those that misuse the product.

  • This is another preventive law. We hope that violent crime will be prevented by an assault weapon ban, but they are rarely used in criminal activity. Instead, we'd be better off focusing on real preventive measures for known criminals.

  • There is nothing intrinsically evil about a pistol grip, a flash suppressor, or a folding stock. And why are we concerned about a small piece of metal on the end of the barrel that allows a bayonet (a long knife) to be attached to the muzzle of a rifle? Apparently the knife on the end of the rifle is of some real concern. When is the last time you heard of a criminal making a bayonet charge?

  • An "assault" weapon ban simply opens the door to restricting other weapons simply by describing what they can be used for. We have already seen attempts to ban "sniper" rifles, and auto-loading shotguns, following the same rationale as the assault weapons ban.
  • One gun ban follows another. If we accept one, why not many? The idea is simply that the camel already has his "nose under the tent", so let's just let the camel in and be done with it.

    You can see this mentality at work in other countries when certain weapons were banned. People lined up and turned in all their weapons, even the ones that weren't labeled as "bad" by the government.

    What does it matter if you have an assault weapon. The nature of the weapon is based on how you use it. You can bet when assault style weapons are used to defend families in their homes, the aren't labeled as home defense weapons, even though that is exactly how they're used.

    And, lastly, we now have Attorney General Holder promoting re-establishment of an assault weapon ban (that had no affect on crime the first go-round) using the excuse that drug wars in Mexico are being fueled by assault weapons purchased in the United States. When all our experience shows that assault weapons aren't the problem in this country, we find another country to point to.

    And, once again, the solution is take away firearms from the law-abiding based on what criminals are doing. We need to refocus on the criminals and leave the law-abiding alone.

    We have to remember, it's not the gun, it's the people behind the guns that are dangerous. You don't have to be a Libertarian to understand that.

    Let's focus on laws that restrict criminals, and then we'll be doing something about gun crime. Otherwise, we're just bothering law abiding citizens with more gun control when we promote assault weapon ban legislation.

    For a glimpse at how you can get training on defending yourself with "assault" weapons, and many other types of weapons, take a look at the following links:

    Debate Argument: assault weapons - should NOT be banned

    "assault weapons" should NOT be banned

    Thanks to Pro for instigating this debate.

    My argument is rather simple:

    P1) If something is unecessary and dangerous, it should be made illegal

    P2) Assault weapons are both dangerous and illegal

    Conclusion: Assault weapons should be made illegal

    Defense of Premise I

    If something has the potential to harm people, and it doesn't serve any significant beneficial purpose to balance it out, then it would obviously be a logical choice to remove that "something" and take away any possibility of harm by banning it.

    Anyhow, I do not believe this premise will be contested by my opponent, though if he wishes to do so, I would be happy to engage him on it.

    Defense of Premise II

    1) Assault Weapons are Dangerous

    This seems rather obvious, as anyone who has been shot by even a weak gun can contest, and the numerous mass-shootings that have been happening recently also go to exemplify this fact.

    2) Assault Weapons are Unnecessary

    The main purpose of having gun rights in the United States is to provide a means for self defense. However, assault weapons were originally designed for use in the military; generally civilians are not involved in the kinds of scuffles that the military is involved in; thus, civilians do not need to have assault weapons for self-defense, as any old hand gun will suffice for their purposes.

    With both of the premises shown to be true, the conclusion logically follows that assault weapons should be banned.

    If my case seems a bit thread-bare, it's because it is. It is basically common sense.
    Hopefully there will be more to say in the following rounds with Pro's arguments, rebuttals, and defenses.

    Ok, in your very first statement, I can easily point out a contradiction. You say "if something is unnecessary and dangerous, it should be made illegal" meanwhile, I am more than certain you will drink alcohol or you do drink alcohol right now. How can assume that? Because over 2/3 of Americans drink alcohol occasionally. Chances are good, you will drink alcohol. Now answer this, obviously alcohol is not a necessity and is dangerous because it claims over 10,000 lives each year (according to the CDC) Tell me why "assault weapons" need to be banned but not alcohol?

    Now, here's the problem. "assault weapons" are not more dangerous (and I will prove it eventually in this comment) and are not illegal (in most states) Your thinking of fully automatic rifles. So called "assault weapons" are semi automatic rifles WITH "assault weapon" features.

    Now, explain why "assault weapons" should be banned when they make up less than 2% of gun homicides, the 2 worst mass shootings in the entire WORLD were not committed by them (which dismisses the argument that they have the ability to kill more people) and in the past TEN YEARS, less than 70 people have been killed by "assault weapons" in mass shootings? It just makes no sense. Not to mention, 90% of law enforcement officers say they do NOT support a ban on them and an "assault weapons" ban would have NO POSITIVE EFFECT.

    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?

    Cars which travel above 30mphs per hour have no significant benefit to society. Why does someone need a 2,000 pound vehicle to travel around places when there is something called a bus or train? Your logic flawed on a grand level. Prohibiting things that are deemed "dangerous" or not "needed" is simply ridicules. Why must you feel the authority to tell mentally sane law abiding citizens what kinds of firearms, cars, or beverages they can have? Why do you punish mentally sane law abiding citizens because crazy people who take psychiatric drugs go on mass shootings? In fact, did you know over 90% of mass shooters were on or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs?

    So, to summarize my argument, why should "assault weapons" (which is a made up term created by the media to create fear against rifles that cosmetically LOOK like actually assault rifles, when in fact, they do NOT perform like them since assault rifles are fully automatic firearms) be banned if they kill so few people, the worst mass shooting ever was NOT committed by an "assault weapon", alcohol is unnecessary and kills FAR more people than "assault weapons" and psychiatric drugs are proven to be the cause to mass shootings? My goal here is to try and change the thinking of my opponent and get him to realize we should be looking for alternative to stopping mass shootings rather than prohibiting certain things from good citizens.

    It seems that Pro has chosen to contest both premises.

    "If something is unecessary and dangerous, it should be made illegal"

    "I am more than certain you will drink alcohol or you do drink alcohol right now. How can assume that? Because over 2/3 of Americans drink alcohol occasionally. Chances are good, you will drink alcohol."

    Lol I don't drink alcohol.

    "Now answer this, obviously alcohol is not a necessity and is dangerous because it claims over 10,000 lives each year (according to the CDC) Tell me why 'assault weapons' need to be banned but not alcohol?"

    Alcohol SHOULD be banned. The reason it didn't work out back during the Probation is that alcohol has addictive qualities that make it extremely difficult for people to stop using it. Assault weapons have no such qualities, and thus, can be banned.
    Also, I should clarify that alcohol is simply a beverage that some misuse. Assault weapons, on the other hand, were DESIGNED to kill people, and are not even comparable to alcohol in terms of potential to harm.

    "Cars which travel above 30mphs per hour have no significant benefit to society. Why does someone need a 2,000 pound vehicle to travel around places when there is something called a bus or train? Your logic flawed on a grand level."

    Cars DO have a significant benefit to society. they provide an amount of freedom in terms of schedule flexibility as well as mobility that buses and trains can never provide.
    My logic is perfectly fine.
    All Pro has done thus far is provide 2 irrelevant counter-examples, neither of which really disprove the premise.

    " Assault weapons are both dangerous and illegal"

    "Your thinking of fully automatic rifles. So called 'assault weapons' are semi automatic rifles WITH 'assault weapon' features."

    It sounds like Pro is attempting to change the definition of "assault weapon" here.
    According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, an "assault weapon" includes ANY automatic or semi-automatic fire arm [1].
    Pro did not provide a special definition in round 1, so we must go with the standard dictionary definition; not whatever definition Pro is trying to introduce mid-debate.

    Also, Pro has provided quite the bulk load of statistics upon which he has based his case. however, NONE of them are cited. They shall be dismissed as part of the 87% of statistics that are made up on the spot :P

    In summary, Pro's counter-examples do not disprove premise I, and none of his statistics aimed at debunking premise II have been sourced, and thus cannot be trusted.
    Both premises remain standing, along with the conclusion: assault weapons should be banned.

    Of course, this isn't a debate on alcohol, but I will continue to use arguments which prove an "assault weapons" ban to be ineffective and prove both a ban on alcohol and rifles with "scary cosmetic features" to be pointless and unnecessary.

    "Assault weapons, on the other hand, were DESIGNED to kill people, and are not even comparable to alcohol in terms of potential to harm. " I'd like to point out two flaws to this. You say "assault weapons" are designed to kill. If "assault weapons" are designed to kill, why isn't any other type of gun designed to kill? There is a huge problem within the anti gun movement with understanding what an "assault weapon" is. As I stated before, the term "assault weapon" was a name created by the media to categorize rifles that LOOK like military assault rifles. Military assault rifles are fully automatic firearms. (which are extremely hard to acquire and afford) For example, the AR 15 SPORTING/DEFENSE rifle is a semi automatic rifle created by Eugene Stoner. (I would also like to state that the acronym "AR" does not stand for assault rifle. "AR" stands for Armalite rifle, which Armalite is the company that first developed the AR 15 platform) Also, your argument that "alcohol isn't made to kill, and "assault weapons" are made to kill proves a point for me. Why is it that alcohol, (a chemical compound) which is NOT made to kill people, kills over 50 times the number of people killed by so called "assault weapons" which you claim is "made to kill people"? Don't you find it strange? Moving on.

    "they provide an amount of freedom in terms of schedule flexibility" trains and buses provide the same flexibility, and not only that, but reduce the amount of vehicle emissions into the air, and also reduce the amount of gas needed for every day life. You're making arguments and missing counter arguments that can be made against them. You copied and pasted my "train and buses" argument, and made no argument against it. The point of me mentioning this is to expose the hypocrisy of my opponent. He wants to ban particular rifles based on their scary "cosmetic features" (meanwhile these guns kill less than half the amount of people killed by hands and feet each year) but doesn't want to ban 2,000 pound personal vehicles which claim over 30,000 innocent lives per year. I would like to state I absolutely do NOT support a ban on personal vehicles. People have the right to own what they want. (as long as they are responsible)

    "According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, an "assault weapon" includes ANY automatic or semi-automatic fire arm" my opponent is not acquainted with the national debate. The newest proposed gun control laws consisted of banning SEMI AUTOMATIC rifles with "assault weapon" features. This debate is solely on semi automatic with "assault weapon" FEATURES. In this debate, (and in most debates,) assault rifles and "assault weapons" have 2 different definitions. In this debate, "assault weapon" is what I stated earlier. An 'assault rifle" is a rifle with SELECTIVE fire capabilities. The debate is NOT on assault rifles. (fully automatic weapons)

    My apologies for not citing my resources.

    For the 2 worst mass shootings in the world:

    You can look up the 2011 Oslo, Norway shooting, committed by Anders brevik with a rifle NOT classified as an "assault weapon"

    The second worst mass shooting in the world, committed by Woo Bum Kon, which took place in 1982.

    How I got the stats for the total number of people killed in mass shootings in the past ten years:

    You can use the table presented in the above link. If you start from 2003, to 2013, you will find that less than 70 people have been killed by "assault weapons" in mass shootings. if you add up the total number of mass shootings in the past 10 years committed by assault weapon (there were 7 mass shootings involving assault weapons) the total number of people killed in those shootings was 76. What also needs to be taken into consideration is that "assault weapons" were not the only weapons used in those mass shootings. Shotguns and handguns were also present and killed people in those mass shootings. To be generous, I subjected about ten deaths which leaves the number of people killed in mass shootings by "assault weapons" in the past TEN years to be less than 70 people. If you would like, I would gladly state each mass shooting since 2003 in the comment sections and show the number of people killed in each one. http://en.wikipedia.org.

    Less than 2% of gun homicides are committed by "assault weapons:

    According to the FBI, 3.7% of gun homicides are committed by rifles IN GENERAL. That means a VERY reasonable estimate for the number of people killed by 'assault weapons" each year makes up less than 2% of gun homicides.

    If you want to test my data with mass shooting statistics, I would implore you to that way you can see my arguments and statistics are not faulty.

    a military rifle capable of both automatic and semiautomatic fire, utilizing an intermediate-power cartridge.
    a nonmilitary weapon modeled on the military assault rifle, usually modified to allow only semiautomatic fire.

    We are using definition #2 for assault weapon. Definition 2 is currently being debated, not definition #1

    I don't know how to make italics and different font sizes by the way (so it would be great if you showed me)

    "if something is unnecessary and poses a significant potential for harm, it should be banned." Who has given you the authority to control peoples lives? Why should products that thousands of good people use responsibly be prohibited because they have the potential to harm other people? You have the ideology of a "nanny governor". Other citizens have no power to control other citizens.

    Actually, yes, I can use the definition which was originally intended because #1. semi automatic firearms with "assault weapon" features is the the commonly debated topic. #2. It is my debate. You are not from Europe. You should be well aware of what is going on with our legislation. The Succeeding the 2 mass shootings which sparked the need for a false sense of security (an "assault weapon" ban), the hot topic was semi automatic rifles with what are referred to as "assault weapon" features. I can pull numerous definitions of the word "assault weapon" and it will say JUST a semi automatic rifle with (so called) "military style features" The meriam webster dictionary is not the dominant dictionary of the world.

    You can actually read the bill here that was proposed by Diane Feinstein in 2013.

    "Going back to the dictionary definition provided, an assault weapon is ANY automatic or semi-automatic weapon, and by Pro's own source, assault weapons are responsible for most mass shootings as well quite a bit of daily gun violence. " I suggest the opponent commits to some research. Out of the mass shootings we have had in America, the number of mass shootings involving "assault weapons" makes up less than 15% of mass shootings.

    You can also actually read the data from MotherJones. (which is a liberal and anti gun) While they do state "half of the mass shootings involve assault weapons", their data COMPLETELY contradicts their title. I gave you the link to show you the number of mass shootings that occurred and the number of mass shootings involving 'assault weapons". My article proves two things. #1. Anti gunners give false statistics #2. "assault weapons" make a very small portion of mass shooting deaths.

    "This is obviously false, as it is based off Pro's definition of an assault weapon and is not sourced, and thus shall be dismissed."

    The claim that " didn't give an adequate definition of an "assault weapon" has already been refuted in the beginning of this essay.

    "For this, Pro cites a table from the FBI, but taking a look at the table, NO WHERE does it specify whether the weapons listed are assault weapons or not; it just lists "hand guns", "rifles", "shot guns", and "other fire arms". Rifles and hand guns CAN be considered assault weapons if they are automatic or semi-automatic, which many are" A few things need to be pointed out. First, AR 15 and Ak style rifles don't make up the majority of rifles in America. Estimates say the number of "assault weapon"
    owners in America exceeds a little over 4 million. About 43% to about the mid 30% of households own at least on gun (most gun owners own rifles) Therefore, if 3.7% of homicides are committed by rifles in general, the fairest estimate for the number of people killed by "assault weapon" could only make up less than 2% of gun homicides. The vast majority of handguns sold in America are single or double action handguns with a pistol grip and your typical handgun slide. (these are not "assault weapons")

    "I have checked out all his sources and none of them support his case at all; in fact, some of them support MY case!"

    Incorrect. One can simply not refute historical and FBI data. You have not been able to refute a single one of my arguments. Each argument you made against my statistics and including my definition of an "assault weapons" has been debunked.

    Not only has my opponent made false accusations but has failed to actually look at mass shooting data. Not once has he gotten back to me on the fact that the 2 worst mass shootings in the entire WORLD were not committed by "assault weapons". This fact destroys the argument that "assault weapons" are more dangerous.

    Con still has not been able to give a valid reason as #1 how a ban on these weapons will make a positive difference #2 Why these guns are "more dangerous" Con also has not given a reason as to why he has the authority to order other citizens and tell them what they can own.

    I am also confused on Sub-Premise 1. He said I dropped this point. What exactly is meant by this?

    To summarize what I would like to be answered, explain how "assault weapons" are dangerous and unnecessary when the Second Amendment exists, "assault weapons" make up less than 2% of gun homicides, the 2 WORST mass shootings in the WORLD were not committed by "assault weapons" and in the past TEN years, less than 70 people have been killed by "assault weapons" in mass shootings.

    I will give the number of deaths invoking "assault weapons" in mass shootings in the past ten years below:

    Sandy Hook: 26 Aurora: 12 Kinston: 10 Omaha: 8 Crandon: 6 Fairchild: 4 Carson City: 4 The total adds up to 70

    "Please remember that this is just an online debate."

    Exactly. Remember it is just an online debate. Stop harping over the fact that I simply didn't clarify the definition of "assault weapon" (even thought most Americans know what the heck I am talking about) I've debated this topic literally over 100 times. You are the ONLY American to not understand what definition of "assault weapon" I am talking about.

    "This premise is based in the common sense notion that if something poses a significant threat to society and no benefit" I showed you how motor vehicles pose a significant threat and that there are other alternatives to getting to locations. If people took buses and trains, we would #1. Have less traffic #2. Have thousands of fewer motor vehicle deaths each year #3. We would save our fossil fuels. So if you take into consideration that there are other alternative means to travel from point A to B other than cars, why aren't you advocating that to be done?

    Again, to sum up what I said in the first paragraph, it is generally an understood term in America. When you say "assault weapon" people know you are talking about those "scary looking semi automatic rifles" As you said, it is just an online debate. Get over it and improvise. Adjust yourself. You haven't even displayed any arguments as to why a ban on these weapons would save lives. It hasn't affected you. if you want (and I'd prefer not to,) I will close this debate, start a new debate and be more specific for you because you apparently don't understand what I meant.

    "Lol Pro says that after using dictionary.com for his own definition" Yes? And? i used the definition from dictionary.com. You used your definition from Merriam. It is neither ones fault. (Except it is baffling that you live in America and you have been aware of the gun control legislation which recently failed to pass) and you didn't know what definition I was referring to.

    "Pro's historical data was based off faulty definitions and wasn't even sourced."

    Since you don't believe my argument for the fact that less than 70 people in the past TEN years does not hold water (even when I showed you the mass shootings committed by "assault weapons" between the years of 2003 to 2013) I recomend you do the research. Note that a mass shooting consists of a shooting involving 4 or more deaths committed by 1 or 2 indivudals.

    I even stated and sourced my data before, but my oponent is proving the point that he makes false accusations and simply won't do any research himself. The only link he looked at was the FBI statistics link which I posted on my argument.

    For how I got less than 15% of mass shootings in the U.S involving "assault weapons" I simply took the total number of mass shootings and divided it by the number of mass shootings involving "assault weapons" You can use the list of rampage killers link to look at the number of mass shootings which have occured in the U.S. Be sure to also look at workplace shootings. Not a single workplace shooting in the U.S was committed by an "assault weapon". You should also take school shootings into consideration. My 15% figure is actually being quite generous since it is far lower than 15%.

    Actually, they do have a benefit to society because they are personal defense rifles. Home invasions have been prevented by the use of semi automatic AR 15s.

    I can cite more articles if you believe it is neccessary (excuse the purple letters. It is glitching right now)I think Pro's own source

    (http://www.motherjones.com. . ) has already displayed that assault weapons are, without a doubt, dangerous and pose a significant threat to the well-being of society.

    Motherjones displayed no proof "assault weapons" are capable of killing more people than other firearms. Anders Brevik used a rifle NOT classified as an "assault weapon" and killed 70 people which is the world record. http://en.wikipedia.org.

    I'd really like for you to read up on The Oslo shooting. This obliterates the argument "assault weapons" some how have greater capabilities of killing people.

    Here is more proof an "assault weapons" ban would not save lives.

    (This is from a huge proponent of the 1994 "assault weapons" ban)

    Koper, 2004: Although the ban has been successful in reducing crimes with AWs [Assault Weapons], any benefits from this reduction are likely to have been outweighed by steady or rising use of non-banned semiautomatics with LCMs [large-capacity magazines], which are used in crime much more frequently than AWs. Therefore, 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, based on indicators like the percentage of gun crimes resulting in death or the share of gunfire incidents resulting in injury, as we might have expected had the ban reduced crimes with both AWs and LCMs.

    These are more statistics for proof the "assault weapons" ban would not be effective. (This is a police survey)

    "How does the existence of the Second Amendment make assault weapons harmless and necessary?" It doesn't make them harmless. However, it does prove them that they cannot be prohibited. I should have mentioned the Second Amendment in a different debate. This should have been a different discussion. My apologies. If you would like to argue it in a different debate, inform me.

    " And as for being unnecessary, it's up to Pro to show exactly why assault weapons are necessary when any non-automatic gun could easily suffice for the purposes of self-defense." I can't exactly make an argument for the reason that I am not sure if mean both semi automatic and fully automatic, or just fully automatic. You should clarify next time.

    "You haven't even displayed any arguments as to why a ban on these weapons would save lives."

    Actually, I did. I presented a case from logic showing that assault weapons should be banned, supporting both premises with reasoning and drawing the obvious conclusion from them.
    Pro has failed to disprove either of those two premises, and so the conclusion remains standing.

    Just needed to get that accusation out of the way before proceeding with my counter-rebuttals.

    "I showed you how motor vehicles pose a significant threat and that there are other alternatives to getting to locations. why aren't you advocating [car bans] to be done?"

    As I stated before, cars provide much, much more than alternative options in terms of schedule flexibility and range of accessible locations, so cars DO have a large benefit to society that outweighs their harm to society.
    This analogy simply doesn't work.
    My premise remains standing: anything which is both dangerous and unnecessary SHOULD be banned.

    "it is generally an understood term in America. When you say "assault weapon" people know you are talking about those "scary looking semi automatic rifles". I've debated this topic literally over 100 times. You are the ONLY American to not understand what definition of "assault weapon" I am talking about."

    Pro's personal experiences are irrelevant, as they are subject to confirmation bias and, more importantly, are unverifiable.
    If he wished to debate whether or not "scary looking semi automatic rifles" should be banned or not, he should have said so. I accepted the debate with the standard dictionary definition in mind, and to try changing the definition after I've built my case around the OFFICIAL definition, is unfair.

    "i used the definition from dictionary.com. You used your definition from Merriam."

    I am embarrassed to admit that I did not notice this earlier, but if we go back to the link Pro provided for his definition, we see that it is the definition of an assault RIFLE; not an assault WEAPON.
    Let's take a look at the dictionary.com definition of an assault WEAPON (http://dictionary.reference.com. =/)

    "any of various automatic and semiautomatic military firearms utilizing an intermediate-power cartridge, designed for individual use."

    Huh? That sounds familiar.
    It has now been proven thoroughly that Pro's case from semantics is completely invalid.
    An assault weapon is any automatic or semi-automatic fire arm.

    This also confirms that all of Pro's statistics that are contingent upon his flawed definition are invalid.

    Assault Weapons are Dangerous

    "I even stated and sourced my data before, but my oponent is proving the point that he makes false accusations and simply won't do any research himself. The only link he looked at was the FBI statistics link which I posted on my argument."

    Lol. at the very top of Pro's Wikipedia article, there is a disclaimer:

    "This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness."

    Not only is it from a not-so-well-respected source, but it even states that it is incomplete. And on top of that, Pro is using his faulty definitions to choose which incidents he gets to select. How does he expect ANYONE to take statistics like that seriously!?

    And as for the FBI source, I see Pro hasn't denied my contention that the statistic he cited from it isn't actually present in the source material itself. Pro indirectly admits to making up statistics.

    "For how I got less than 15% of mass shootings in the U.S involving "assault weapons" I simply took the total number of mass shootings and divided it by the number of mass shootings involving "assault weapons""

    Invalidated by faulty definitions.

    "Motherjones displayed no proof "assault weapons" are capable of killing more people than other firearms."

    Invalidated by faulty definitions.

    "I'd really like for you to read up on The Oslo shooting. This obliterates the argument "assault weapons" some how have greater capabilities of killing people."

    Pro provides no elaboration whatsoever on why this is so.

    Assault Weapons are Unnecessary

    "Actually, they do have a benefit to society because they are personal defense rifles. Home invasions have been prevented by the use of semi automatic AR 15s."

    Oh wonderful. Save a family every once in a while at the expense of suffering several mass-shootings per year. Perfect logic.
    Unfortunately for Pro, citing a couple of miracle stories doesn't really prove that assault weapons have a benefit to society that outweighs their immense cost.
    Also, the article cited by Pro insinuates that the only purpose that an assault weapon serves is fear factor; any type of gun can be designed to look intimidating!

    "[The Second Amendment] does prove them that they cannot be prohibited"

    False. The Constitution isn't a eternal, objective guide to right and wrong; it is a living document with provisions to allow it to change with the times.
    Guns are far, far more dangerous than they were when the Second Amendment was written, and the Constitution needs to change to adapt to that new threat.

    Both premises remain standing, and so the conclusion remains valid: assault weapons should be banned.
    Vote Con!

    Thanks to Pro for a spirited debate!

    Reasons for voting decision: I would like to say that I noticed USN276's Straw man tactics well before Romanii pointed out. He also changed the subject many times, like he was actually refuting the point. And when Romanii disputed the FBI statistics, he commited the common violation of over qualifying his own sources. Instead of backing them up, he played the old "Its by the FBI so who are you to dispute it" ploy. Appealing to the audience was a major problem, and not cool. In the end, pro made no arguments that were unrelated, and I commend Romanii for using premise's in his argument, quickly turning around the BOP. For that, I'm going to have to give 6 points to Romanii.

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