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Assault Weapons Ban

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Contention 1: The Assault Weapons Ban has been ineffective in their goal.

The Federal Assault Weapons ban was a subtitle of the Violent Crime control and Law enforcement act of 1994, which means that the main purpose of the ban was to lower crime, specifically gun crime. Research shows that this ban has had no correlation to crime rates. In 2004, the National Academy of Sciences issued an extensive report in which they concluded that there was no link between restrictions on gun ownership and lower rates of crime, firearms, violence, or even accidents with guns. Also to gun control supporters who say that increasing the number of guns or so called "assault weapons", causes crime to increase are proven wrong by the study done by the National rifle association. They found that since 1991, the year violent crime peaked, the murder rate has decreased by 49% even while the number of guns owned by Americans has risen by 90 million. And so by arguing this point, the question is why would we want to reintroduce something that has been obviously unsuccessful?

Contention 2: Assault weapons are critical for self defense, particularly against criminals who will illegally obtain them. As murder is illegal, people who use assault weapons to commit crime, are already breaking the law, and are more likely to break even more laws to obtain weapons if they were illegal. The major difference that sets assault weapons apart from other guns is the magazine capacity, of which assault rifles are generally larger. This does allow a wider range of damage across targets, but an idea that many are failing to realize is that if someone wants to kill many people, they'll find a way to do it. A simple ban, isn't going to dramatically reduce murder rates, and like I proved in my first contention, the assault weapons ban doesn't even have an effect on crime rates. Whether or not the ban is in place there are still assault weapons out there that people can obtain because gun manufacturers work their way around the ban. In 2004, the Brady center to prevent gun violence reported that the gun industry produced copycat weapons as a response to the passage of the Federal Assault weapons ban. One in particular was the AR-15 type rifle that had only cosmetic changes and didn't affect the gun's actual performance. Also there are many assault weapons that are exempt because of the Grandfather clause which means the ban not only allows old assault weapons, but all the ones made in the last 8 years as well. A study by Christopher Kopler in 2004 showed that the ban exempted Assault weapons and large capacity magazines made before September 13, 1994, and at that time there were 1.5 million privately owned assault weapons. Prohibiting law-abiding citizens from owning assault weapons harms their ability to defend themselves against the inevitable criminal uses of these weapons.




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