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Posted: 12/9/2003 11:21:37 AM EDT
BAD arguments:

<­b>You: It’s a useless cosmetic ban only. The removal of the cosmetic features really doesn’t alter the function of the rifle, so effectively the same thing is available in stores now, just without the banned features. Since it’s a useless ban, it should go away quietly.

Them: I agree, that was the fatal flaw in the law in the first place. It made the law an irritation, more than a ban. What is needed is a law that eliminates this whole class of guns, as we intended to do with the original, before you guys got it watered down. BACKFIRE ALERT!!! He’s got you in a corner, as you’ve just agreed that the current ban is/has been marginally effective. Unless you rebut with a strong pro gun stance, anyone viewing your debate can conclude that it requires STRENGTHENING rather than elimination. Hint: Don’t use this one unless your opponent states he/she doesn’t want a further ban, but the current is satisfactory. Always consider your opponent and audience.
<­b>You: As a class, these guns are infrequently used in the commission of crimes. The ATF even admits that so called AWs are not commonly used in crimes committed with firearms. Thus, the AWB is rather ineffective in solving the very problem we’re being told it will deal with.

Them: How can you say that when time after time we see these guns used in crimes. True, they may not be common in armed robberies, but they are the weapons of choice for mass murder and gang warfar. You speak as if they are never used in ANY crimes. Look at the Muhammad case. He used one to kill 10, and I don’t care if it technically wasn’t an AW, because it danced through a loophole in the law. Hell, if anything that proves that the law should be strengthened. These are frequently used in criminal activities whether you like it or not.

VULNERABILITY!!! You’ve just agreed that gun control is a valid solution to gun crime. Your defense implies that you’d agree with their banning if sufficient proof was provided that they are used in crimes above some arbitrary limit. All they’d have to do is prove to you that there was a sufficient problem, and your argument fails. It’s easy to justify things like this, as there are way too many people with the attitude of “if it saves just one life…” This is an excellent argument for discussing the media’s influence on guns and gun control, but it’s a trap when discussing regulation. Hint:Save it for the media debates…

The best Argument:

You: The AWB should expire without a replacement because it is/was an encroachment in to the personal choices of individual law abiding Americans. The perception of the current AWB is quite different than reality. Its sunset will take us back to the ‘Dark days’ of 1993 (gasp). Remember that the right to own and manufacture these rifles does not give their owners the right to commit crimes. Most legal scholars believe that the RKBA is an individual right similar to 1st Amendment. Freedom of choice is not a popularity contest. The constitution mandates toleration of just about everything unless there is a ‘wronged party’. The AWB seeks to criminalize AWs and justify their removal by claiming that society itself is the ‘wronged party’. Ergo, civilian possession of these rifles is a detriment to the safety/civility of society. Whether this is true or not is not applicable to the legal concept involved. If the voters of America allow AWB because it’s for the greater good of society, then there is nothing beyond the reach of federal law. Ideas, music, books, etc… can all be declared contraband if done under the flag of the protection of ‘society’. POSSIBLE PROBLEM 1: “protection of society” has long been a concept raised legally, but generally this has been as a collective actually ‘wronged’ party (EPA & Pollution Law) or in a government service realm (Safety regs on govt. owned roads). POSSIBLE PROBLEM 2: Many anti’s don’t believe you have the right to own weaponry in the first place. However, if this is the case, no argument will work anyway.

Them: Duh…. You’ve forced them to make a choice. They must either agree that individual rights can be trumped by ‘societal good’ or not. By not concentrating on guns, and spreading the urge to restrict to other rights, this legal concept does not look so attractive.

Just a thought…
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 11:47:56 AM EDT
The best debate goes like this: Us: See that little thing on the end of the barrel of this AR-15 rifle? Them: Yes, it's the silencer. Us: Nope. It's called a flash hider. It's designed to keep the bright light of a muzzle flash from reducing the shooter's night vision. Them: So what? Us: Watch this. Tell me....do you think this firearm, in its current configuration, is any less deadly in the hands of a criminal? Them: Of course not! Us: The gun with the flash hider is banned, but without is not banned. What's the difference in performance? Them: Probably none. Us: So, what did the assault weapon ban accomplish? Them: Looks like nothing was accomplished. Us: Wrong. It raised the prices of the guns manufactured before the ban. Them: Well, then all the assault weapons should be banned and confiscated. Us: What about those who don't turn their assault weapons into the police? Them: Then they are criminals and should be prosecuted! Us: If a criminal can't acquire an assault weapon because they are banned or cost too much, do you think they might try to get their hands on other firearms? Them: Of course they will! Us: How do we keep firearms out of the hands of criminals? Them: Ban them all and confiscate them. Us: So who has firearms? Them: Only the police! Us: Isn't a government where only the police have firearms called a "Police State"? Them:
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