Thursday, August 16, 2012

PF 2012 AWB Evidence

For part 1 of this topic, click here
For other Public Forum Debate topics, click here

This article provides some links to evidence for the PF September 2012 resolution calling for a renewal of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.  The links should be reachable by any one with an internet connection and not require any subscription service or payment.  It is not easy to find quality evidence that does not have the appearance of bias and perhaps the links on this page prove that point.  Perhaps later I will find some papers on the subscription services when I find some spare time.

General Info
The Impact of the Federal AWB

A scholarly treatment of issue favoring the Pro

A Supreme Court decision which works both ways but Scalia's opinion provides some "ammo" for Pro.
Text of District of Columbia v Heller striking down a ban on handguns in Washington D.C. Justices Scalia's statement very clearly establishes the 2nd amendment right to bear arms and further adds: "the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding"

But, Scalia does acknowledge significant limitations:
"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose:  For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller's holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those "in common use at the time" finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons."

They won't be banned because they make cent$

Assault weapon ban does not meet the "rational basis test"

Tartaro of the Second Amendment Foundation shoots the Pro full of holes

Wohlferd is not sorry to see the AWB ride-off into the sunset

The NRA fires a volley at Congress

Brovard's oft cited op-ed in two parts

John Lott snipes at Pro bias

Click here, to continue this series on Everyday Debate.


  1. Have you been able to find any evidence that links the 1994-2004 ban directly with a decrease in AW violence? The best I found is a 66% decrease in AW gun traces as a percentage of overall gun traces, but that's not compelling and is easily responded to. I've had a lot of trouble finding evidence on the pro side that the ban actually did its job and was effective.

    1. I think the problem is, less than 1% of gun violence is from assault weapons, so any changes in the rate become buried in random statistical variance. I think I have seen the evidence you found. I intend to look at other sources this weekend. If I find some I will post another comment and let you know.

    2. In the post, AWB Random Reports, I posted a link to the final report and I can not find any data more reliable than that. Note that Koper issued two reports, one within 2 years (if I recall) of the bill being enacted and the other just prior to the bill sunset. The first report statistics were attacked by Gary Kleck (Florida State University) and Kopel published a rebuttal which provides a little more substance but not a lot. (Look for a paper called: "A Priori Assertions Versus Empirical Inquiry, A Reply to Kleck") Otherwise, I suggest opening up the Pro case to include support for an amended AWB that includes a new definition for AWs and large capacity magazines (LCM). While the support of the previous law is minimal, there are still compelling arguments to support a generalized ban of AWs and LCMs. I hope to provide some of that support very soon in a new post.


Feel free to leave comments relevant to the topics and activity of competitive high school debate. However, this is not a sounding board for your personal ideologies, abusive or racist commentary or excessive inappropriate language. Everyday Debate blog reserves the right to delete any comments it deems inappropriate.