Assault Weapons Should be Banned

   Assault weapons are rifles that are able to fire a round every time their trigger is pulled; thus allowing the gun to shoot a spray of bullets in a very short period of time. They are commonly used in the military and are referred to as “military-style” weapons for their intended use of harming humans. In response to their frequent presence in mass shootings and unnecessarily violent nature, assault weapons should be banned in the United States. 

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   Assault weapons are designed with the sole intention of inflicting excessive damage in as little time as possible. Their bullets hit their target at a higher velocity than other rifles, and they virtually destroy the object they are aimed at. This renders them unusable for hunting purposes, and excessive for self-defense. Thus there is absolutely no reasonable explanation for an individual to own an assault weapon, and ownership of such a weapon typically poses a threat to an individual’s surrounding community. According to the Washington Post, more than 50 percent of massacres between 1982 and 2012 were performed with assault weapons. Additionally, those mass shootings where assault weapons were used consistently resulted in the most lives lost in the shortest period of time. 

Assault weapons are designed with the sole intention of inflicting excessive damage in as little time as possible,

— A. Jean

   Two of the most common arguments against the ban of assault weapons in the United States are the right to arms provided by the second amendment, and the idea that banning something doesn’t actually eradicate an individual’s ability to access the banned object. Although the second amendment in the constitution provides that US citizens can own a gun, it does not protect their right to own a military-grade assault weapon; and according to the Washington Post, after the Sandy Hooks massacre of 2012 most courts agreed that banning AR-15 style weapons was within the government’s constitutional rights; and in US history no federal appeals court has ever ruled any differently on the issue. 

   Furthermore, even though illegal outfitters would still be able to provide citizens with assault weapons, enforcing a national ban on military-grade weapons would still decrease their usage and frequency of being used in massacres. According to a study conducted by Stanford Law, in the decade that the United States imposed a federal assault weapons ban (AWB) gun massacre incidents and fatalities drastically declined by 50 percent. After the ban ended in 2004 violent crimes and mass shooting fatalities that involve assault weapons have skyrocketed from 49 incidents in 2004 to 271 in 2014.

   Thus, assault weapons should be banned in the US for their intentional violence, and for enabling mass destruction that directly targets the most vulnerable and our peers. Weapon bans have been evidenced to serve as important tools in the effort to reduce deaths in public shootings, and in order to protect ourselves from further violence, we should enact a ban immediately.