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Debate: Ban on laser pointers

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Sould the government totally ban laser pointers?


Background and Context of Debate:

In April, 2008, after a large increase in the number of laser pointer attacks on aircraft, the NSW Government in Australia banned laser pointers from anyone without a permit. The attacks on planes coming into land at Sydney Airport had been growing and caused delays and caused pilots to change their flight path. Laser pointers if aimed directly at low-flying aircraft's pilots can temporarily blind the pilot, which is very dangerous. The NSW government hopes other states will follow it's lead.

Using laser pointers dangerously was already illegal in NSW but obviously the law wasn't working. Now it is illegal to be in possession of laser pointers unless you have a permit. Since the law has been in place, no laser pointer attacks on aircraft have been reported in NSW. One reason why the government decided to make possession of laser pointers illegal is because it is not hard to catch people with laser pointers but it is hard to catch criminals using them dangerously.

Problem: Are laser pointers currently a problem?


  • There have been an increasing number of dangerous laser pointer attacks on aircraft. Laser attacks are a major problem and have been occuring increasingly in number. They pose a danger to everyone and can cause major problems. Pointing lasers at aircraft can be dangerous and therefore cause problems. So, laser pointers are a problem


  • Laser attacks on aircraft are rare and offenders are charged. Laser attacks on aircraft are extremely rare. There has never been repeated laser offenders because all offenders have been charged with an illegal offence and will never attack again. Most airports have never reported any laser attacks on landing aircraft and only a few (particularly Sydney Airport) have reported them, although they are rare and do not happen regularly. Pointing lasers attack aircraft are the only problem caused by laser pointers and these issues are illegal and uncommon. Lasers are not a huge problem and do not pose an immediate threat to the safety of people.

Is the usefulness of laser pointers small?


  • The majority of laser pointers are for illegal usage. Most laser pointers these days are purchased through the black market and are used improperly and/or illegally. They are not necessary for anything and are not needed for any reason. All laser pointers these days are unnecessary and most of them are used to cause trouble.
  • There is no practical use of laser pointers that can't be replaced. Laser pointers are completely unnecessary and are not need in today's society for any reason. All types of laser pointers can be replaced for legal, dimmer pointers and can still be used for the right reasons. These legal lasers cannot blind people and are not a danger to the public.


Laser pointers are in popular demand. Laser pointers are in very popular demand and sell easily at dear prices. Most people don't use them dangerously and they do have many uses. They are modt commonly used to project light onto points in a business presetation. They are convinient to have for all sorts of reasons and in dim light they can easily be pointed to things. They are commonly used for many different reasons and their only use is certainly not just pointing them at landing aircraft.

Punishment: Is jail time a suitable punishment for posessing a laser pointer?


News: Pilots welcome jail time for laser offenders:

  • People using laser pointers inappropriately (eg. pointing them at low flying aircraft) is a serious problem. Pointing laser pointers at pilots temporarily blinds them and can cause the pilot to lose control of a low-flying aircraft and crash, killing many people. In places like Sydney, laser pointers have been a huge problem. Pilots have agreed that jail is a suitable punishment for improper use of laser pointers and it is. The use of them can cause serious accidents and that is why the NSW Government has banned them.


  • Possessing a laser pointer does not necessarily mean using it dangerously. Just because someone has a laser pointer, does not necessarily mean that they are going to use a dangerously. Most laser poitners are used sensibly. Jail time is not a suitable punishment for someone in possession of a laser pointer, if they use the laser pointer sensibly and responsibly, not causing any trouble.

Should we totally ban laser pointers, rather than restrict their use?


  • There will always be people breaking the restrictions. With the usage of laser pointers only restricted, they are still legal to be in pocession of. With this law in place, people still point them at aircraft, temporarily blinding the pilot. We need to ban them altogether because restrcting them doesn't work.


  • There are many uses of laser pointers besides causing mischeif. Pointing lasers at aircraft happpens rarely and only a small amount of laser users use them dangerously. Lasers have many different uses including games and pointing to things (eg. on a data projection). Instead of banning laser pointers, we should just restrict their use.
  • Laser pointers can be bought easily through the black market. There is no point totally banning laser pointers, and only in one state, because most laser pointers are purchased online, or through the black market. There is no point banning them because they will always be around. Restricting their usage is a far better solution to problems caused by laser pointers because there is no way of fully banning laser pointers.

Legitimacy: Are there legitimate uses of laser pointers?


  • Laser pointers are used widely be teachers and lecturers. It is a lot easier for a university lecturer or teacher to simply sit down, talk about what's on the powerpoint or whiteboard, and point to things on the board using their laser pointer. Most laser pointers uses are not harmful and legitimate. Lasers can save time and energy.



News: NSW bans laser pointers

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