The Instigator
CosmoJarvis
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Shad0wXx
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

A Gun Tax

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/3/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 484 times Debate No: 104268
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (0)

 

CosmoJarvis

Pro

The shooting in Las Vegas left 59 dead and over 500 injured. It's been deemed one of the most devastating and deadly shootings in America. In response, many politicians have called for more gun control.
This is a debate about what actions should be taken to reduce the amount of shooting deaths in America. I, pro, will be arguing for a tax on guns. My opponent, con, has the freedom to argue any other action to reduce shooting deaths, or advocate for the current laws being enough for gun control.
Shad0wXx

Con

I accept this challenge.
Debate Round No. 1
CosmoJarvis

Pro

Format:
I. Introduction
II. The Gun Control Controversy
III. The "Gun Tax"
IV. Sources

I. Introduction
Gun control has been the center of debate for decades, with democrats believing that, for the safety of the people, less people should have access to guns, and republicans opposing any gun control legislation, arguing that it violates the Second Amendment's right to bear arms.

The recent Las Vegas shooting, leaving 59 concert-goers dead and 500 injured, was considered the most deadly shooting in United States history, prompting new calls for gun control.
Throughout the course of the debate, I will argue that treating guns like a public health issue, and putting taxes on guns would reduce future shooting deaths in America.

II. The Gun Control Controversy
To better understand how to tackle this problem, we must first understand the controversy surrounding gun control. Gun control has been a widely debated topic - with Democrats advocating for gun control for people's protection, and Republicans vehemently defending people's right to the Second Amendment and for less government intervention. With that being said, trying to create a bypartisant bill which reconciles Democrat and Republican views on gun control is extremely difficult. The only gun control bill which managed to get both Democrat and Republican support was the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), which banned civilian use of assault weapons. It passed in 1994, and lasted ten years. However, it died in 2004, with no strong attempts to reinstate it in the years following [1]. Yet, despite the possibility of creating new legislation for gun control may seem bleak, the tragic Las Vegas massacre has renewed calls for gun control.

III. The "Gun Tax"
As I have previously established, Democrats and Republicans have contrasting views on how to handle gun control, and the chances of creating a compromise for both sides is very difficult. However both parties agree that, after the calamitous Las Vegas shooting, something has to change.
With Republicans standing for people's right to bear arms, and Democrats demanding for the disarment of civilians, I propose traeating the issue like a public health crisis, and the taxing of guns. According to three Harvard University public-health researchers, M.D. Dariush Mozaffarian, Dr. David Hemenway, and M. D. Ph. D. David S. Ludwig, treating gun violence like a public health issue, and taxing guns would effectively decrease gun violence by making them harder to afford. Additionally, they strongly believe that a gun tax would bring together both parties and "be an easier sell to Congress."
But why would a tax on guns, of all things, work? Researcher Gabrielle Karol argues that "Taxing a behavior or item to account for its negative externalities can serve multiple purposes. In the case of tobacco, every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes due to increased taxation actually reduced the overall number of smokers by 3 percent to 5 percent," [2]. Furthermore, the tax on tobacco has been recognized as one of the most effective strategies for decreasing smoking, and preventing its adverse health consequences. There is a general concensus that every 10% increase in the price of cigarettes reduces adult smoking by around 2%, young adult smoking by 3.5%, and children by 6-7%, ultimately reducing overall cigarette use by 3-5% [3]. If America has managed to reduce the consumption and health risks associated with smoking through taxes, why can we not do the same with guns?

IV. Sources
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...;
[2] http://www.thefiscaltimes.com...
[3] https://dev-craft.tobaccofreekids.org...
Shad0wXx

Con

I think that a tax on guns would do little or nothing to decrease overall gun violence, and possibly increase it.
Is an extra $25, $100, or $1,000 going to make a would-be mass shooter change their mind? I don"t think so. If they"re either going to die or go to jail afterward anyway, what use is the money to him or her? For average, law-abiding citizens, the case may be different. If those who follow the law can"t afford guns, and those who don"t couldn"t care less what they cost, the law-abiding will likely become prey to even more gun violence.

"When the City of Seattle passed a tax on all sales of guns and ammunition, the measure was hailed as a way to defray the rising costs of gun violence. But since the tax took effect, those costs have only risen as gun violence in the city has surged. And the tax has apparently brought in much less than city leaders projected it would.

"How much data do you need?" asked Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag.com and member of the Second Amendment Foundation. "The data says the law has failed to prevent what they promised it would prevent."

Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess introduced the tax in 2015. It puts a $25 tax on every firearm sold in the city and up to 5 cents per round of ammunition. The measure easily passed and took effect January 1, 2016. Comparing the first five months of 2017 with the same period before the gun tax went into effect, reports of shots fired are up 13 percent, the number of people injured in shootings climbed 37 percent and gun deaths doubled, according to crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department."

Source: https://www.google.com...

"New gun taxes also have the advantage of funding dry state coffers. The $25 tax in Chicago and surrounding Cook County is expected to bring in $600,000 a year, according to CBS Chicago. California Assemblyman Roger Dickinson told Politico that the proposed nickel tax could result in $50 million in annual revenue. But would they actually prevent gun violence? The Los Angeles Times' editorial board doesn't think so:

Guns cost a great deal more than cigarettes. A 5 percent tax on a $300 handgun amounts to an extra $15. A person bent on mass murder would hardly be discouraged by a low gun tax, and it would take many years for the higher retail costs to filter down to the criminal market in second-hand guns; moreover, a criminal who needs a gun as a primary tool of his trade would hardly be put off by a slightly higher price. [Los Angeles Times]

Kelly Phillips of Forbes agrees, asking, "Is there a genuine thought process that goes on that makes a potential murderer think, 'Well, I would kill both of those folks but that extra five cents on the second victim would just be too much? I have to save up this month.'"

http://theweek.com...
Debate Round No. 2
CosmoJarvis

Pro

My opponent is quick to point out the Seattle Gun Tax, using large excerpts from one Fox News article to support his idea. My opponent fails to acknowledge that there is no solid connections between the rise of crime and the gun tax. The very article that he cited for this point, additionally, explains that "Seattle police say the increase in shootings seems to be tied to the drug trade – and revenge," -not the gun tax. Allison Anderman with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have stated that calling the gun tax and gun violence study failures is way too premature. "The causes of gun violence are very complex," Anderson said.
http://www.foxnews.com...

My opponent adds that "New gun taxes also have the advantage of funding dry state coffers. The $25 tax in Chicago and surrounding Cook County is expected to bring in $600,000 a year, according to CBS Chicago. California Assemblyman Roger Dickinson told Politico that the proposed nickel tax could result in $50 million in annual revenue," which only seems to explain the added benefits of a gun tax.

My opponent, for the second half of the debate, uses a Forbes article to describe the effect a $25 tax on every firearm and a 5 cent tax on every bullet would have. While the article specifically criticizes and opposes the idea of such a cheap tax on guns and bullets, the article vehemently defends that this idea of a "sin tax" on guns could be effective, comparing its potential to the success of taxes on cigarettes.
http://theweek.com...
Shad0wXx

Con

Since taxes are basically theft, the voters should decide what they think about more of that. The main point that I am trying to argue is that a gun tax would likely be ineffective against criminals, but harmful to those who obey the law. I would like to keep my argument simple as I close.

1. Taxes are basically forcing people to pay money, or be punished. I doubt that the majority of the U.S population wants more of that.

2. It seems that you have failed to provide evidence that a gun tax will bring positive change.

Thank you for allowing me to debate this topic with you.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 9 months ago
CosmoJarvis
Alright. No problem. I should've clarified that in Round One of the debate. My mistake.
Posted by Shad0wXx 9 months ago
Shad0wXx
I don"t believe you said that the third round have no new arguments in the actual debate, but in the comments. I probably still would have respected that request, but forgot.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 9 months ago
CosmoJarvis
With all due respect, Shadow, I asked that you don't add any new information or arguments in the final round, yet you added entirely new points -and with no factual information supporting any of it- such as "taxes are basically theft" and "Taxes are basically forcing people to pay money, or be punished. I doubt that the majority of the U.S population wants more of that."
Posted by CosmoJarvis 9 months ago
CosmoJarvis
This debate is primarily arguing on how to prevent future shootings - not necessarily suggest policies which could have stopped the Las Vegas shootings.
Posted by Masterful 9 months ago
Masterful
The weapon used in the Las Vegas shooting was an illegal one, meaning taxes or laws of any kind wouldn't have prevented those killings.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 9 months ago
CosmoJarvis
How would you deal with gun control then?
Posted by Debating_Horse 9 months ago
Debating_Horse
"tax on guns"

Hell no!
Posted by CosmoJarvis 9 months ago
CosmoJarvis
First round is acceptance, second is main argument, and third is reserved for rebuttals
Posted by CosmoJarvis 9 months ago
CosmoJarvis
72 hours
Posted by Shad0wXx 9 months ago
Shad0wXx
How much time do I have per argument if I accept this?
No votes have been placed for this debate.