Arming citizens with guns is an ideal action to take to defend against the threat of criminals.
The BoP relies upon both of us to provide reasons for or against the preposition aforementioned.
The first round is acceptance only.
The last round is closing statements only - no refutes or new arguments.
Rounds 2, 3, and 4 are for debating, argument proposals, and refutes.
Any questions - please post a comment!
Arming citizens with guns is not an ideal action to take to defend against the threat of criminals. I take this on:
Contention 1: The cost of arming citizens would be too much to bear, especially in the economic stress.
I have drawn this conclusion with mathematics.
Population of America: 313.914 million people.(1) Population of Americans under 20: 82.8626 million people(1)
313.914 - 82.8626 = 231.0514 million people who can be armed. We'll round this to 231 million people.
We'll also say that the average handgun cost is $500.(2) If these are being supplied to the citizens by the government, we'll also assume that the government will give them one box of ammo, worth about $10 per box. So - about $510 per person.
510x231,000,000 = $117,810,000,000 to arm the USA. I appreciate that some people already own a gun, some are mentally ill, criminals etc... but this is still a phenomenal cost to the US government!
Contention 2: Arming citizens would make the United States of America a nation wherein people can kill easier, and more discreetly.
Clearly, one can not argue with easier. More guns give more opportunity. Criminals just have to wait it out until they're armed. But more discreetly, too, I argue. If everyone has a gun, then criminals in, say, a crowd, could shoot people (with silencer - which is relatively cheap) and in some cases, no one could find out whom it was. this situation would be rare; but a risk to the general public that I do not accept we should take. The counter-argument of ballistic testing wouldn't work in all cases, either, because now everyone has a government issue gun! I could have been anyone - that is: everyone - who had that gun model.
Contention 3: Power corrupts.
A common saying with variants but still very true. And the extension of that would be: absolute power corrupts absolutely. Owning a gun will normally give you absolute power over someone's life; even if they have a gun. I do not accept that everyone will stay the same when in possession of a gun. I believe that murder rates will rise. In 2010, 67.5% of all homicides were perpetrated using a firearm.(3) Clearly, if hundreds, maybe thousands, of the USA now has access to a gun, these will rise, which is the opposite of what my opponent would argue for.
Contention 4: False beliefs.
I believe that many people will think that by owning a gun they are effectively safe. This however, gives leads many people to be misguided and can actually make them quite the opposite in a real situation!(4) This means that it's possible that arming citizens will make the USA more dangerous, despite initial intentions.
This concludes my initial contentions.
Source (4) if the YouTube video shown at the top.
Let me first address Misty's initial contentions one by one, and then add a few of my own.
Of course someone who is anti-gun goes straight for the government answer. The government should stay out of it as it leads to registration, then to confiscation. In just the past century confiscation resulted in 56 million dead because their government used gun control against them.
But what about cost? You can get a Hi Point 9mm on budsgunshop.com for $169 . The average "poor" household has air conditioning, cable TV, an Xbox, two television sets, a microwave, etc. Buying a $169 handgun and paying the fee for a background check is not a stretch and does not require a government subsidy.
Easier to kill:
Yes, it is easier for me to kill you with a gun than it is with a knife. But it's just as easy for me to kill you with a car, as evidenced by the over 33,000 motor vehicle deaths in 2010, almost triple the number of firearm homicides committed the same year. But it does not give you more opportunity. You have the opportunity any time a person is within arm's reach. If I wanted to kill you I could stab you in the throat with a ball point pen; I could slit your throat with a knife; I could bludgeon you to death with any number of objects that are commonly found in your home or office. Having a gun doesn't provide opportunity, simply being in proximity to another human being does.
When Misty talks about the use of a "silencer" in a crowd she displays her ignorance of firearms. I can only guess that she gets her impression of how a SUPPRESSOR works from the movies, where the only thing you hear is the cycling of the weapon and the brass hitting the floor. This is far from the truth. I have shot many suppressed weapons and not a single one of them was I able to comfortably shoot without hearing protection. The fact is that even suppressed weapons are loud. They're just not as loud as their unsuppressed counterparts.
It is an insulting insinuation that the mere presence of a gun will lead a gun owner to shoot someone when they might otherwise let a perceived slight just roll of their shoulder. In fact if this were true we would not see a continuing trend of decreased crime while there is a continuing trend of increased gun ownership. In addition, those with carry permits in this country tend to be among the most law-abiding segments of the population. As evidenced by Florida's stats (the state with the most permit holders, which enacted its "shall issue" system in 1997) about .3% of all issued permits have been revoked due to any type of criminal conviction, with about .0009% (9/10,000 of 1%) of them being revoked for a crime involving the use of a firearm. (National data of this type are almost impossible to find.)
There are over 80 million households with approximately 270 million firearms in this country. And the U.S. firearm ownership rate is at its highest since 1993 and climbing while the overall violent crime rates and murder rate are both declining. Therefore Misty's assertion that "[c]early, if hundreds, maybe thousands, of the USA now has access to a gun, these [murder rates] will rise," is demonstrably false.
Unlike Misty I believe gun owners own guns precisely because they know they are not safe. The video to which Misty links makes that point quite clear. The man in the video sought out extra training that showed him that situational awareness and being assertive were two areas where he needed work. However, once he realized that it was obvious that a gun in his hands was not only an equalizer against an attacker with a knife but put him at a great advantage. Instead of showing a gun is not an effective means of defense, the video shows that there are other skills needed to survive a violent encounter, but that the gun is the best tool to have at your disposal. And while it is technically possible that arming more citizens could make the country more dangerous there is ample evidence to the contrary.
Now on to my arguments.
The title of this debate, "Arming citizens with guns is an ideal action to take to defend against the threat of criminals" raises several questions that must be answered or addressed in order to come to a reasonable conclusion. Among them, what is meant by "arming citizens with guns"? And what is ideal and does arming citizens against criminals meet the definition.
As to the question, "What is meant by arming citizens with guns"? This would seem rather straightforward but in truth there is so much hyperbole surrounding the issues associated with gun ownership and carrying that I feel it is imperative to define the term in order to fairly and accurately frame the debate. When we talk about arming citizens it should be agreed that we are talking about only arming citizens who are of legal age and meet the minimum legal requirements to own a gun. In all 50 of the United States it is illegal for a firearm to be owned or possessed by anyone who is a convicted felon, is a fugitive, is subject to a restraining order, etc. By definition, anyone who meets one of these criteria and possesses a firearm is a criminal and therefore the very ones against whom we are protecting ourselves with firearms.
Now we must determine if having a gun is the ideal weapon to use in defense of persons or property, as opposed to other alternatives such as knives, batons, pepper spray, or even just giving a criminal what he wants. So what is ideal?
According to Webster's Online Dictionary, ideal can be defined as:
"Conforming to an ultimate standard of perfection or excellence; embodying an ideal."
While there is not a single perfect example that exists today that is a perfect deterrent or perfect defense to crime, what we are asking is, “Is a gun the best available, the closest to ideal tool available to protect ourselves against criminals?” I will show that it is.
Note: For the remainder of this debate, I will be using the term "ideal" to mean the best available, not perfect.
In order to determine if a gun is the ideal tool we must determine whether it has a deterrent effect against crime or, absent a deterrent effect, e.g. because the gun is concealed, that it can effectively be used to prevent crime or save lives.
If you want to get the truth, they say that it is best get it straight from the horse's mouth. "In a ten state sample of incarcerated felons interviewed in 1982, 34% reported having been "scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim." Keep in mind that survey was conducted in 1982 when licensed carry was a fraction of what it is now. Aside from what can be referred to as anecdotal evidence, several studies have also shown that permitting citizens to exercise their natural right to keep and bear arms also results in an overall reduction in crime.
Among the most noted among these studies are John Lott's More Guns, Less Crime and its follow-up study, The Bias Against Guns. In these studies Mr. Lott does extremely in-depth statistical analysis of the effect of various guns laws, both permissive and restrictive, on crime. His studies conclude several things, among them that not only do laws that permit citizens to carry guns deter criminals, but that gun control laws actually increase crime by making it more difficult for citizens to defend themselves.
While correlation does not equal causation, it is noteworthy that in 2007 Kennessaw, Ga, which passed a law in 1982 mandating gun ownership by all residents who are legally allowed, celebrated 25 years without a single homicide. After the law was passed gun control advocates predicted a "Wild West" atmosphere. In an article titled "Gun Town USA" Art Buchwald incorrectly predicted that even the most trivial disagreements would end in bloodshed due to the use of firearms. Of course Mr. Buchwald was wrong. In fact, according to police Lt. Craig Graydon, “When the Kennessaw law was passed in 1982 there was a substantial drop in crime … and we have maintained a really low crime rate since then.” In Kennessaw crime levels are far below both the state and national averages.
By way of comparison one only need look as far as the gun control meccas of Chicago and Washington, D.C. Both of these far exceed the national averages in most crime statistics. Since the beginning of the war on terror Chicago has seen more Americans killed than Afghanistan. 
So contrary to Misty's belief, the mere presence of even large numbers of firearms in a community does not make it a more dangerous place. Nor does the absence make it safer. My intention is not to say that Kennessaw safe ONLY because they enacted this law. My point is that the belief that the presence of a gun makes every disagreement turn into a murder is absurd.
a) I am a guy/male/boy (whichever you prefer)
b) I am "TheMysticEgg" not "TheMistyEgg", and
c) My name is Jacob, if you'd prefer that. Now, on to my arguments.
My opponent starts by stating that "The government should stay out of it as it [gun control]". I have a reverse opinion but I believe that is a debate issue for another time. I will respect my opponent's views however and assume that the government would not pay for the guns and ammo. Clearly, we run into some mathematics problems. This leaves the household very open in its choice of gun and I cannot take averages to calculate. As a result, I will consent this argument to my opponent.
Contention 2 (a)
My opponent accepts my argument straight away ("Yes, it is easier for me to kill you with a gun") before leading me onto a red herring fallacy of how easy it is to kill people with cars. These statistics, though true, do not somehow reduce the easiness of killing with a gun. My opponent stated that he accepts my contention and then cites some different facts.
Contention 2 (b)
My opponent states that "[owning a gun] does not give you more opportunity [to kill me]." I disagree. My opponent does (quite correctly) state that I could stab him with a ballpoint or slit his throat with a knife. However, he implies that these potential feats somehow reduces the increased opportunity given to me with a gun than without a gun. This is not true.
I think that my opponent may have misinterpreted my argument to mean that:
"More opportunity [to kill you] with a gun than [to kill you] in general." whereas I actually meant that:
"More opportunity [to kill you] with a gun [to kill you] than without a gun." I apologise if I caused any confusion.
My opponent quickly (and quite forcefully: "SUPPRESSOR") pointed out my "ignorance of firearms." I apologise, but I have never handled a gun in my life so I did take the films on faith. After my opponents rebuke I will consent this argument to my opponent.
My opponent states that "It is an insulting insinuation that the mere presence of a gun will lead a gun owner to shoot someone when they might otherwise let a perceived slight just roll of their shoulder." I agree, although I did not say this. I simply stated that "power corrupts" and "absolute power corrupts absolutely". I did say that "not everyone will stay the same when in possession of a gun" which I back up with research. It seems that people are more aggressive when owning a gun. "[pro-gun advocates] say that gun ownership is higher than ever in the U.S., and not coincidentally, the murder rate has fallen 49 percent since 1991 [source: National Rifle Association]." However: "The 2012 General Social Survey says that household gun ownership has hit a 35-year low, coming in at just 34 percent compared with 43 percent in the 1990s, which would counteract the correlation between ownership and a decreased crime rate"
My opponent states that "Unlike Misty I believe gun owners own guns precisely because they know they are not safe."
I do not dispute this, nor did I state otherwise. My opponent appears to be misinterpreting my argument and/or making assumptions. I clearly stated that people will (falsely) believe they are safe once they are in possession of a firearm. "The man in the video sought out extra training that showed him that situational awareness and being assertive were two areas where he needed work." I do not dispute this. I would however like to highlight that word *extra*. My opponent implies that standard training is not enough. His first run through before his *extra* training resulted in him getting monstrously murdered. I agree with my opponent on this, as it supports my argument that people are in a false sense of security without extra help that many do not seek.
Once could argue that after his extra training he's fine. I, however, think that he probably killed the person (indicating higher fatality rates if everyone acted the same) and that he was only so jumpy because he knew beforehand that this person was going to attack him with a knife. In reality, very little people know when they are about to be attacked.
As for my opponents argument.
I agree with my opponents definitions - no refutes needed.
As for the "more guns=less crimes", it would seem that my initial belief is unfounded, so I concede that . This is not a certainty however and it comes down to personal opinion. Studies show that in communities, firearms can make it safer, doesn't mean that it will always be safer. This poses a risk that people might not want to take.
my opponent states that:
"My point is that the belief that the presence of a gun makes every disagreement turn into a murder is absurd."
I agree; I never stated otherwise.
Thank you; I will await your next arguments/refutes.
I think we have either reached an impasse or agreed up until the argument about opportunity. I would challenge my opponent to show how simply having a gun gives you an opportunity to kill someone that you wouldn't have if you didn't have a gun. Either way you must be within a pretty close proximity and the person must be visible to you.
Unfortunately your data on gun purchases are inaccurate. According the FBI: 
"2012 was busiest year in NICS history. Each month in 2012 saw a record number of background checks set for that month with December showing an all-time record of 2,783,765 checks. November 2012 was the first month to exceed two million checks (2,006,919) in the history of the system."
While NICS checks are not a one-to-one measure of gun sales they are definitely an indicator of overall trends and the current one is definitely of increased gun sales.
The article to which you linked really didn't support your position. It even suggests that someone that doesn't have a gun somehow gets emboldened just at the site of one. The guns and suicide portion is debunked by the very fact that the U.S. is 33rd in the world in overall suicide rate, behind 32 countries almost of which have stricter gun laws than us. And certainly lower gun ownership rates.
My favorite part of the article though is the study by Callaway and Branas. I was actually familiar with that study, and its many flaws before this debate. I won't hit each one of them but suffice it to say it suffers from obvious observation bias. In addition, like so many anti-gun studies it seems to be less a study of cause and effect and more of a study to support a particular position already held by the study's contributors. Even the study's authors admit to some pretty serious faults with the study.
I will agree with your assessment of the video and the man in it. A heightened sense of awareness in a training environment will lead to different results. But the fact remains that there countless examples of people using guns successfully every day to defend themselves. And not every attacker is going to be an ex Special Operations type with expert knife skills. Your average criminal is going to be younger and far less experienced than these guys and it levels the playing field a lot more than what this video implies.
To dive more into the "ideal" question, let me pose a couple of scenarios:
Scenario one: You are a 110lbs female walking to your car after a late night at work. Your building doesn't have security guards, or if they do tonight you didn't ask for an escort. You notice a really big guy, about 200lbs heading your way and you fear that his intentions are less than honorable. At that moment in time, which do you think would be the ideal tool? A) A cell phone, B) A knife, C) A gun?
Scenario two: You are sitting in your apartment when all of a sudden at your door there begins an extremely loud banging and cursing from the other side. Someone is pissed and they are trying to get into your house to cause you harm. There is no question about it, this man is coming in and your family is looking to for protection. In this scenario, which do you want? A) An operator on the phone with the police an average of 6 minutes away, B) A self help book to calm down the impending intruder, or C) A gun?
Consider that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the police have no duty to protect you in case of violent attack , the correct answer is of course a gun. If the police have no duty to protect you, on whom then does the responsibility fall if not you?
Let's also explore whether or not anti-gun laws deter crime. Piers Morgan like to blather on about how the UK has so much less crime than the U.S. because of its strict gun laws. But both parts of that statement are false. The violent crime rate in the UK is about 3.5 times what it is in the U.S. In 2011 the U.S. had 1,203,564 instances of violent crime, or a rate of 386.3 per 100,000 people. In the UK during the same year, they had a violent crime rate of 1,361/100,000.
In addition, the murder rate of the UK over the past 100 years, despite passing gun control laws in 920, 1937, 1968, 1988, and 1997, has increased by 50%.
During the same time period, despite being much more volatile, the U.S. has seen an overall drop in murder rates of about 40%.
Of all of the claims I have seen made about the U.S. crime rate, murder rate, etc. in comparison to other countries, there isn't one that compares a country that had a similar crime rate and gun laws to the U.S. over the same period of time to which the person with the anti-gun position is referring. In other words, claiming that Japan's low crime rate is due to its strict gun laws is easily refuted because they have historically had a lower crime rate. The same is true with the UK and most of Western Europe.
I guess I'll keep it short for now. I look forward to your response, Jacob.
 Castle Rock vs. Gonzales
 http://https//www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/116435/hosb0812.pdf (page 11)
 http://republicundersiege.com... (Full disclosure: I wrote this, so I am quoting myself, though the information is sourced.)
My opponent starts by talking about contention 2 (b), and he makes no mention of contention 2 (a). I am forced to assume that my opponent has consented contention 2 (a) to me, unless he states otherwise. I still feel, however, that my argument about increased opportunity is being misinterpreted. What I am saying is that if I am not in possession of a firearm, then I have less chance to kill you with a firearm than if I did posses a firearm. This might seem obvious. Clearly, it gives me more chance to kill you with a gun if I actually have one. I am not providing this argument of:
Guns vs without weapons gives me more opportunity to kill you than with a weapon. More:
Guns vs without guns gives me more opportunity to kill you than without a gun. I hope this clears this up.
After my opponent's refute and some of my own research, I will consent that my cited research was flawed and biased; and I will consent the argument.
My opponent begins by agreeing with contention 5 ("I will agree with your assessment of the video and the man in it.") [my assessment being my argument.], but he again uses a red herring fallacy straight away afterwards, talking about different countries and their successful gun rates. As my opponent stated that he agreed with my argument, I will await a modification or a consent.
When my opponent talks about his situations and scenarios; he puts an obvious bias in there of choosing other options that appear to make the gun ideal. While, with his options, a gun is the most ideal; there are always more options. For example, when using my opponent's scenarios:
You are a 110lbs female walking to your car after a late night at work. Your building doesn't have security guards, or if they do tonight you didn't ask for an escort. You notice a really big guy, about 200lbs heading your way and you fear that his intentions are less than honorable. At that moment in time, which do you think would be the ideal tool? A) A cell phone, B) a knife, C) A gun, D) a XERP (a XERP is effectively a long range taser) Clearly, anyone who didn't want to (potentially) kill the guy would choose a XERP.
You are sitting in your apartment when all of a sudden at your door there begins an extremely loud banging and cursing from the other side. Someone is pissed and they are trying to get into your house to cause you harm. There is no question about it, this man is coming in and your family is looking to for protection. In this scenario, which do you want? A) An operator on the phone with the police an average of 6 minutes away, B) a self help book to calm down the impending intruder, C) a gun, or D) a XERP
Again, a XERP.
My point is that the gun is only the ideal choice when you make the limits very bias, making the gun the clear winner. In this regard, the ideal weapon changes with scenarios, but in relatively close situations, such as in an apartment or (apparently) in a work building; the XERP or other, non-fatal weapon is ideal. (Unless you think that a potentially fatal weapon is better, in which case I do not think you should have a gun!).
"the correct answer is of course a gun" is wrong in the average situation when you allow for more options.
As for the "anti-gun laws deters crime" - I will consent this.
I await my opponent's response(s)!
On the question of 2a, I will concede that it is easier to kill someone with a gun than some other means. But by the same token it is also easier to defend someone with a gun for that exact reason. Man's survival instinct means that the risk of losing your life really isn't worth the reward of some kind of payday you will never get to enjoy if you die of "lead poisoning."
On the question of whether it is easier to kill someone with a firearm if you are in possession of one than if you are not: Is that really an argument? It's easier for me to beat someone to death with a wet noodle if I have a wet noodle than if I don't have a wet noodle too. So what? That doesn't mean that a gun is not an ideal defensive weapon any more than it means a wet noodle is an ideal offensive weapon. If I am missing some hidden point I'm afraid my opponent will have to lead me by the hand because I'm not seeing it.
I think my opponent needs to reread the paragraph. I talked about awareness, the fact that the FPD trainers obviously have some advanced fighting skills, and the fact that guns are used every single day in this country to defend lives. I never mentioned any other country in reference to this argument.
In reference to the scenarios:
The gun is still the best weapon here for two reasons. The first one I highlighted above (i.e. risk vs. reward). The scenario obviously implied that the attacker is a potential rapist. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. But if the female produces a gun most rapists are going to rethink their initial plan for the evening. I do agree that a XREP (I'm assuming this is what you meant, as opposed to XERP) would almost certainly incapacitate an attacker. The downside to them is they require a 12 gauge shotgun to fire them at an attacker. If you think a handgun is not ideal I can't imagine that you think a 12 gauge shotgun is. But hey, I will at least give my opponent credit for recommending a solution that requires a gun.
But let's talk other kinds of tasers. In general, the ones available for self defense use fall into two categories. The first requires you to touch the electrodes to an attacker and it delivers an incapacitating shock. The second has two electrodes attached to thin wires that are fired at an attacker, burying themselves in the skin and deliver the shock. Used successfully each of these is a powerful weapon. But the each have their drawbacks.
The first type requires an attacker to be within arm's reach. As shown by my opponent's own video link, this is somewhere you never want an attacker to be. You want an attacker stopped as far away from you as humanly possible. But I don't think he was talking about this kind of taser.
The second kind, while giving you that barrier that is so desirable has its own inherent drawback. You MUST hit your target the very first time you pull the trigger. If not you must reload it. If the attacker is close enough to be hit by the projectiles he is probably close enough to close any gap that existed quicker than one whose adrenaline is pumping and therefore has lost fine motor skills and peripheral vision can reload. With a gun, even a compact one, I have at least six shots in case my first misses. My personal carry gun during the summer give me 8 (7 in mag +1 in the chamber) rounds, and during the winter I have 17 rounds. (16+1) I would much rather have more chances to defend myself than give up my best defense just because someone who couldn't care less about my life might lose his.
Probably even more important in my mind is that, according to the research referenced above by Drs. Kleck and Gertz, more than 1/2 of all DGU were against more than one attacker. I'm sure even my opponent would agree that a taser is of little comfort against two, ore maybe more attackers.
Regardless, DGU result in a low percentage of deaths to their attackers. John Lott's research and Kleck and Gertz's research confirm that in 92-95% of DGU the attacker is stopped merely by brandishing a firearm and/or firing a warning shot. Among the remainder only a small number are fatal. But if a gun is not ideal because you don't want to potentially kill an attacker, than neither is a taser. If the only measure of an ideal defense is that the attacker is allowed to live then perhaps it is just best to give them what they want. Just as long as the attacker doesn't get hurt. Unless of course an attacker will accept nothing less than my child. Or my wife's body. Wouldn't I then be justified in using whatever force were necessary, even up to and including deadly force to protect me or my family?
Scenario two: See above. Same answer. Same reasons.
My point is, the gun is the great equalizer. It puts a person in a wheelchair on equal footing with an able-bodied attacker. It puts a woman on equal footing with a potential rapist. And it puts a child who has been educated in the proper use and respect of firearms on equal footing with a person who is invading his home.
Let me ask this of my opponent: Does he believe that a gun is the ideal weapon for a police officer to carry to protect himself? If yes, let me pose another question. If a gun is the ideal weapon for a police officer to carry, why is not the ideal weapon for me to carry? After all if I am forced to call the police he will potentially be protecting himself from the same threat I just faced. So why should I have any less firepower to protect me and mine than he has to protect him. Because he is agent of the government? Because his life is worth more than mine? And since, as I have shown the police do not have a responsibility to protect me from criminals, on whom then does that responsibility fall if not me?
No, I do not believe the the police (assuming you mean your average officer and not some heavy duty crime squad) should carry guns. I cannot say why here, as that would constitute as a new argument.
This was, by far, the most challenging debate for me to do - not only on context, but my opponent is a very good debater!
So, once again, I thank my opponent, Robert/Lagerhead for this debate. I have enjoyed it immensly!
Thank you Jacob. As you can probably tell this is an area about which I feel intense passion. As a gun owner myself I see nothing but negativity portrayed against gun owners in the media. I, and my fellow law-abiding gun owners therefore feel it is left to us to inform folks about the positive side of guns.
Contrary to what the media would have you believe none of us looks forward to or fantasizes about taking the life of another human being no matter how much that person might deserve it. Many people who are forced to take the life of another in defense of theirs or that of their families suffer from the effects of PTSD and require extensive counseling to overcome the guilt and second guessing.
But all that aside my family looks to me for protection. I am just an average guy. I am an MMA champion. I am probably about middle of the road in every way: height, weight, strength, fighting skill, etc. I do however maintain situational awareness. I carry a gun. And I know how to use it. I shoot thousands of rounds each year. This year alone I'm approaching 10,000 rounds down the barrel of my pistol. While it is certainly not a guarantee, I feel having a pistol would put me at a distinct advantage against most criminals, due both to my habit of keeping my "head on a swivel" and the fact that I shoot a couple of hundred rounds in various scenarios just about every weekend.
Maybe I'm not the norm because I shoot so much, but I have also shown that those who simply know how to use their firearms, like the 15-year old with the AR-15, can be extremely effective protectors of life and property. I have talked to someone who watched her husband get gunned down by a crazed stalker while she stood by helpless because the state legislated her out of her right to protect herself in certain locales. She saw it happening, saw several men try to wrestle the gun away, then saw him break free and shoot her husband in the back of the head. During that time she had several seconds where she could have drawn her gun and and saved her husband's life, if only it was not locked in the car as the law required. None of these folks are ex Special Forces. None of them had years of firearms and tactical training. It actually takes less time than one might think to learn to responsibly and effectively carry and use a firearm.
As I have demonstrated above it happens every day. It happens in all kinds of locations by all kinds of people. And it happens enough that it is a significant deterrent to crime.
Thanks again to Jacob for setting this debate up. I look forward to the voting period and our next meeting. Cheers.