The Instigator
gryffin13
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Cheshire
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Creating gun control laws in the U.S. without passing an amendment, should not be tolerated.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Cheshire
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/13/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 774 times Debate No: 35553
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

gryffin13

Pro

There are two key aspects to this discussion. One is a constitutional outlook and one a statistical outlook.

As Americans we are expected to value our constitution. Regardless of whether or not people agree with the second amendment, while it is on the books it needs to be respected. For people who desire to infringe on citizens' right to bear arms, they need to pass an amendment that repeals the second amendment, not passing legislation.

Even if people want to utilize the correct method of changing law, they should not want to. People who want to control guns, typically have a lack of understanding of how guns work and what benefit they yield. While guns are used to commit crimes, they are also used to stop them. With the use of guns, a 100 lb female would be able to defend her house and family from a 200 lb male, something that would not so easily be done with any other type of self defense, regardless of the amount of training. Guns level the playing field giving Americans equality that is clamored for in so many other aspects of life. The net number of lives saved by guns is higher than the net number of lives lost by guns. On top of this, there is no reliable data that shows increasing gun control will reduce the amount of gun related homicides.

Since there is a benefit to be had from people legally owning guns, and there is no proof that passing laws will lead to a decrease in gun violence, we should stay away from legislating guns out of the hands of people that can use them to protect themselves.
Cheshire

Con


I wish to thank my opponent for starting this debate.

"Regardless of whether or not people agree with the second amendment, while it is on the books it needs to be respected."

My opponent said that the second amendment needs to be respected, but does not provide an example of how gun control disrespects the second amendment. As my opponent did not provide a definition I will provide one:

Respect: high or special regard[1]

My opponent assumes that gun control laws somehow lower the regard of the second amendment, however I would argue that gun control laws have no correlation with respect to this amendment as it does not decrease the regard with which the amendment is held, and follows the ruling of the amendment.

My opponent goes on to state that gun control infringes on the people's right to have and bear arms:

"For people who desire to infringe on citizens' right to bear arms..."

My opponent seems to believe that any sort of gun control infringes on the right the bear arms:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."[2]

Gun control does not infringe (defined as: "to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another."[3]) on the right to keep and bear arms, it merely limits the kinds of guns or the process by which guns may be purchased. This interpretation has been supported in multiple situations:

United States v. Miller's ruling stated gun control is acceptable saying "that the sorts of weapons protected [in the Second Amendment] are those “in common use at the time”[4]."The Supreme Court defended this position in District of Columbia v. Heller by saying that "there was a historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons”"[5] This tradition is important in interpreting the implied meaning behind the second amendment as it shows the amendment's attempt to protect gun rights was not to advocate completely unchecked gun laws.

"Even if people want to utilize the correct method of changing law, they should not want to. People who want to control guns, typically have a lack of understanding of how guns work and what benefit they yield. While guns are used to commit crimes, they are also used to stop them. With the use of guns, a 100 lb female would be able to defend her house and family from a 200 lb male, something that would not so easily be done with any other type of self defense, regardless of the amount of training. Guns level the playing field giving Americans equality that is clamored for in so many other aspects of life. The net number of lives saved by guns is higher than the net number of lives lost by guns. On top of this, there is no reliable data that shows increasing gun control will reduce the amount of gun related homicides."


Despite my opponent neglecting to provide any evidence to prove his claim, it is in inconsequential as he argues against gun control while the resolution was "Creating gun control laws in the U.S. without passing an amendment, should not be tolerated." His argument therefore did not support his proposition that an amendment needs to be made to pass gun control laws.


1. Merriam-Webster:http://www.merriam-webster.com...


2.http://www.law.cornell.edu...


3. Merriam-Webster:http://www.merriam-webster.com...


4.http://www.law.cornell.edu...


5. The Constitution of the United States Analysis and Interpretation (pg. 84):http://www.gpo.gov...

Debate Round No. 1
gryffin13

Pro

I would also like to thank my opponent for joining in this debate. This is my first debate, and as a result I am not so sharp with the standards. As my opponent pointed out, I did neglect to define certain terms. I agree with his definition for respect, and I mostly agree with his definition set for infringe, but I would like to make a slight modification. Since we are dealing with legal issues in this debate the definition "to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another" can be a bit redundant and might get into a purely semantic argument that neither of us should want to do. Instead I propose the definition be amended to "to encroach upon in a way that violates the rights of another." That being said, those were not the only two definitions I lacked in defining. I should have made it clear that this debate is concerned with federal laws. As none of my opponents arguments thus far have been on state vs federal distinctions, I hope that this does not affect the debate, but it"s a point I should have made from the beginning. And furthermore, I would like to define gun control laws as the typical laws that are either being passed or seriously discussed to be passed in modern America. This means that although passing a bill against the possession of a gun that shoots fully automatic grenades is indeed a law on gun control, I would like the debate to focus on standard laws that are commonly debated and proposed such as limiting magazine size, attempting to make "assault rifles" illegal, universal background checks, and similar commonly discussed gun control. I am aware that my lack of definitions from the beginning may upset my opponent, but I hope that his entire argument was not based on something I just clarified. As long as that is true, I offer my apologies and hope that we can continue along the path that I just clarified.

"Despite my opponent neglecting to provide any evidence to prove his claim, it is in inconsequential as he argues against gun control while the resolution was "Creating gun control laws in the U.S. without passing an amendment, should not be tolerated." His argument therefore did not support his proposition that an amendment needs to be made to pass gun control laws."

While the argument is that it should not be tolerated without passing an amendment, arguing the constitutionality is not adequate. Even if my opponent was able to prove that an amendment is not necessary, that does not in turn prove that laws should be tolerated. For example if the state government passed a law banning the sale of silver cars, that would be constitutionally allowed, but I would still argue that it should not be tolerated because unless there is proof that silver cars are a hazard, it is an unnecessary limit on personal freedom and it also wastes taxpayer dollars. So my opponent needs to concern himself with the purpose of gun control laws as well as the constitutional justification. I did not provide any statistics supporting my claim, because the burden of proof is in the hands of those supporting laws. Using the same example, if my opponent was in support of banning silver cars, it is not on me to prove that silver cars are not a hazard " it is on him to prove that they are. Since this is already the second round, I will propose a couple common arguments, but I cannot completely anticipate the statistics my opponent might use. Typically many people assume that since guns are used in crimes, by controlling guns, they control crime. There are a few issues with this. One is that simply passing a law does not change things. Even if the intention behind the law is perfect, if it doesn"t effectively accomplish its intended purpose, it still will not do anything. To this point I will simply reference prohibition. We made alcohol illegal, but it didn"t stop people from drinking alcohol, it just created a criminal underground that still exists, because there was now a demand for something illegal. People violate the law, especially those who would be willing to commit crimes with guns. The other issue is the legitimacy of the purpose. I will reiterate that there no concrete statistics proving that gun control reduces crime. Factcheck.org has a good synopsis on the effectiveness of the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons [1]. I will agree there are conflicting opinions, I simply maintain there are no statistically significant statistics that prove any effectiveness of these types of laws. And without proof, it is wasteful financially and we should not give up personal freedoms without a reason. I leave the burden of proof of statistical rationale to my opponent.

Now I will explain how these laws do indeed infringe on Americans right to bear arms. I agree that everything my opponent wrote on the cases of United States v Miller and District of Columbia v Heller is factually accurate, however I would like to dig deeper because it can be confusing. In United states v Miller when they said "that the sorts of weapons protected [in the Second Amendment] are those "in common use at the time," this was in reference to a discussion of what militia meant. If my opponent is proposing that that line infers that only 18th century weapons are protected by the second amendment, then he is extremely misguided. In the 17th century, the weapons were not the same as those in use today. The guns used then were muzzle loaded and are only found today as antiques. The first revolver, which is still not a semi-auto gun, was not invented until 1814. It is important to realize that guns that were "in common use at the time" simply do not exist for use by citizens as we examine the supreme court cases in question. District of Columbia v. Heller upheld citizens" rights to keep weapons for lawful purposes such as self defense. Those weapons in question were not "in common use at the time" of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. So common use simply is common use in today"s timeframe, not at the time of the ratification of the constitution " this is an important point to understand. So it seems that the point my opponent is trying to make is that guns that aren"t in common use, have no protection from the second amendment, but this gets complicated, because some of the factors that affect common use, ie gun selection by law abiding citizens, is the laws that prevent them from buying certain guns. So if we allow laws to limit types of weapons, eventually we"ll have a situation where a gun that might have been in common use is not because it is illegal, and thus it isn"t protected by the second amendment. This is somewhat circular. More relevant is the ability of a gun to be used effectively for legal self-defense. District of Columbia vs Heller stated "The District"s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of "arms" that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense." [2] So if there is a reason that certain guns that are needed for self-defense, the court holds that they are protected by the second amendment. There are many examples of necessary uses of guns that were or might become illegal. For example, assault rifles were important for self defense used by many Korean business owners in the LA riots. As I pointed on in the first round, there are many uses of guns for self defense, and unless you can prove that guns cost more lives than they save, laws reducing our personal freedoms of owning and using guns should not be tolerated.

[1]http://www.factcheck.org...
[2]http://www.law.cornell.edu...
Cheshire

Con

I would also like to thank my opponent for joining in this debate. This is my first debate, and as a result I am not so sharp with the standards.

It is also my first debate on DDO, welcome.

Since we are dealing with legal issues in this debate the definition "to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another" can be a bit redundant and might get into a purely semantic argument that neither of us should want to do. Instead I propose the definition be amended to "to encroach upon in a way that violates the rights of another."

I will agree to this definition as it should not effect anything previously stated, and my opponent does not wish to engage in semantics.

That being said, those were not the only two definitions I lacked in defining. I should have made it clear that this debate is concerned with federal laws.

I assumed that the debate was on federal laws since there were no states mentioned in my opponent’s opening argument, so the clarification should not be a problem.

I would like to define gun control laws as the typical laws that are either being passed or seriously discussed to be passed in modern America.

While I was unaware of these terms, it does not change my attitude towards the debate, nor do I wish to strike out against this clarification though it was not initially stated.

While the argument is that it [gun control] should not be tolerated without passing an amendment, arguing the constitutionality is not adequate. Even if my opponent was able to prove that an amendment is not necessary, that does not in turn prove that laws should be tolerated... So my opponent needs to concern himself with the purpose of gun control laws as well as the constitutional justification.

While I concede that I must not only prove that an amendment is not necessary; I must give a reason for why we should not have to make amendments to create gun control (assuming we have equal burdens of proof), my opponent is mistaken if he believes I must advocate gun control. My opponent's statement was: “Creating gun control laws in the U.S. without passing an amendment, should not be tolerated.” This statement means that I do not need to prove the effectiveness or the benefits of gun control; I need to prove that there are benefits to allowing it without passing amendments.

I did not provide any statistics supporting my claim, because the burden of proof is in the hands of those supporting laws.

My opponent made an arbitrary statement that the burden of proof is in the hands of those supporting laws without any reason or conventional set up. The burden of proof is usually either: always affirmative [1], or it is equal [2] Seeing that my opponent did not specify at the beginning of the debate by default I have assumed the argument contained equal weight on both sides, however using my opponents logic:

Using the same example, if my opponent was in support of banning silver cars, it is not on me to prove that silver cars are not a hazard " it is on him to prove that they are.

If I was in support of making a change in government, I must hold the burden of proof, therefore since he is changing the law, he must maintain the burden.

However if my opponent wishes to withdraw this statement I am perfectly willing to assuming an equal burden of proof.

There are a few issues with this. One is that simply passing a law does not change things. Even if the intention behind the law is perfect, if it doesn’t effectively accomplish its intended purpose, it still will not do anything. To this point I will simply reference prohibition. We made alcohol illegal, but it didn't stop people from drinking alcohol, it just created a criminal underground that still exists, because there was now a demand for something illegal.

Our argument is not on the effectiveness of the gun control therefore this statement is irrelevant. I remind my opponent that our argument is on whether or not we should need to make an amendment to pass gun control.

People violate the law, especially those who would be willing to commit crimes with guns.

My opponent has admitted that people would be willing to commit crimes with guns. That means that not all guns are used legally and are therefore not all guns or gun owners fall into the Second Amendment protection of “an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes...[3]” This makes gun control constitutional, and therefore there is no reason gun control should have to amend the second amendment.

Without the need for gun control to pass an amendment, there is no point in passing one as it would merely delay the process of crime prevention as seen in the above paragraph. the ratification process since 1960 has taken anywhere from 100 to 74,003 days [4]. This process on average takes over a year; the need for amendments would decrease efficiency and may cost lives, in a process that does take away rights protected by the constitution.

I will agree there are conflicting opinions, I simply maintain there are no statistically significant statistics that prove any effectiveness of these types of laws.

My opponent is referring to gun laws effectiveness which is not a subject of this debate.

So common use simply is common use in today"s timeframe, not at the time of the ratification of the constitution " this is an important point to understand.

I am aware this refers common use in modern times.

So it seems that the point my opponent is trying to make is that guns that aren’t in common use, have no protection from the second amendment, but this gets complicated, because some of the factors that affect common use, ie gun selection by law abiding citizens, is the laws that prevent them from buying certain guns. So if we allow laws to limit types of weapons, eventually we'll have a situation where a gun that might have been in common use is not because it is illegal, and thus it isn’t protected by the second amendment. This is somewhat circular.

Gun control may not be used on guns “in common use for lawful purposes[3]”. Gun control is used to protect people from guns that cannot be used legally, if a situation arose in which a gun that is banned would be popular had it not be banned, that would suggest that a large amount of people would want to commit themselves to illegal activity, which is a problem in itself. If this is not the case these people would have the right choose from and purchase a plethora of guns.

...So if there is a reason that certain guns that are needed for self-defense, the court holds that they are protected by the second amendment. There are many examples of necessary uses of guns that were or might become illegal. For example, assault rifles were important for self defense used by many Korean business owners in the LA riots.

If a gun that was made illegal could be used for lawful purposes in the future the specific law will go through trial, however if there are guns that are not in use for lawful purposes there is no constitutional protection for them currently.

As I pointed on in the first round, there are many uses of guns for self defense, and unless you can prove that guns cost more lives than they save, laws reducing our personal freedoms of owning and using guns should not be tolerated.



Guns can be used for self defense, however if they cannot be used for lawful purposes, then the second amendment does not protect them, and therefore gun control over them should not need to pass an amendment.



1.http://www.nizkor.org......

2.http://debate-central.ncpa.org......

3.http://www.lawnix.com......

4.http://www.usconstitution.net......

Debate Round No. 2
gryffin13

Pro

"While I concede that I must not only prove that an amendment is not necessary; I must give a reason for why we should not have to make amendments to create gun control (assuming we have equal burdens of proof), my opponent is mistaken if he believes I must advocate gun control. My opponent's statement was: “Creating gun control laws in the U.S. without passing an amendment, should not be tolerated.” This statement means that I do not need to prove the effectiveness or the benefits of gun control; I need to prove that there are benefits to allowing it without passing amendments."

I agree that my opponent does not necessarily need to prove the effectiveness for gun control, but I can't imagine that there is anyone out there, who would agree that laws that aren't effective should be tolerated, so I'm not sure why my opponent would want to go that route in this debate. If gun control laws are not effective, then regardless of their constitutionality, why should they be tolerated? That is my point. I am going to continue to debate the constitutionality because I still believe that it is questionable as far as the second amendment is concerned, but even still, without proof of effectiveness, I find unnecessary laws to be a burden on society, and thus "should not be tolerated."

"
My opponent made an arbitrary statement that the burden of proof is in the hands of those supporting laws without any reason or conventional set up. The burden of proof is usually either: always affirmative [1], or it is equal [2] Seeing that my opponent did not specify at the beginning of the debate by default I have assumed the argument contained equal weight on both sides, however using my opponents logic:

Using the same example, if my opponent was in support of banning silver cars, it is not on me to prove that silver cars are not a hazard " it is on him to prove that they are.

If I was in support of making a change in government, I must hold the burden of proof, therefore since he is changing the law, he must maintain the burden."

Perhaps we are viewing this differently. I am looking at this from the point of view that people passing gun control laws need to prove the law will be effective, it sounds like my opponent is thinking from the perspective of a law having already been passed. So since that is the case, I will concede to the statement "whoever is trying to change the legal status quo has the burden of proof." Is that agreeable?



"My opponent has admitted that people would be willing to commit crimes with guns. That means that not all guns are used legally and are therefore not all guns or gun owners fall into the Second Amendment protection of “an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes...[3]” This makes gun control constitutional, and therefore there is no reason gun control should have to amend the second amendment."

I think this is the most important section as it sums up the main difference in opinion. I agree not all guns are used legally, but I disagree with my opponent's logical path. Yes, not all guns are used legally. And in those cases, that particular use is not protected by the second amendment. But I would not agree with the statement that therefore not all guns are protected by the second amendment. Those uses should not be protected, but to argue that the guns aren't, is a step that I simply don't understand. To continue on this point, my opponent also said:
"Gun control is used to protect people from guns that cannot be used legally'
I maintain that ALL guns can be used legally. To insinuate that there is any class of gun that can only be used for illegal purposes is preposterous. For example, "sawed-off shotguns" are typically thought of as a criminal weapon, but if you wanted a shotgun to protect your family (which many people legally choose to do), a long barrelled shotgun can be difficult to maneuver inside the house. A short 16 inch barrel would be much preferred to legally protect your family, but it is widely made illegal. I can give you a rationale for any gun you want as to how it can be used legally, and as such, I cannot agree to go from the idea that since some guns cannot be used legally, that they are open to gun control without the protection of the second amendment. If my opponent could adequately prove that any gun could only be used illegally, then I would concede its lack of protection by the second amendment, but until she can do so, I will not agree to the legality of said laws.

Essentially the other arguments my opponent makes are all based on the notion that some guns cannot be used legally, which has not been proven to my liking, and as such I cannot accept the claim or the subsequent arguments.

Cheshire

Con

I agree that my opponent does not necessarily need to prove the effectiveness for gun control, but I can't imagine that there is anyone out there, who would agree that laws that aren't effective should be tolerated, so I'm not sure why my opponent would want to go that route in this debate. If gun control laws are not effective, then regardless of their constitutionality, why should they be tolerated?

I understand my opponent is confused, so let me explain. My opponent said that “Creating gun control laws in the U.S. without passing an amendment, should not be tolerated.” Now he is questioning my reasoning: why, if gun control is ineffective, should it be tolerated? My answer to this question is simple; it is not part of the debate.

The main clause of his resolution was: “Creating gun control in the U.S. without passing an amendment…” My opponent did not simply state ‘creating gun laws in the U.S.’ Since my opponent added “…without passing amendment…” he has clearly given a reason for why gun control should not be tolerated; this is the reason that he has specifically resolved to debate. To clarify I have dismissed his argument against gun control itself as it does not pertain to the debate my opponent has set up.


I will concede to the statement "whoever is trying to change the legal status quo has the burden of proof." Is that agreeable?

Yes, I find this agreeable.


To insinuate that there is any class of gun that can only be used for illegal purposes is preposterous.

I agree that to say any class of guns can only be used illegal activity is ridiculous. Technically anything can be used for legal purposes, an extreme example would be nuclear weapons: you could use them legally by just having them sit on your property, however, this does not mean that citizens should have the right to nuclear weapons. This is where the supreme court drew a line; “The historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons supports the holding in United States v. Miller that the sorts of weapons protected are those in common use at the time.” [1] My opponent does not take this statement into account. If there are guns which outdo themselves in terms of protection to the point that it is no longer viable to use them in self defence, they are not protected.

For example, guns with .44 magnum and above are too likely to over-penetrate to be used for self-defense.[2] Automatic guns, which fall into this category, can spray multiple bullets per second, causing owners of these guns to do more than simply incapacitate their attacker. These gun owners are in danger of hitting others due to low accuracy, and overpenetration, this qualifies them as dangerous, and they are obvious not in common use. Guns that are dangerous and not in common use are not protected under the second amendment therefore automatic guns are not protected.


Essentially the other arguments my opponent makes are all based on the notion that some guns cannot be used legally, which has not been proven to my liking, and as such I cannot accept the claim or the subsequent arguments.

While my opponent may have the right to dismiss certain argument in connect to the legal use of guns, my opponent did drop one argument.

I had previously said “My opponent has admitted that people would be willing to commit crimes with guns. That means that not all guns are used legally and are therefore not all guns or gun owners fall into the Second Amendment protection...”

While my opponent addressed guns falling under the second amendment’s protection, he did not address people. Since I was given the opportunity I will expand upon my original statement. In the second amendment there is no mention of prohibition of universal background checks before purchasing a gun. District of Columbia v. Heller even goes out of its way to state “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,”[3] Universal background checks help to enforce the tradition of prohibiting felons and the mental ill from obtaining guns, and comply under the second amendment, showing that an amendment is not necessary to pass gun control.



1. http://www.lawnix.com...

2. http://aware.org...

Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 3 years ago
MrJosh
gryffin13CheshireTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments to CON because PRO had the BOP and didn't meet it; most of his arguments were fallacious. CON also did a better job of backing up his points with sources. As a side note, I would like to second MisterDeku's point about quoting. There is no need to quote your opponent's whole argument. By all means, paraphrase, and when necessary, quote phrases or even sentences. Don't quote whole paragraphs; its hard to read. Also, if I might make a suggestion, since this was both PRO's and CON's first debate: use some formatting. Outline your arguments with subheadings, and rebut your opponent's arguments in similarly offset blocks. This will make it easier to follow.
Vote Placed by MisterDeku 3 years ago
MisterDeku
gryffin13CheshireTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Before I give my RFD, I'd like to state how much I dislike it when debaters will flat-out quote each other in their rebuttals. It means I have to re-read chunks of text, and it wastes a lot of character space for the debaters. Aside from that, the practice lends itself to cherry-picking fallacies. Conduct goes to Pro as I found Con's use of direct quoting to be abusive at points. In round three Con quotes Pro in such a way that changes Pro's original intention and builds a refutation on that. Arguments also go to Pro as I don't hear a convincing argument from Con which states that warrants protection of life to be greater than protection of rights. And to clarify, I agree with Con that the instigator maintains primary BOP unless otherwise stated.