The Instigator
TheMolestacher
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
bladerunner060
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Effective gun control is a good thing.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/5/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,175 times Debate No: 30969
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (0)

 

TheMolestacher

Pro

Here I will further define the mechanism in which an opponent in this debate has to work.
This house believes that a system of effective gun control, is a good thing.
Further clauses: Gun control would be the illegalization of every form of firearms, bought by civilians or obtained otherwise.
Effective would mean that it is no longer legally possible to obtain guns and much more pressure is put on the illegal sale/owning of a firearm.
Exceptions would be the police force in the area (The United states) and individuals licensed or them for sporting purposes. In which case the guns would be kept in a secure location.

Any opponent must work under these clauses as I find it very difficult to have a debate on this site without having exactly what I meant scrutinized and questioned.

Thank you and I hope my opponent will not be a violent gun nut.
bladerunner060

Con

I accept, based on the fact that my opponent's case is the total prohibition of all civilian firearms.

I would like to say open with the statement that, while I am not a "violent gun nut", I take the position that the ownership of self-defense weaponry is a right, and that therefore the total prohibition of all firearms is an inherently bad thing.

I await my opponent's constructive.
Debate Round No. 1
TheMolestacher

Pro



Here ya go!

Sorry I took so long...

A few distinctions
In this debate I will NOT be arguing that people do not have the right to defend themselves. I am however arguing that people cannot be trusted with weapons and that the constitution was written a LONG time ago. Times change

Trust
I am from the United kingdom. Here we have 0.25 gun deaths year per 100000 people [1]. In the USA, there are 10.3 per every 100000 people. [2] That's over 40 times as many. And US states which have stricter gun control laws have 43% less gun deaths per year [3]. Does this maybes show you something?
That gun control tends to lead to less gun related deaths. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that less guns will herald less gun related deaths. A massive problem with a lot of the US at the moment is that they will give high powered assault rifles to any Dick, Joe and Harry who wants one. For God's sake, if you want a minigun in some states you can have one. I don't know about you, but I see a massive potential for a security breach here. People who want to kill someone don't have to go to the criminal underworld and purchase, in many cases, more expensive guns to do so. Because they can buy a machine gun perfectly legally and unregulated over a counter.
You will all remember the Sandy Hook shootings this December. If you are unfamiliar, a man called Adam Lanza walked into an elementary school and gunned down and killed 27 children and staff. It is certainly one of the most horrific events of recent years. How did Adam get 5 guns? His mother's arsenal. I am sorry, I see a huge problem with somebody being able to own that many guns and have to take no safety precautions on them. She had 5 guns, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Nobody needs that kind of firepower for self defence. Had gun laws been a lot stricter, like I am proposing, Adam would have had almost no chance of obtaining those guns and the world would not have had to suffer through an atrocity like that. We are not here to debate whether or not gun control can work, and so it is pointless trying to tell me that Adam could have obtained the guns anyway. I already stated this was about effective gun control. Not semi effective gun control.

So I put it to you, that by allowing any person to buy weaponry designed for military and hunting purposes is inherently asking for people to abuse that system. Adam Lanza had no prior criminal record [4] and so without gun safety, he had every opportunity, and apparently, right, to obtain and use those weapons. Gun control will greatly decrease the number of people who shoot others, because it will greatly increase the number of people who have guns.

A right?
The right to bear arms is only a right under the US constitution. The constitution was signed in 1787. That's well over 200 years ago. If the UDHR had been written 220 years ago do you think that most people would agree that whatever they put down then are good morals to live by today? I think not. I find it preposterous that the ethics of the forefathers are taken to be so valuable in modern day society. They are not they standards on which to build a civilization as large and as prosperous as the USA or the UK. The 19th century saw the largest rise in the slave trade in history. Over half of the population were slaves. And this was after the constitution was signed. Should people today be defending their 2nd amendment right to own slaves? Are these the things you would defend today?
Things, believe it or not, have changed in the last 200 years. The beliefs and they ethics that may have been highly respected then are not now. So how is it sensible to take them as law in a society entirely different from 19th century America. When the constitution was signed, people had muskets. Not SCAR-Hs and RPDs. If you want a musket, fine. Knock yourself out. But as for machine guns, please don't. I doubt that the forefathers, knowing of the school and cinema shootings of recent years, would support their laws in modern day society. It is the availability of the killing machines on the market today that make it so easy for the killers, and so supporting that is not a relevant argument.

The premise on which the second amendment was based was that people need guns to participate in things like hunting. For sports and for self defence in case of a government collapse. Nowadays people argue they need guns for self defence in general. Guns kill people. No matter how much you argue that, no actually, rappers do... if Adam Lanza's mother had not had all the rifles she did, those 28 people would probably still be alive.
While I admit that all cannot be held accountable for the actions of a few, 30000 is not a few. The total prohibition of all civilian firearms is a measure of prevention, to save the lives of those 30 thousand,a measure which will not effect the gun owners otherwise. We hear of cases every day in which Americans shoot people dead for entering their house. To link back to my other point, people who judge that to be fair justice are not the kind of people who can be trusted not to go further.



To summarize my opening points: People cannot be trusted not to take advantage of the system
The constitution is no longer relevant in the 21st century
Less guns will result in less gun deaths. (Bit of a no brainer)

Sources:
[1] = http://www.gunpolicy.org...
[2] = http://www.gunpolicy.org...
[3] = http://communities.washingtontimes.com...
[4] = http://digitaljournal.com...

Thank you for listening (reading) and I thank the opposition in advance for their counter arguments.


bladerunner060

Con

I thank Pro for his response.

I would like to preface my arguments by saying that if I have been too flippant in any responses, I apologize, though, as I note further down, there are some severe problems of fact in Pro's argument.

On to rebuttal and argument.

When something is a right, whether statistics show that right is abused has nothing to do with whether that right should be protected. If we did that for the 1st amendment, there wouldn't be one any more, since I would wager it's "abused" every day millions of times.

A right is a right; arguing for a certain degree of limitation on that right is one thing, but Pro's case is that the right should be abolished altogether.

Pro argues that "I will NOT be arguing that people do not have the right to defend themselves."
Weapons are the means by which one defends oneself. Simply put: take away the means and you have taken away the ability. Guns are a genie that cannot be put back in the bottle. And if you argue that ONE group can have guns, but another can't, you ARE arguing that people do not have a right to defend themselves.

Further, upon what philosophical grounds does Pro feel that the state should have a right above the people? He lists statistics and says that the constitution is outdated, but those are not philosophical positions that justify his belief. After all, getting rid of all the protections of the 4th and 5th amendments, and locking all citizens up in jail in solitary confinement, would undoubtedly lower the crime rate, but that's an obviously ludicrous position. Talking about only statistics without a philosophical support takes one straight down the slippery-slope into absurdity.

And as regards to those statistics:

The UK has 5 times the violent crime of the US,[1] despite its gun ban. Somehow, banishing guns did not magically reduce violence in the way Pro seems to think it would.

In reference to this comment:

"US states which have stricter gun control laws have 43% less gun deaths per year."

It does nothing to bolster Pro's contention that guns should be outlawed COMPLETELY. Indeed, a certain degree of what's called "gun control" is called for, and what degree is up for debate. But Pro's position is complete prohibition. I already agree that the system of gun control in this country needs to be overhauled. But Pro has a much higher bar than that: the case of complete prohibition.

"...assault rifles to any Dick, Joe and Harry who wants one..."

Here Pro shows that he has a flawed perspective on the gun debate. Assault RIFLES have a specific definition, and have been completely prohibited for civilian purchase since 1934 [2]. Perhaps Pro is talking about Assault WEAPONS, a term that essentially criminalizes how scary a gun looks, and which, when banned, that ban had little to no effect[3]? I can't be sure, he'd have to clarify.

"For God's sake, if you want a minigun in some states you can have one."

Again: No. There are means to purchase them, sure, in principle, but they are INCREDIBLY heavily regulated, and Pro hasn't cited any crimes that have been committed with any miniguns; I certainly am not aware of any.

"I don't know about you, but I see a massive potential for a security breach here. People who want to kill someone don't have to go to the criminal underworld and purchase, in many cases, more expensive guns to do so. Because they can buy a machine gun perfectly legally and unregulated over a counter."

As noted above, this is simply and utterly untrue.

"You will all remember the Sandy Hook shootings this December...I am sorry, I see a huge problem with somebody being able to own that many guns and have to take no safety precautions on them...We are not here to debate whether or not gun control can work, and so it is pointless trying to tell me that Adam could have obtained the guns anyway."

Adam Lanza murdered his mother and stole her guns. You cannot possibly assert that the tragedy would have been avoided if she hadn't had them, because you cannot prove he wouldn't have simply murdered a cop to achieve the same goal, and your proposition is that the police/military will still have guns. Adam Lanza was crazy and evil.

I see a huge problem with knowing that if a crazy/evil person HAS obtained guns, there is NO WAY I could possibly defend myself even in theory.

"...Adam Lanza ...had every opportunity, and apparently, right, to obtain ... those weapons."

Again, he murdered and stole those guns. Despite what Pro may or may not think about laws in this country, it's not a right to murder and steal.

Pro's argument here has no merit. In fact, very few mass shootings are committed by legally obtained guns; they were purchased legally at some point, certainly, but they are stolen by the evil/crazy sonofabitch who uses them, or are in the criminal world.

All of the arguments Pro makes about the Constitution's age are without merit, and could be applied to ANY of the rights contained in the constitution. I assume Pro is not against women's voting rights? I mean, it was signed in 1920, and that's nearly 100 years ago! Or we could go to the very first amendment, as it's just as old as the 2nd.

"...When the constitution was signed, people had muskets."

And so did the government.

"Not SCAR-Hs and RPDs. If you want a musket, fine. Knock yourself out."

First: those ARE illegal. Second, does Pro concede? Because Pro's stated position was of total prohibition, which seems to be contradicted by this.

"But as for machine guns, please don't"

As already noted, those are already illegal. So yay for reality!

"I doubt that the forefathers, knowing of the school and cinema shootings of recent years, would support their laws in modern day society."

Considering the first known school shooting was in 1764 [4], Pro's argument falls flat.

"The premise on which the second amendment was based was that people need guns to participate in things like hunting. For sports and for self defence in case of a government collapse. Nowadays people argue they need guns for self defence in general. Guns kill people. No matter how much you argue that, no actually, rappers do... if Adam Lanza's mother had not had all the rifles she did, those 28 people would probably still be alive."

The emotional appeal based on shaky grounds aside, Pro never argues against the need for hunting, sports, or self-defense.

On a final note, I ask Pro to re-read:

"The constitution is no longer relevant in the 21st century"
I hope he realizes how ridiculous it sounds.

On a final note, I would point out that I wouldn't have taken this debate if Pro were arguing for a fantasy world without guns. But he isn't. He's arguing for a world WITH guns, but where ONLY the police and military have them. He doesn't trust the people; I do not trust the government. While it is hard to find statistics on police misuse of force, it happens with frightening regularity [5] [6] [7].

I am by far no "gun-nut" (if only because I'm far too poor; those things are expensive!). But: Pro has given no philosophical case for why only the state may have guns, his arguments about history fall flat, he doesn't know what the laws are presently, and his statistical argument holds little to no merit.

Thank you, and I look forward to my opponent's response.

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://www.dailykos.com...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7] http://gawker.com...
Debate Round No. 2
TheMolestacher

Pro

I thank my opponent for what was an interesting argument: here commence my own.

First of all, in regards to your statistics regarding the violent crime of the UK and the USA, I found a few problems:

1: Those statistics are from 2009. Our VC rate has decreased with the advent of the Violent Crime Reduction Act of October 2006 [0] and is thus lower now. The USA’s have increased. [1] The VCRA was, in part, gun control [2]. Maybes that is proof enough that gun control does reduce violent gun crime.

2: They show figures for violent crime. Not gun crime. They show rape, knife crime, bar fights and even fist fights. They are, thus, totally irrelevant to the debate.

3: You were wrong. The stats don’t take into account the population difference. With the figures provided there, the UK had 120000 violent crimes, the USA had 138000.

(I realise mine were from 2010, but as I already explained, the UK’s crime rates have gone down and the USA’s have gone up. Had I found any more recent stats, it would have looked worse on America’s part.)

Secondly, my opponent’s attempt to refute my stats that show how states with more gun control average 43% less gun crime, was, well… odd.

Indeed, a certain degree of what's called "gun control" is called for, and what degree is up for debate. But Pro's position is complete prohibition.” First off he concedes that gun control is needed to lower gun crime, yet he then implies either that more gun control will not result in even less gun crime, or that it will and that this is a bad thing. See? Odd.

It seems to me that a large portion of my opponent’s argument was made up of the fact that my usage of gun terminology was slightly off. Apparently assault rifles are not the same as assault weapons. I did not know this. But pointing that out is pedantic, unnecessary and adds little more than a small measure of technical clarity to the debate. I hope that anyone reading this knows what I mean when I use the terms machine gun and assault weapon synonymously. I am well aware of the laws surrounding them; however I was not aware that such jargon would make a difference in this debate. On a related note, opp claims that assault weapons are not legal and “have been completely prohibited for civilian purchase since 1934.”

NOT TRUE. The law that banned them was terminated in 2004 and are now legal again. When that happened, gun crime rates jumped 1000 and have been on the rise since. Maybes read the whole Wikipedia article before citing it. [3]

To move on to my musket analogy, this was used with the sole purpose of displaying how much the America of 2013 and the America of the late 1700s differ. Muskets may well be illegal now, but that doesn’t change the fact that had Adam Lanza had one, like the forefathers agree was a right, he would have killed maybes 1 person, if that, before someone hit him over the head with a chair while he was reloading it. I'm sure it wasn't the forefather's intent to give everyone an killing machine. The weapons available to the public today are killing machines. They felt they were experiencing a government collapse. Not an apocalypse.
They don’t take 5 minuets to reload, they can kill over 2,000 people in 5 minuets. [4]

When I said you can have a musket I didn’t mean it literally. Obviously. I was showing that the kind of abuse that this clause of the constitution experiences every day, 30000 [3] people a year die in America alone. The guns legalised by the 2nd amendment have changed so much that it can’t be taken so liberally as a right in this day and age. It causes too many deaths for it to be a human right. The forefathers wouldn’t support the weapons sold to civilians today. They’re not used to protect people, they’re used to kill thousands of people. Frankly I would love a world with no guns, but that would be a boring debate.

The first school shooting in America was actually in 1891, March 30th. [5] (If you count a school shooting as 1 or more men entering a school and firing at students and teachers with the intent to kill without prior reason to do so. For example, only trying to kill one specific individual while coincidentally in a school does not qualify) The one you were referring to was actually done with tomahawks. [6]

Gun’s can’t be trusted in the hands of untrained, unqualified citizens.

At the moment you may need a sidearm while in areas like Compton, that’s perfectly reasonable, but with gun rights abolished, and more pressure put on illegal trade of guns, you won’t need a gun to defend yourself. Because 99 times out of 100, the person attacking you will not have a gun.

The right of the state

To move onto another point. My opponent questioned why the state should have a right above the people. The bottom line is, because they can be trusted. You say “I don’t trust the Government.” Why?

Have the police ever raped your family? Have the secret police ever shot someone you love for speaking out? Have you ever been robbed by the Military because they felt like it? Has Homeland security recently shook you down for money for their latest drug and terrorist exploits?

I agree with you wholeheartedly on the miss-usage of police force site you referenced. I would convict those officers as much as the next man, but those are select circumstances. I realize it happens quite often, but more often than not, it doesn’t happen. The state is the reason you’re still alive. They have a genuine need for firearms to keep peace, enforce the law and keep citizens safe. What I’m working for is a society in which, as there are no legal civilian guns, and far less illegal guns, you have a massively lower chance of being shot. The logistics of this are not what we are arguing about, the police and the military need firearms to keep pressure on guns and to keep you safe. What good reason do you have for owning an AK? Vigilantly justice?

That’s why the state should have arms and not the people. Because people having guns sees murders and gun crime in the tens of thousands. The state uses guns to reduce those numbers and keep pressure on criminal activity. Would you prefer that justice be taken into the hands of the
people?

I sincerely hope not.

(If Adam Lanza had murdered a police officer, he would have got a pistol, that’s eight rounds. That is if he can kill an armed police officer while unarmed. I don’t see any logic in this argument)

It seems to me that the people campaigning for guns today have no idea.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun…” [7]
Or maybes, you don’t give that bad guy a gun in the first place? An all around more sensible solution that eliminates the need for any deaths whatsoever.

All of my arguments about the constitutions age are with merit, and figures. They could not be applied to any of the rights in the constitution because the abuse of the others generally doesn’t lead to death on massive scales. And finally, capitalism hasn’t changed that much over the past 90 years. It has though over 200 years.

Con has thus far failed to provide any well cited (most are horribly sourced) or well analysed arguments to combat my own. He has however, been a pedant in picking apart my terminology and analogies, and in doing so, has actually wrongly "corrected "me.

To conclude, people having guns ends lives, the state having guns saves them (usually). It therefore makes sense to prohibit civilian fire arms does it not?

Sources:

[0] = http://www.gunpolicy.org...

[1] = http://www.gunpolicy.org...

[2] = http://www.legislation.gov.uk...

[3] = http://en.wikipedia.org...

[4] = http://en.wikipedia.org...

[5] = http://en.wikipedia.org...

[6] = http://www.greencastlemuseum.org...

[7] = http://www.guardian.co.uk...

bladerunner060

Con

Thanks to my opponent, and let's start this round with something I agree with my opponent on:
It's trivially true that eliminating civilian guns would almost certainly lower civilian gun crimes.

But the motion under consideration is "Effective gun control is a good thing."

Those are not identical.

On to rebuttals:

As to the statistics I brought up, the UK already had strict gun laws. The VCRA didn't suddenly make guns illegal. In fact, for weapons the VCRA primarily dealt with making airsoft weapons harder to purchase and making it illegal to make a replica weapon look like a real weapon. While I do concede that there are passages about "us[ing] another to look after, hide or transport a dangerous weapon...and...in circumstances that...are intended to facilitate, the weapon's being available ... for an unlawful purpose" and the sale of ammunition, [1] this has nothing to do with making actual firearms more difficult to procure.

In fact, over the last few decades both the UK AND the US have both shown a trend of lower violent crime. Last year did show a spike for the US, but one year does not a trend make; violent crime declined by "more than two thirds" between 1994 and 2009 in the US [2].

Pro continues to use gun violence alone, claiming any other figures are "irrelevant to the debate". This is obviously a disingenuous method of going about judging the the problem of violence. Again, reducing guns would OF COURSE reduce gun violence. But that an attacker now uses a knife or a baseball bat doesn't change overall violence done, and doesn't make removing guns a "good thing", particularly if the rate of violence in the gun-free country is much HIGHER than the one with guns.

Pro then moves on to a confusion about the difference between regulation and prohibition. His statistics from within the US show that states with tighter REGULATION of guns have lower crime rates. It does not follow that completely PROHIBITING guns would have that effect.

"I hope that anyone reading this knows what I mean when I use the terms machine gun and assault weapon synonymously."
THEY ARE NOT SYNONYMOUS. So-called "assault weapons" ARE NOT FULLY AUTOMATIC. This is no small detail.

Pro claims he's "...well aware of the laws surrounding them", yet doesn't know the difference?

As regards to the comments on the FAWB, he number mentioned by Pro appears nowhere in the article, and he doesn't explain which he's talking about: raw data, per capita, or percentage. Further, I was specifically and expressly talking about Assault RIFLES. The Assault WEAPONS ban expired, and had little to no effect [5]. Assault RIFLES have been generally banned since 1934. Pro's inability to understand the difference is a real problem to this discussion.

Remember, my opponent said:

"For God's sake, if you want a minigun in some states you can have one"

It's simply not true. The reason this terminology matters is that an assault rifle, like a minigun, is a fully automatic gun, a "machine gun", by definition. Assault weapons are weapons that LOOK like military rifles, but are not fully automatic. That's a substantial difference, and there is a reason fully automatic weapons are almost entirely illegal (and Pro can show now crimes committed with the few legal ones), while semi-automatic guns are not. This is not a "slightly off" situation, nor is it pedantry. It's akin to justifying a ban on consumer-grade fireworks by equating them with C-4.

Following this, my opponent moves on to muskets. He asserts that "Muskets may well be illegal now," (They aren't.) Then tries to say "it wasn't the forefather's intent to give everyone an killing machine." (it was). He then makes up a "2,000 people in 5 minutes" statistic, with, as a source, a Wikipedia article talking about fully automatic weapons which, TO REPEAT, ARE ALREADY ILLEGAL.

"The forefathers wouldn"t support the weapons sold to civilians today."

That's an unsupported assertion. There was diverse opinion among the founders, between Federalists and anti-Federalists. Fundamentally, though, the 2nd amendment was put in specifically to defend the people's rights to own guns (or "killing machines") both to protect them from criminals and to protect them from the government, as well as hunting and self defense et cetera.

Patrick Henry, for example: "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined." [3]

James Madison, in "Federalist No. 46... confidently contrasted the federal government of the United States to the European kingdoms, which he contemptuously described as "afraid to trust the people with arms." He assured his fellow citizens that they need never fear their government because of "the advantage of being armed...." [3]

Samuel Adams said the Constitution should:

"Be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms..." [3]

The right to bear arms was (and, at least in the US, still is) considered a "natural right".

Con then tries to create a new definition for "school shooting"; by it, the Columbine shooting doesn't count, since the shooters expressly went to kill those who they felt had wronged them, a "prior reason". And he's wrong about the Enoch Brown massacre. While the Indians did use Tomahawks for the scalping, "Brown pleaded with the warriors to spare the children before being shot and scalped." [4]

"I agree with you ... on the miss-usage of police force site you referenced...but those are select circumstances. I realize it happens quite often, but more often than not, it doesn"t happen..."
The same is true for civilians. More often than not, a gun owner is law-abiding. More often than not, a gun is not used in a crime.

"What good reason do you have for owning an AK?"
Again, an "AK" IS ALREADY PROHIBITED.

By focusing on fully automatic weapons, even when I have clearly showed him that he was wrong to do so, I have trouble concluding anything but foolishness or dishonesty on Pro's part.

"If Adam Lanza had murdered a police officer, he would have ...eight rounds...I don"t see any logic in this argument"
Very wrong, again. First off, the gun would likely be a semi-automatic with more than 10 rounds. Secondly, most officers also have a backup weapon, and at the least shotgun in their car. Pro once again attempts to handwave away problems with his idea through an inaccurate picture of reality.

My opponent then goes on to try to claim that his argument that the constitution is "no longer relevant" has "statistics" and is "valid". It doesn't, and it isn't.

"...capitalism hasn"t changed that much over the past 90 years..."
This is a nonsequitor with no relevancy to this debate. I'm unsure why he brought in capitalism.

"To conclude, people having guns ends lives, the state having guns saves them (usually)."
That's another unsupported assertion.

To conclude this round: Pro still doesn't actually understand the things he wishes to ban. He whines about my correction of his being "slightly off" while STILL being wrong, and not in a "slight" way but rather quite a major way. He concedes that the state is known to abuse its power, yet tries rather hypocritically to claim that because the majority of the time the state behaves generally appropriately, therefore the state should have weapons, even though the exact same is true of civilians. Pro has yet to fulfill his burden of proof here.

1 http://www.legislation.gov.uk...
2 http://en.wikipedia.org...
3 http://en.wikipedia.org...
4 http://en.wikipedia.org...
5 http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
TheMolestacher

Pro

Thank you bladerunner for an interesting debate. This is my summary.

"Thanks to my opponent, and let's start this round with something I agree with my opponent on: It's trivially true that eliminating civilian guns would almost certainly lower civilian gun crimes."
If nothing else, this is my opponent conceding that the basis of almost every single point I have made is true.
My opponent tries to argue 2 things I find to be at the least, very objectionable. 1: that, even though “It's trivially true that eliminating civilian guns would almost certainly lower civilian gun crimes” we should not, as it is a right, and 2: That my phrase “To conclude, people having guns ends lives, the state having guns saves them (usually)" was an unsupported assertion. This was a conclusion. My post was the support. This is a list of assertions that are not small, trivial assertions, but rather assertions on which my opponent’s arguments seemed to rely, made by Con:

“ “My opponent then goes on to try to claim that his argument that the constitution is "no longer relevant" has "statistics" and is "valid". It doesn't, and it isn't.”

“When something is a right, whether statistics show that right is abused has nothing to do with whether that right should be protected”

“All of the arguments Pro makes about the Constitution's age are without merit, and could be applied to ANY of the rights contained in the constitution”


" “The constitution is no longer relevant in the 21st century"
I hope he realizes how ridiculous it sounds.”

“ "it wasn't the forefather's intent to give everyone an killing machine." (it was).”

I am yet to see a single well structured and or analysed argument as to why the right to bear arms should be protected, or as to why the second amendment is still relevant. I have, however, made arguments for the opposition to both.

Let’s clear up the Assault weapon and rifle confusion. Before Con corrected me, I was not aware that there were defined terms for semi automatic and fully automatic weapons. When I used the term assault rifle, in every case bar 1, I did in fact mean semi-automatic assault weapons. But I didn’t know there were separate terms. Saying the wrong thing doesn’t mean that that’s what I meant, for example, if I said the I love cheese and potato crisps, I probably meant to say cheese and onion, I don’t think I’d have actually meant cheese and potato crisps.

When I said: “I hope that anyone reading this knows what I mean when I use the terms machine gun and assault weapon synonymously” I didn’t mean that machine gun and assault weapons were actually synonyms, as I knew then that they were not, but rather, I meant that I hope that the readers were aware of the laws surrounding assault rifles and assault weapons and could realise that I didn’t mean literally assault rifles, as I already knew that most automatic weapons were illegal. And I should think that anyone who would start a debate on the topic would first know the laws.

The exception to this was when I said “Because they can buy a machine gun perfectly legally and unregulated over a counter.” This was an exaggeration of the truth. As already stated before, I know the gun laws in America. While I am not claiming to have an irrefutable knowledge of the law, the only thing I was mistaken on was my terminology. This doesn’t render my argument invalid, my statistics were still correct and my facts were too if you account for the terminology.

A lot of my points about weapon sales were purposefully exaggerated, to display that I feel that even being allowed automatic weapons heavily regulated [1] is way too much of a liberty.

Con seemed to think that I was arguing for the prohibition of ONLY civilian guns. I haven’t been. I defined that I would also put pressure on illegal guns, and that we are not here to debate the logistics of this, but rather the morals. The fact that this is a right is an argument that has been upheld by the opposition throughout, however I fail to see any justification of why this should be from Con.

My “made up” stats about killing 2000 people in 5 minutes were not actually made up. And I didn’t source an article about Full auto weapons. I sourced an article about rate of fire, in which it says that many automatic weapons can fire from 400 – 900 rpm. So it can be reasonably assumed that it would be entirely possible (but equally as unlikely) to kill 2000 people in 5 minuets. As noted above, automatic weapons are actually legal for civilian ownership under regulations. An AK can be bought, but in semi auto. I never said you have no reason for owning a full auto AK.

I’ve told you that people can’t have guns, legal or not, because I believe that by not having them, less people will die. This has been proved, and is basic logic. Less nuts means less nut allergy deaths. The same can be said for guns. I think it is stupid that people can have weapons like the AR 15 with very few limitations [2], weapons like this can fire 50+ [3] rounds a minute and it was used in the sandy hook shooting and many other massacres. [4] The shear danger that these weapons impose is obviously something we want to reduce, and it can’t be protected as a right if it leads to deaths. Other rights are abused in America, I know that, but the abuse of the 1st amendment doesn’t cause deaths. Death is not something to be taken lightly and should be protected at all costs. A humans’ life, even just 1 of the thousands killed by guns a year, should be valued above an outdated freedom. The elimination of guns will, on large, affect the lives of gun owners in a very small way. As I have prior explained, pressure will be put on illegal gun trade as well, so the need to defend one’s self with a gun will be greatly less.

The right to bear arms cannot be taken as a right anymore. It ends lives, from suicide or murder. Nobody has the right to murder, and so to equip them with the means with which to do so very easily and on large scales is ludicrous. The state can use guns to keep guns down and to suppress crime otherwise. They will have a valid and good reason to use weapons. No civilian does, home defence doesn’t require an arsenal, especially with the extra assurance that criminals will seldom have guns anymore.

We are not in the middle of a government collapse, or anywhere near one for realities sake. The constitution is mostly a good guideline on which to lead a country. I respect it’s morals and realise most of it is still relevant. But the second amendment isn’t anymore. I’ve explained this and I strongly believe this to be true. The guns people have today do kill. They don’t defend, like a baseball bat or a Kevlar vest does, they kill.

Two teens were shot to death last thanksgiving for breaking into a house. [5] They are far too powerful to be home defence weapons. Especially when they’re not needed. Like the society I want to achieve.

To sum up this debate in a paragraph: we have heard from me, that gun crime rates are far too high, that they will be lowered with the advent of total gun control, the constitution is mostly relevant but the second amendment is not, based on how much guns have changed, and that the state needs guns for a good and justifiable reason.

From con, we learn that we need to protect the rights of human beings, that total gun control is too far, and that the constitution was put into force for good reason. Correct me if I am wrong.

I thoroughly enjoyed this debate and wish my opponent the best of luck.

Sources:

[1] = http://articles.latimes.com...

[2] = http://www.twsarms.com...

[3] = http://www.constitution.org...

[4] = http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk...

[5] = http://abcnews.go.com...

bladerunner060

Con

Thank you to Pro.

To begin at the beginning, my opponent states that "That my phrase "To conclude, people having guns ends lives, the state having guns saves them (usually)"... was a conclusion. My post was the support."

Pro never once supported that assertion. He never established that the state having guns "usually" saves lives, nor did he support that having guns "usually" (unstated, but presumed) ends lives (presumably unjustifiably).

My opponent then goes on to make claims about a series of assertions that I have made.

The problem with the first one is, of course, that it was in direct response to his own unsupported assertion. As has been said, "that which has been asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

I will concede, however, that "When something is a right, whether statistics show that right is abused has nothing to do with whether that right should be protected" is an assertion on my part. I didn't support it, per se, as I find it axiomatic that a right is a right regardless of whether someone else has abused it. Pro, who has BoP, never actually contested or established a reason why this would not be the case.

I supported the next assertion, in my opinion, just fine.

""The constitution is no longer relevant in the 21st century"
"I hope he realizes how ridiculous it sounds."

I stand by that response. He made the statement that the constitution (presumably as a whole) is no longer relevant in the 21st century. This is patently absurd for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that it is the law of the land in the US. I invited my opponent to clarify, but he has not, which brings us back to "That which has been asserted without evidence..."

"it wasn't the forefather's intent to give everyone an killing machine." (it was)."

Actually, this point was fully supported. I quoted relevant passages from some of the anti-federalist founders. Also, my opponent had asserted the original statement based on nothing but his own intuition, which brings us back to "That which has been asserted without evidence..."

"A lot of my points about weapon sales were purposefully exaggerated..."

And yet Pro has no statistics of crimes committed with these heavily regulated guns, to show that the heavy regulation was not enough to stop crimes. I have already called him out on this. But further, he admits to purposefully exaggerating his case. How can any of his points be trusted, then? There is a difference between pointing out poor arguments by taking them to absurdity, and purposefully exaggerating your position in order to make your case appear stronger. Should I, then, have attempted to exaggerate the amount of unjustified violence perpetrated on civilians by the government, just to make that case more compelling?

"The fact that this is a right is an argument that ... I fail to see any justification of why this should be from Con."

First, I have given justification. Second, however, strictly speaking I shouldn't even have to. When someone is arguing for the eradication of a right, the onus is on them to explain WHY it should NOT be a right, particularly in this case where Pro has full BoP and is arguing for a change in the status quo.

I do not have to justify why I want to walk down a public street, the onus is on the one who wants to PREVENT me from doing so to establish why I should not.

To create another, more chilling concept:

Imagine that one day, there is a knock at your door.
"Sorry, you no longer have the right to life, we're here with the Disposal Team."
"Why?"
"Well, your family has a lot of murderers in it. So we figure it'd just be easier to wipe you all out; we can guarantee, since some of you are definitely murderers, less deaths that way."
"But I've never committed a crime! What about my right to life?"
"Well, like we said, we're guaranteeing less murders, so unless you can give us a good reason to let you live, you're going down the chute."
Absurd.

"I"ve told you that people can"t have guns, legal or not, because I believe that by not having them, less people will die."
Pro repeats his claim, which has no more validity just because he's repeated it. As already noted: "saving lives" can justify an infinite number of ridiculous actions. It gives us, certainly, a reason to care about the debate, and is useful in that regard, but that fact alone cannot justify the complete removal of a right, or it could justify the complete removal of ANY right.

"Less nuts means less nut allergy deaths."
And so nuts should be banned for everyone?

"Other rights are abused in America, I know that, but the abuse of the 1st amendment doesn"t cause deaths."
Already rebutted.

"The elimination of guns will, on large, affect the lives of gun owners in a very small way."
Actually, it will destroy gun owners as a concept. They will no longer exist. They will become non-gun-owners. It's like arguing that "The gym's closure will affect the lives of gym patrons in a very small way". Who is Pro to say how gun owners will be affected by their guns being seized?

"As I have prior explained, pressure will be put on illegal gun trade as well, so the need to defend one"s self with a gun will be greatly less."
But the need to protect oneself from the threat of violence will still remain. After all, as already noted the UK has much higher violent crime rates.

"The right to bear arms cannot be taken as a right anymore..."
Pro's argument here about murder and suicide could be directly translated to: Cars. Knives. Gas ovens. And be equally valid. Soon, nothing will be legal, because nigh anything could be a means to end life.

Pro then goes on to say that we are not near a government collapse (I note he consistently avoids engaging with "government abuse", which is not necessarily contingent at all on collapse). He then makes the spectacularly unsupported claim that guns do not protect. which is hilarious, considering when the STATE has a gun, he believes it does.

"Two teens were shot to death last thanksgiving for breaking into a house. They are far too powerful to be home defence weapons. Especially when they"re not needed. Like the society I want to achieve."

The society you posited wasn't one without violence. It was just one where one cannot protect oneself from violence. In Pro's world, rather than the burglars, the 67-year-old man would have been robbed, certainly, and possibly attacked and/or killed. While that case certainly involves someone who went too far, here's a counter to Pro's "they never protect" arguments, that is ALSO a home intruder, and doesn't involve someone giving a coup-de-grace because he was laughed at:

A woman, home alone with her kids, sees an intruder. She tries to go in the bedroom, then lock herself and the kids into a crawlspace, but the burglar still comes after her. And she protects herself and her kids. The sheriff agreed it was a "life-or-death" situation, and said that if she hadn't had a gun, he felt it likely he'd be working a triple homicide with no leads instead of a self-defense shooting. [1]

Guns can save lives. Guns can be regulated. But the argument to completely prohibit them is, to me, a lazy and craven one that says "Well, the system we have now needs improvement. Let's destory it completely!" Pro skips over enhanced regulation, or permits, and goes straight to total prohibition. If he'd posited a world without violence, or a world completely without guns, I would have found it hard to suspend disbelief, but I wouldn't have taken the debate. By not doing either, Pro's arguments fail.

I do think Pro did a fine job summarizing at the end, and I, too, enjoyed our debate. I wish him the best of luck, even as I finish by saying I maintain he has not fulfilled his burden of proof to carry his motion, and as such, urge a vote for Con.

Thanks!

[1] http://www.cnn.com...
Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
Oh well.
Posted by TheMolestacher 4 years ago
TheMolestacher
GOD DAMMIT
I actually would have preffered losing to no votes.BUMMER
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
I almost always wind up with something like 10 or 11 thousand and have to pare down.
Posted by TheMolestacher 4 years ago
TheMolestacher
Exactly 8000. YES. Always wanted to do that!
Posted by TheMolestacher 4 years ago
TheMolestacher
Imma summ up my beliefs on that topic in my summary.
Thanks for a good debate so far though! :D
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
I'm all for trying to prevent deaths. But not for trampling rights to do so. If your motion was tighter gun regulation, I wouldn't have taken it, though of course the regulation would be a discussable thing. But complete prohibition is too far, and "it saves lives!" does not justify it any more than forcing the populace into a Matrix-style imprisonment to "save" them would. In the first place, if you can completely destroy a right based on a "protection" argument, then what rights do you really have? Secondly, leaving the state with all the weapons leads to its own possibility of abuse, which was specifically in the Founders' minds when the amendment was ratified.
Posted by TheMolestacher 4 years ago
TheMolestacher
I agree that all can't be punished for the mistakes of a few, but like I said, 30,000 is not afew. it's more a matter of prevention than punishment. I don't hate gun owners, but I feel that taking their guns is a nessecary coarse of action to save those 30,000. Not guns means no gun deaths. (or in realistic terms, less guns means less gun deaths)
Posted by burge176 4 years ago
burge176
Why is it that the president gets protected by high capacity & mag weapons, but the average American can't have access any longer to them? There are over 600,000 legal gun owners in the state of Wisconsin alone and yet not one homicide last year due to gun violence. Then Chicago instates a gun ban and there are more homicides in one location than any other place in the country in one period of time? My point is...these mass shootings have been because a mentally ill individual had access to a weapon. Leave regular law abiding American's alone. They don't deserve to be punished for abiding by the rules.
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
Well, I would argue that it's AMONG the things they had in mind, possibly even one of the primary reasons; considering the place that people in favor of complete prohibition are coming from, I was going to avoid bringing it up too heavy-handedly. I was coming round to that a bit when I asked upon what grounds should the government be able to have guns, if the people aren't.
Posted by robGRAUERT 4 years ago
robGRAUERT
"The premise on which the second amendment was based was that people need guns to participate in things like hunting. For sports and for self defence in case of a government collapse."

This couldn't be more wrong. The founding fathers were rebels. They were shooting at the government. If they were alive today and were behaving the way they did during the American Revolution, they'd be considered terrorists. When they wrote the Constitution, they didn't give a HOOT about people hunting or having a good ol' time at the gun range. Fighting back against government tyranny is exactly what they had in mind when they wrote the 2nd Amendment.
No votes have been placed for this debate.