The Instigator
Avamys
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
pantai_rhei
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Gun Control should be administered

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 838 times Debate No: 29376
Debate Rounds (5)
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Avamys

Pro

So, here is my argument:
Guns are made to kill the largest amount of people in the smallest amount of time. This contradicts peace, which we should protect. Therefore, this house would ban guns.
Guns cause a lot of deaths in the world.
1. It is very easy to pull a trigger to murder or commit suicide, far easier than using a knife or a rope.
2. Some accidents occur when children think that their parents' guns are toys and shoot their friends.
3. When a gun is misfired, it can cause serious injury or even death.

There are lots of other problems as well. Guns teach children to accept violence from an early age. They think that it is no big deal to own a gun, which can kill. They also make it easier for criminals to die when being pursued. True, they are bad and go against the law, but it is a life nevertheless.
pantai_rhei

Con

Accepted. I hereby take the negative stance saying guns should not be banned.

Please kindly specify the rules for the following rounds. I assume that round 2 will be the first constructive round.

Good luck :)
Debate Round No. 1
Avamys

Pro

Here are the rules:
No swearing or calling names.
Be polite, no rude language allowed.
You can present your points and rebuttals at any time.

Quite simple, right?
pantai_rhei

Con

In the following my refutations of the affirmative's arguments:

1) "Guns are made to kill the largest amount of people in the smallest amount of time. This contradicts peace, which we should protect. Therefore, this house would ban guns."

The argument is invalid. Would the world be a safer place without guns or other weapons? Yes, most probably. But would a ban of guns lead to a world without weapons? Most probably not! It seems more likely that it will lead to a higher imbalance in the distribution of guns between those who are possessing it for offensive purposes (e.g. to kill or rob somebody) and those who are possessing it for defensive purposes since the former will be more likely to ignore and circumvent the law than the latter.

2) "It is very easy to pull a trigger to murder or commit suicide, far easier than using a knife or a rope."

While it is most probably true that it is easier to murder somebody with a gun than without, the question is how heavy this argument weighs. 32% of all murders in 2011 in the US were carried out with weapons other than firearms [1]. That suggests that not possessing a firearm is not to big of an obstacle to killing somebody. Thereby this seems to be a weak argument.

3) "Some accidents occur when children think that their parents' guns are toys and shoot their friends."

This problem could be solved through education. Gun owners and family members can be taught the proper use of the gun.

4) "When a gun is misfired, it can cause serious injury or even death."

See refutation of argument 3).

5) "Guns teach children to accept violence from an early age. They think that it is no big deal to own a gun, which can kill."

Owning a gun for defensive purposes and using it to kill somebody cannot be equated. Again this issue should be solved through education rather than a ban of guns.

Now my arguments against the ban of guns:

1) Every citizen should be protected against violent assaults. Since no government can provide perfect protection they should not prevent the citizens to protect themselves.

2) As mentioned in the refutation: A ban of guns is likely to lead to a higher imbalance in the distribution of guns between those who are possessing it for offensive purposes (e.g. to kill or rob somebody) and those who are possessing it for defensive purposes since the former will be more likely to ignore and circumvent the law than the latter. Thus citizens who want to protect themselves are ultimately the one who would be put in a disadvantaged position.


[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
Avamys

Pro

Avamys forfeited this round.
pantai_rhei

Con

I'm not sure what's the procedure if one side forfeits a round. I guess we have to skip this round and move into the next round.
Debate Round No. 3
Avamys

Pro

Here are my rebuttals for your arguments:
1. "But would a ban of guns lead to a world without weapons? Most probably not!"
Sure, banning guns does not equal banning all weapons. But, as you said earlier, 68% of murders were carried out by guns in the US in 2011. If there were no guns in the hands of those killers, the 68% of murder victims would still be alive. That is more than the majority. The sole purpose of a gun is to kill or cause heavy damage, whether intentionally or not. But, for another weapon, such as a knife, there are other uses. Knives are used as cutlery and tools to aid cooking, not solely as a weapon. You did admit that it is easier to kill a person with a gun than without. So, if the murderer did not own a gun, he or she would not be able to kill so easily, therefore perhaps saving a life(s).

2. "...they should not prevent the citizens from protecting themselves."
True, everyone has the right to protect themselves. But it is not necessary to use a gun. What about a stun gun? It could serve the purpose and have a lower chance of killing. A criminal is a criminal, but nevertheless still a life. Citizens want guns to protect themselves because many people out on the street own guns. If no citizen owns a gun, that reason would not exist and it would be harder to kill or rob. (refer to argument 1)

3. " A ban of guns is likely to lead to a higher imbalance in the distribution of guns between those who are possessing it for offensive purposes and those who are possessing it for defensive purposes,"
Well, a "ban on guns" means that guns should not be allowed, except perhaps for people who are exceptions, for example on-duty policemen. That way, no citizen would own a gun and therefore cannot own it for offensive purposes. No one would be put at a disadvantage as both sides do not have guns.

Here are my arguments:

1. Guns lead to a higher crime rate.
When guns are so easily bought, people can easily own them. Let's consider this scenario:
Mark, a teenage boy, gets frustrated with his mother. He soon gets very angry, and remembers that there are guns in the house. So, he takes a gun and shoots his parents as well as his younger siblings.
Well, this case is true. Nehemiah Griego was "Mark". He used the gun because he was angry and it was convenient.

Imagine a man in debt and also owning a gun. Here's what happens:
He decides to rob a supermarket. So he drives there, gets in and points the gun at someone at the register. The person at the register attempts to push the alarm button, and out of panic, he shoots him/her.
The man robbed the bank because he owned a gun and he thought it would be easy. If he didn't own a gun, none of this would have happened as he would have been discouraged.

2. It is not really that easy to defend yourself with a gun
Well, if you are a FBI or CIA officer this obviously doesn't apply to you as you have been trained. But untrained civilians with guns are the majority. So here's a scenario:
Some people are robbing a bank. They have guns. You see them about to shoot a person and you reach for your gun. But before you can pull it out, a guy with a gun sees you and shoots you.

Also consider this. Sometimes such incidents such as muggings occur in places with no people. The bad guy has his gun pointed at you and you have to defend yourself. You don't know anything's going to happen until the gun is pointed at you. You reach for your gun---and at that instant he shoots you. Which one is quicker, the bad guy pulling the trigger or you putting your hand into the holster, drawing out the gun, aiming it and then finally pulling the trigger?

3. Guns are very dangerous weapons
Unlike other weapons, such as knives (as mentioned in rebuttal 1), guns only have one purpose. That is to kill (or cause heavy damage) whether intentionally or not. Let's think about this. The weapon available is a blunt object, such as a hammer from a toolbox. Well, hammers have other uses. But when used as a weapon, it is not as dangerous as a gun. Even a child could kill with a gun. But then, a twelve year old would not be able to use a hammer to attack people while causing the same amount of damage that would be inflicted by a gun. The news article below mentions a ten year old killing his mother with a gun. He wouldn't have been able to do that with a knife or hammer.
( please see http://www.indianasnewscenter.com...)

Guns can be used long range, while blunt objects such as a hammer can not. True, you could throw it, but the victim could defend himself better than when struck by a bullet. To kill a person with a hammer, even with strikes to the head, it would take over ten strikes. It took thirteen stab wounds to kill John Evans
( refer to: http://www.todaystmj4.com... ).
In the process of the attack the victim can easily defend himself with either his hands or something around the house. Even a book or a chair would work for a hammer and a chopping board or even a laptop for a knife. It is also hard to commit suicide without a gun. If you used a hammer, you would just knock yourself out. Someone would rescue you and you would fail to kill yourself as you are unconscious.
pantai_rhei

Con

In the following my refutations to the affirmative's arguments:

Refutation of 1st Argument: Guns lead to a higher crime rate

The affirmative does not provide any evidence for this claim but instead only gives two examples of homicides that allegedly wouldn't have happened without access to a gun.

The following study clearly refutes this claim. This Harvard study [1] with the title "WOULD BANNING FIREARMS REDUCE MURDER AND SUICIDE?" shows not only that there is no positive correlation between gun ownership and violent crime, but in fact shows that there is actual a negative correlation: as gun ownership increases murder and suicide decreases.

According to the authors: "Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not."

Furthermore: "Per capita murder overall is only half as frequent in the United States as in several other nations where gun murder is rarer, but murder by strangling, stabbing, or beating is much more frequent."

and “Homicide results suggest that where guns are scarce other weapons are substituted in killings.”

I strongly recommend everyone interested in the issue to have a look at the study.


Refutation of 2nd Argument: It is not really that easy to defend yourself with a gun

The two given examples seem quite ridiculous. No one suggests a) not to use their common sense with regards to the decision when to use a gun to defend oneself and when it would be safer not to do so and b) not to go through some kind of training when owning a gun for the purpose of defending oneself.

Everyone who prefers owning a gun has the responsibility not to act stupid. Furthermore some regulation could be introduced insuring that every gun holder undergoes some basic training.


Refutation of 3rd Argument: Guns are very dangerous weapons

The affirmative again contents that the number of homicides would come down with a ban of law because it is more difficult to kill somebody without a gun.

The previously mentioned study refutes that. Two reasons that could explain this is:
a) other weapons are substituted for guns
b) criminals obtain guns in the black market. As i suggested earlier, criminals (by definition) are much less likely to abide by the law then non-criminals.

With regards to children: Children shouldn't own a gun, nor should they have access to it. That comes back to the training and responsibility of the gun owners.


In the following I will defend my earlier arguments:

1) Every citizen should be protected against violent assaults. Since no government can provide perfect protection they should not prevent the citizens to protect themselves.

The affirmative objection is that a stun gun would do the job.

My response to this: If all criminals knew there are only stun guns out there, would they really be deterred from offensive acts of violence?


2) A ban of guns is likely to lead to a higher imbalance in the distribution of guns between those who are possessing it for offensive purposes (e.g. to kill or rob somebody) and those who are possessing it for defensive purposes since the former will be more likely to ignore and circumvent the law than the latter. Thus citizens who want to protect themselves are ultimately the one who would be put in a disadvantaged position.

The affirmative's objection is that "by banning guns, no citizen would own a gun and therefore cannot own it for offensive purposes. No one would be put at a disadvantage as both sides do not have guns."

That claim fails to take into account the fact that - as stated earlier - criminals by definition are much less likely to abide by the law and thereby much more likely to own a gun than law-abiding citizens. Thereby a ban on guns would lead to a skewed distribution of guns to the favor of criminals.




[1] http://www.law.harvard.edu...
Debate Round No. 4
Avamys

Pro

I would like to further explain my point on 'Guns lead to a higher crime rate'
Part of what you are saying is true. Criminals might find another way to kill a civilian even if they do not have a gun. But, as said earlier, guns are very dangerous weapons, and you cannot deny that. If they did not use a gun but a hammer or knife, which inflict less damage, the victim would have more time to defend himself/herself and the death rate would certainly be lowered. Also, having a gun, which is a powerful and dangerous weapon, encourages people to commit crimes. If a person only had a vegetable knife, he would certainly be discouraged from robbing or killing as the chances of succeeding would be lowered.

I understand that you think that guns lead to a lower crime rate. However, I think and can prove otherwise.
Mexico is often used as an example in gun debates. I do understand the situation there, but Mexico is an exemption and a minority. I live in Hong Kong, and in ten years there has not been a crime associated with guns, unless you count air guns or BB guns. There has been no news or newspaper report, and there is not even a 'Gun Crime' section on the official page of the Police because such a crime has never occurred since 1997, when the sovereignty was handed back to China. Murders are rare in Hong Kong, although it is a heavily populated city of 7136300 people (refer to http://www.censtatd.gov.hk...), and Hong Kong has the longest life expectancy of any country in the world from 2012, according to both UN and WHO estimates.

Let me quote from a government website (http://www.sb.gov.hk...)
Crime Situation in 2008 and 2009
In 2009, the overall crime rate (1 107.7 cases per 100 000 population) and violent crime rate(202.5 cases per 100 000 population) decreased by 1.5% and 2.1% respectively as compared with 2008. The overall crime detection rate was 45.6% (same as in 2008).
The number of many serious crimes has registered a decline. These include bank robbery (-40.0%), unlawful society offences (-11.7%) and burglaries (-6.0%).

So it is obvious that the crime rate in Hong Kong is low despite the ban on guns. Here is another piece of information:
Hong Kong has a very low rate of 1.23 homicides per 100,000 population especially compared to large cities in the USA such as New York at 16.1 and Chicago 29.9. However, differences are less dramatic when compared with Singapore 0.83, Sydney 1.9, London 2.2, and Berlin 3.5 but still significantly lower than nearby cities Macau 7.3, and Shenzhen 4.59.
Countries that ban guns, such as China (Macau and Shenzhen are part of China) have low crime rates too. (refer to http://www.crime.hku.hk...)

There is a list of countries that have the most % of homicides committed with firearms (http://www.nationmaster.com...). Countries that ban guns such as China and North Korea are not even on the list. however, America, which does not ban guns, is ranked the 7th, with 39.5604%. More than two out of three of the one million Americans who died in firearm-related homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings since 1962 were killed with handguns"i.e., 667,000. Of all firearm-related crimes in 1993, 86 percent involved the use of a handgun.
'Guns do not only cause physical damage, but also financial loss. As the debate over gun violence is almost always framed in terms of fatalities, it is easy to overlook that, for every person killed with a firearm, approximately three others require medical treatment for wounds inflicted with a gun. One conservative estimate places the annual cost of immediate medical care for all gunshot wounds at $4 billion. Other researchers take into account lifetime care and long-term economic loss, calculating the overall cost of gun violence in any given year to be in excess of $20 billion.'
'The deleterious impact of this large handgun population on our murder rate becomes evident when making comparisons to countries that strongly regulate private firearms ownership with an emphasis on minimizing access to handguns. For example, in 1995 the U.S. firearms death rate was 13.7 per 100,000; in Canada 3.9 per 100,000; in Australia 2.9 per 100,000; and, in England and Wales it was 0.4 per 100,000. Contrary to a common rationalization, the United States is not especially more violent than other "older" cultures; in fact, as Western Europe grows more violent, the U.S. becomes less so. The main difference between those nations and our own is that we have more than 60 million handguns. The lesson to be learned from this is, as one public health researcher stated: "People without guns injure people; guns kill them." (http://www.vpc.org...)

Here are some facts: (www.crimeinfo.org.uk)
In the year 2004/05,
England & Wales (severe restrictions on owning guns) - 73 firearms homicides.
USA (right to bear arms) - about 15 000 firearms homicides.

Some people use Switzerland as an example, but may I remind you that every adult male there has to serve in the military for a period of time. They are considered as soldiers, not civilians. They are considered to be part of the group of people which keep the people safe.

I agree with you that children should not get firearms. But child firearms fatalities mean that we should toughen gun laws
and ban them altogether as they are so accessible! The number of homicides to children in the United States is five times higher than the next twenty-five industrialised countries in the world - combined. To have a child dying every four hours in this country, to have the number of murders, to have the number of suicides, to have the number of accidents, we are not treating our children well, we are not setting an example for the rest of the country. We make it too easy for young people to be the victims, for young people to die, for young people to be injured by guns in this country.

Other reasons to ban guns:
The Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban, both of which went into effect in 1994 are responsible for the decrease in violent crime rates,which have been declining since 1991.
"Assault weapons" have no purpose other than to kill large numbers of people.
Private citizens don"t need a gun for self-protection because the police are there to protect them

So, yes, gun control does work, and it lowers the crime rate as well.
pantai_rhei

Con

I'll start with my refutations of the affirmative's two remaining arguments:

1) 'Guns lead to a higher crime rate'

The negative side uses the example of Hong Kong to support his claim that a ban of guns would result in lower homicide rates. Though this claim is by no means supported by the source that he has provided. The article concludes with:

"Several reasons have been suggested to account for the lower than expected levels of crime in a densely populated urban environment such as Hong Kong. The protective value of cultural and ethnic homogeneity combined with the preservation of traditional Confucionist values and extended kinship structures may be significant but also may be weakening. A compliant pro-social society and a government hostile to crime and corruption13 also favour control over crime even in popular cultures that romanticize Triads. The presence of a large police force with extensive powers of "stop and search" and strict gun laws combined with compulsory identity cards14 also contribute to lower levels of crime. High levels of natural or informal surveillance, substantial investment in private policing and a relatively small enclosed jurisdiction are also highly advantageous."


It becomes evident that there are many factors that contribute to the low crime rate in Hong Kong, above all I would like to point out that Hong Kong has more than 50% more police officers per inhabitants than the US (393 vs. 256 policemen per 100,000 inhabitants). [1]

Again, there is ample of evidence that gives explanation why a ban of guns doesn't necessarily result in lower crime rates and why in fact crime rates could actually increase instead. According to the Harvard study [2] that I brought up in the last round

"One reason the extent of gun ownership in a society does not spur the murder rate is that murderers are not spread evenly throughout the population. Analysis of perpetrator studies shows that violent criminals—especially murderers—“almost uniformly have a long history of involvement in criminal behavior.” So it would not appreciably raise violence if all law‐abiding, responsible people had firearms because they are not the ones who rape, rob, or murder. By the same token, violent crime would not fall if guns were totally banned to civilians. As the respective examples of Luxembourg and Russia suggest, individuals who commit violent crimes will either find guns despite severe controls or will find other weapons to use.

Startling as the foregoing may seem, it represents the cross-national norm, not some bizarre departure from it. If the mantra “more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death” were true, broad based cross‐national comparisons should show that nations with higher gun ownership per capita consistently have more death. Nations with higher gun ownership rates, however, do not have higher murder or suicide rates than those with lower gun ownership. Indeed many high gun ownership nations have much lower murder rates."


2) Guns have to be banned in order to prevent children to access them

The affirmative side gives a statistic of children homicides. I have three objections to it:

(i) No sources are provided.

(iii) It is misleading, since it only shows the absolute number of homicides, not taking into account the population of the country. The correct statistic would be the homicide rate and not the absolute number.

(iii) Above all the statistic is irrelevant, because we both agree that homicides should be prevented, the only question is how.


Also the affirmative side fails to respond to my earlier refutation of this argument in which I have given alternative solutions to prevent this problem (training, regulations, etc.).


I extend my earlier arguments as the affirmative side did not bring up any refutations in the last round. Therefor these arguments unrefuted:

1) Every citizen should be protected against violent assaults. Since no government can provide perfect protection they should not prevent the citizens to protect themselves.

2) A ban of guns is likely to lead to a higher imbalance in the distribution of guns between those who are possessing it for offensive purposes (e.g. to kill or rob somebody) and those who are possessing it for defensive purposes since the former will be more likely to ignore and circumvent the law than the latter. Thus citizens who want to protect themselves are ultimately the one who would be put in a disadvantaged position.



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://www.law.harvard.edu...

Debate Round No. 5
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