The Instigator
Crede
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
spencercrat123
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Gun Control

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
spencercrat123
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/23/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 657 times Debate No: 93031
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

Crede

Con

This debate is for arguing if gun control is a benefit to the safety of society. Gun control is a hot political topic as of late, and hashing it out should be enlightening.

Rules:
Round 1 is for acceptance, and you can state your personal belief on the matter without jumping into arguments.
Rounds 2, and 3 are for arguments and rebuttals.
Round 4 is for rebutting and strengthening arguments. No new arguments are allowed in round 4.
Round 5 closing argument.
3 days for each argument is allotted.

I am a conservative, meaning I am pro second amendment in regards to this topic, and against what most from the left would propose as "common sense" gun legislation. I will be arguing two points primarily, unless Pro brings up other lines of argumentation.
1.) Gun control as proposed by the left doesn't work.
2.) Our second amendment is written to keep us safe and so should not be infringed.

Arguments get heated, so please don't take anything I say as personal. Lets have a fun debate.
spencercrat123

Pro

I accept and look forward to a meaningful debate.

Personal beliefs on gun control: I think it is unacceptable that criminals, terrorists, mentally ill, etc. are able to legally and easily access the guns they use for their crimes. I think firearms and the right to bear arms have enjoyed an undue immunity from any sort of regulation and this refusal to give any ground is costing lives. I do believe there are "common sense" gun control measures that will protect responsible gun owners' rights while preventing firearms from getting into the wrong hands. In the wake of acts of terror, natural disasters, and epidemics the U.S. takes drastic response measures, it is time we treat gun violence the same way by enacting gun control legislation.
Debate Round No. 1
Crede

Con

Thank you Pro for accepting this debate.

Gun control in a broad sense does not work. The common argument from the left is that stricter gun control will result in fewer people being killed by guns, and fewer mass shootings will occur. The argument from the right is that disarming law-abiding citizens won"t stop the crazies from killing, and we have a right to protect ourselves from anyone wishing us harm. So, who has history and facts on their side?

The United States has the least strict gun control laws in the world. We also have the highest per capita gun ownership in the world. Approximately 30-35% of households in the United States own a gun, and if you add up all the guns there are approximately 1.2 guns per person. Now the scary part, what is our homicide rate here in the land of the free? Well its 3.9 per 100,000. That ranks us at number 107 in the world for homicides. The 106 countries that top us, well they are stricter on gun control. Let"s break this down further. Homicide rates per capita jump in big cities. Coincidently, the cities with some of the most restrictive gun control laws top the chart:

St. Louis: 49.9, Detroit: 43.5, New Orleans: 38.7, Baltimore: 33.8, Newark: 33.3, Buffalo: 23.2, Pittsburgh: 22.4, Memphis: 21.4, Atlanta: 20.5, Cincinnati: 20.2, Oakland: 19.5, Miami: 19.2, Kansas City: 16.7, Stockton: 16.4, Cleveland: 16.2, Washington: 15.9, Philadelphia: 15.9, Indianapolis: 15.8, and our beloved Chicago: 15.1 homicides per 100,000.

So if the United States is in the bottom half of all the countries in the world for homicide rate, yet we have the least restrictive gun laws, doesn"t that imply that gun control legislation does not increase our safety? Not to mention that we can see an increase in homicides in cities where there is an increase in gun control laws. This makes sense: Criminals are more emboldened knowing there is a higher likelihood their victims are unarmed. Again, disarming law-abiding citizens doesn"t take the guns away from the criminals. How do we know this? Because only 10% of 18-40 year olds who had a gun at the time of their arrest admitted to having obtained it legally.

Gun control laws only pertain to people who buy their guns through an FFL individual or gun shop. Criminals steal, borrow, or buy/sell on the black market to obtain their weapons.

When it comes to mass murders, usually the cause is some ideological view with the rare case of just pure insanity. The Boston Marathon bombers used a pressure cooker for example, should we ban those? The argument then goes to gun deaths are more frequent than those pesky pressure cookers. Well like I said before: 3.9 per 100,000 people are murdered each year, and only 2.3% of those deaths are from a mass murder (identified as more than 4 killed in a single incident). But this goes deeper, only 15% of mass murders have a single name attributed, in other words the rest are probably gang related incidents. So there are 0.013 people killed in 100,000, or in round numbers 40-50 people a year. 10,076 people die a year from car accidents. Do we blame cars?
People who are deranged enough to take their religion, racism, or political ideas to the next level, and murder as many people as they can, are not going to be derailed by gun laws. Either they will obtain them illegally, or kill by some other means. However now they have a lot more unarmed people to fight them. How many guns were legal to carry into the school in Newtown? How many guns were allowed at Fort Hood? How many guns were legal to carry in the Pulse Night Club? Get the idea?

2nd Amendment
Our founding fathers created our 2nd Amendment in order to protect the rest of our rights. What good are rights if a government can strip them from you because you have the inability to fight for them? The whole intent of the 2nd Amendment is to protect us from a government who has become tyrannical " not hunting. Tyranny is the stripping of individual"s rights, and punishing those who don"t believe with their ideological views. Some might even say our current government is tyrannical in that they not only allow but support anti 1st Amendment situations: Safe spaces " in other words don"t come here if you disagree with us. Punishing Christians who refuse to partake in an act that goes against their religion " Christian bakers having to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Forcing religious institutions/businesses to provide abortion coverage in health insurance. Whether you agree with those things or not, understand that from the rights point of view those are all gross violations of our 1st Amendment and have further polarized our country.

Everyone"s favorite example in history: Hitler. Disarming the citizens in the name of social justice, then becomes tyrannical and responsible for millions of deaths. Others: Stalin, Mao Zedong, Kim Jong-Il/Un, and so on. History is replete with tyrannical governments. The only thing that stops them is other freedom loving countries, or their own people rising up and fighting.

Round Conclusion:

Gun Control does not make us safer " theoretically or statistically. In fact there is enough evidence to possibly point that it makes us less safe.

Most Gun Control laws infringe on our 2nd Amendment, which in turn prevent citizens from being able to protect themselves from threats up to an including our own government.
spencercrat123

Pro

My opponent introduces the common argument of the left as being "stricter gun control will result in fewer people being killed by guns, and fewer mass shootings will occur." I fully agree with and will adopt this line of reasoning for the debate. I want to emphasize that this means we are discussing firearm-related deaths and gun control's effectiveness at reducing them. My opponent's use of world homicide rates is therefore misleading. Homicide rates encompass all types of murder, not just gun-related, which is what gun control is intended to reduce . I'd also like to point out that not a single one of the 106 nations that top the U.S. in the list is considered a developed nation. Developing nations are subject to a number of adverse conditions (war, famine, disease, etc.) that inflate these numbers and make them unfair comparisons to the U.S. All developed nations known for stringent gun control are far below the U.S. on the list: Japan (215), U.K. (184), Australia (185), Canada (169) to name a few [1].

When we specify the statistics to only include gun homicides and developed nations we see that the United State's current lax gun control policies are undoubtedly failing to keep gun violence low. The U.S. is the runaway leader in firearm homicides among developed countries. "According to data compiled by the United Nations... Americans are 20 times as likely to be killed by a gun than is someone from another developed country" [2]. We see then that these developed countries with strict gun control are safer than the U.S. in both homicides and gun-only homicides. With regards to cities, there is evidence that may attribute gun violence in cities to areas with lax gun control outside city limits. In Chicago, for example, studies "found that 60 percent of guns recovered in connection with an arrest were from out of state...The study also found that 22 percent of the recovered guns came from parts of Cook County outside the city, where gun dealers and gun shows are legal"[3]. But considering we are debating gun control on a national scale, I contend that reviewing state by state gun control is a more relevant comparison. And if we do that, it is clear to see that states with tougher gun control and lower rates of gun ownership have much lower gun death rates. States with light gun control make up the top 5: Alaska (19.95 gun deaths per 100,000), Louisiana (19.15), Alabama (17.79), Mississippi (17.55), Wyoming (17.51). We conversely see states with strict gun control in the bottom 5 (45-50): Hawaii (2.71), Massachusetts (3.18), New York (4.39), Connecticut (4.48), Rhode Island (5.33) [4]

I would also like to dispute the claim "Criminals are more emboldened knowing there is a higher likelihood their victims are unarmed." It appears that criminals confronted are likely to respond with greater violence: "research published in the American Journal of Public Health reported that, even after adjusting for confounding factors, individuals who were in possession of a gun were about 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession." [5]

My opponent repeatedly makes the claim that "disarming law-abiding citizens doesn't take the guns away from the criminals." In no way does gun control actively disarm law-abiding citizens. In what way do increased background checks disarm law-abiding citizens? In what way does prohibiting suspected terrorists, deemed too dangerous to fly, from buying guns disarm law-abiding citizens? These laws would in no way impact law-abiding citizens' right to bear arms aside from merely delaying the process of purchasing a gun by a matter of days. So how are their rights being infringed?

The argument that criminals will not follow the law so there is no point in taking action is absurd. Criminals do certainly break the law. They murder, steal, rape, etc. but do we question the legitimacy of those laws simply because criminals do not follow them? Why should we lay down and not actively try to make it harder for criminals and terrorists to access guns? Take the common profile of mass shooters for example, the people behind mass shootings are often severely mentally disabled. James Foley of Aurora, Adam Lanza of Newtown, Dylann Roof of Charleston were all extremely socially isolated and barely mentally capable of living on their own. If they were deterred from legally purchasing a gun by increased background checks and screenings, is it really plausible to suggest that these kinds of people would be capable of penetrating the criminal underworld, establish connections, and acquire lethal stockpiles of weapons and ammunition?

Regarding mass shootings: After dispelling his own argument about pressure cookers, my opponent appears to try and make mass shootings seem insignificant. His proposed numbers were surpassed in a single shooting just weeks ago. In June this year alone, 63 people have been murdered is mass shootings attributable to a "single name" as my opponent proposed [6]. I think most would agree that the mass shooting epidemic going on in the U.S. is unprecedented and unmatched by any other period in its history. "People who are deranged enough to take their religion, racism, or political ideas to the next level, and murder as many people as they can" should not be able to legally purchase guns as they do in many mass shooting cases. And while these deranged people may find a way to murder regardless of what weapon, guns enable them to cause far more damage than any other legally obtainable weapon. There is absolutely no way Omar Mateen could have gone into Pulse Nightclub with a knife and murder 50 people before being stopped.

Regarding my opponent's analogy to car accidents: Do we blame cars? No. Do we set regulations, laws, set standards, restrictions, etc. to address and reduce car accidents? Absolutely. As far as gun free zones are concerned: "An analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety looked at the 133 mass shootings between January 2009 and July 2015 and found that only 13 percent of those mass shootings took place in a "gun-free zone," while the vast majority of shootings took place where carrying a gun is legally permitted."[7] Having the most guns in the world has failed to deal with mass shootings as well.

My opponent then goes to propose his interpretation of the 2nd Amendment as having the intent to "protect the rest of our rights." I dispute this interpretation but let's assume it's true and that Amendments guaranteeing due process, voting rights, and our entire system of checks and balances intended to prevent tyranny, don't exist. Why still should the 2nd Amendment be immune from any sort of limitations or boundaries? Can we even consider background checks and closing of purchase loopholes to be limitations? All rights are subject to review and regulation. They have to be because times have certainly changed since they were written centuries ago and America needs to be able to function in face of modern problems. Even the late, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia agreed that "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited."

Due to character count, I will address Hitler example in next round.

Sources:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org... (used wiki for convenience, actual report is 100+ pg pdf)
[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com...
[3] http://www.bloomberg.com...
[4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[5] http://smartgunlaws.org...
[6] https://www.massshootingtracker.org...
[7] http://mediamatters.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Crede

Con

Italicized font are quotes from Pro’s last round.

Homicide rates encompass all types of murder, not just gun-related, which is what gun control is intended to reduce .


I did actually mean to edit that out because it is misleading. The entire point of gun control is to increase our overall safety. The reason the homicide rate is relevant is because my argument is that criminals will still kill with or without guns. I used the same line of reasoning with the mass shootings. Therefore the homicide rates do apply because they show that we are no safer with less guns. Lets look at this from a different angle: There are approximately 11,500 homicides each year by gun. However there are 500,000 to 3,000,000 times each year where guns are used for self-defense. This means guns have potentially saved lives 43 to 260 times more than they have taken lives. This doesn’t even account for the fact that some of the 11,500 deaths were from defensive shootings, which would slide that ratio even further.


Developing nations are subject to a number of adverse conditions (war, famine, disease, etc.) that inflate these numbers and make them unfair comparisons to the U.S.


This mentality is divisive. It is an “us” vs. “we” arguement. We are so much more progressed than those poor countries so we can’t compare our righteousness to them. What criteria are you using to define this mythical line for gun violence? What about middle income countries like Mexico, Russia, or Uruguay? If you're using the criteria the chart in your reference uses, notice it leaves out Mexico because “of the ongoing drug war”. Well then shouldn’t we take out the United States as well? I guess we don’t have a drug problem here. The W.P. article you cited uses the OECD calculations for developed nations - but conveniently not to include Mexico. The OECD is a highly political organization that is far left leaning. Notice how Israel and Switzerland are not on that list? That is because they actually have a higher gun ownership than the US does, but there gun deaths are drastically lower - therefore our unbiased friends at the W.P. just decided they could be omitted. (http://www.washingtontimes.com...).


So let's look at a broader view of what defines a developed nation. How about we use the UN’s human development index (HDI)? The HDI rates economic development and quality of life. Now we have to include countries like Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, Russia, Belarus, Latvia, The Bahamas, Costa Rica, Panamá, Venezuela, Lithuania, and Estonia, almost all of which have a higher, if not much higher murder rate.


Also you have to look at homicide rates without the use of a gun. If you account that around 1 per 100,000 are murdered in Japan, and 3.2 per 100,000 are murdered (without guns) in the U.S. you will see we still have a rate 3 times that of Japan. In other words it’s not the guns, it’s the people.


So looking at the people then - knowing you can have vast differences, do those developed nations show promising trends?

UK: Firearms used in crimes have doubled in the decade since handguns were banned. Also the UK numbers are misleading because they only report a gun death if the criminal is charged.

Australia: After the gun ban and confiscation, robbery with a gun rose 160% the following year. Homicides by gun have risen 19%, armed robberies up 69%, home invasions up 21%.

Canada: After significant gun control legislation, Canada’s homicide rate rose to 35% of the U.S. rate (rose, not declined).


States with light gun control make up the top 5: Alaska (19.95 gun deaths per 100,000)...


This study represents “gun deaths”. This accounts for suicide - about 60% of the deaths actually are suicide. If you factor out suicide, who jumps to the top? D.C. The numbers actually fall apart when you look at gun homicides and not just deaths. D.C. has 12.46 per 100,000 compared to your number 1, Alaska, with a rate of 2.24 per 100,000. (http://www.theguardian.com...)




even after adjusting for confounding factors, individuals who were in possession of a gun were about 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession." [5]


This study is so ridiculously misleading. It sampled citizens in Philadelphia only, where a gun death resulted from an argument. Criminal (gang) violence perhaps? It does not quantify justifiable firearm use in self defense. It also doesn’t count the number of times a gun was brandished, but everyone walks away - using it as a confrontation to make a criminal leave. So you can throw that stat out the window.


In no way does gun control actively disarm law-abiding citizens. In what way do increased background checks disarm law-abiding citizens?


I’m actually for increased background checks. Not a registry, and the background checks have to have congress approved criteria otherwise bureaucrats get carried away. (mental disorder = insomnia = Ambien = no gun...get my point?)


In what way does prohibiting suspected terrorists, deemed too dangerous to fly, from buying guns disarm law-abiding citizens? These laws would in no way impact law-abiding citizens' right to bear arms aside from merely delaying the process of purchasing a gun by a matter of days.


Actually the last bill proposed included 5 years after getting off the list you couldn’t buy. There is no due process to put people on the list. Many people get put on them accidentally with no recourse to get off. This can be used as a political tool, and is completely unconstitutional in that it takes away a constitutional right without due process. Remember that whole innocent before proven guilty thing? Not the other way around. Show me a law where you prove to a judge, how the individual should be on the list with an ability for the accused to defend himself, and I’ll support it.


Why should we lay down and not actively try to make it harder for criminals and terrorists to access guns?


As stated before, gun laws don’t prevent these things, armed citizens, police, and the government if it ever gets it’s head out of its %$# do.


I think most would agree that the mass shooting epidemic going on in the U.S. is unprecedented and unmatched by any other period in its history.


France suffered from more people being shot by mass shootings last year than the US has in Obama’s entire presidency. So please show how that correlates to the US and gun control.

http://crimeresearch.org...


There is absolutely no way Omar Mateen could have gone into Pulse Nightclub with a knife and murder 50 people before being stopped.


Show me how to put this man on a list with due process and I will say hell yes. Show how you can take the gun out of his hand and not mine and I will say hell yes. Show me how Omar couldn’t have used a bomb to kill all those people. You aren’t really providing any solutions here.


Having the most guns in the world has failed to deal with mass shootings as well.


Really? Do you magically know how many mass shootings were neutralized by armed citizens? Remember that 500,000 to 3,000,000 number of gun defenses? Maybe the reason we don’t have more than what we do is because many of them are stopped by people with guns. Your argument it circular.


Why still should the 2nd Amendment be immune from any sort of limitations or boundaries? Can we even consider background checks and closing of purchase loopholes to be limitations?


Yes - with agreed upon criteria for background checks. If there is a purchase loophole, sure, fix it. Define your “limitations” before we hash into that.


Back to you Pro...
spencercrat123

Pro

I stand by my argument that homicide rates are a misleading in presenting effectiveness of gun control. Gun control is intended to increase overall safety by targeting gun violence specifically. Because gun control is aimed to decrease gun violence, firearm homicides and firearm crimes are the statistics that we should focus on to better gauge gun control's effectiveness. Yes criminals have other methods of murder, but seeing as 69.5% of homicides are committed with firearms, [1] guns are the clear method of choice and our lax gun control undoubtedly makes it easier for criminals to acquire and use guns.

"...there are 500,000 to 3,000,000 times each year where guns are used for self-defense. This means guns have potentially saved lives 43 to 260 times more than they have taken lives."

First I'd like to point out this statistic has no source and a statistical deviation of %600. The commonly used pro-gun statistic is 2.5 million, a number from the Kleck study published in 1994 that has been widely discredited by the likes of the Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, the Harvard Injury Research and Control Center, and the Stanford Law Review. A report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics the same year indicates gun were used in self-defense of crimes just 82,500 times. When we contrast this with the 930,700 crimes committed with only handguns the same year (my opponent only includes homicides when there are many more gun crimes that don't end in death), it is clear that guns are used in self defense very rarely [2] The Harvard Injury Research Center further concludes: "Guns are not used millions of times each year in self-defense", "Firearms are used far more often to intimidate than in self-defense.", and " Few criminals are shot by decent law abiding citizens"[3].
It is also worth noting that these self defense numbers include active and off-duty police officers using self-defense.

I stand by the argument that "Developing nations are subject to a number of adverse conditions (war, famine, disease, etc.) that inflate these numbers and make them unfair comparisons to the U.S." At no point am I arguing that the U.S. is superior or more "righteous" country. I am simply arguing that the vast differences in economic, political, health, etc. conditions between developing countries and the U.S. are going to inflate and effect the homicide rate (which I argue is irrelevant anyway) far more than gun control will. My opponent brings up Mexico, it is the perfect example. The Mexican Drug War against paramilitary cartels (costing more civilian deaths than counts in Iraq and Afghanistan combined [4] is not even in the same world as "the drug problem here." The massive damage from the Mexican Drug War undoubtedly amplifies homicide numbers, nothing to do with gun control unless of course you bring up the source of the cartels' weapons: the U.S.[5]

As long as my opponent is discrediting and omitting information provided by the Washington Post and an international, sanctioned organization of 34 countries, perhaps he can take down NPR and the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. They show the U.S., home of "least strict gun control laws in the world" as conceded by my opponent, is yet again a world leader in firearm deaths, only falling behind South American and African countries that have very low HDIs and are embroiled in armed conflicts, drug wars, crime wars, etc. that are vastly more deadly than those of the U.S. [6]

" The HDI rates economic development and quality of life. Now we have to include countries like Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay... "
I'm happy to use a criteria using an HDI threshold. My opponent provides no reason for including these countries other than that they have higher murder rates which clearly pushes his agenda. The U.S. is 8 in HDI world ranking, none of these countries are even in the top 50 so how are they fair comparisons[7]? Using the top 50 would still find the U.S. topping all others in gun homicide rates [8].

"If you account that around 1 per 100,000 are murdered in Japan, and 3.2 per 100,000 are murdered (without guns) in the U.S. you will see we still have a rate 3 times that of Japan. In other words it"s not the guns, it"s the people. "

The math here is just plain wrong. The U.S. homicide rate given without a source by the opponent is 3.9. If 69.5% of homicides are gun homicides that means 30.5% are committed without guns. 3.9 x .305 leaves us with 1.19 per 100,000 people murdered without guns; a difference of 0.19. This would indicate guns actually are the difference, not people.

My opponent then goes on to make claims about UK, Australian, and Canada crime without any sources.
UK: There is no evidence that links UK crime increases to its strict gun control. The U.S. still has more crime (16% more) firearm murders per capita (138 times more) and violent crime murders per capita (4 times more) than the U.K. [9]

Australia: The country has actually hit record low murder rates, firearm homicides have dropped 13%, and there has not been a single mass shooting since the ban [10]

Canada: I don't see why my opponent would use this statistic. Canada's homicide rate of 1.4 is approximately 35% of the U.S.'s 3.9, as in the U.S's rate is 65% higher. How having a much lower homicide rate than the U.S. indicates Canada's gun control is failing is beyond me.

"The numbers actually fall apart when you look at gun homicides and not just deaths..."
Using your source they actually don't with the exception of D.C. which is a highly concentrated, dense, urban city, not a state that has the suburbs, small towns, etc. of Alaska to balance the numbers out. It's unfair that your comparing Washington D.C. to cities in R1 and now to states. Using your source, the average firearm murder rate of the states I used for examples of for lax gun control: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska, Wyoming, (Alabama N/A) is 3.6. The average rate of the states I used to represent strict gun control: Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island is 1.89. The states with lax gun control have a firearm homicide rate that nearly doubles that of the stricter states.

"There is no due process to put people on the list. Many people get put on them accidentally with no recourse to get off."

The Bipartisan Amendment to the No Fly, No Buy Bill accounted for due process: "Ms. Collins"s measure...would allow for an appeal by any citizen or green card holder blocked from making a purchase and it would award lawyer"s fees if the appeal is successful." And the bill does not prohibit someone who got off the list from buying for 5 years, it simply requires law enforcement be notified if a purchase is made [11].

"Show me how Omar couldn"t have used a bomb to kill all those people"
Show me how Omar could have legally bought a bomb. Show me that Omar had any background in bomb-making.There's a reason he used a gun: it's easier. By not implementing gun control we make it legal and easy for people like Omar to carry out mass murder and terrorism.

"Do you magically know how many mass shootings were neutralized by armed citizens? "
No, the FBI does. Out of 104 mass shootings from 2000-2012, only 3 were neutralized by armed citizens shooting the perpetrator. [12] Last round I showed 120 of 133 mass shootings occurred in carrying was legally permitted. Here I have showed mass shootings are very rarely stopped by armed citizens. Therefore, I stand by my assertion that "Having the most guns in the world has failed to deal with mass shootings."

"France suffered from more people being shot by mass shootings last year than the US has in Obama"s entire presidency. So please show how that correlates to the US and gun control."
My claim was that the mass shooting epidemic is unprecedented in U.S.'s own history, not the world. I will address your comparison next round though.

Sources in comment section
Debate Round No. 3
Crede

Con

Italicised font is from Pro's previous arguments.

Gun control is intended to increase overall safety by targeting gun violence specifically.

Exactly my point. If overall safety doesn’t decrease, even with reducing the amount of guns, or by making more means of controlling them, then you didn’t really make anyone more safe. Therefore overall homicides do actually show effectiveness. If you reduce guns, but have no impact, or even increase overall homicides, most people would say that was not a benefit to society.

First I'd like to point out this statistic has no source and a statistical deviation of %600. The commonly used pro-gun statistic is 2.5 million, a number from the Kleck study published in 1994 that has been widely discredited by the likes of the Department of Justice…

Actually this was a study by the CDC in 2013 after Pres.Obama via executive order had them study gun violence in America. He was hoping it would help push his gun control narrative, however it did the opposite. Yes it does say 500,000 to 3,000,000 self defense actions with a gun are used each year. [1]

"Firearms are used far more often to intimidate than in self-defense."

Intimidation with a firearm is an excellent form of self-defense. If you don’t have to shoot someone, however you diffused the situation with a gun none the less, than you successfully defended yourself the best way possible. Saying self-defense only applies to an incident where a firearm is discharged is misleading. This is inconvenient because this shows how guns actually do keep you safer.

The massive damage from the Mexican Drug War undoubtedly amplifies homicide numbers, nothing to do with gun control unless of course you bring up the source of the cartels' weapons: the U.S.

Selling weapons across the border unlicensed is illegal. In other words laws aren’t working to keep weapons out of the criminals hands in Mexico. Not to mention this is scary stuff. Our own government illegally allowed the purchase of firearms by Mexican Cartels. Our own government is conducting an illegal gun trade, which has cost multiple lives, including police officers cited by your reference, yet wants to put more laws on it’s own citizens. This is the sort of tyranny I was talking about before that we have to be prepared to stand up against.

...only falling behind South American and African countries that have very low HDIs and are embroiled in armed conflicts, drug wars, crime wars, etc. that are vastly more deadly than those of the U.S....

Ok… you are missing my entire argument here. Also note that your lists are gun deaths, not overall homicide rates, or violent crime. Let me explain it in a more linear sense.

1. Countries have vast difference in culture, demographics, populations, gang violence, religion, historical traditions etc… Therefore crime rates are expected to be different across countries. For example Canada has more land than we do, but has a population smaller than that of California.
2. An effective tool therefore to judge effectiveness of policy or law, is to watch trends.
3. Since 1993 the number of privately owned firearms have increased two-fold (+56%)...conversely the number of firearm related crimes have decreased two-fold (-49%). [2]
4. Cities with traditionally higher gun control laws, have higher violent crime with guns being involved. [3]
5. Therefore:
a. Less laws restricting citizens of gun rights results in them being safer.
b. More laws may actually be the cause of higher violent crime.
c.More guns held by law abiding citizens actually reduce crime.
Now to look at this from another angle. Blacks are 1/7th of our population, but account for ½ of our murders. Hispanics account for 15% of the population, but account for another 25% of the murders. We have deeply seeded racial wars / gang violence in this country that is near non-existent in the European countries due to their racial demographics. If we subtract those factors to give a more similar base for comparison, we fall right in the middle of all the OECD countries. [4]

Now another angle: Only 16% of crimes where a gun was in possession of the criminal was the gun owned legally. You simply aren’t going to curb crime with gun legislation. The most effective way to decrease crime is by a well funded, and less restricted police force. [5, 6]

The states with lax gun control have a firearm homicide rate that nearly doubles that of the stricter states.

Again, if you look at the states, or the cities, and you look at murder rates, even if with a gun and not some other means, you will see differences widely ranging [7]:

New Hampshire and Minnesota have lower gun murder rates than California, Illinois, and Maryland, the latter three here having much more strict gun control. So it’s not the static number, it's the trend before or after gun control.

The Bipartisan Amendment to the No Fly, No Buy Bill accounted for due process:

I was assuming you were backing the harder left bill proposed. Even though I thought the republican bill was still not completely cohesive with our constitution, I actually did support it.

Show me how Omar could have legally bought a bomb.

Just google how to make a bomb and I’m sure there will be a hundred “recipes.” I didn’t do it and cite because I have a fear of getting “red flagged” by a watch group looking for trigger words in search engines - and restricting my ability to buy a gun.

There's a reason he used a gun: it's easier.

Maybe, but I really don’t think that was the deciding factor in him killing 49 people. As if laziness will circumvent terrorists from committing mass murder for ideological purposes.

Therefore, I stand by my assertion that "Having the most guns in the world has failed to deal with mass shootings."

Considering that the deciding factor for the FBI was a shooter who was identified as having an intent to kill multiple people in a highly populated area, as well as these are only reported incidents of an active shooter which disregards incidents that were handled by civilians before police were notified, gives them a narrow view. They completely leave out gang related mass shootings, or self-defense situations where multiple people were being threatened. Still it is for consideration. Your numbers only talk about incidents resolved before police arrive (with guns) but were called. The majority of these cases end with the murderer either surrendering or killing himself (about 67%). Incidents were stopped by armed citizens 3 out of the remaining 17 cases, and the other 14 of the 17 were stopped by unarmed citizens. I would argue that if those citizens were armed the first number would rise proportionately. Only 32 of 53 cases where police arrived and the murder was still at large did they neutralize the person. Because of these statistics the FBI they gave a statement at the end of their report that comes as close to a government agency saying they want armed good guys as you can get:

“Clearly, fast and effective police response comprises only part of the answer to limiting the damage done during these attacks. Also important are the actions that civilians take to protect themselves during the 3 or more minutes that it takes the police to arrive.”

My claim was that the mass shooting epidemic is unprecedented in U.S.'s own history, not the world. I will address your comparison next round though.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that between 2002 and 2011 0.02 homicides were a part of mass shootings. Another study from 1976 to 2005 showed similar results (less than 1/5th of 1 percent). Even still, if it were on the rise, blaming guns vs the world’s growing problems with ideological radicals is not addressing the true problem. [8]

Sources in comments.
spencercrat123

Pro

The homicide rate is one, broad crime statistic. It is not the end-all, statistical representation of a society's safeness. Regardless, I have shown that the U.S. has the highest homicide rate of any nation of comparable HDI, stability, development, etc and that developed nations known for strict gun control (U.K., Canada, Australia, Japan) have rates dramatically lower than that of the U.S. Gun homicides are more specific and more relevant when we are talking about guns but if my opponent wants to continue using homicide rates, so be it, it doesn't help his case.

"Yes it does say 500,000 to 3,000,000 self defense actions with a gun are used each year."
No it does not. The CDC report referenced by my opponent neither found nor endorsed definitive numbers. It says other studies give those ranges and that "the variation in these numbers remains a controversy in the field.[1]" Again I will cite the Department of Justice that found "In 2007-11, less than 1% of victims in all nonfatal violent crimes reported using a firearm to defend themselves during the incident.[2]"

"Intimidation with a firearm is an excellent form of self-defense."
This study by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center evaluated "offensive gun use" for threats and intimidation, as in, not self-defense. The same center, in addition the their findings disclosed last round, found that "Most purported self-defense gun uses are gun uses in escalating arguments and are both socially undesirable and illegal", meaning most self-defense cases entail one, or both parties needlessly pulling guns and escalating the situation rather than diffusing it. [3]

"This is the sort of tyranny I was talking about before that we have to be prepared to stand up against."
If our own government is undermining the law as my opponent claims then obviously the laws won't work. My opponent has accused the U.S. of tyranny now in multiple cases. If these claims are true and the U.S. is actively committing tyranny, why hasn't the 2nd Amendment achieved its proposed goal and stopped it? The point of the side note he addresses here is that the U.S.'s abundance of and easy accessibility to guns has made it the weapon source of Mexican Cartels. My opponent did not rebut the main point by providing a reason as to why Mexico's homicide and gun homicide rates should be comparable to the U.S. or why "we have to include countries like Argentina, Cuba...", nearly the exact same words and arguments from this article that he failed to cite: https://mises.org.... A lot more than gun control is needed to stabilize many of the world's developing countries, so while their problems are tragic and important, they're just not relevant to a discussion of the U.S.'s gun control policies.

"Countries have vast difference in culture, demographics, populations, gang violence, religion, historical traditions etc" Therefore crime rates are expected to be different across countries."

My opponent is the one who introduced country comparisons in all previous rounds. My opponent is the one who introduced the HDI as a measurable for comparing countries. I tried to ensure that the U.S. was reasonably compared to other countries. Now that the stats have shown no country of comparable HDI to the U.S. (or even in the top 50) to have homicide and gun homicides close to as high as ours, he backs away from the metric he introduced and tries to pivot to an individualistic argument about trends in the final round (which per his rules shouldn't even be allowed). States and cities within the U.S. have these vast differences yet he still compares them.

"Since 1993 the number of privately owned firearms have increased...."

There is no evidence linking the two occurrences, especially not in a causal relationship as my opponent argues. The NYU School of Law contends that "various social, economic, and environmental factors, such as growth in income and an aging population" were the cause of the crime decline [4]. We have also seen the end of the crack epidemic in that time span. All of these are more likely causes.

"Cities with traditionally higher gun control laws, have higher violent crime with guns being involved"
I have shown in previous rounds that this is attributable to surrounding areas with lighter gun control. Chicago was the last example, New York is another: "Guns from out-of-state make up the grand majority of city crimes" [5]

"Blacks are 1/7th of our population, but account for " of our murders. Hispanics account for 15% of the population, but account for another 25% of the murders..."

My opponent wants to pretend thousands of Americans who die from gun violence each year aren't relevant because of their race, yet accuses me of a divisive mentality.
If we're just going to delete gang-related deaths too then let's be fair and do it for U.S.cities. Excluding Chicago's gang-related homicides (61% of all [6]) yields a rate of 5.9. Other cities with strict gun control would also experience drastically lowered rates if we applied the same logic.

"Only 16% of crimes..."

In the past 5 years, we've watched kindergartners, churchgoers, college students, club-goers, and more get massacred by legally owned guns. There's no minimizing the problem. If gun control is able to prevent or deter these 16% of crimes another step, that's a significant improvement to society's safety. Furthermore, "illegal" guns begin as legal guns. As shown before, guns legal in Indiana are only made illegal when they enter Chicago city limits so this statistic is distorted.

"a narrow view. They completely leave out gang related mass shootings, or self-defense situations where multiple people were being threatened."

I doubt there are many gang shooting where innocent citizens step in with their weapons to save the day and my opponent says himself these are shootings where multiple people are killed in a highly populated area so clearly "multiple people were being threatened."
The stats show 14 shootings being stopped by unarmed citizens vs. 3 stopped by armed citizens.
If guns are so effective at neutralizing mass shootings, if guns are the greatest option for self defense, if there are more guns in this country than there are people and they are easier to access here than anywhere else in the world then why are unarmed citizens stopping mass murderers 5 times the rate armed ones are? Why are firearms used for self-defense in less than 1% of all violent crimes [2]?
Notice also how the study says "protect themselves" to "limit damage" not "save everyone" by "shooting back". They are in no way condoning vigilantism, they are saying survive until the professionals, who dedicate years of training and every working day to taking down criminals, arrive.

The U.S. is facing a mass shooting epidemic unprecedented in its history. 14 of the 20 deadliest shootings in the U.S. history have occurred in the past 20 years [7]. I'd like to see anyone who tries to minimize the problem of mass shootings tell the families of the slain innocent that their dead loved-ones are statistically insignificant.

"blaming guns vs the world"s growing problems...."

Making it legal and easy for ideological radicals to acquire the weapons they use in their attacks is certainly part of the problem. These mass shooters are rarely criminal masterminds with extensive black market connections and abilities to coordinate elaborate attacks, they are deranged, socially incapable maniacs. They know they can inflict massive amounts of damage by legally and easily acquiring guns and then simply opening fire; maximum damage at the cost of little effort. They are not afraid or deterred by armed civilians or police. By making guns so easy to purchase, we give these people the means to translate mental insanity into real life murder and damage. It's unjustifiable and unacceptable.

Sources in Comment
Debate Round No. 4
Crede

Con

Closing Argument


If we zoom out from the debate and look at the arguments in whole we see a clear picture.


Gun control laws do not provide for a safer society. This is shown through multiple ways, either with honest comparables looking at violent crime and homicide rate, or crime trends before and after enacted laws. When compared with other countries using actual comparable populations, you find the United States is roughly in the middle of all developed nations for gun violence, or homicide rate. You can also see how violent crime has risen in areas where gun control has been enacted throughout the world. The simple fact that there has been a near 50% increase in guns owned in the United States since 1993, and an over 50% decrease in gun homicides shows that it is not the guns being the problem.


You are safer with a gun than without one. In fact as most studies have shown you are 43 to 260 times more likely to defend yourself with a gun than be killed by one.


Taking the gun out of your hand won’t take the gun out of the criminal’s hand. I have shown how the vast majority of criminals obtain their guns illegally, and most stated that they could have obtained an illegal gun if they were unable to purchase one legally. Disarming everyone else in an attempt to disarm the criminal is backward logic. This is also evidenced by countries that have a higher gun ownership have lower violent crime.


Mass killings won’t be hindered by gun control. Just turn on the news and you will see that places all over the world, even places where gun control has become gun bans, are having mass killings. Saying these ideological murderers will be stopped by laziness (not being able to buy a gun) is a lazy argument. You might not be able to prevent a radical from acting out radical ideas, but you can arm more citizens to stop them.


Our founding fathers made clear the purpose of our 2nd amendment. We must protect our freedoms from anyone who would try and take them, including foreign powers, or domestic tyranny. An armed population is what prevents governmental powers from pushing their ideological pursuits on it’s own people. To drastically reduce what the people can arm themselves with, compared to what the government has at its disposal, is directly contradictory to the 2nd amendment. How does this keep us safe? God forbid we become disarmed, and God forbid the government starts to push it’s agenda, and all who oppose become enemies of the state, and God forbid they make the punishment for non-allegiance to their ideology anything up to and including death. But since history is replete with this exact system of take over, our founding fathers put a check and balance in the face of such unrestrained power, a gun in the hand of the citizen.


The left will constantly pick numbers that show biased views, compare apples and oranges in terms of ratios or trends, or flat stats that are sampled from a small population with conclusions inarrivabile from their premises. The truth is, guns are tools. They can be used for good or bad, moral or immoral ends.


Gun control is actually an obstruction to the safety of society. Thank you Pro for the debate. Thank you reader for your time, now vote Con and go buy yourself a gun!
spencercrat123

Pro

Thank you Con for this debate.

I do not argue to disarm law-abiding, responsible gun owners. I do not argue to strip American's of a constitutional right. I argue that we take sensible action and implement regulations that make it less likely that unstable people and those seeking to do us harm have easy, legal, "no questions asked" access to the weapons of their choice.

Why you should vote Pro:

1) What We Have Does Not Work: As Con conceded, Guns are more prevalent and easier to access in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. Let's assess how this has worked. We can choose to allow Con to compare the U.S. to war-torn, crisis-ridden countries far beyond saving from just gun control, and to just remove the deaths of thousands of African and Latino-Americans from the conversation to result in middling standings for the U.S. But the stats show that the U.S. is the runaway leader in homicides and firearm-homicides among countries of comparable HDI (the metric he introduced). One goal of lax gun control proposed by Con is better self-defense against crime. We can choose to believe the widely discredited studies and numbers provided by Con, based on a couple hundred phone calls and in which pulling out a gun during a vocal argument is considered "self-defense". Or we can believe the FBI, Department of Justice, Harvard Injury Control Research Center, and Stanford Law Review that showed us guns are used in self-defense in less than 1% of crimes, guns are used for aggression far more than they are for self-defense, and over the course of a decade and over 100 mass shootings, police and even unarmed citizens were far more effective at neutralizing mass shooters than armed citizens were. When I see these statistics, when I turn on the T.V. to see kindergartners and club-goers massacred, it's pretty clear the U.S. has a gun violence problem. Not a bomb violence problem, or a pressure-cooker violence problem, guns are the preferred weapons. If criminals had no preference for guns, and the weapons don't make any difference, they wouldn't be used in 69% of homicides. There is no minimizing the problem. And if guns are not to blame for these problems and they are unrelated to crime than they cannot be praised and credited for reductions in crime. Even worse, the only proposed alternative is that we further the failed experiment and make guns more prevalent and invariably increase the tens of thousands of accidents, suicides, etc. not even mentioned in this debate involving guns.

2) Gun Control Can Work: Gun control implementations around the world have resulted in safer societies. Comparison wise, I have shown countries of reasonable comparison to the U.S. like the U.K., Canada, and Japan to have vastly lower crime and gun crime rates than that of the U.S. Trend wise, Australia is hitting record low murder rates, significant drops in firearm homicide, and not a single mass shooting has occurred since its gun control implementation 20 years ago. Clearly these results benefit society. Within the U.S., I have shown that states with strict gun control on average have lower gun deaths and gun homicides than states with lax gun control. It is not always perfectly implemented and its effects are oftentimes obstructed by problems caused by lax gun control (i.e. Indiana guns in Chicago), but these examples clearly show gun control has benefited various societies and Con has done nothing to dispute that.

3) Gun Control Does Not Infringe Upon Americans' Rights: Constitutional rights are subject to regulation and Con has done nothing to show how "common sense" gun control unduly infringes upon the 2nd Amendment or actively disarms law-abiding gun owners. Con proposes the goal of the 2nd Amendment to be prevention of government tyranny, yet throughout the debate insinuates that the government has and is actively committing tyranny. Hasn't the 2nd Amendment failed then? Tyranny is prevented through our checks and balances, our independent branches of government, our state and municipal governments, our other constitutional rights, our right to vote, our Constitution. All of these things are subject to constant regulation and review so the duty to prevent tyranny does not grant immunity. Are precious assault rifles really going to hold up when the hypothetical, tyrannical U.S. government comes knocking at our doors with tanks, fighter jets, and battleships? No. It is our voices, votes, and law-suits that keep the people in control over the government.

4) Common Sense Gun Control Is Common Sense: Statistics supporting gun control and indicting America's current gun policies as failing are abundant, but logistically the case for gun control is even more clear. Why should people investigated for terrorism and deemed to dangerous to fly be allowed to legally and easily purchase firearms? Why should felons? Why should the mentally unstable? Why should background checks be voided by online and gun show purchases? Why should weapons designed for assault, be protected for self-defense? Con argues because "criminals don't follow the law". Why have any laws at all then? Con argues the black market would be unstoppable. It's been stopped by the U.K., Australia, Canada, etc. Are criminals just to smart and too powerful for us to confront through laws and law enforcement? Con also failed to rebut my argument that many mass shootings are not the result of intricate coordination by criminal, underground-connected masterminds. If these laws and their enforcement by our police forces, courts, and governments could prevent even a fraction of crimes, mass shootings, homicides, etc. then the safety of society has benefited. The right's refusal to take action because "criminals are criminals" and to block what the majority of Americans believe should be implemented is cowardly and costing lives. We need to do our best to ensure that responsible citizens are the only ones allowed to legally purchase and own guns.

Thank you for taking the time for reading. I hope you vote Pro and I hope the discussion of how to best keep Americans safe continues, regardless of your opinion.
Debate Round No. 5
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 4 months ago
tajshar2k
Credespencercrat123Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AIexkU88fCmZJv9ENXTjMwjRRWkPBbG1jT_7YFlS8eA/edit?usp=sharing Good debates guys.