Debate Rounds (3)
From your initial post, I have identified three main arguments:
1) Too many Americans already own guns, making gun control difficult.
2) High gun ownership appears correlated with decreasing gun homicides.
3) A ban on weapons would have left a girl in Milwaukee in potential danger of death.
I will now refute each of your arguments.
1) The idea that gun control should not be pursued because of high rates of gun ownership rests on the proposition that laws should not be passed if they would be difficult to enforce. This is problematic for a number of reasons:
a) gun control is not synonymous with a ban on guns. We can pursue stricter gun control measures without endorsing confiscation. Gun control laws that enact registration requirements, background checks, or additional training would not be impeded by the fact that large numbers of people own weapons.
b) It's rather untenable to suggest that laws should not be endorsed if enforcement would be difficult. Indeed, it's a rather defeatist position that suggests we should not attempt to tackle the biggest problems facing society of doing so would impact a large percentage of the population. In other words, the fact that large numbers of citizens use illicit drugs at one point or another should not discourage policy makers from pursuing stricter drug laws.
c) this argument rests on an assumption that gun owners oppose gun control. While its reasonable to assume gun owners would oppose confiscation (see argument "a"), there are many new gun control methods that have the support of the majority of the American populace and even the majority of NRA members.
a) Nation-wide, I believe that what you have said is true. However, digging through the numbers and looking at local, city, and state rates of gun ownership and their correlation to violent crimes and homicide reveals the opposite is true in some cases.
b) this argument fails to address the fact that homicide is not the only negative effect of gun ownership. Suicide rates are higher in homes with guns. Accidental shootings are naturally higher in homes with guns.
c) the existence of correlation in this case does not mean that causation exists as well. There could be numerous other factors relating to the reduced homicide in states with higher gun ownership such as stricter minimum sentence for violent crime, additional police resources or police presence, and various socio-economic factors.
d) Police forces in our nation's largest metro areas have repeatedly pushed for stricter gun laws to combat violent crime and to promote the safety of their officers. Surely a balance can be drawn that preserves legal, responsible gun ownership while eliminating loopholes or oversights that allow guns to fall into the hands of criminals.
e) I must repeat the argument that gun control is not synonymous with gun confiscation. Citizens who own handguns for self defense could very easily keep their weapons while the government is still able to pursue stricter laws regulating other firearms or ammunition clips.
3) This argument, while compelling, rests on the weakest logical footing.
a) While I would hesitate to dismiss any scenario in which a person's life was saved due to the intervention of a responsible gun owner, there are just as many if not more scenarios where a person's life is taken by a person using a gun.
b) there's no way of knowing if a gun was the only method available of preventing harm to that or any other victim
c) just as easily as a gun can be used to end an attack, a gun may also escalate the situation and result in greater harm to innocent individuals
d) this position, taken to its next point, would seem to endorse the idea that all individuals should carry weapons, thereby allowing any citizen to intervene in the case of an attack. As explained in argument "c," this would not be the best situation.
e) again -- gun control is not the same as gun confiscation. Honest citizens who have been adequately trained and who qualify for gun ownership after a background check will still be around to assist when possible.
My argument in favor of gun control is simple. Our government is responsible for ensuring the safety of well-being of the citizenry. At times, this may require the regulation of certain behaviors. While we'd all love the freedom to drive as fast as we want in whatever vehicle we want, traffic laws were created out of a public need to facilitate safer transportation. Businesses would surely love to pay employees as little as they'd like to create products as cheaply as possible to maximize profits, but we've adopted labor laws and product safety laws to protect citizens. Gun ownership should be no different. Few would argue against the right of citizens to defend themselves. However, with all things in the world, we should find balance. To defend oneself, is it necessary to own an assault rifle? To hunt, is it necessary to possess extended ammunition clips? To protect your home, is it necessary to be able to buy weapons online without submitting to any kind of background check? My stance is that we should be willing to adopt sensible gun control laws that respect our rights and valid motivations while also seeking to prevent the sort of mass killings and criminal acts that are sadly becoming common in our society.
Opponents of gun control often cite the 2nd amendment. Yet, they fail to remember that the 2nd Amendment also conditions the right of gun ownership upon the maintenance of a WELL-REGULATED militia. Despite how often people cringe at the thought of viewing the Constitution as a "living document" it would be foolish to interpret it so literally as to disregard the fact that the world we live in today is vastly different than the world at the time of its signing. When the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution, firearm required an enormous (by today's standards) time to reload before being able to fire even a second shot. The very concept of "mass killings" where a person could walk into a room and unload a clip of 100 rounds in a matter of seconds was not even conceivable to our Constitutional framers.
Additionally, we've long accepted that our Constitutional liberties must be balanced with the safety of citizens. Take the 1st Amendment right to free speech. We've accepted that it should be illegal to walk into a crowded theater and yell "fire!" due to the ensuing chaos that would erupt and the harm it would place people under. Therefore, we've restrict the right to free speech by adding exceptions involving public safety. If we can prevent a person from yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater, so too should we do our best to prevent a person from opening fire in a crowded theater. Absolutely free gun ownership, without any sort of regulation or control, would not only lead to a vigilante style society.. it could potentially result in increased instances of "heat of the moment" murders, accidental shootings, and even suicides.
Supporters of gun control need not embrace the gun confiscation. Supporters of gun control can be fervent defenders of the right to bear arms and the right to defend one's family and home. This is because there IS a balance that can be found between gun ownership and gun control. While we can have a separate debate on the individual merits of various gun control laws and their success at achieving their objectives, recent events should reveal that there is more work to be done. Stricter gun control methods such as background checks, purchase limitations, and regulation of venues of purchase should be a part of a national dialog.
Thank you. I look forward to your response.
warriorcat227 forfeited this round.
archon64 forfeited this round.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Double FFs but Pro presented a case. Con just put down an opinion and did not back it up. While they both had a FF, Pros one argument remained the strongest.
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