The Instigator
WilliamsP
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
tyler3923
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Gun Control

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
WilliamsP
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,704 times Debate No: 48677
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

WilliamsP

Pro

My Stance

My stance is that gun control should be mandatory and that the second amendment is not supposed to be interpreted in its literal form.


Debate Structure

Round One: Acceptance and stating your stance
Round Two: Main arguments
Round Three: Rebuttals
Round Four: Further rebuttal
Round Five: Conclusion


Debate Rules

1. Sources, if any, must be cited properly.

2. Proper grammar and spelling will be used.

3. Arguments must be as least biased as they can be. A little bias is acceptable.

4. Arguments must be sophisticated and intelligent.

5. Political affiliation will be put aside and we will focus on the facts.

6. There will be no forfeiting.
tyler3923

Con

Allow me to start by thanking WilliamsP for this debate. I've been trying to have a fact based gun control debate and have been met with nothing but emotional arguments and name-calling thus far. Judging from your round 1 post, this one should be professional and mature for a change.

My stance in this debate will not be that there should be zero restrictions on the right to own a firearm despite my belief that the Second Amendment is very straightforward and literal. So I apologize if you wanted someone on that far right of the political spectrum. Instead I will be contending a position that is in line with the Heller v. District of Columbia decision *1. That being that limited gun control is not unconstitutional.

For your awareness in this debate, I will post below various gun control measures I am in favor of and those that I oppose.

Pro-

-Barring VIOLENT Felons from owning firearms
-Restricting ownership of machine guns, destructive devices and "any other weapon" as outlined in the gun control act of 1968 (public law 90-618) *2
-Barring schizophrenics from owning firearms

Con-

-Barring NON-VIOLENT Felons from owning firearms. For example, Martha Stewart
-Restricting ownership of Short Barreled Rifles/Shotguns and suppressors as outlined in the gun control act of 1968
-Having a blanket ban on anyone who has ever had a mental health issue
-Magazine capacity restrictions
-Microstamping
-Smart gun technology (specifically in reference to a New Jersey law passed in 2002. *3)
-Registration of firearms
-Illinois requiring a FOID card
-Prohibition of open carry while simultaneously being "may issue" in regard to concealed carry permits
-Banning a firearm for purely cosmetic features
-Banning the importation of historical military firearms which were previously exported (specifically the M1 Garand/M1 Carbine)

I look forward to a debate based on fact and logic.

*1 http://www.supremecourt.gov...
*2 http://www.keepandbeararms.com...
*3 http://www.cnn.com...
Debate Round No. 1
WilliamsP

Pro

I will organize my argument into the following sections:
The Second Amendment
Gun Violence in the United States
Gun Control Methods
Conclusion



I will now begin my argument:


The Second Amendment
The Second Amendment protects the individual's right to bear arms. It is indeed true that basic weapons for self-defense are acceptable, but I do not believe the amendment to be valid in other respects.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." [1]

We no longer have a need for a militia due to a risilient and couragous United States Military. Also, I will point out the amendment's original intention. At the time of the Constitution's framing, there were still many issues in the country. An issue was the lack of a strong military force. Due to this lack, the founders decided citizens need to be able of defending themselves. I agree with this view, but you cannot deny that an AK-47 in a typical American household is excessive. There are many ways the amendment can be interpreted, but I will point out that it has been misinterpreted for quite some time. I will rewrite the amendment in the way many citizens interpret it:

"A well regulated mob, being necessary to the security of a free people, the right of the people to keep and bear any arms at all, shall never be denied."

Deny what I just wrote. Please, I welcome the debate. I don't, however, want to hear anything based on misinterpretations. I want facts, which many people opposing gun control surely lack.

"It is an absolute truism that law-abiding, armed citizens pose no threat to other law-abiding citizens." [2]

Not all Americans are law-abiding. Due to the lack of sophisticated gun control, the crime rate in the United States has increased by a considerable amount.

"The rate of U.S. violent crime went up last year for the first time in nearly two decades due to a jump in assaults..." [3]

The Second Amendment must be enforced, but it must not be misinterpreted.

Gun Violence in the United States
As stated in my above argument, violent crime has increased in the United States. This is due to a lack of background checks, limited ammunition, etc. You cannot deny the crime that has occured in this country. And now I will tell you why these crimes occured: lack of gun control. Gun Control is mandatory. No assault rifle should be in the hands of any ordinary citizen. Only law enforcement and military members should have such a weapon. I recognize I am being a little biased, but I can't help it. I believe that guns for self-defense should be pistols and maybe shotguns. I do not agree with rocket launchers, sniper rifles, and assault rifles for self-defense. I believe in the Second Amendment, but I will never have a gun myself. The best defense for a household would be a home security system and a guard dog. That is my view. Please respect that. If you can deny what I said in this argument, I would be glad to hear what you have to say. I welcome the debate. I am afraid, however, that you may go too far with your view. Nothing is impossible.

Gun Control Methods
There are multiple methods of regulating guns. I would like to focus on background checks, limited ammunition, and the regulation of gun production. Background checks should be expanded so that we can ensure that people with a history of crime and/or mental illness to not receive a gun. Alongside background checks, there should be limited ammunition. What if the background checks were conducted incorrectly? What if this person did in fact have a history of crime and planned to use his new rifle to kill innocent children at a school? Each magazine should include a limited amount of ammunition, depending on the exact type of weapon and the damage level of the ammunition. Also, the level of gun production should be reduced. I have a simple math equation for you that I came up with:

more guns available = more guns sold
more guns sold = more guns in the hands of violent citizens
more guns in the hands of violent citizens = more violence
more violence = more deaths

I have an alternative for you:

less guns available = less guns sold
less guns sold = less guns in the hands of violent citizens
less guns in the hands of violent citizens = less violence
less violence = less deaths

I have a challenge for you when you write the next argument: Deny it. Prove me wrong. I have another simple equation:

Gun Control + Reform of our Court System = Utopia

Conclusion
The facts are the facts. The truth is the truth.

"In religious and in secular affairs, the more fervent beliefs attract followers. If you are a moderate in any respect - if you're a moderate on abortion, if you're a moderate on gun control, or if you're a moderate in your religious faith - it doesn't evolve into a crusade where you're either right or wrong, good or bad, with us or against us."
- Jimmy Carter [4]


Let's put our political affiliation aside. I am a Democrat, yes, but that does not distract me from the facts. The facts are these: Gun Control will positively influence the crime rate, both domestic and foreign. The Second Amendment can be interpreted in many ways, and many of these interpretations are incorrect and unjust. When Democrats say that guns must be regulated, hardcore conservatives - the TEA Party members especially - claim they want to take their guns away. These misinterpretations of the facts must end. Justice must be served.




References & Sources

[1] http://www.archives.gov...
[2] http://www.lectlaw.com...
[3] http://www.cnn.com...
[4] http://www.brainyquote.com...


This first argument is limited due to me not having much time to be online on debate.org. I have many other things to do. However, I will resume making points in the coming rounds. Now, it is my opponent's turn to make his main argument. In the rounds after that, we will make rebuttals. I look forward to that. Also, I would like to point out that I have limited time. Therefore, I may post my next arguments close to the deadline.
tyler3923

Con

Please forgive that my posts are not cleanly formatted. I am using my cell phone as my laptop is no longer functional.

I will begin my argument by showing that American courts have repeatedly supported the rights of an individual to keep and bear arms. All of these cases should be viewed as an extension of the Second Amendment. The cases I am referring to are as follows:

-Presser V. State of Illinois (1886) *1
"But in view of the fact that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force of the national government as well as in view of its general powers, the states cannot prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security."

Miller V. United States (1939) *2
"In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State, 2 Humphreys (Tenn.) 154, 158. The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. 'A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.' And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."

While this case appears to be contrary to my side of the debate, I would like to highlight two portions of the case. 1.) The milita is defined as all males physically capable of acting for the common defense. As women are a significant portion of todays armed forces and allowed to serve in a combat role, a modern militia would imply virtually everyone. 2.) "When called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time." Thus supporting private civilian ownership of modern firearms.

In regards to the aspect of the case regarding the legality of a sawn off shotgun, I wish to remind you that they are legal with the proper process and tax stamp as outlined in the gun control act of 1968.

Heller V. District of Columbia (2008) *3
"The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."
2. "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court"s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller"s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those "in common use at the time" finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons." Pp. 54""56.

-Peruta V. City of San Diego (2013) (posting a summary on this one as it does a good enough job explaining) *4
Plaintiffs filed suit challenging California's concealed handgun laws. At issue was whether a responsible, law-abiding citizen had a right under the Second Amendment to carry a firearm in public for self-defense. The court concluded that the right to bear arms included the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home and that carrying weapons for the lawful purpose of self defense was a central component of the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment required that the state permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home. The California scheme did not allow the typical responsible, law-abiding citizen to bear arms in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Because the Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits eschewed history and tradition in their analysis of the constitutionality of such regulations, the court found their approaches unpersuasive. Accordingly, the court concluded that the district court erred in denying plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on the Second Amendment claim because the County's "good cause" permitting requirement impermissibly infringed on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.

On to a rebuttal.

You stated that an AK-47 in a typical American household was excessive. Current estimates put the number of modern sporting rifles (semi-automatic, detachable box magazine) in America at somewhere around 30 million. Meaning that they currently are in fact typical in an American household. With the population at somewhere around 315 million, that is a MSR in one in every ten homes. Which is unquestionably "in common use." According to FBI homicide statistics *5 from 2011, only 323 murders were committed using rifles in that year. For comparison, on average 77 people per year choke to death on hot dogs. By the numbers... an assault rifle is only 4x more likely to kill you than a hot dog.

In regards to-
"A well regulated mob, being necessary to the security of a free people, the right of the people to keep and bear any arms at all, shall never be denied."

I will not deny that there are those on BOTH sides who currently believe that is the case. I say on both sides due to the large number of liberals who are completely ignorant of past/current gun control legislation and believe fully automatic weapons are readily available for anyone at anytime. Which is just not the case.

"It is an absolute truism that law-abiding, armed citizens pose no threat to other law-abiding citizens." [2]
"Not all Americans are law-abiding. Due to the lack of sophisticated gun control, the crime rate in the United States has increased by a considerable amount."

It is exactly because not all Americans are law abiding that the right to keep and more importantly bear arms is an essential right. Studies continually find that citizens with permits to carry a concealed weapon are responsible for a disproportionately LOW amount of crime.

In response to your statement that assault rifles should only be owned by law enforcement and military members, nearly half of the owners of MSR's are present or former military/LE. I would argue that just as congress shall enact no law that does not equally apply to them as it does to civilians; gun control should not restrict any firearm from a civilian while permitting a police officer have it. I believe the opposite holds true as well.

Not really a point of rebuttal, but you are correct in saying that a self defense weapon should be a pistol and maybe a shotgun. This is due to the over penetration which would result from using a rifle caliber. Over penetration is also the reason nearly all self defense rounds are hollow points. I wouldn't choose a shotgun simply because I can't control where that shot will go. Then again, a shotgun does have the advantage that you probably won't have to shoot after you pump.

In regard to your equations which are a vast oversimplification of a larger problem... I present to you an excerpt from a harvard study on that exact topic. *6

""the burden of proof rests on the proponents of the more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death mantra, especially since they argue public policy ought to be based on that mantra. To bear that burden would at the very least require showing that a large number of nations with more guns have more death and that nations that have imposed stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide). But those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared across the world."

In regards to your closing statement, specifically: "the TEA Party members especially - claim they want to take their guns away. These misinterpretations of the facts must end." I wish to direct you to look into what is currently happening in New York and Connecticut. Basically that is exactly what is happening. In a display of patriotism and testicular fortitude, Connecticut MSR owners have overwhelmingly ignored the mandated registration. Leaving gun control proponents in an interesting situation... how do you respond when you've just turned potentially as many as 100k citizens into felons? Do you act with force against previously law abiding citizens? Locking them up is certainly not an option as it would cost more than the state earns annually. They are left with a choice between not enforcing it/repealing it or sending SWAT teams against a significant portion of their population. Which would most certainly do more harm than maintaining the status quo.

To the gun owners of Connecticut- Stand strong. Molon Labe.

*1 https://supreme.justia.com...
*2 http://www.law.cornell.edu...
*3 http://supreme.justia.com...
*4 http://law.justia.com...
*5 http://www.fbi.gov...
*6 http://www.bostonmagazine.com...
Debate Round No. 2
WilliamsP

Pro

Rebuttals & New Points
I will admit that my equation was inaccurate in a sense. I will agree with you that there can be too many regulations. However, I will not deny that there must be some regulations put in place in order to ensure violent individuals do not obtain a gun and that the future crime can be prevented. The court cases you have listed - especially Heller v. District of Columbia - support my point: the second amendment must not be misinterpreted. That is what I have said in the previous round. It seems we agree on some issues, while we disagree on others. I will admit that there are some negative influences when you increase gun control, but there are also many benefits that one cannot simply ignore:

"There is no question, of course, that guns figure in countless murders, suicides and accidental deaths. Over the five years ending in 1997, the Justice Department says, there was an average of 36,000 firearms-related deaths a year. (Fifty-one percent were suicides, and 44 percent homicides.) Determining whether particular gun control laws would have, on balance, prevented some of those deaths is difficult." [1]

There are three possibilities:
1. Gun Control laws decrease the crime rate.
2. Gun Control laws increase the crime rate.
3. Gun Control laws have nearly no effect whatsoever on the crime rate.

I will support possibilitiy one and three. The crime rate will be influenced by gun control, whether it be a major influence or a minor influence. However, one cannot deny that there will be some influence. Some of the sources I will list will support me, some will support you, and some will support both of us. I do believe, however, that the sources I will list will strengthen my stance.

"However, the acts of violence themselves and gun control show that there may be a correlation between the availability of guns and crime. What the relationship is still undetermined for such contradictory data exists that can trump and repel arguments given by both sides of the gun control debate, pro gun control and against gun control." [2]

You cannot deny that there will be a relationship between gun control laws and the crime rate. I will admit that some states have gun control laws that are too strict and that some states have too weak gun control laws. However, let's put party aside and work together for the betterment of the American society. We can begin by expanding a few aspects of gun control. You cannot deny that we need background checks, limited ammunition, and a regulation of gun production. We will need to improve security measures in order to ensure that schools, malls, movie theatres, and other public places are safe from violence. Both gun control and security measures will ensure that crime is DECREASED. The crime rate as a whole may stay about the same, but I assure you, there will be a positive influence once sophisticated gun control is enacted. I recognize that this debate is about gun control specifically, but I would like to point out some other ways to reduce crime: We need to reform our education system, increase spending in security, reform the tax code, and assist the people that are troubled, depressed, and maybe mentally ill. These measures, alongside gun control, will ensure that crime is decreased. I do not believe that the points you have are sufficient enough to support your claim. You will need to find new evidence.

Sources

[1] http://www.nytimes.com...

[2] http://gun.laws.com...
tyler3923

Con

It is true that we agree on some aspects of gun control. As was previously said, the Heller decision is crucial in this debate for two reasons. 1.) Establishes that the right to bear arms is an individual right that is independent of service in a militia. 2.) The right is not unlimited and that measures prohibiting felons and the mentally ill from possessing firearms are not unconstitutional. The question we are left with is where is the middle ground where our rights are not unduly infringed in the name of public safety. I will now go into recent gun control measures and why they don't/won't work and then even propose some ideas that are supported by fact instead of fear. That's right, a gun rights advocate proposing a gun control measure!

Recent attempts at "common sense" gun control

In the attempt to find that middle ground, bear in mind that any measure which constitutes a de-facto gun ban is repeatedly found to be unconstitutional. For example, in 2002 New Jersey passed a law that when the technology became available to the public; within 3 years all firearms in the state would be required to be a "smart" gun. This constitutes a de-facto ban on the second amendment rights of the citizens of New Jersey as a court would find that the average citizen cannot afford a $2,000 gun. The gun I'm referring to is the Armatix ip1 if you'd like to look it up. I would like to also add that if you were to ask any police department if they were interested in the technology... the answer would be no, everytime. In a self defense scenario that gun would get you killed and in terms of keeping it out of the wrong hands, a safe is more effective.

Microstamping- first off, despite claims that the technology is "readily available," it is not. Second, the stamp is a microscopic imprint on the firing pin. Why would a gun control measure that can be defeated with three strokes of a file work? Third, an easy work around would be for a criminal to use a revolver as it does not eject the spent brass.

Banning asssault weapons- as previously stated, rifles are responsible for a very low number of murders. Half as many as hands/feet in fact. So banning them would have a very small impact on the actual crime rate. Not even to mention that there would be either 30 million of them grandfathered in, or millions of law abiding citizens turned to felons.

Magazine limitations- I wish to cite you to a study of the NYPD *1 from 1996-2006. While not the newest information, 11 years of data is significant. The study found that NYPD officers who discharged their weapons had a hit ratio of 34%. Point being that accuracy suffers when your life is threatened. This is why the people I know who concealed carry, typically spend more time at the range than someone who doesn't concealed carry. Would magazine limitations save lives during an active shooter event? Probably not. The Virginia Tech shooter had 19 fully loaded magazines. Had their been a stringent magazine limitation, it's likely he would have simply brought 30 mags. As for the victims chances of escaping increasing because he has to reload, it's unlikely. Reloading takes seconds.

3D printed guns- This one is just plain funny for any firearms enthusiast. How does a gun work? Two basic things. 1.) a contained explosion and 2.) the energy having one direction to travel in. Thus causing the projectile to be propelled down the barrel. Plastic is not sufficient to contain an explosion. There is no such thing as a "ghost gun" that can pass through a metal detector because such a gun would 1.) fail to fire due to a lack of a metal firing pin 2.) fail to contain the explosion and cause severe trauma to your hand.

Registration- Why won't gun owners register their firearms? As previously mentioned, New York and Connecticut. Here is an excerpt from a letter sent to a gun owner who failed to be in compliance due to the possession of 3 .22 rifles.

1. Immediately surrender your Rifle and/or Shotgun to your local police precinct, and notify this office of the invoice number. The firearm may be sold or permanently removed from the City of New York thereafter.

2. Permanently remove your Rifle and/or Shotgun from New York City"

Two of the guns in question were bolt action .22's with a capacity of 5 rounds.

On to the question of what gun control measures would make sense-

NICS check for all handgun sales- I hate to say this one because I love my handguns. I also know though that I would not under any rational gun control measure be prohibited from owning one. As previously shown in the FBI stats linked, handguns are responsible for the majority firearm related homicides. What I would propose is simply requiring that private transactions for the sale of a handgun be done at an FFL dealer with a NICS check done. Would this stop all criminals from acquiring a gun? God no. Criminals will acquire the "tools" of their trade no matter what since they already break laws on a regular basis. This is; however, a gun control measure which at the least makes sense.

Barring schizophrenics- Historically, violent crimes committed by the mentally ill are almost always associated with schizophrenia (auditory/visual hallucinations). I would propose that all people diagnosed with schizophrenia be reported to the FBI for the purpose of causing them to fail a NICS check.

My apologies if the aforementioned policies/proposals hurt the debate in the event that you agree with me. While conflicting opinion is the bread and butter of a debate, this is a topic where I think it can be safely said that everyone would like to find common ground.

In regard to your three possibilities, I'm of the opinion that number three is most likely as crimes are committed by... criminals. If they want a weapon, they'll have one. *5

"According to surveys DOJ conducted of state prison inmates during 2004 (the most recent year of data available), only two percent who owned a gun at the time of their offense bought it at either a gun show or flea market. About 10 percent said they purchased their gun from a retail shop or pawnshop, 37 percent obtained it from family or friends, and another 40 percent obtained it from an illegal source."

Even with enhanced gun control there are over 300 million firearms in America. Guns don't just go away, with proper maintenance they can and do last over 100 years. Gun control would also fail to stop mass killings. Recently in China, 26 people were stabbed to death and another 140 were wounded. Bad people will always do bad things.

Which brings me to my next point. Gun control can actually increase crime *2, *3

"Britons suffer 1,158,957 violent crimes per year, which works out at 2,034 per 100,000 residents. By contrast the number in notoriously violent South Africa is 1,609 per 100,000. The U.S., meanwhile, has a rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, which is lower than France"s, at 504; Finland"s, at 738; Sweden"s, at 1123; and Canada"s at 935."

"The findings of two criminologists - Prof. Don Kates and Prof. Gary Mauser - in their exhaustive study of American and European gun laws and violence rates, are telling:

Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. The study found that the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population)."

Which brings me to the question, do criminals fear an armed populace? According to this study *3, they absolutely do.

"Professors James D. Wright and Peter Rossi surveyed 2,000 felons incarcerated in state prisons across the United States. Wright and Rossi reported that 34% of the felons said they personally had been "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim"; 69% said that they knew at least one other criminal who had also; 34% said that when thinking about committing a crime they either "often" or "regularly" worried that they "[m]ight get shot at by the victim"; and 57% agreed with the statement, "Most criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police." James D. Wright & Peter H. Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms [1986]. See Guns and Public Health: Epidemic of Violence or Pandemic of Propaganda? by Don B. Kates, et. al. Originally published as 61 Tenn. L. Rev. 513-596 [1994]."

So with that being the case, it could be easily be concluded that increased gun ownership has a direct effect on crime rates. In that they go down...

*1 http://www.nytimes.com...
*2 http://www.nationalreview.com...
*4 http://theacru.org...*4 http://www.examiner.com...
*5 http://www.forbes.com...
Debate Round No. 3
WilliamsP

Pro

Rebuttals and New Points

You wrote:

"So with that being the case, it could be easily be concluded that increased gun ownership has a direct effect on crime rates. In that they go down..."

I will disagree with you on that issue. If people have guns, there will obviously be a part of the population that is violent and has a criminal background. Now, if you were to increase the amount of guns being sold and reduced regulations, more people would have guns and, assuming the proportion remains the same, there will be a higher amount of criminals with a gun in their hand, thus resulting in more crime. Guns for self-defense are acceptable, but I will not agree with you when you say that 'more guns = less crime.' Yes, people should have the right to protect themselves, but regulations must be put in place in order to ensure violent individuals do not obtain a weapon.

You write that "banning them [assault weapons] would have a very small impact on the actual crime rate." That is true, yes, but wouldn't you save a life if you had the opportunity? Banning assault weapons may not impact crime by a large scale, but I will tell you this: Every life is precious. We must try to preserve every single one we can.

The crime rate in the US is at a considerable height. Due to a lack of sophisticated gun control, the crime rate has increased over time. However, the Democrats are enacting intelligent gun control that has slowly began to impact crime. Please look at the following links to see statistics:

http://www.policymap.com...

http://www.andhranews.net...

I will now respond directly to some of your points.

"Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. The study found that the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population)."

I acknowledge that.

"Britons suffer 1,158,957 violent crimes per year, which works out at 2,034 per 100,000 residents. By contrast the number in notoriously violent South Africa is 1,609 per 100,000. The U.S., meanwhile, has a rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, which is lower than France"s, at 504; Finland"s, at 738; Sweden"s, at 1123; and Canada"s at 935."

These are other countries, not the United States. And also, I do acknowledge the numbers. However, I interpret the numbers in a different way than you do.

"Even with enhanced gun control there are over 300 million firearms in America. Guns don't just go away, with proper maintenance they can and do last over 100 years. Gun control would also fail to stop mass killings. Recently in China, 26 people were stabbed to death and another 140 were wounded. Bad people will always do bad things."

First of all, this is China, not the United States, you are talking about. Secondly, I will acknowledge that violent crimes can be done with nearly any object: a knife, a rock, a rope, etc. However, gun control is the first step into the right direction. Once gun crimes have been reduced, we can focus on increasing security, police salary, education quality, counselor programs, etc. All problems in the universe can be solved. That is my belief.

I support the second amendment in its original interpretation, but I do believe that there need to be regulations put in place to ensure that future crime can be prevented. Gun control can increase crime, yes, but it will have positive influences. Also, another measure of gun control I have addressed was decreased gun productions. If there are less guns available, there will be less people buying those guns, and less people using guns to violently kill other people. This you cannot deny. Now, gun control is essential. The American system is full with flaws. You can go into any gun store, show your driver's liscence, pay the money, and you have that gun. There needs to be a system similar to what Germany has.

"In Germany the possession of any firearm with a fire energy exceeding 7.5 Joule requires a valid firearms ownership license for any particular weapon." [1]

If we were to implement this policy and added a few of the measures I proposed, we would be a nearly crime-free nation. I can assure you that. And also, I will post a link to prove to you how different the crime rates of the two countries are:

http://www.nationmaster.com...

I hope you are convinced.


Sources

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



I await your response enthusiastically. I look forward to your counter-rebuttals and any new points you may have.
tyler3923

Con

There will always be a percentage of the population that does not abide by the rules of society. As demonstrated in my previous argument, 77% (or more) of criminals did not obtain their gun in a manner that any law could have prevented. Also shown in my previous argument was that while gun purchases increased, crime declined. Criminals most certainly fear armed resistance. It creates a hazardous work environment.

I do not wish to seem callous regarding death. Particularly in the wake of high profile shootings such as Sandy Hook. However, if you were to compare the number of deaths from rifles (323), to the number of deaths from heart disease (600,000), smoking (480,000), drunk driving(~15,000) or even something simple such as crossing the street (~5,000); what you would see is that there are many other things which cause a whole lot more harm. And yet it's rifles that are the problem highlighted by the media.

In regards to your contention that crime rates have been increasing and that Democrats have caused them to decline, I wish to site you to a link I already posted. I will put it right here this time to make sure you see it.

http://www.forbes.com...

"According to DOJ"s Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent over the course of 18 years, from 18,253 during 1993, to 11,101 in 2011. During the same period, non-fatal firearm crimes decreased even more, a whopping 69 percent."

I would absolutely disagree that gun control is the "first step" in the right direction. In consideration of the number of
un-rehabilited career criminals who spend their entire lives in and out of jail, the clear takeaway is that prison is not a sufficient deterrent. Thus, I would contend that the first step in reducing violent crimes does not involve guns at all. I would have the entire prison system ran as Sheriff Joe Arpaio runs the prisons in Maricopa County, Arizona *1. There are probably many liberals who would argue that what he does is inhumane. As Sheriff Arpaio puts it- "This isn't the Ritz/Carlton. If you don't like it, don't come back." As a side note, I have no sympathy for inmate living conditions because throughout my 2 years deployed, mine were worse.

I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but 7.5 joules translates to 5.5 foot lbs of energy. Which is one third the amount of force which would be required to kill a rabbit with a headshot. So what you are saying is that a gun law which would require a firearm ownership license for EVERY single bb gun sold at walmart makes sense? The only purpose I can imagine for that level of restriction is to keep kids from ever getting an interest in firearms.

A crime free nation would only be feasible in Antarctica. Where there is people, there will always be crime.

*1 http://achievebalance.com...
Debate Round No. 4
WilliamsP

Pro

Final Rebuttals
I was unaware that 7.5 joules were such a small force. I appreciate you pointing out that fact. Now, I will admit that the number is a little radical, but the general idea is brilliant. Also, my opponent has not responded to the particular point I was trying to make: We should have a system similar to Germany's. In the United States, anyone can go into a gun store, present the money, and leave with an AK-47 and sometimes even a rocket launcher. This could be prevented by having licenses. Also, have you visited the link I sent you regarding the crime rate comparison of Germany and the United States? It seems you have chosen to ignore that fact. Germany's crime rate is much, much lower than ours. Therefore, you can see that Germany's gun laws are working. I will repost the link in order to ensure that you have seen it:

http://www.nationmaster.com...

I do not support all gun control measures, but I do support these three basic measures: background checks, limited ammunition, and gun production regulation. Also, I have made other points in previous rounds which my opponent has chosen to ignore. Therefore, he has the opportunity to address these issues now.

Conclusion
Gun Control as a whole is a very brilliant idea. Certain measures are beneficial, others are not. However, you cannot deny that there needs to be a change. You cannot ignore school shootings and violent murders. If there were no gun control, the crime rate would increase exponentially. Now, I recognize that firearm-related deaths are much less than heart disease, smoking, and drunk driving. These are issues that must be addressed. However, you cannot simply ignore gun violence. You cannot ignore the deaths of innocent, law-abiding citizens. I ask you: If gun control won't change the crime rate, what will? I understand that gun control is minimal in comparison to counselor programs, education, etc. However, gun control is - as I have stated before - a step in the right direction. If we take that one step and continue on that path, we shall land in utopia.

I have quite enjoyed this debate. I look forward to my opponent's final rebuttals and his conclusion. I also await the start of the voting period. I am eager to see who has - in the voters' opinion - debated better.
tyler3923

Con

There is a firearms blog of which I read regularly and it just so happens that they have a fantastic write up on the process of purchasing a gun in Germany *1. If you have not read in depth into the actual process of buying a firearm, I highly recommend it (as well as the blog in general).

Some facts regarding German gun laws:

The number of illicit firearms in Germany is 2.5 times the number of registered firearms *2.

To possess a firearm, an individual must provide the state with a reason why they want to buy, own and shoot a particular gun.

To receive a hunting license you must pass a government exam which costs approximately 2,000 Euros *1 ($2,650) despite a 60-70% failure rate.

Politicians at a state level are automaticly allowed a CC permit while regular citizens have a requirement to establish an elevated risk of being killed. "Being shot more than one time is considered adequate proof that you qualify."

ZERO criminal record allowed.

None of the above would hold up to the American legal system. Germany has 2.44 gun owners per 100 people. So naturally, their rights are irrelevant.

I would like to bring two other countries into the fold. Iceland and Mexico.

Iceland is a small country with a population of 325,000 people. Currently there are approximately 100,000 guns in the country that are owned by civilians. Needless to say, that is a fairly high rate of firearm ownership. They're ranked 15 in the world for number of firearms owned per 100 people. But the truly fascinating thing about Iceland is their homicide rate. How many homicides occurred in 2011? Three (3)*3. Homicides involving a firearm since the mid-nineties? Lets just say I can count them on my fingers.

Mexico has insanely strict gun control laws *4. In fact, they have just one (1) gun store and the largest handgun caliber you can purchase is a .38. The one and only store is on a military base and sells on average, 6,490 guns per year. So how do you buy a gun in Mexico? "To buy a gun, clients must submit references and prove that their income is honestly earned, that their record is free of criminal charges and that their military obligations, if any, have been fulfilled with honor. They are fingerprinted and photographed. Finally, if judged worthy of owning a small-caliber weapon to protect home and hearth, they are allowed to buy just one. And a box of bullets." So if gun control directly equates to safety, Mexico must be a really safe place to go... right?

Now then, on to your contention that I can walk into a gun store and purchase an AK-47 and sometimes even a "rocket launcher." First of all, while the AK's you see in the movies are fully automatic; you would be hard pressed to find a fully automatic AK-47 in the United States as you may only own a machine gun that was manufactured and registered with the BATF before May 19, 1986. Also it's gonna run you $20,000-$30,000. As for a rocket launcher, good luck finding one that's not inert. I just tried. Couldn't find one using all of the internet let alone a random gun store in the US. The average gun store simply doesn't sell class 3 weapons. Even if they did, they are too expensive for anyone who is making less than a few hundred thousand per year.

Background checks: check. It's called a NICS check. It occurs with every single sale from a gun store or on the internet.
Limited ammunition: irrelevant. Even if limitations were placed on how much could be purchased at one time, it would simply be stockpiled over time. That is also ignoring the fact that your spent brass can be cleaned and re-loaded and utilized repeatedly until the casing loses its structural integrity.
Production regulation: Decrease the supply while maintaining a steady level of demand and the price will skyrocket faster than .22 ammo. Increasing the price to a degree where the majority of the population would have their second amendment rights infringed due to an inability to afford the average gun. In other words, it would be found unconstitutional and would be repealed. This would also be damaging to the economy as a large number of manufacturing jobs would be lost.

Using legislation to keep guns out of a criminals hands will be just as effective as the war on drugs was at stopping a junkie from getting high. To think that stopping a criminal with yet another law for them to break reminds of Albert Einstein's definition of insanity: "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

"Gun homicides are overwhelmingly tied to gang violence. In fact, a staggering 80% of gun homicides are gang-related. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), gang homicides accounted for roughly 8,900 of 11,100 gun murders in both 2010 and 2011. That means that there were just 2,200 non gang-related firearm murders in both years in a country of over 300 million people and 250 million guns." *5

*1http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com...
*2 http://www.gunpolicy.org...
*3 http://www.gunpolicy.org...
*4 http://www.washingtonpost.com...
*5 http://usconservatives.about.com...
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by WilliamsP 2 years ago
WilliamsP
I have been extremely busy.
Posted by USN276 2 years ago
USN276
WilliamsP, I'd like to know when you will choose to respond?
Posted by USN276 2 years ago
USN276
I also want to mention something about 'assault weapons" and I'd appreciate for WilliamsP to acknowledge or reply back. If an 'assault weapons" ban would any lives, why do they make up less than 2% of gun homicides if AR 15 and AK type rifles are some of the most popular rifles in America, the 2 worst mass shootings in the entire WORLD were not committed by them (which dismisses the argument that they have the ability to kill more people) and in the past TEN YEARS, less than 70 people have been killed by "assault weapons" in mass shootings? It just makes no sense. Not to mention, 90% of law enforcement officers say they do NOT support a ban on them and an "assault weapons" ban would have NO POSITIVE EFFECT.

If you are concerned about taking over 5 million peoples "assault weapons" away just to save 1 life, why are you ok with 10,000 innocent peoples lives being taken away from drunk drivers? Why are you concerned about saving 1 life but not 10,000? Why? Because you like alcohol and wouldn't want that taken away from you. You most likely enjoy having an alcoholic beverage once and a while. You'd probably would be pissed if the government banned alcohol from you because others were abusing it. Do you get my point? Put yourself in our shoes. We like are semi automatic SPORTING/DEFENSE rifles. Please tell me you understand my point and I have gave you a new view on this ridicules topic which so many people are ill informed?
Posted by USN276 2 years ago
USN276
I would love to add that over 75% of gun homicide victims are criminals who caused their own deaths due to their high risk life styles. Can someone explain why law abiding citizens need to be restricted from firearms because gang bangers and street thugs shoot each other up on the streets? I don't understand why we don't think alcohol needs to be banned for killing over 10,000 INNOCENT bystanders each year, but want to ban guns because criminals don't know how to behave and are shooting each other up over drugs and turf wars?
Posted by tyler3923 2 years ago
tyler3923
This debate seriously needs more votes...
Posted by elisofly2 2 years ago
elisofly2
You guys are really this serious about debating? If you want to have a serious debate join a debate team.
palmerincentive.com/affiliated-club/debate-club
This is just some website where kids like me can troll you. Frankly, it's just a waste of your time. Tyler3923, look what you have done in your life. Do you wake up at 2am to respond to a debate? If you are that serious use your free time to join a recreational debate team instead of kids like me and Ben messing with you and making your life heck. Have some fun. Life the Carpathia life.
Posted by tyler3923 2 years ago
tyler3923
Just wanted to let you know that I might not be able to post a rebuttal tonight. I wake up at 3am for work and I will be busy for what will probably be most of the evening.

Also, if you are interested; feel free to challenge me to more debates. You did a great job making your points, formatting your argument and having good conduct. It will be interesting to see which way the votes go on this one. I suspect the voters will have a difficult choice.
Posted by tyler3923 2 years ago
tyler3923
My apologies on this statement:

"In regard to your three possibilities, I'm of the opinion that number three is most likely as crimes are committed by... criminals. If they want a weapon, they'll have one. *5"

I intended to say number two.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
WilliamsPtyler3923Tied
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: I read the debate and want to commend both debaters on good arguments, however I am unable to award argument points in this debate as both opponents were talking past each other. Pro's case was weaker than Con, but Con also misinterpreted data so it compromised the argument points awarding. Over all a good debate, but unfortunately not a clear winner so I remain undecided.
Vote Placed by jamccartney 2 years ago
jamccartney
WilliamsPtyler3923Tied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro is correct, for starters. Secondly, Pro gets conduct points because Con misinterpreted Pro's facts. They both used great spelling and grammar, they both made convincing arguments, and they both used reliable sources.