The Instigator
DATXDUDE
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
UchihaMadara
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Gun Rights

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
UchihaMadara
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/6/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,350 times Debate No: 64700
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (36)
Votes (2)

 

DATXDUDE

Pro

If anyone accepts this debate, I will be arguing that gun rights (the ability for private citizens to own guns), should be legal, and my opponent will argue the opposite.

First round is not acceptance.
UchihaMadara

Con

I will argue that civilians should not be allowed to own firearms (i.e. have gun rights) from the utilitarian perspective-- if allowing people to own them causes a net negative effect on society, then gun rights should be abolished. Since this is a rather widely-accepted notion, I will only further justify this framework if Pro chooses to contest it. I have two contentions...


C1) A ban on guns would reduce homicide rates

The most obvious positive impact that a gun ban would have is a decrease in homicide rates. This is rather intuitive-- if we take away weapons which make committing homicide easier, then homicide rates will inevitably decrease. Gun rights activists claim that even if guns were removed from society, violent crime would still continue at rates which are close to current rates (i.e. "guns don't kill people, people kill people"), but this is patently false-- if it were true, then cities with lower rates of gun availability would have very similar homicide rates to cities with higher rates of gun availability, yet no such trend exists. Instead, there is a clear upwards correlation between gun availability and homicide rates, as demonstrated by a large number of studies conducted by reputable research institutions:

"We analyzed the relationship between homicide and gun availability using data from 26 developed countries from the early 1990s. We found that across developed countries, where guns are more available, there are more homicides. These results often hold even when the United States is excluded." [1]

"Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide." [1]

"Using survey data on rates of household gun ownership, we examined the association between gun availability and homicide across states, 2001-2003. We found that states with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm homicide and overall homicide. This relationship held for both genders and all age groups, after accounting for rates of aggravated assault, robbery, unemployment, urbanization, alcohol consumption, and resource deprivation (e.g., poverty). There was no association between gun prevalence and non-firearm homicide." [1]

"Access to firearms yields a more than five-fold increase in risk of intimate partner homicide when considering other factors of abuse, according to a recent study, suggesting that abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners." [2]

There is no denying it-- the prevalence of guns has a direct relationship with higher homicide rates. Guns simply facilitate killings that wouldn't typically happen without their presence. Such weapons were specifically designed to efficiently inflict fatal injuries-- due to their ease of use, versatility, long range, and other deadly features, guns by their very nature make murder *much* easier to commit; their mere presence in a tense setting can allow for what normally would have been a heated argument or fist fight to turn into a homicide. This combination of reliable statistics, observations, and reasoning leaves almost no doubt that a ban on civilian firearm ownership would lower homicide rates.


C2) Gun rights are unnecessary

The most common rationalization for gun rights is that people need them for self-defense. This is false for two reasons...

1. People are generally incapable of effectively using guns for self-defense. According to studies conducted by the Violence Policy Center, there are a number of practical issues that make it nearly impossible for a civilian to ever effectively use a gun for self-defense. The vast majority of civilians are not well-trained enough to safely handle a gun even in ideal conditions (i.e. an enclosed shooting range); in an actually-dangerous situation, there are "extreme physiological and psychological effects that the experts, many of whom have on-the-street law enforcement experience with firearms, agree inevitably occur in an armed life-or-death confrontation (the only situation in which lethal force is justified in self-defense)," [3]. To suggest that the average civilian could actually successfully utilize a firearm for self-defense where it actually counts is absurd. There is no way that whatever minimal 'benefits' that could come from the self-defense aspect of civilian firearm ownership actually outweigh the increased homicide rates caused by it. And it shows-- "in 1998, for every time that a civilian used a handgun to kill in self-defense, 51 people lost their lives in handgun homicides alone." [3].

2. Even assuming that people were able to use guns for self-defense, it wouldn't matter because a gun ban would take away guns from civilians and criminals alike (i.e. mostly everyone who could possibly pose the threat of homicide). It is simply due to a matter of economics. The vast majority of guns owned by criminals originate from legal producers [4], so if a gun ban were to cause those legal producers to cease in their production of guns, it would suddenly make it much more difficult for criminals to obtain guns. They would be forced to resort to much slower and more expensive methods.

The fact that criminal gun ownership would inadvertently decrease with a gun ban, combined with the fact that most civilians wouldn't be able to use guns to ward off criminals anyways, renders the self-defense argument for gun rights to be completely refuted.

________________________________________________________________________________________


It has been established that gun rights are a net-detriment to society, and should thus be abolished.

[1] http://www.hsph.harvard.edu...
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[3] http://www.vpc.org...
[4] http://www.pbs.org...
Debate Round No. 1
DATXDUDE

Pro

Thank you for accepting my challenge. Gun rights is an issue I have wanted to debate for a long time.

C1) A ban on guns would reduce homicide rates

"The most obvious positive impact that a gun ban would have is a decrease in homicide rates. This is rather intuitive-- if we take away weapons which make committing homicide easier, then homicide rates will inevitably decrease. Gun rights activists claim that even if guns were removed from society, violent crime would still continue at rates which are close to current rates (i.e. "guns don't kill people, people kill people"), but this is patently false-- if it were true, then cities with lower rates of gun availability would have very similar homicide rates to cities with higher rates of gun availability, yet no such trend exists. Instead, there is a clear upwards correlation between gun availability and homicide rates, as demonstrated by a large number of studies conducted by reputable research institutions"

Ah yes, the classic homicide rate argument, but you are forgetting something.

Let's take a look at Australia, or "The Land Down Under".

Not a single mass shooting since '86. Let's take a look at its violent crime rates, though. 3 times higher than that in the US. This includes rape and assault.

Let's take a look at Chicago, Illinois, arguably the most violent city in the USA. Illinois, however, is the only state where concealed carry is illegal.

Yes, there is denying infringement upon our rights. Your argument is naive, because you assume that things are obvious, just because they seem obvious to you. If there is anything that you, or anyone for that matter, should learn in life nothing is that nothing is what it seems. (sorry if I seem aggressive right now, I feel very strongly about this issue).

Now, for your second contention. Yes, there are some circumstances that make it impossible to defend yourself with a gun. It has been done, but, yes, it is dangerous. However, guns can be used as a deterrent. If, say, a burglar is looking for a house to break into, and you have a sign that says "THIS HOUSE IS ARMED, TRESPASSING WILL BE MET WITH DEADLY FORCE", the burglar is less likely to steal your possessions .

It is not a fact that banning guns would lead to less criminal possessions of them. It is a myth, which leads me to one of my own arguments.

The black market. What do they sell in the black market? Illegal things. If guns were made illegal, the black market would flourish like never before.

And how are we going to modify the Bill of Rights? The ten RIGHTS we have, that America was founded on. I guess we can do with just 9 of them. Toss out #2, just like that.

And what about the people who use guns as hobbyists, with no interest in defending themselves? Are we going to destroy their pastime?

Collectors? What about them

And how are we going to take the guns away from people who won't let the government take their guns away?

I guess we can hire 5,000,000 police officers to patrol the streets? That wouldn't be disastrous for our economy or anything.

Damn, i'm being too aggressive again.

Good luck refuting my arguments, and my refutations.
UchihaMadara

Con

== NEG CASE ==

CA1) Decreasing Homicide Rates

I'm not really sure what Pro's response to this even is. He mentions something about how Australia has low rates of mass shootings and high rates of violent crime, but he fails to describe what exactly this implies or how it connects to the resolution; I am left without a clue of what he is trying to tell us with that observation. He then goes on to note that Chicago has more gun control than most cities yet still is one of America's most violent places. Again, he fails to actually describe what this is supposed to prove, but whatever point he is making, it is a correlation/causation fallacy because it is attempting to draw a causal relationship based on the patterns of just two variables (gun control and violence) without taking into account any external variables. For example, in Chicago, poverty and social tensions are major contributing factors to the violent crime there (http://www.chicagomag.com...), so it wouldn't be reasonable to claim that the high gun control somehow causes more violent crime just because they correlate.

CA2) Gun Rights are Unnecessary

Pro concedes that using guns for self-defense is implausible, but he then asserts that guns can still deter crime by instilling fear in criminals. This may be true, but he doesn't demonstrate that this happens often enough to even begin to mitigate all the homicides which are facilitated by the presence of guns. He also asserts that the 'black market' would still be able to get guns to criminals on the basis that they "specialize in selling illegal things", but that just ignores the entire point of my argument... as I explained last round, almost all criminal gun distributors get their guns from legal producers, so if those legal producers had to stop making them due to a gun ban, then the distributors would have no supply, thus depriving criminals of gun ownership just as much as citizens.


== AFF CASE ==

R1) Bill of Rights

The Constitution is a living document designed specifically to allow the Founding Fathers' successors to change it when needed to adapt to the times. If there is good reason to repeal the second amendment, then it should be repealed; the observation that it is already on the Bill of Rights doesn't serve as an argument for why it should stay there. Also, note that the resolution isn't necessarily US-specific, so Constitutionality arguments really shouldn't apply at all.

R2) Hobbyists & Collectors

Pro seems to be valuing the enjoyment of a relatively small population of people over the many lives that would be saved from the reduced homicide effect of a gun ban. I doubt Pro would contest that a human life is more valuable than temporary pleasure...

R3) Public Opposition

This argument is non-topical. The resolution of the debate is about whether or not people should be allowed to own guns; it is about whether gun rights are justified in theory-- not the practical aspects of repealing those rights. If the resolution were about the implementation of a specific gun control policy, then this argument might hold some weight, but it is not, and so it doesn't.



My arguments have all been upheld, and all of Pro's have been refuted.
Back to my opponent.

Debate Round No. 2
DATXDUDE

Pro

You can't just ignore my arguments by simply stating you don't know what they are. I didn't fail to do anything. However you failed to connect the fact that Australia has a violent crime rate three times greater than America has to the fact that guns aren't necessarily the cause of violent crime. And it can't be guns that cause this, because they restrict the ownership of guns greatly. So I am establishing that violent crime isn't necessarily related to gun control.

Now, on to Chicago. Yes, poverty is one of the underlying causes of violence in Chicago. However, by stating that Chicago has one of the biggest homicide rates in the USA, I have further weakened the argument of a false connection between gun rights and suffering.

You said: "...It wouldn't be reasonable to claim that the high gun control somehow causes more violent crime just because they correlate." You have repeatedly used surveys and studies to prove your points. But what is a study? Correlations, my friend. Correlations.

I never said that using guns for self defense is implausible. I said this: "Yes, there are some circumstances that make it impossible to defend yourself with a gun. It has been done, but, yes, it is dangerous."

Note that I said "some circumstances", not "all circumstances".

No, I did not say that guns being used as deterrents alone justified my point of view and this argument alone cannot counter all of the arguments for gun control. However, this argument combined with other arguments can.

The black market does sometimes get its firearms from legal sources, but that in no way means that they can't change their suppliers. Furthermore, legal gun distributors could become illegal gun distributors.

Just to make sure: You think all amendments could be repealed if there was "good reason", right?

I don't think Con understands how hard the Founding Fathers worked to give Americans the rights they have today.

And maybe the Second Amendment could be changed. Maybe only muskets and one shot pistols could be legal. They still count as firearms, do they not?

While the gun debate isn't necessarily US specific, the US is arguably the most important country involved in this debate, so yes, arguments about the US constitution do hold some weight.

However, if you want to look outside of the US, Mexico has used citizens owning guns to stop some of the worst cartel leaders. Vice has a documentary on this, you might want to check it out.

I value millions of peoples' freedoms all over the world to own guns to use as long as they are not harming others over destructive anti-gun groups that falsely claim that guns do more harm than good.Guns don't cause deaths, people do. That is what I am arguing. And it's very interesting that you are saying that I value peoples lives less than "temporary pleasure". Resorting to ad-hominem, are we?

Saying people shouldn't be allowed to own guns doesn't mean anything unless we can implement it. So yes, the argument does hold some weight.

I have refuted all of Con's arguments, and I have yet to see him properly refute mine. Back to Con, with his final speech.
UchihaMadara

Con

== NEG CASE ==

CA1) Decreasing Homicide Rates

Regarding Australia, Pro seems to be a bit confused about what exactly I am claiming... I am not trying to say that all violent crime is the result of the presence of guns-- it is quite obvious that high rates of violent crime can be caused by a number of variables which are unrelated to guns. Rather, I was claiming that the presence of guns usually results in high rates of violent crime. It's the difference between saying "all Muslims are terrorists" and "many terrorists are Muslim". Thus, observing that high rates of violent crime can exist without the presence of guns does nothing to mitigate my argument.

Regarding Chicago, Pro concedes that poverty is the major contributing factor to crime there, yet still attempts to salvage his point by claiming that he has still "further weakened the argument of a false connection between gun rights and suffering." That is patently false because not only has his correlation been exposed as fallacious, but it was a high-violence/low-gun correlation, which, as I explained in response to his Australia point, does not refute my argument at all. Only a high-gun/low-violence correlation could be used to rebut the soundness of my argument, and he has failed to show that one exists.

In response to my point that Pro cannot use bare correlations as evidence for his assertions, he claims that the studies I cited were also bare correlations, but that simply demonstrates that he did not read the quotations I included-- they clearly indicate that an effort was made to take into account all possible external variables, thus making those correlations much more likely to reflect causation. Pro's attempt at a turn does not hold up.

CA2) Gun Rights are Unnecessary

Pro asserts that guns can still be used effectively for self-defense in many situations, but he provides no evidence for this at all; meanwhile, I have provided a compelling rationale for why guns can rarely be used for self-defense, backed up by research from the Violence Policy Center. There is no question as to who is winning on this issue-- guns generally do not provide any sort of self-defense benefit.

Pro argues that criminals can just change their source of guns after a gun ban, but this ignores the fact that legal producers of guns have many advantages over illegal producers, such as the ability to operate large factories, economies of scale, and easy access to mass production technology; this naturally means that their guns would be much cheaper and more readily available to criminals. It would not be *nearly* as easy as Pro would have us believe for criminals to simply change their sources. Thus, a civilian gun ban would certainly entail that criminal rates of gun ownership go down as well. But besides that, 'professional criminals' are actually only responsible for the minority of homicides; the majority are carried out by civilians themselves, with domestic violence being the most common form of violent crime. (http://www.motherjones.com...).


== AFF CASE ==

R1) Bill of Rights

Pro's counter is irrelevant, as it does not address the core of my rebuttal-- that the second amendment can be changed if there is good reason for that to happen. Besides his random non-point about "how hard the founding fathers worked", he suggests that perhaps the second amendment could just be changed rather than repealed, but my case very clearly shows the need for a total gun ban (which it is required to do, considering that the resolution I am trying to negate is called 'gun rights'...), so that point carries no weight.

R2) Hobbyists & Collectors

First of all, let's just note that I was not committing an ad hominem-- I was simply noting an implication of Pro's point. Anyways, Pro completely shifts this from what is original argument was, instead now making the case that since most people don't use guns to commit homicide, their liberties cannot justifiably be restrained. However, liberties *can* be restrained under certain circumstances; it is simply a matter of utilitarianism. For example, speed limits deprive us of our freedom to drive as fast as we want, but it is absurd to call for their removal, as their presence creates a large net benefit for society. In the same way, I have shown that a gun ban would create enough of a net benefit for society that the limitations of liberty associated with it would be justified.

R3) Public Opposition

Pro claims that it is meaningless to debate whether or not people should be allowed to own guns without discussing implementation. In that case, perhaps the resolution IS meaningless. Pro's opinion on what constitutes a 'meaningful' discussion does not matter-- the fact is that the resolution specifically refers to whether or not people *should* be allowed to own guns, which implies a theoretical debate. I have shown that people *should not* be allowed to own guns, and thus the resolution is negated. I do not also need to prove that the complete enforcement of such a policy would currently be feasible.



In conclusion, I have shown that the existence of gun rights poses no real benefit to society, with the only tangible result being increased homicide rates. Since none of Pro's arguments or rebuttals hold up, my case remains standing in its entirety. The resolution is negated.

Thanks to Pro for a fun debate!

Debate Round No. 3
36 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
I didn't have room to explain the source vote, so I'll do that here. Pro, you have to do more than just state statistics. Support them with actual sources - it makes them a lot more difficult to dismiss. You also should not request that your opponent, or the judges for that matter, view something not presented directly in the debate. If it's worth presenting, present it. You certainly had more than enough space to do so.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
You guys have got to be kidding me with those votes...
Posted by DATXDUDE 2 years ago
DATXDUDE
other than that though, good job. I've never lost a debate before, but I think I may lose this one.
Posted by DATXDUDE 2 years ago
DATXDUDE
also, you didn't address my point on mexico, and I think you should watch a documentary on how guns solved the situation there. It is a good view into your oppositions side of the debate (helpful to know the oppositions point of view
Posted by DATXDUDE 2 years ago
DATXDUDE
only because you used ad homenim first.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
*facepalm*

Must I really explain again how in the context of this debate, homicide is the only relevant type of violent crime and thus the two terms can be used interchangeably within it?
Posted by AbatementYogin 2 years ago
AbatementYogin
So again this claim:

"Rather, I was claiming that the presence of guns usually results in high rates of violent crime."

Is FALSE because England has a higher violent crime rate.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
omfg >.>

I REALIZE THAT HOMICIDE =/= VIOLENT CRIME.

HOMICIDE IS JUST THE MOST GUN-DEPENDENT TYPE OF VIOLENT CRIME

WHICH IS WHY I'M CONCENTRATING ON THAT DURING THIS DEBATE

BECAUSE THIS DEBATE

IS ABOUT GUNS' EFFECTS ON CRIME

AND THAT IS WHY THE UK HAVING HIGH RATES OF OTHER TYPES OF VIOLENT CRIME IS COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT

geez...
Posted by AbatementYogin 2 years ago
AbatementYogin
"I would totally debate this with you.
If you're open to it, I can send you the challenge sometime next week."

Not necessary because you've already agreed with me that the UK has a higher overall violent crime rate. I am not contesting or arguing that the US doesn't have a higher gun crime or homicide rate.
Posted by AbatementYogin 2 years ago
AbatementYogin
"It is the only relevant type of violent crime, as I've said for the umpteenth time."

No. You claimed at gun ownership correlates with a high level of violent crime, but this is false. All your links deal with homicide only.

Just because a country or a place has a higher homicide rate does not mean it has a higher violent crime rate in general. In order for this to be true it also has to have higher robbery and assault rates than the country you are comparing it to.

I've already proven that in categories of violent crime other than homicide the UK rate is much greater. Thus it makes sense to say that the overall violent crime rate in the UK exceeds that of the US.

How you fail to understand this is mindboggling.

"That may be true, but it doesn't draw a line between gun-related violent crime and violent crime in general. "

There isn't a line to be drawn because you didn't draw one in the first place. You were referring to violent crime in the general sense, not gun crime specifically.

Otherwise this:
"Rather, I was claiming that the presence of guns usually results in high rates of violent crime."

Would be: "Rather, I was claiming that the presence of guns usually results in high rates of gun crime."

gg no re
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
DATXDUDEUchihaMadaraTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Generally, Pro just fails to present much of a positive case. He spends almost all of his time defending against Con's case, and fails in that regard, as he never counters Con's studies, and presents nothing beyond a few highly correlative statistics. I don't doubt that Con's case is also correlative, but he shows a much stronger correlation. The actual positive arguments that exist for Pro are relatively weak - I'm not given a reason why the second amendment should exist, just an appeal to authority (not to mention one that only applies in the U.S.), I'm given no reason to weigh the desire for gun ownership in certain instances against homicides, and Pro does a sub-par job of relating the public opposition point to the resolution. This is a debate about gun rights and whether they're beneficial in society, not whether gun rights should be removed from individuals. Con seems to show quite convincingly that the harms outweigh the benefits of gun rights existing.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
DATXDUDEUchihaMadaraTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I feel like pro never manages to build up a case, with a doubt in the causation/correlation, while con shows attempts to extract other variables in his experiments. Pro never rebuts con's argument that there will be less homocides without gun rights, neither the ultitarianism argument, and neither the very important life > temporary pleasure argument. Tempted to give conduct to con but pulling back.