The Instigator
debatergorl
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
ColePanell
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Gun control in America.

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
debatergorl
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 659 times Debate No: 60337
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)

 

debatergorl

Pro

I would like to debate for gun control in America. I am a firm believer that we need to work towards protecting our citizens, and this idea should outshine all else. The first round is for acceptance only please. As I know this is a very heated debate, remember to keep debates in the debate world and do not let it carry outside of that. Also, a word to voters- please try to put your bias aside and only vote for who made a better case. Thank you.
ColePanell

Con

I'm a moderate Libertarian, I grew up in a place where gun ownership is probably 75% or so, and as such I believe in the lowest forms of gun control imaginable. This will be interesting and I accept
Debate Round No. 1
debatergorl

Pro

Thank you, ColePanell, for accepting this debate. I look forward to hearing your opinions.

Almost 290 people a day become victims of gun violence in the US, and this adds up to over 100,000 people a year. Someone dies from gun violence across the country every seventeen minutes. In the single year of 2010, almost 10,000 more kids were injured from firearms in the US than soldiers were from the war in Afghanistan. These statistics are frightening, and to think that our country has done nothing about it baffles me. (http://usnews.nbcnews.com...)

I will come right out and say that I believe we should eventually ban all guns. Guns banned = thousands of lives saved. Unfortunately, this is my ideal world. I know it would be nearly impossible to ban guns completely and so suddenly in the US at this point in time. So instead, I will go for the compromise- initiating background checks and training for all firearms, a complete ban of automatic weapons, and a ban of open carry in all fifty states. This is what I plan to argue for in our debate.

Since a key argument point in this debate is the second amendment, I will start by taking a look at this right in our constitution. The second amendment states, "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." That is one confusing sentence...one that could easily be misunderstood by many. Let's break it apart piece by piece. "A well regulation militia," Militia was the name for the soldiers, otherwise known as the US citizens fighting for their independence, who fought in the Revolutionary War. The precise dictionary definition of militia is "a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency; a body of citizens organized for military service." "...being necessary to the security of a free state," This means that our militias were needed to fight for our freedom and democracy, or else we would still be a British colony under the monarch rule. "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." This particular phrase is where the debate gets sticky. If you look at this phrase in grammatical terms in relation to the first part of the sentence, the meaning is a bit clearer. You see, the first statement about the militia is modifying the clause immediately following it (about how it is necessary to the freedom of the state). In other words, you could take out the first section, and the sentence would still read gramatically correct. Without the modifier, the sentence reads, "Being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bears arms, shall not be infringed." When the sentence is read like this, it sounds like it is giving everyone the right to bear arms to protect their freedom. This is the ground that my opponent's side stands on. But that first modifier is there, so we must not ignore it. It is saying that the well regulated militia, the army that defended our country against Great Britian, the army made up of colonsits, is necessary to protecting our freedom, and therefore, the people/the citizens in that militia have a right to bear arms that shall not be infringed upon. Remember that this constitution was written immediately following a major war when people still had to be on guard for outside attacks. If our founding fathers came back today, I do not think they would want us all carrying guns around just to be prepared if a suspicious guy walks towards us. (http://www.law.cornell.edu...) (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

I want to reinstate that this is my understanding of the second ammendement, and I know that people are still going to argue for their gun rights. I respect that. This is why my biggest hope is to initiate background checks and training. General proceedings to keep the public safe do not infringe on second ammendment rights. If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear, for you will still be able to own your gun. The government just wants to prevent mentally ill people or alleged criminals from getting their hands on firearms and make sure you can use your guns properly, so no accidental shootings happen. Stop me if I'm missing something, but what do you see as wrong with this?

Also, I believe that automatic and semi automatic weapons should be banned completely. The definition of an automatic weapon (or machine gun) is a relatively heavy, rapid-firing small arm that can provide continuous or frequent bursts of automatic fire until their ammunition is expended. They were used for wars dating back to the American Civil War, but they became widely known and used starting with World War I. Automatic weapons are preferable for armies because they shoot so frequently that the target has next to no time to escape flying bullets...perfect for attacking enemy lineups. So what is an automatic weapon's one and only purpsoe? To kill. Something made purely to kill has no place with gun sellers. You have no reason to own a gun that can shoot up to one hundred bullets per minute for "self defense." Therefore, automatic and semi automatic weapons should be restricted to only trained, military personnel. (http://go.galegroup.com...|CX2400600762&docType=GALE)

Finally, we need to put an end to open cary. Open carry basically means that people are allowed to carry their guns openly into public places (restaurants, shops, entertainment centers, etc). Did you know that fourty four states allow open carry? Thirty allow it without a permit, and fourteen more allow it with. Fourty four states. We saw a man walk into a movie theatre carrying a gun, and then he open fired in the middle of the movie, killing twelve people. We saw a man walk into an elementary school carrying a gun, and then he open fired and killed twenty small children and six adults. Yet we still find it necessary to openly carry our guns in public? What's more, after all these shootings, states are making new legislations allowing more people to walk into open places carrying a gun. Take Georgia for example. In April earlier this year, they passed new laws allowing open carry in schools and churches. What reason do you need a gun in church? So after all these shootings we are seeing, we think our best solution to prevent people from guns is to put more guns in the public? Where is the logic behind this? Some students now even carry bullet proof pads to school just in case. Is this how we want to be raising our children? We are turning into a nation ruled by guns. (http://my.opencarry.org...) (http://www.cnn.com...)

While I fully understand that you respect your rights, can we just put the safety of our people, our children, our innocent victims in mind? Do we want to turn into that Hunger Games like society where we are soldiers, all walking around with guns for defense while the poor scramble to save themselves? Do we want our kids to grow up in fear of being victimized by gun violence? Do we want criminals to be able to easily get their hands on an automatic weapon only to kill tens of people later the next day? Think about the dangers. Think about how we can promote safety. I know you want your rights, but we have to keep the good of the people in mind.

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing my oponent's side of the argument.

ColePanell

Con

First off, your statistics are a bit odd, the US doesn't have really too much of an abnormal gun ownership RATE, we just have a high gun violence rate. Canada has around a thirty-ish gun ownership rate. but they only had 173 gun related homicides in 2009 (http://www.gunpolicy.org...). Don't you think that's odd? that around quarter of the people there own guns, but they don't just run out into the street shooting at children. Switzerland has the THIRD Highest, very close to ours, and do you know how many gun murders they had in 2013? 18. 18, WOW. HALF of the country (more really) own guns, and only 18 times has someone been shot by a gun? And let's take a look at those numbers in the NBC news. 86 of those "victims got shot and lived, fair enough, but if you looked at the bullet point, 86 of the other victims aren't actually murdered in cold blood as you think, but have committed suicide, accidentally been shot, or even been shot by a law enforcement agent. And EVEN then, the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov...) says 80% of those homicides are committed by gangs, almost always against other gangs. That dramatic idea guys are buying an AK-47 and shooting up a McDonald's playpen every week is ridiculous.

I'm going to come out and say something as well, I love guns. I think it should be everyone's right to shoot whatever gun they want, just to give it a try. Guns banned does NOT mean thousands saved, people will still buy guns, it will just be criminals who buy them off the black market. Buying a gun is a victim-less crime as well. Another thing to note is this, you ever notice something? EVERY single mass shooting to have ever occurred was in a "Gun Free Zone". There has also NEVER been a mass killing at a gun show, shooting range or gun store? Why? They'd be dropped within minutes.
9/11? Gun Free Zone
Sandy Hook? Gun Free Zone?
Aurora? Gun Free?
Columbine? YOU GUESSED IT.

If we could get more guns in the hands and of citizens who are responsible, competent and properly trained in using them, you wouldn't see a mass shooting. Imagine if EVERYWHERE was like a gun show. Let's say that the government makes every single adult take a month long class on firearms and then issues them a hand gun, and a device called say, the "gun license" which lets them pretty much buy or carry whatever they want in any fashion. Let's say, even a modest half of the adults throw the gun away, give it to someone, sell it, etc...That's still means there is a fifty percent chance that the girl those guys are going to rape or mug has a loaded pistol in her purse. Would you take those odds?

Another thing is that it is America's natural defense, the last time we've been invaded truly was doing the War of 1812 IMO. Do you know a reason why that is? Because we have the highest gun ownership, that means that if they would attempt to occupy or attack us, the citizens would be shooting at them from every angle, and even then we're somewhat limited, imagine if we were allowed to buy full auto assault rifles.

Why ban open carry? Do you know how likely you are to get mugged if you clearly have a .45 hanging off your hip and a bowie knife on the other side? Unlikely, very much so. It's like walking a pitbull, people who don't understand would get the hell out of your way.
I support you on training, and maybe even background checks, but open carry and full auto weapons must become the norm.

Let's take a look at the grammatical structure of the second amendment, there is a comma separating the well regulated militia and the people. It's NOT saying the right to keep and bear arms of the militia is not to be infringed, it is saying the right of the PEOPLE is not to be infringed upon BY the militia, the reason why is because they had been fighting a two year war against ANOTHER Militia comprised of Brits, Hessians and actually a high number of Loyalists compared to the first. They were doing this as a counterpoint, knowing that if this same Militia had gotten powerful enough to take away the arms, they would have to get rid of the Constitution.

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear is ignorant. People should be keeping secrets from their government and not the other way around, what you're bordering on is an Orwellian "Big Brother" philosophy of government.

I do see a bit of a problem with the criminals and mentally ill, the justice system is VERY broken and this could deprive many innocent people of their second amendment right.

Yes, you totally do have a reason. Automatic weapons are a necessity to defend the homeland in time of war, defend your life against the government (See; Waco Raid and Ruby Ridge). It serves a WONDERFUL political power, the Legislation system is broken, but if Congressmen and Senators were afraid that if they didn't act in the way the people wanted they would be killed, they'd clean up their act. To quote Thomas Jefferson, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure", They intended for the Government to be overthrown every 20 years or so.

GOOD. Open carry saves more lives then it hurts, see my above argument. If that church, or mosque, or synagogue is filled with people willing to shoot to defend themselves from religous extremists, I say let them.

"WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?"

Back in my father's time at school, they had actual rifle shooting TEAMS and Competitions. Every day kids would bring a duffel bag with a .22 Marksman rifle and many magazines, INTO the school, give it to their coach and get to shoot it. Not a single school shooting during these times, and even in New York these teams existed till the 60's. They got away with it because they learned how fun and challenging guns can be when you use them safely and responsibly. I think that it was those sorts of teachings going away, that respect and care towards guns have declined similarily.
Debate Round No. 2
debatergorl

Pro

Thank you, Con, for your arguments. I will simply rebut in chronological order.

First off, I want to address my opponent's point about gun ownership rates. He said that Switzerland has the third highest percent of gun ownership, but they do not run around on the streets killing people. What my opponent failed to mention is that Switzerland has a tighter gun policy than we do in the US. In Switzerland, all males are required to do military service at a certain age, and they keep the guns as a symbol of their service. The military also does not provide any ammunition after service is done, so the guns are basically useless without ammunition. This means that the majority of the gun owners have gone through proper, military training on how to use the gun, and they would then own almost useless guns. Therefore, the violence rate is not nearly as high as the US. That does not seem odd to me. (http://www.bbc.com...)

If my opponent had read my wording carefully, he would've noticed that I said, "Almost 290 people a day become victims of gun violence in the US, and that adds up to over 100,000 people in the US." My opponent made it seem as if I only meant homicides, but I was addressing all types of gun violence, including homicides, suicides, and plain injuries. In fact, while handguns are not the most used tool to commit suicide, they have the highest accuracy rate (85%) of ending in death. The most used tool, drugs, only have a 3% accuracy rate of ending in death. Over 19,000 people died from gun suicide while other tools only accounted for about 11,000 suicide deaths. In the case of murders, almost 80% of all homicides are committed with guns. My opponent said that 80% of the homicide cases are between gangs. Gangs are still humans shootng at other humans. It does not make the problem any better. (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu...) (http://usnews.nbcnews.com...)

It gets on my nerves when people saying banning guns will not stop people from buying and using guns. Of course not! We are never going to completely get rid of guns or violence, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do anything about it. For comparison, we have laws against theft, but people still break into houses. So just because we haven't solved this theft problem, we shouldn't have any regulations against it at all? Think about it. Actually, outlawing guns does have an impact. We can look at the exhibit of Australia. Just months after a mass shooting in 1996 that killed thirty-five people, the government made legislations banning and calling for a recall of all auto and semiautomatic weapons and shotguns. Since then? Not one mass shooting. Not one. Look at the US. We have no gun laws, and we can turn on the news almost every month to hear of a mass shooting. I understand that I am not arguing for a complete gun ban at this time, but I wanted to make a point. (http://www.washingtonpost.com...)

Addressing my opponents case on the gun free zones, I cannot count it as accurate until I see a source on his information. While I am not in doubt that it is true, I need to see a source. And I think my opponent needs to restudy his history as he listed 9/11 as a gun free zone. One problem with that- 9/11 was the case of two planes hitting the World Trade Centre twin towers in New York City. I don't know what that had to do with guns.

My opponent said that we should all have guns to be prepared for invasion. He said the last time we were invaded as country was in 1812. Over two hundred years ago! Remember what I said in my opening case...society has changed, and we are no longer in a country constantly with war on our grounds. We are no longer under constant threat of invasion because our military is one of the largest superpowers in the world. It would be like studying for the final exam the teacher previously decided not to give. It is pointless to be prepared for something so chaotic and unlikely when we know the chances of invasion are so slim. Even if we were invaded, we have the strongest military force in the world.

As I suspected, Con stated his understanding of the second ammendment. There is no way to rebut against either side without just repeating your same case, so I will leave it up to voters to decide who they believe more (based on the case each of us made). Either way, I don't think our founding fathers would come back today and want us using guns the way we are.

My opponent agrees with me that we should issue background checks and training. Neccessary measures to keep the general public safe do not infringe on second ammendment rights. I will agree with him that our justice system is broken, but that is another debatable issue that our country is still working on. At this time, we just have to accept the justice system we have and do our best to be fair on who is or is not qualified to own a gun.

The next point Con made absolutely frightened me. So now we are going to use automatic weapons to threaten innocent politicians into getting our way? Yes, we all saw how the country reacted when JFK was assasinated. Even those that opposed him felt the pain of his death. Those that were not born at the time still reminisce that day today. Violence among our leadership will not help our country move forward. I think my opponent took Jefferson's quote quite too literally. Jefferson did not mean that we should threaten to shoot our leaders or overthrow them every twenty years or so. He meant that in our democracy, we have a right to protest against the leaders that are not doing their job, and when the case hits the extreme, the person can be fired from his or her job. (http://www.jfklibrary.org...)

The case my opponent made on open carry and the use of guns with children made it sound as if he does want a gun on gun society. What he is saying is that we should all have guns with us. Of course. Of course we want to live in a military state and be robotic soldiers carrying guns with us wherever we go. Think about what life would be like in that situation. Imagine your three-year-old child walking around with a gun at school. Imagine your spouse out around the town all alone having to carry a gun. Imagine your mother walking around town all alone having to carry a gun. Do we want to be living in that type of society? Look at how we think about Australia, and compare it to how we think about North Korea. Think about which image we would rather be sending to the rest of the world.



ColePanell

Con

ColePanell forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
debatergorl

Pro

As you can see, my opponent forfeited the previous round, hinting that he could not rebut to my arguments. I find it a shame as he was bringing strong arguments to the table. But I strongly encourage voters to take this into consideration.

Since I have no material to rebut against, I will make some final points and sum up my argument.

One voice in the comments brought up a smart point about how citizens have a right to defend themselves in cases such as a robbery. I invite you to read the conversation. But this person's thought reminded me to make another point.

One of the things that bugs me about the US (as proud a citizen as I am) is that people seem to think we need to live in this perfect, utopian world. Unfortunately, these "worlds" are defined by certain parties (i.e.- the Republicans or Democrats), and depending on one's party identification, these worlds go to the extremes. Republicans envision this world with guns everywhere, and Democrats envision it with no guns at all (to an extent). This extremism leads us to no progress. I don't understand why politicians (or even regular citizens) today are so caught up in their viewpoints that they can't even reason with the opposition. In other words, compromise looks like defeat in our country today.

I would reason that most of the users on this website have jobs out in the world. Assuming I am correct with this assumption, I am speaking to that majority at this point. In your jobs, do you work with a team of people? On that team, do you not always get your way? Do you have to give and take to reach a strong endpoint? Do you sometimes have to go with a plan that you may not fully agree with or have complete faith in? The answer to all of these (I would hope) would be "yes."

So take these skills of compromise in your daily jobs and apply them to a larger sense. Apply them when you think about political issues, mainly concerning gun control. You may not always get 100% of what you want, and you may have to give a little. At the end of the day, we are trying to make these new legislations to benefit the people. There will always be those minor imperfections (i.e.- you may not have the automatic rifle to hunt or you may have to place trust in the police during a robbery, etc), but a law is imperfect by nature. You must not focus on those imperfections and instead think of how it is benefiting society for the most part. At the beginning of this debate, I said that I was willing to take the compromise, so people can still have those small pistols. I was not 100% satisfied, but I know that is a reasonable step to making progress, and the opposition still gets some of its way as well.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we need to do something. As my opponent mentioned, we don't have the highest gun ownership rate, but we have one of the highest gun violence rates. So it should be pretty clear to everyone that we are doing something wrong. If we proceed to do nothing, we are only letting ourselves keep slipping down this endless pit of homicides, suicides, mass shootings, and terrible injuries from gun violence. I suggested a middle way idea...one that could keep being revised until we have reached an endpoint that will truly benefit the entire society (and soon). Please keep an open mind and realize that guns do pose a threat to our society. People might kill people, but guns make it all the easier. (http://www.nytimes.com...)

We need to take action.

Thank you, and I do truly hope my opponent will post his final argument. I thank him especially for a good debate. Now I leave it to the voters.
ColePanell

Con

ColePanell forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by ColePanell 2 years ago
ColePanell
Sorry! My internet went off. I will post quickly
Posted by debatergorl 2 years ago
debatergorl
I'm sorry to hear that, @sparechange. I'm lucky enough to live in a home with a security system and have never had to worry about something such as that. But there are ways to defend yourself. Whatever happened to calling the police and staying hidden until they came? There are ways. We also have to keep in mind that in any legislation made, there will be people that will lose a little. But we have to look at the laws in a larger sense. In the case of guns, no legislation will hurt more people than some legislation will. I also want to remind you that I am not arguing in this debate for a complete ban, so you would still have your small pistols. Thank you for your feedback.
Posted by sparechange 2 years ago
sparechange
@debatergorl , I checked your profile & seen that you are twenty five. not quite sure if you have any kids but if so ; lets just say that we actually did have a strict gun control policy in the United States & you happen to have children. we know that there is never going to be absolutely no guns. people will purchase these illegally and what not. so put your self in a situation where you have children & an intruder comes into your home , how exactly do you plan on defending you & your family ? Having personal experience with this , it saved my life. Had there been a strict gun policy , I would not be here today to argue on why we should be able to have firearms. It is our basic human right to he able to defend ourselves.
Posted by debatergorl 2 years ago
debatergorl
Hello, @ColePanell (if you are getting the notification to read this). I look forward to an interesting debate. If you just want to write that you have accepted in the first round, we can begin. :) Thanks!
Posted by Sfaulkner 2 years ago
Sfaulkner
I believe in a very limited gun control. People have the right to own guns.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by philochristos 2 years ago
philochristos
debatergorlColePanellTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: ColePanell has forfeited. My condolences to debatergorl who was denied a victory on the merits and reduced to a technical victory.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
debatergorlColePanellTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
debatergorlColePanellTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: THIS IS NOT A VOTE BOMB, Con had terrible grammatical errors so that point goes to Pro. Pro used multiple sources effectively so that point also goes to Pro. The several forfeitures by Con give both the Conduct and the arguments points to Pro.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
debatergorlColePanellTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't think all of Pro's case was particularly strong. However, Con simply forfeited too many rounds, which led to a pretty large lack of response. Thus her arguments stand. Con also loses conduct for those forfeits. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.