Gun control is a stupid idea
Debate Rounds (3)
Criminals don't obey laws. The vast, vast majority of gun owners use them appropriately and responsibly. If we take guns away from those who are responsible, who will be left with the guns? The irresponsible criminals who get them illegally.
More kids die in swimming pools each year than from guns. People sensationalize every act of violence from guns and immediately call for a nationwide ban without thinking of the implications on the good citizens who have the right to bear arms.
Gun control is not a stupid idea.
Let's have a look at Germany.
I will rely on this site as a source: http://www.gunpolicy.org...
I will open my argument with this particular statistic:
The statistic shows that in Germany and the United Kingdom, where gun control is in effect and rather strict, the number of deaths involving the use of a gun is significantly less than in the United States Of America, where states like Colorado allow to carry guns concealed on campus, for example ( http://www.theguardian.com... ).
Gun deaths in Colorado per 100000 inhabitants are ten times higher than in Germany:
Over the last decades, gun incidents in Germany have decreased substantially:
Whereas in the US of A:
As you can clearly see, the numbers have risen. They have decreased a little over the last years, with stricter gun control slowly taking effect.
This effectively shows that gun control works.
Now for my opponents arguments:
"Everyone advocating gun control forgets one thing."
I am advocating gun control, and I did not forget that.
"What would stop criminals from illegally obtaining guns and using it on an armless public?"
The police, mainly. It's their job.
"It's stupid and it would happen."
I agree that some criminals would see profit in smuggling guns. Yet, statistics still prove my opponent wrong. It is true that over the last decade the UK have seen a drastic increase in gun related crimes, yet the death rate is still significantly lower than in the USA:
This means that gun control does indeed help. Does it change human nature and magically prevent all crime?
No, of course not.
Does it diminish crime, though? Apparently, according to the statistics.
"The vast, vast majority of gun owners use them appropriately and responsibly."
And how is that relevant? Gun control does not exclude responsible people from gun possession. In Germany, people obtain a permit and are then, under certain circumstances, even allowed to carry them visibly in public.
"Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Germany are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, target shooting, collection, personal protection (in exceptional circumstances), security"
"An applicant for a firearm licence in Germany must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental records"
"In Germany, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required for a firearm licence"
And still: "The regulation of guns in Germany is categorised as restrictive"
So, the guns will not be taken from those who are responsible under even restrictive gun control. My opponent obviously does not understand gun control.
The implications on the good citizens are this: be responsible, lock your guns away as required by the law, and cover up your pool.
Nobody should die through carelessness, be it through an insufficiently secured pool or an insufficiently secured gun.
I see no harm in that message.
On a side note: I am not a US denizen, so there's one thing I never understood. The US allow the right to bear arms. And while firearms existed in the day of the founders, why does it not say "firearms"? Does this not mean that the government is free to decide which kind of arms are allowed and which not? I do not see any law forbidding adults arming themselves with clubs, knives and swords. So, here's my question: how is the right to bear arms affected by gun control? People are still allowed to bear arms, but not any kind. I mean, my opponent most certainly does not include nuclear arms in the "right to bear arms"? So, why the fixation on firearms?
7 of your 8 sources were from a website with the name "gunpolicy." I can provide just as many sources using a website named "gunfreedom" except you wouldn't expect that website to produce unbiased statistics.
The truth is that gun control statistics vary wildly depending on the source and how the information is displayed given the context of the information. Gun control statistics have been debated wildly with conflicting results from each side.
Laws are restrictions and could serve as subtle removal of freedoms. Over the course of Nazi Germany the Nazi's leveraged existing gun control laws to round up the Jews and other minorities that they despised without a threat The constitution allows Americans the right to bear arms as a personal right because the founding fathers recognized the threat of tyranny and the need for self-defense. The threat of tyranny still exists in our modern world today and is a very valid reason for having the rights to own and use a gun.
"So, here's my question: how is the right to bear arms affected by gun control? People are still allowed to bear arms, but not any kind. I mean, my opponent most certainly does not include nuclear arms in the "right to bear arms"? So, why the fixation on firearms?"
When the founding fathers wrote the constitution no nuclear arms existed and it's common sense to recognize firearms or any other kind of weaponry for that matter is within your right to have.
Gun control commits the fallacy of assuming that guns in circulation will be eliminated once gun control laws are enacted. They won't. They'll be in the hands of criminals who disobey the law and out of the hands of the vast majority of responsible gun owners.
Consider this: imagine you're a druggie and need money. The town you live in allow guns but the town right next to you doesn't. Would you rather rob a store in your hometown or go right next door the the one that poses a much lesser threat and more successful chance of getting away with robbery? Police can't be there the moment you are confronted with somebody posing a threat to your life.
Guns are self-defense for the vast majority of responsible gun owners, protection from the threat of tyranny, and common sense to acknowledge guns won't be removed from circulation once gun control laws are enacted.
So, my opponent chooses to simply declare my sources unreliable.
Well, this picture is taken from the official police statistics in Germany, and it is found on a site called "Liberales Waffenrecht", and even people who can't understand German will be able to tell what "liberal" means. This site advocates a liberalization of gun control, yet provides the same statistic: a decrease in gun related deaths in SPITE of German gun control.
Here's the article to which this relates, you can clearly see the title above.
So, despite my opponent's desperate claims, my statistics are factual and official, and are even used by opponents of gun control.
The resolution claims gun control to be a stupid IDEA. Ideas are not bound to national borders, nor has the opening resolution shown any indication of national restrictions.
In Germany and the UK, gun control has proved to be a very good idea, with the death rate by guns being significantly lower than in the USA.
My opponent now wants to expand on his original argument.
He claims that laws serve as restrictions to freedom. So, we are now arguing that all laws are bad because they limit freedom? Did my opponent not say that "Criminals don't obey laws" anyway?
So, the discussion about laws is - by the parameters set by my opponent - totally irrelevant and serves as a mere distraction here.
Then my opponent talks about Nazi Germany, which is the classic "appeal to the extremes" fallacy. We do not live in Nazi Germany. And to believe that gun control was a substantial part in the genocide is totally unfounded. Germany, as opposed to the USA, has never had a history of armed resistance against the government.
We were originally discussing "one thing": "What would stop criminals from illegally obtaining guns and using it on an armless public?"
Now we are apparently discussing "tyranny"? Another distraction.
But Germany has had the worst tyranny ever, and despite gun control the tyranny has not broken out again. So, there's no indication that gun control leads to tyranny. In fact, Germany and the USA are allies.
"The constitution allows Americans the right to bear arms as a personal right because the founding fathers recognized the threat of tyranny and the need for self-defense."
Oh, do we have witness accounts for that or is that just an inductive conclusion?
"The threat of tyranny still exists in our modern world today and is a very valid reason for having the rights to own and use a gun."
I say it's not in our society. Tyranny can be found in countries where armed militia roam the streets and there is no gun control in effect. Provide proof of your allegation.
As for my explicit SIDE-NOTE:
Thanks for your opinion on this. It does, however, not pertain to our debate, so I will not delve much deeper into this.
"Gun control commits the fallacy of assuming that guns in circulation will be eliminated once gun control laws are enacted. They won't."
My opponent does not know the future. In Australia, guns have been collected and the number of gun related deaths has decreased.
"In 1997, Australia implemented a gun buyback program that reduced the stock of firearms by around one-fifth. Using differences across states in the number of firearms withdrawn, we test whether the reduction in firearms availability affected firearm homicide and suicide rates. We find that the buyback led to a drop in the firearm suicide rates of almost 80 per cent, with no statistically significant effect on non-firearm death rates. The estimated effect on firearm homicides is of similar magnitude, but is less precise. The results are robust to a variety of specification checks, and to instrumenting the state-level buyback rate."
So, fact again goes against the precognition of my opponent.
I will under no circumstances try to imagine how the mind of an addict works. Only an addict can understand that.
"Guns are self-defense for the vast majority of responsible gun owners" - which, as I pointed out, will not be negatively affected by gun control.
"protection from the threat of tyranny" - criminals, about which this debate is, will not protect society from tyranny.
"and common sense to acknowledge guns won't be removed from circulation once gun control laws are enacted." And fact in Australia and Germany goes against this alleged "common sense".
A final question for my opponent: If we do not control guns, will that not just mean guns are far more easily accessible to NON-RESPONSIBLE gun owners and criminals? Will this not put the RESPONSIBLE gun-owners who can easily obtain a permit under gun control in disadvantage?
My opponent's arguments make little sense in that regard. Gun control is not about taking all guns away, it's about leaving guns only in the hands of responsible gun owners.
It is thus not a stupid idea.
"* Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.
"More guns, less crime. In the decade of the 1990s, the number of guns in this country increased by roughly 40 million"even while the murder rate decreased by almost 40% percent.7 Accidental gun deaths in the home decreased by almost 40 percent as well.(8)"
There's no shortage of sources cherry-picking. I can throw out your sources for the same fallacy and sources remain inconclusive as I've stated in round 2 when I said "Gun control statistics have been debated wildly with conflicting results from each side."
By focusing your argument on the IDEA of whether or not gun control is stupid, you'd have to refute my claim that by enacting gun control you'd be taking guns from law-abiding citizens. Criminals, who are not law-abiding, will smuggle guns and use them on an unarmed public. So the IDEA of gun control is stupid. Any laws, restrictions, procedures, or regulations that ordinary citizens have to go through act as a disincentive towards owning a gun and less guns will be kept by law-abiding citizens as a result.
I'm not using Nazi Germany as "an appeal to extreme" fallacy. I'm using Nazi Germany as one of many examples of a tyrannical government taking over an armless public. China, Guatemala, Turkey, Cambodia, Uganda, and the Soviet Union are all examples of genocide from a tyrannical government on their armless citizens.
We were originally discussing why gun control was a stupid idea and the threat of tyranny historically shows that this is yet another example of this stupidity. Our government or any government for that matter is no exemption.
By opponent doesn't even try to see the sense in my drug addict analogy.
Let's condense this debate on the central issue: is gun control a stupid idea? Yes.
Guns prevent a tyrannical government
Gun controls are a disincentive for the vast majority of responsible gun owners to own guns
It's common sense to believe that criminals won't obey gun laws and use them on an armless public.
It's common sense to believe that robbers seek to rob in places where they know no guns can be found.
The idea of gun control is stupid.
I would like to remind the audience that my opponent carries a clear burden of proof. To show that gun control is a stupid idea.
On round 1, he didn't offer any proof at all. He just claimed to know the future.
On round 2, he CLAIMED the ability to provide proof against mine but didn't, FALSELY claiming I would not accept that as evidence (see below). He then went on to expand his still unproved resolution to extremes, straining the inevitable Nazi comparison and some irrelevant ideas about the mind of drug addicts and conveniently absent police.
On round 3 he has now introduced statistics and data he HIMSELF declares "cherry-picked" and only "seemingly unbiased", which makes it totally worthless for offering proof. He even admits that he considers all sources "inconclusive".
My opponent has NO proof to offer at all, he is content with false propositions and "common sense", which is the truly classic "argumentum ad populum" fallacy.
I will explain in detail:
Data: The data aggregated on http://www.gunpolicy.org... comes from a great variety of sources, most notably, as far as my citations about Germany go, from this official report of the WHO on mortality: http://data.euro.who.int...
Anybody accusing the WHO of "cherry-picking" would have to do more than provide sources he calls unreliable himself. I have thus shown that the number of people killed by guns in Germany has decreased consistently, with Germany having one of the strictest gun controls in effect. This statistic was even used by a website OPPOSING gun control. It can thus not be seen as cherry-picked.
It is hence not subject to the same exemption my opponent would apply to all "cherry-picked" sources, as it's clearly and evidently unbiased - it is used by both sides. His proposition that all "gun control statistics vary wildly" is disproved.
My opponent also has left the report and analysis from Australia unrefuted. It is thus conceded, proving gun control and gun buyback programs work. I admit they may not be as effective in the USA, but that is NOT the topic of this debate. The question is whether gun control is stupid as an idea, and saving people from homicide and suicide is never a bad idea.
"The threat of tyranny still exists in our modern world today and is a very valid reason for having the rights to own and use a gun."
Despite me asking for proof for this, my opponent has linked to a site showing alleged examples of tyranny through gun control ( http://www.mercyseat.net... ), which are examples from 1915 to 1981. That's more than 30 years in the past, so hardly "in our modern world today". So, this point has been dropped and conceded.
My opponent insists that I pick up on his drug-addict parable.
Drug-addicts behave irrationally, especially under the influence of drugs. Very often, before a drug addict commits a crime to obtain his drugs, they will consume the drug to overcome anxiety, which means they do not act RATIONALLY anymore:
"These crimes include those that are consequential to the ingestion of a drug by the victim or offender, causing irrational or violent behavior ... and intentional ingestion of a drug to "relieve anxieties and stimulate courage" in preparation for acts of violence (Goldstein, Brownstein, & Ryan, 1992)." from: http://www.safetycops.com...
Which means that if I imagine I were a desperate drug addict, I would stop at nothing to get my drug or the money I need to buy it, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. After all, I'm ADDICTED. I would most probably rob the nearest store, as my top priority would be to fulfill my need. My opponent insists that the police won't arrive in time, so I won't have to worry about the cops. And being a "druggie" I would certainly forget to check whether the drugstore owner has a gun or relies on deterrence alone.
My opponent wants me to refute his unfounded claim that gun control will take guns away from law-abiding citizens. That is quite easy, actually.
"Gun control: regulation of the selling, owning, and use of guns" from Merriam-Webster's dictionary.
Gun control regulates OWNING of guns. As in, the STORAGE of guns, too: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov...
Gun control is actually what SEPARATES the responsible gun-owners from the irresponsible ones. Guns need to be stored safely, and this is already part of laws in effect, which my opponent has accepted by calling those who obey these exact laws "responsible".
341,000 guns are stolen every year in the USA, according to US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Guns and Crime, 4/94). Gun control on safe storage could thus keep all these guns in the hands of the "responsible" owners, who don't have their guns conveniently lying around for criminals to kill innocents with. This is the exact opposite of what my opponent claims, in facts and numbers - against his "common sense".
Nazi Germany: The link my opponent provides makes it clear: http://www.mercyseat.net...
"The major German gun control law (which was not replaced by the Nazis until 1938) was enacted ... in 1928." - "On November 9, 1938 and into the next morning, the Nazis unleashed a nationwide race riot. Mobs inspired by the government attacked Jews in their homes, looted Jewish businesses, and burned synagogues, with no interference from the police.  The riot became known as "Kristallnacht" ("night of broken glass").  On November 11, Hitler issued a decree forbidding Jews to possess firearms, knives, or truncheons under any circumstances, and to surrender them immediately."
The "Kristallnacht" was not due to gun control. Both parties, Nazis and Jews, had at that time equal access to weapons. The problem was that police did not intervene according to that law and stood by and watched. Gun control aimed at Jewish people was released AFTER that fateful night, making no difference at all, as the site continues:
"These Jews' passivity doubtless was the result of centuries of victimization in Russia." It was thus not the result of the gun control laws of 1928.
My opponent's sources:
"Research has found ... that higher rates of household firearms ownership are associated with higher rates of gun suicide, ... that firearms are used defensively many times per day, and that some types of targeted police interventions may effectively lower gun crime and violence. [...] The committee found that answers to some of the most pressing questions cannot be addressed with existing data and research methods, however well designed. For example, despite a large body of research, the committee found no credible evidence that the passage of right-to-carry laws decreases or increases violent crime" http://books.nap.edu...
I admit that guns ARE used in self-defense. The statistics say nothing about whether the use was adequate. It's all based on surveys of gun-owners. I checked repeatedly and came up with nothing.
I wish my opponent had supplied more (relevant) statistics to discuss. What he offered mostly refers to the reports of John R. Lott Jr., and the report I quoted right above is mostly in reply to those reports, and actually confirms my opponent's claim that THOSE are inconclusive. No doubt remains about the suicide numbers. As I presented above.
"Guns prevent a tyrannical government" is a false induction. Tyrannical governments have been established in a few countries where gun control was in effect. But tyranny can rise in countries without gun control laws. Iraq, most famously:
So, tyranny did not arise in the UK and Germany - which have gun control laws - but in Iraq - which hadn't.
"Common sense" makes no argument, it's the "Ad-populum" fallacy.
My opponent has failed his burden of proof.
Thanks all, take care!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Defro 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Cherry picking is a fallacy, but in a debate, it is completely acceptable. Con has shown the credibility of his sources by explaining that it comes from the official police. Pro did not provide sources to support his argument, and when he did, he conceded that they were not reliable, therefore conduct and sources go to con. Pro has not met his BOP, so arguments go to con. I'm also giving S&G to con because pro had poor writing. There were some sentences by pro that I had to read 3 times to understand his point.
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