The Instigator
Numquam
Con (against)
Winning
55 Points
The Contender
jjmd280
Pro (for)
Losing
24 Points

Guns ought to be banned for the purpose of decreasing violent crime.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+9
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 15 votes the winner is...
Numquam
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,823 times Debate No: 5780
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (15)

 

Numquam

Con

First, I wish who ever takes up this challenge good luck, and I hope that we have an interesting debate.

Second, notice this is not about gun control in general, but specifically about decreasing crime. I hope we will not drift into silly semantic arguments, but rather have an interesting debate on the resolution. I would discourage people who debate that way from accepting this topic.

Third, because the affirmative has the burden of proof, I will allow them to show reasons why the resolution is true, first. This also means that you negate if they have not proved the resolution true.

This should definitely be an interesting debate.
jjmd280

Pro

The facts speak for themselves -

In 1994 then Governor Weld OF Massachusetts signed a law that banned handgun possession for people under 21 in Boston. A year after Weld signed the law, Boston, riddled with youth murders in the early 1990s, began a 2 1/2-year spell without a gun murder of a child under 17.

In 2005, almost eight young people aged 19 and under were killed a day in gun homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings in the United States. Many more were wounded.

In 2005, 30,694 people in the United States died from firearm-related deaths – 12,352 were murdered; 17,002 killed themselves; 789 were accidents; 330 died by police intervention, and in 221, the intent was unknown. In comparison, 33,651 Americans were killed in the Korean War and 58,193 Americans were killed in the Vietnam War.

An additional 71,417 people were shot and survived their injuries -- 52,748 people injured in an attack; 3,190 people injured in a suicide attempt; 14,678 people shot accidentally, and 801 people shot in a police intervention.

In 2004, firearms were used to murder 56 people in Australia, 184 people in Canada, 73 people in England and Wales, 5 people in New Zealand, and 37 people in Sweden.9 In comparison, firearms were used to murder 11,344 in the United States.

In 2005, firearm homicide was the leading cause of death for black males ages 15-34.

And probably the most frightening fact of all - For every time a gun is used in a home in a legally-justifiable shooting [note that every self-defense is legally justifiable] there are 22 criminal, unintentional, and suicide-related shootings.

Just on the last statistic alone, how could anyone question that banning guns that are made to kill people - handguns, assault rifles, etc. isn't in our best interests? Guns make it EASIER to hurt another - it is an impersonal way to do the most personally violating act know to man. You do not have to feel a part of the victim's pain, much less look at them. If guns were banned, I believe the overall violence in this country would decrease measurably.

For those more fiscally minded - The average total cost of one gun crime can be as high as $1.79 million, including medical treatment and the prosecution and imprisonment of the shooter. ONE GUN.

Source - Brady Center
Debate Round No. 1
Numquam

Con

I apologize if this is a bit rushed, I don't have any time tomorrow or the next day, so I have to squeeze this whole argument out today.

I will begin by responding to my opponent's case.

First of all, several points that deal with the entire case. My opponent's case seems to prove one thing quite well, that guns kill people. I do not deny that guns kill people, rather I deny that banning guns will stop violent crime. More on that in my case proper. Second, my opponent claims that all of his sources were from the Brady center, however after looking through it, his first fact seems to be missing, though I didn't have a chance to check all of the rest of them. None of my opponent's facts compare a society with and without guns, and thus none are relevant with the topic. These statistics are inherently biased in that they compare the United State's society to other societies, with wildly different values and laws. They also only compare gun violence, not all violent crimes which is what the resolution is dealing with.

My Case:

1. Banning guns doesn't make it impossible for criminals to acquire them. Criminals, who have no regard for the law, are not going to be hindered by another set of laws, when they already plan to break laws. Instead of buying guns legally, all this resolution does is force them to buy them illegally. This has several impacts.

a) It increases the power of gangs. Whenever a product has been banned by the government, like Prohibition, or illegal drugs today, criminals have been able to gain power through selling it. The demand for guns will not go away, just like the demand for alcohol did not go away in the prohibition. And similarly to how Prohibition funded the rise of Al Capone's gang, a ban on guns will increase the power of gangs. With more ways to raise funds, gangs will become more rampant, and because of the greater amounts of guns in their hands, chances for guns being used illegally will rise.

b) Banning guns makes it harder to track criminals. Instead of having concrete evidence when a murder weapon is found, when guns come from the black market, there will be no trail to trace. No records at gun shops or evidence from serial numbers on the guns will not exist any more. This will not only hugely increase the amount of work investigators will need to do to solve crimes, but also make it impossible to solve many crimes.

c) When guns are banned law abiding citizens are unable to defend themselves from violent attack. This puts the advantage in the hands of the criminal. Think of it from the criminals point of view, would you mug innocent people if you knew there was a chance they had a gun and could kill you? John Lott explains from his book More guns, less crime, "The number of rapes in states without concealed gun arms laws would have declined by 4,200, aggravated assaults by 60,000, and robberies by 12,000" And its not just the legally justified shootings that matter, its the deterrent effect they provide. All of the murders which didn't happen.

2. Banning guns doesn't stop murders in crimes of passion. I have already shown that cold blooded killers will not be prevented from acquiring guns, by banning guns, but in crimes of passion the weapon doesn't matter. Banning guns will reduce the number of gun deaths in crimes of passion, but the number of deaths by other weapons will certainly increase. It is the consequences not the means that a murderer tries for, and banning one means will only result in other means being used.

Finally, I thank my opponent for taking up this debate, and providing some thought provoking evidence, and wish him good luck in his next round.
jjmd280

Pro

Thank You, Numquam-
Sorry about not being more timely, an unexpected something happened.

The source of my first point - neglected to cite - please excuse.
http://query.nytimes.com...

I deny that banning guns will stop violent crime, also. But that is not the argument. The statement reads, Guns ought to be banned for the purpose of DECREASING violent crime. The ease at which guns are acquired these days is phenomenal. If violent offenders are forced to use more personal means of attack they will think twice about it. Human psychology is complex, but seeing that gun violence in the United States is associated with the majority of homicides and over half the suicides, ( Bjerregaard, Beth, Alan J. Lizotte (1995). "Gun Ownership and Gang Membership), it really isn't that much of a stretch to assume that rates of violence WOULD go down.

Handgun homicides accounted for nearly all of the overall increase in the homicide rate, from 1985 to 1993, while homicide rates involving other weapons declined during that time frame. (http://www.nap.edu...)

Your points and my rebuttals -

Banning guns doesn't make it impossible for criminals to acquire them.
- True, but it would add another barrier to the acquisition , one more deterrent to crime. I wonder how many crimes are motivated BECAUSE the perpetrator has a gun?

It increases the power of gangs.
- True, but with the banning of guns would come the strengthening of law enforcement, one would hope. It is unrealistic to assume that banning guns wouldn't lead to an overhaul of police powers.
Banning guns makes it harder to track criminals.
Results from a 1991 Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) survey of some 2,280 handgun-using state prison inmates support Wright and Rossi's observation that the illicit firearms market exploited by criminals is heavily dominated by informal, off-the-record transactions, either with friends and family or with various street sources (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1993). The 1991 survey found that only 27 percent of the inmates who used a handgun in crime that led to their incarceration reported they obtained the handgun by purchase from a retail outlet. (http://www.nap.edu...)
A vast majority of gangs use illegally obtained weapons almost exclusively anyway, so this point is moot.

When guns are banned law abiding citizens are unable to defend themselves from violent attack.
Both Kellermann and Reay (1986) and Rushforth et al. (1974) compare fatalities caused by self-defense and other motivations. Both studies find that people using guns in self-defense account for a small fraction of fatalities in the home. Kellermann and Reay find that there were nearly 5 times as many homicides and 37 times as many suicides as perpetrators killed in self-defense. They go on to conclude, "The advisability of keeping a firearm in the home for protection must be questioned." Rushforth et al. (1974) found similar results and drew similar conclusions. (http://www.nap.edu...)

Banning guns doesn't stop murders in crimes of passion.
You argue that it would decrease COP related gun deaths - I see ANYTHING that keeps a firearm out of the hands of a person who isn't thinking correctly a good thing. If I can't have the ease of firearms to kill in passion, I sure would think about what I was doing more- and even if I don't and was determined to go through with it, it certainly would raise my victims chances of survival significantly.

Let's not forget the youth lost to guns -

* In 1999, 3,385 kids ages 0-19 years were killed with a gun. This includes homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries.
* This is equivalent to about 9 deaths per day, a figure commonly used by journalists.
* The 3,385 firearms-related deaths for age group 0-19 years breaks down to:
o 214 unintentional
o 1,078 suicides
o 1,990 homicides
o 83 for which the intent could not be determined
o 20 due to legal intervention
* Of the total firearms-related deaths:
o 73 were of children under five years old
o 416 were children 5-14 years old
o 2,896 were 15-19 years old
(Americans For Gun Safety)

In 1998-99 academic year, 3,523 students were expelled for bringing a firearm to school. This is a decrease from the 5,724 students expelled in 1996-97 for bringing a firearm to school. (U.S. Department of Education, October 2000)
American children are more at risk from firearms than the children of any other industrialized nation. In one year, firearms killed no children in Japan, 19 in Great Britain, 57 in Germany, 109 in France, 153 in Canada, and 5,285 in the United States. (Centers for Disease Control)

# Between 1994 and 1999, there were 220 school associated violent events resulting in 253 deaths - - 74.5% of these involved firearms. Handguns caused almost 60% of these deaths. (Journal of American Medical Association, December 2001)
# In 1998-99 academic year, 3,523 students were expelled for bringing a firearm to school. This is a decrease from the 5,724 students expelled in 1996-97 for bringing a firearm to school. (U.S. Department of Education, October 2000)
# Nearly 8% of adolescents in urban junior and senior high schools miss at least one day of school each month because they are afraid to attend. (National Mental Health & Education Center for Children & Families, National Association of School Psychologists 1998)
# The National School Boards Association estimates that more than 135,000 guns are brought into U.S. schools each day. (NSBA, 1993)

Very powerful stuff. Thanks again, Numquam, for your patience.
http://www.neahin.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Numquam

Con

I also apologize for not responding until the last minute, hopefully the next round will be a bit more punctual.

My opponent's entire argument is based on the premise that guns kill people. Again I do not deny this, but rather I argue that banning guns will not significantly prevent criminals from acquiring guns, and even if it does make guns harder to acquire, criminals will simply use other means to achieve their ends.

My opponent tries to get out of this by saying, "I deny that banning guns will stop violent crime, also. But that is not the argument. The statement reads, Guns ought to be banned for the purpose of DECREASING violent crime. The ease at which guns are acquired these days is phenomenal. If violent offenders are forced to use more personal means of attack they will think twice about it. Human psychology is complex, but seeing that gun violence in the United States is associated with the majority of homicides and over half the suicides, ( Bjerregaard, Beth, Alan J. Lizotte (1995). "Gun Ownership and Gang Membership), it really isn't that much of a stretch to assume that rates of violence WOULD go down."

First, my opponent tries to make a psychological claim, without a psychological warrant.
Second my opponent makes the assumption here that banning guns will make them significantly harder to get.

My opponent states:
"True, but it would add another barrier to the acquisition , one more deterrent to crime. I wonder how many crimes are motivated BECAUSE the perpetrator has a gun?"
Has the banning of marijuana in the United States made it significantly harder to get? My opponent again makes a psychological claim, that somehow having a gun destroys people's capacity to reason, or in some other way causes them to make crimes. In fact it is logical to conclude that the more guns there are in a society, the less likely a criminal would want to mess with a random, potentially armed, bystander.

My opponent then agrees with my next point! What sort of police overhauls are you proposing any how? Because my opponent doesn't explain this point at all, its irrelevant and the fact still stands: Banning guns will increase the power of gangs.

My opponent's next statistic is very important.

"Results from a 1991 Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) survey of some 2,280 handgun-using state prison inmates support Wright and Rossi's observation that the illicit firearms market exploited by criminals is heavily dominated by informal, off-the-record transactions, either with friends and family or with various street sources (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1993). The 1991 survey found that only 27 percent of the inmates who used a handgun in crime that led to their incarceration reported they obtained the handgun by purchase from a retail outlet. (http://www.nap.edu......)
A vast majority of gangs use illegally obtained weapons almost exclusively anyway, so this point is moot."
This statistic completely contradicts their case that banning guns some how makes it significantly harder for criminals to acquire guns.

"Both Kellermann and Reay (1986) and Rushforth et al. (1974) compare fatalities caused by self-defense and other motivations. Both studies find that people using guns in self-defense account for a small fraction of fatalities in the home. Kellermann and Reay find that there were nearly 5 times as many homicides and 37 times as many suicides as perpetrators killed in self-defense. They go on to conclude, "The advisability of keeping a firearm in the home for protection must be questioned." Rushforth et al. (1974) found similar results and drew similar conclusions. (http://www.nap.edu......)"

What my opponent fails to take into account is the uncountable number of homicides that DON'T happen, because a criminal is deterred by the fact that their victim could defend themselves.

My opponent's next batch of statistics suffer the same assumptions as the rest of their argument, that it is based on the premise that guns kill people. Again I do not deny this, but rather I argue that banning guns will not significantly prevent criminals from acquiring guns, and even if it does make guns harder to acquire, criminals will simply use other means to achieve their ends.

Also, remember I told you in my last speech that, none of my opponent's facts compare a society with and without guns, and thus none are relevant with the topic. These statistics are inherently biased in that they compare the United State's society to other societies, with wildly different values and laws. They also only compare gun violence, not all violent crimes which is what the resolution is dealing with.

I thank my opponent for the opportunity to have such an interesting and educational debate with them, and wish them good luck on their next round, and in future endeavors. I thank any voters for spending their time reading this debate, and hope they vote objectively. I would appreciate it if my opponent didn't bring up any new arguments that I cannot respond to. Good luck!
jjmd280

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for taking liberties with interpreting my statistics and statements. As I am alone in presenting ANY type of statistic supporting a position, I would like to take the opportunity to clarify my position. I believe banning guns would NOT end violent crime, but would decrease it, as the resolution stated. My opponent believes that violent crime would not change. He accuses me of dodging when stating this. I am not, as you can see from my previous statement.

The facts are plain – Violent crime was reduced when the Brady Bill went into effect. Kids today are more likely to commit a violent crime with a gun than if they were without. Waiting periods on gun purchase significantly reduce crimes of passion, due to the cooling off period. If they were banned, who knows what kind of crimes would be not committed?

I thank my opponent for a most enlightening debate, and I apologize for not being more timely.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
"There is no such thing as a collective right except as a sum of individual rights. 0 + 0 = 0. It is impossible for the Second Amendment to be true and the right to own a gun to be false at the same time."

Only if you misinterpret the amendment, RR.

The only U.S. Supreme Court ruling that actually focused on the Second Amendment, U.S. v. Miller (1939), found that there is no individual right to bear arms independent of national self-defense concerns. The Supreme Court has spoken only once, it has spoken in favor of the civilian militia interpretation, and it has not spoken since. If the Court has held a different view, it has certainly had ample opportunity to rule on the matter since then.

The Second Amendment makes no sense without the prospect of civilian militias, as it is clearly a propositional statement. If I were to say that I'm always hungry after dinner and so I eat dessert every night, and then one night I turned out not to be hungry after dinner, then it would be reasonable to assume that I might skip dessert that night.

If you really want to overthrow the government, bearing arms probably isn't enough in 2008. You'd need aircraft to take the skies, hundreds of tanks to defeat ground forces, and a full navy. The only way to reform a powerful government in this day and age is through nonviolent means. What the majority of Americans believe about the Second Amendment is unsurprising, because a majority of Americans have been misinformed about what the Second Amendment accomplishes and how federal courts have traditionally interpreted it.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"The 2nd Amendment doesn't give you the right to own a gun. Read it again."

"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."

There is no such thing as a collective right except as a sum of individual rights. 0 + 0 = 0. It is impossible for the Second Amendment to be true and the right to own a gun to be false at the same time.
Posted by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
The 2nd Amendment doesn't give you the right to own a gun. Read it again.
Posted by Leftymorgan 8 years ago
Leftymorgan
In viewing the votes, I would say someone got vote bombed. Can't be that many out there that are against the 2nd Amendment?
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 8 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
Sorry, that was actually addressed to Con. Excuse me.
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 8 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
Good arguments, Pro, but you didn't do a whole lot of citation. Citation points go to pro. Great conduct on both sides.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Conduct - TIE: Both courteous, no personal attacks.

Spelling and grammar - TIE: No major or many mistakes on both debaters

Convincing arguments - CON: PRO brought up many statistics, but failed to show to of CON's major points: that people kill people not guns, and that the statistics don't compare an society with guns and a society with guns.

Reliable Sources - PRO: He had all the sources cited in this debate.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"
Most people would say that both sides has equal burden of proof.
Most of the remaining people who say only one side has the burden of proof usually point at the instigator.

I have yet to meet a person that does not fit one of those two categories."

I had no idea you hadn't met me Rezz. Of course, I don't vote :D
Posted by Leftymorgan 8 years ago
Leftymorgan
My only comment here is Pro needs to use better sources than the Liberal NY times or any other newspaper. Not to take away from his argument, but just find better places in which to find and justify your facts. I am with Con on this and don't own a gun and don't wish to. But like Con said, the only people that would follow the bans are those that already follow the law. Crook will brake the law and that is why they are criminals to begin with.
Posted by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
So, is that the statement now - "Guns ought to be banned for the purpose of decreasing violent crime."?
15 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by SnoopyDaniels 8 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
Numquamjjmd280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:32 
Vote Placed by Grund 8 years ago
Grund
Numquamjjmd280Tied
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:07 
Vote Placed by kels1123 8 years ago
kels1123
Numquamjjmd280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:30 
Vote Placed by liberalconservative 8 years ago
liberalconservative
Numquamjjmd280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:42 
Vote Placed by slayer54321 8 years ago
slayer54321
Numquamjjmd280Tied
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 Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:42 
Vote Placed by Mr.Alex 8 years ago
Mr.Alex
Numquamjjmd280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:32 
Vote Placed by magpie 8 years ago
magpie
Numquamjjmd280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:30 
Vote Placed by Labrat228 8 years ago
Labrat228
Numquamjjmd280Tied
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 
Vote Placed by johnnyrockit 8 years ago
johnnyrockit
Numquamjjmd280Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:30 
Vote Placed by the_conservative 8 years ago
the_conservative
Numquamjjmd280Tied
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