Guns should be more heavily restricted in the US
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This is like my fourth debate on this topic, but only one was completed and in that debate my opponent didn't even try to refute my original argument. So unless you feel confident that you can defeat my arguments. Please do not accept.
I will be arguing that guns should be more heavily restricted in the United States. Let's have a good debate :)
First, I will contend that equality is the primary thing our goverment should be achieving. Using social contract theory, the natural state of man is one of anarchy where the strongest rules, but this is unmaintainable for many reasons, some of which are obvious. No one has any security and the strong rules over the weak. So, what we do is create social contracts which are rules we must follow lest we be punished for our actions. These rules are manifested as our government, the entity that creates and enforces laws. These laws are primarily to maintain equality and safety, so that no man rules over any other and people do not have to worry whether someone will kill or punish them for not following someone else's self serving orders.
With this in mind, I propose that the reason for restricting the sale of guns is to provide this greater ideal for the government, to maintain equality. Assuming that we have a good gun control plan that keeps guns out of the hands of most criminals, this provides a very strong barrier to violent crimes which is the breach of the contract that provides equality. Deterrence with our prisons is nice, but if we can do more, we are obligated to do it. Criminals have easy access to guns now, but if those guns are much harder to obtain for their suppliers, guns will eventually decrease and gun violence will decrease.
1. http://www.iep.utm.edu............, primarily the philosophy of John Locke
As a side note, this argument was posted so fast because used it before, three other times. I hope that my opponent can show me the errors in this argument so I can form a better one.
The most safe and successful civilizations were always the ones where the people had the right to own self defense weapons. Here are some examples: Ancient Rome, middle age England, 18th century France, and finally modern Iceland. I will briefly cover the first three because they are less relevant than newer sources; and then I will talk about Iceland.
With all of the first three countries owning a weapon was almost mandatory, not because times were more violent, but because people had more common sense. Also these weren't the only countries from their time frame, but just the ones that I chose. In none of these countries will you find a problem or even a need for self defense control. That is because the people were the crime control. For example, in England, if you were to rob someone, you faced everyone within earshot coming to chase you down. Because everyone had some form of self defence. This shows that It isn't the "guns" fault, but the person wielding it.
Now for Iceland; the reason I bring up Iceland is because it is a good example of what gun control should look like, namely none. In Iceland there are just over 300,000 people, 90,000 of which own guns. The affirmative would say that with so many access routes to guns for criminals the crime rate would be very high, however according to, there were an average of 3 murders per year, or a 1/100,000 intentional homicide rate. This is because criminals know that it is nearly 100% likely that someone in the area of the crime will have a gun.
I am only 17 and I am not allowed to carry a gun, but I carry two self defense knives. The feeling of security I get from them and the knowledge of the fact that if I am attacked, I can defend myself, is a huge reassurance.
Now I will address my opponent's case. In his first sentence he affirms the idea of equality, however when has equality ever worked? If you were to think about how equality works you would know that it lowers the playing field, the people who have more of whatever is being limited now have less freedom. Everyone is different, to try to equalize anything just doesn't work. For example with the new common core school system everyone has to do the exact same work, despite skill in the area. All this does is limit both the intelligence of the best students, and the possible knowledge learnable by the worst students. In the same way it isn't the government's job to be limiting who or how or what when it comes to guns. My opponent next talked about laws and how they help keep a situation under control. I agree with almost all of his statement except for one thing. Laws should punish once you have committed a crime, not limit your ability to commit a crime. Mainly because there is no way to keep criminals from having guns at the same time as allowing citizens to own them. If we limit the amount of ways a criminal can get guns, like my opponent suggests, you also limit the ways that law abiding people can obtain them. Also when have criminals ever followed the rules anyway? If we make laws to limit guns, the criminals will still break the law to get the guns to break the law again!
I hope that I have addressed the issue of guns and why it is better to keep them around, Thank you!
On the examples of countries with high gun ownership and low crime
First off, the first three examples with historical civilizations isn't very compelling. Guns aren't the same as old weapons, and he doesn't even back up his claims with any sources that show that what he is saying is accurate. In the next round, I would like evidence that shows that people owning weapons back then was "almost mandatory" and some good reasons why that is relevant.
In the Iceland argument, my opponent here seems to be jumping to conclusions as to what I defend. Hence this statement from my opponent:
"The affirmative would say that with so many access routes to guns for criminals the crime rate would be very high"
False. I understand that there are many causes of crime, and guns aren't one of them. According to my opponent's own source on Iceland, less than 2% of the population is "lower class" and drug use in the 15-64 yr old age group is less than 1% for cocaine, ecstacy, and amphetamines. It is obvious that Iceland is small and wealthy enough that crime isn't a big deal. This claim about self-defence and deterrence is unsubstantiated, as he provides no statistically significant information that links more guns with less crime. To sum up; I have admitted that guns do not cause crime and I have refuted my opponent's argument that the reverse is true.
Now, before I address my opponent's next argument, you may be wondering, "why should we restrict guns then, if they don't cause crime?" The answer to this question is simple. Criminals cannot commit crimes with guns without guns. Sure criminals can commit crimes without guns, but I am sure we can all agree that guns are the most dangerous and threatening weapon they can use. A knife can do damage, but commiting a homicide with a knife is much less likely. Almost than 70% of homicides in the US are committed with guns, even though blunt objects, fires, a cloth to strangle someone with, or knives are more common and don't even have to be bought. Why do guns beat them all combined? Guns are obviously much more effective. Homicide would go down without guns, because it would be much harder to commit a crime due to the fact guns are just so overpowering.
Con misunderstands what I mean by equality, something he would have understood if he had read my case more carefully. Equality in this context refers to equality of freedom, the abuse of power that makes others subservient, like slavery for example. I am arguing that inequality should end like how the inequality between the master and the slave ended. I am arguing that the most important things for our government to achieve is to end forced subservience and oppression. Guns create that oppression. I am certainly not arguing that the government should treat everyone exactly the same regardless of circumstance, which clearly has nothing to do with the social contract.
My opponent then argues that laws should act as punishment only, and says they should not be used to limit ability to commit a crime. His sole justification of which is:
"Mainly because there is no way to keep criminals from having guns at the same time as allowing citizens to own them. If we limit the amount of ways a criminal can get guns, like my opponent suggests, you also limit the ways that law abiding people can obtain them."
This nakedly assumes that limiting guns in the civilian population is a bad thing. I argued that safety and equality are the most important things our government should be accomplishing, the reason why it exists. If the citizens want guns but it stands in the way of this value, then it should be disregarded. The citizens wanted slaves too.
On criminals breaking laws to obtain guns
Criminals will clearly do this. They do it already. However, I am proposing gun laws that restrict hard enough that even illegal sources dry up. This can be done because guns can be detected with metal detectors, so are much more difficult to import. Secondly, they require factories to make on large inexpensive scale and you can be sure authorities will notice that. I am not claiming criminals will have no way to get guns under any policy, but I am claiming they we can make them reasonably unobtainable for the ordinary criminal.
My opponent's first section related to the Idea that, "There are many causes of crime, and guns aren't one of them." But then went on to say that, "Criminals cannot commit crimes with guns without guns." And it seems to me that my opponent is debating the wrong issue in his own viewpoint. If guns are a small portion of the crime, with others mentioned like drugs being the real problem, then why would limiting guns even help? I am not saying that I believe that there are no gun crimes, I am simply stating what my opponent said. He took no definitive standpoint on the issue, but continued to flip flop between guns not being an issue and guns being an issue.
Now to defend my own arguments. In debate if an argument is common knowledge it doesn't need a source,"he doesn't even back up his claims with any sources." This statement isn't relevant because this is a common knowledge issue. But because he has asked me for sources I will use some. According to this source it was common to own a knife or axe in some countries(not mentioned which) but that in Germany that pretty much everyone carried some type of self defense. Also with my example in France, all nobles and some non-nobles carried swords, in addition to pistols or knives. As a defense against robbery or murder. But my opponent has missed the point of it being used for self defense, which he did throughout his case. In every country with low restrictions on self defense there is lower crime, that was the point, that is the reason that the three first examples are relevant.
My opponent next brought up the issue of equality, and how I misunderstood how he used it. First of all though, my opponent gives no examples of gun oppression, and I cannot think of any examples myself. I don't believe that guns create oppression. People create oppression with guns, and even without them they will still create just as much oppression. Now I did not misunderstand what my opponent said about equality, I simply gave an example of a similar situation. But what I did state that my opponent missed was that the people who own guns will lose their freedom once the laws are in place, just like the top students no longer have as much potential.
Next he said something that is completely false. Safety and equality aren't the most important things our government should be spending it's time on, and equality is only the reason it exists in a socialist government. A government exists for many purposes, but it is not the job of the government to limit guns under the pretext of safety. Finally I would like to address the statement,"The citizens wanted slaves too." This is a red herring, which means that it is totally irrelevant to this discussion.
I will address my own case. There is no reason to believe that limiting guns is a good thing especially when it comes to the civilian population, this is one of the primary reasons that I brought up the examples of the ancient and modern countries. The whole point of self defence is that everyone has it, not just some of them. And as a final note, just because you own a gun doesn't mean that you are, or have anything to do with slavery; something which my opponent brought up several times.
To restrict guns so hard as to limit the amount of guns in illegal trade would be so harsh as to keep all citizens from owning them. Citizens of the US have the right to own guns under the 2nd amendment. There is no way to get around the fact, limiting guns is unconstitutional. Also if only the "non-normal" criminals were to have guns it wouldn't change anything, because they are the ones that commit mass murders anyway. AND if only they were to have guns, those criminals would form areas of influence not unlike the oppression my opponent is trying to avoid.
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