Other than the exceptions outlined below, arms should not be regulated
What I mean by regulated arms: preventing the use of or purchasing of arms
Cases where I personally believe arms use should be regulated:
1. There should be an age minimum for purchasing and using guns. Children are not capable of using guns wisely, while I would need to think about what the age minimum would be, this should not be what the debate is about anyways. I consider it besides the point for now.
2. A third party psychiatrist, psychologist, or other position which has authority to diagnose mental illnesses diagnoses a person as mentally handicapped and with a mentality of a child. If this happens, then that person should not be allowed arms usage either. I specifically said "third party" as in one that is not paid for by the state, as one paid for by the state may have a conflict of interest and diagnose anyone the state wants to take guns away from as mentally handicapped.
3. No prisoner should have access to arms while in prison.
I can't think of other cases to justify gun control and hopefully I won't think of more mid-debate. If my opponent comes up with an instance I agree with, I'll just concede.
I accept and will argue against the resolution on the premise of lives.
To begin my argument for why guns should be regulated very minimally, I will present two quotes:
"All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party."
R32;- Mao Tze Tung, Nov 6, 1938
"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let"s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country." -Adolf Hitler at a dinner talk on April 11, 1942
What these two quotes show, is that tyranny most easily comes to power when arms are taken away from the people. By only allowing the state to possess arms, it means that they now have all of the power and the people are powerless. What can people do against such a government if they disagree with it?
Liberty can only be defended by arms. When some people are allowed arms and others are not, that puts one group above another in power essentially, for what can the people who are unarmed do against those who are armed?
In addition, if the general populace is not allowed to have guns, but some people illegally obtain them and then go shoot at a group of people, that group of people has no means to defend themselves. So not only do guns protect us from the government, but also criminals. The police can only investigate a crime after it has occurred, they can't prevent them from happening, so they can't prevent you from dying from a criminal's gun, but your own gun can.
I believe that the reasons listed in round 1 for regulating guns makes sense. It should be self-evident that a child should not have access to guns, as they are inexperienced and may not know how guns work and can easily hurt themselves or someone else. A child can't understand the reasons why someone would need a gun either, such as a need to overthrow a corrupt government or system. The same logic applies to someone who has mental handicap that makes their mind equivalent to a child's mind. Prisoners should not have access to guns because then they can potentially come out of prison or kill people in prison as well.
So, other than those reasons, I believe there is no reason whatsoever to regulate guns for the honest law-abiding citizen, and I would even argue that for criminals arms should not be taken away either, since they should still have a right to potentially overthrow a tyrannical government and defend themselves against other criminals. However, if they are a murderer, they would most likely be imprisoned for life anyways so wouldn't be able to use a gun anymore to harm anyone anyways.
I offer the observation that my opponent, while trying to specify what regulations should apply, is still arguing for getting rid of some regulation in the status quo. He defines regulation as “preventing the use or purchase of arms” with some specific regulations that are left over and would continue working. However, realize that existing gun laws would be struck down.
We need to view today’s debate through the understanding that lives come first. This is the foremost principle of the US government, and any just democracy for that matter, which needs to be protected. This idea was planted in the heads of the founding fathers to the point that the preamble of the constitution states the following:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (9)
The founding fathers wanted the people to be protected and made sure to include the idea that the general welfare, aka the people of the US, is the entire reason that the constitution was made to begin with. This is exactly what government’s main function is. In fact, looking at the Social Contract Theory proves this. The theory suggests that people have a contract with their government where certain rights are given up, for example being tethered by laws and paying taxes, for protection and for their welfare to be respected (10). This was clearly important as John Locke’s specific Social Contract Theory was a huge inspiration for how our government works today. Thus, weigh every single impact to that metric.
C1: Straw gun purchases
First, we need to realize how this resolution prevents any progress forward to prevent gun crime. First though, we need to understand exactly what a straw gun purchase is in relation to firearms. Dan Noyes of PBS News explains that straw gun purchases are instances where an individual who is unable to purchase a gun by law uses a companion who purchases the gun, usually in a suggestive manner in the actual gun store by pointing or gesturing toward a preferred weapon, and gives it to the person who could not buy it on their own (1). While this behavior seems only minor and not important to begin with, by looking closer we can see the disastrous effects that these straw gun purchases have on the crime rate. In fact, well-informed individuals may already know a case where this tactic has been abused to commit a crime. The San-Bernardino shooters used this tactic to kill over a dozen people in a tragic shooting. Olivia Li of The Trace reports that one of the gunmen, Syed Rizwan Farook, asked his friend Enrique Marquez to buy 2 AR-15 rifles that were used in the shooting. This was not even used because he couldn’t pass a background check, as he already owned two pistols that he purchased legally. He just did not want these weapons traced back to him (2). However, we can see more evidence pointing toward the large impact that straw gun purchases have not just on homicides, but on the entirety of black market guns. Everytown in April of 2008 shows that 47% of gun trafficking cases involved a straw gun purchase, representing the largest source of how guns are trafficked. Not only this, but nearly all the crime guns trace back to a select few legal gun dealers, with 1% of these licensed dealers accounting for 57% of these traces (3).
These dealers and those who buy these guns are technically breaking the law as interpreted by the Supreme Court. The SCOTUS Blog retells the Supreme Court Case of Abramski v. The United States where in November of 2009 a police officer by the name of Bruce Abramski purchased a Glock 19 pistol for his uncle in Pennsylvania for saving some money on the gun. However, a year later he was indicted for lying on his background track by indicating that he was the buyer of the gun. He challenged this ruling which made it all the way up to the Supreme Court where, in a 5-4 decision they determined this practice to be a straw purchase and illegal (4). This widened the interpretation for what a straw purchase is. Unfortunately, this did not respond in more jurisdictions taking straw gun purchases more seriously. Hansi Lo Wang of NPR in December of 2015 explains that while the penalties for straw gun purchases at a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, many gun experts, including Daniel Webster, head of the John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research and retired Assistant Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, say that the reason many don’t get convicted is because prosecutors have to show a direct link between the straw purchaser and the person who received the gun through the other person as a proxy, which is hard (5). Because of this, many criminals will never face penalty and will put someone’s life at risk because of their negligent actions. The black market is prospering and criminals now have a steady supply of weapons. However, with federal action to scrutinize gun shops across America that are shown to sell to straw purchasers, we can stop this cycle of madness. Remember, most trafficked guns, including crime guns and straw gun purchased guns, are attributed to 1% of licensed dealers. This would mean that increased scrutiny for who can sell and increased regulations by scrutinizing straw-gun purchases will be the best possible solution to the problem at hand. But this resolution makes sure that any restriction on use of firearms would have to be stopped. This would include the laws governing straw gun purchases and future attempts at stopping the problem of straw gun purchases. Since we value the people in this debate, we have an obligation to negate to address the large bulk of murders in the status quo and to protect the general welfare of the people. Not only this, we can’t remove current laws that address this issue as it indirectly will lead to an increase in the crime rate.
C2: Black market sales
Due to the vague definition of regulate in this resolution, we would do more than abolish legal statutes to curtail gun crime. More specifically, we will be limiting any access that police should have to prevent black market sales. Remember the definition for regulate is to “prevent the use or sale of firearms.” The definition of firearms would be “any weapon that could be used by the military.” This is problematic as it does not specify that police and federal agencies could still prevent black market operations, as it would technically still prevent the use and sale of said weapon on the black market. This problem becomes even worse when you realize that theoretically, you would be able to own any weapon that the military has access to. Any regular person could acquire a tank legally from the black market with no repercussion.
This is exactly what the US government has been trying to stymie for the past decade. For this, turn toward the Council on Foreign Relations in July of 2013 where it describes the Merida Initiative which tried to form a legal framework for shared responsibility to stop the illegal trafficking of ammo and guns into Mexico. However, due to lax gun laws, (see my previous contention,) there are huge opportunities for illegal drug cartels and other such criminals in Mexico to receive these weapons. Not only this, but the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) used software to trace back illegal weapons that were confiscated by law enforcement in other countries and the results were shocking. Over 70% of guns recovered by law enforcement came from the US in 2007. In the Caribbean, 90% of crime guns recovered were traced back to the US, and in Jamaica over 80% came from the US. This lead to Central America’s gun crime rate being 30% higher than the average rate in 2010 and cost Central America nearly 8% of its GDP due to health, law enforcement, and security costs (6). Realize that we now have no way to stop the fueling of other criminal powers in other countries and these impacts will get worse with even more lax regulations on what type of weapon is available to the public, that being all weapons that the military can own. This will lead to more dangerous weapons getting into the hands of criminals, worsening the effects on Central America even more as more and more spending is driven toward health, security etc.
However, we also need to look at the effect on domestic government. The FBI has been cracking down on illegal gun trade for a while with moderate success. If we look toward data from the FBI, we can see that they have targeted over 400 “onion” sites from the notorious deep web as of November 2014, (7). In case you are unaware, the deep web is a hidden part of the internet that can only be accessed using specific software that doubles as also a cesspool for illegal sales of guns, drugs, and even child pornography. We can look at one of these websites known as the Silk Road, a large store for drugs and weapons. The FBI recently put an end to this website, but not before it racked up millions of dollars. Specifically, Donna Leinwand Leger of USA Today in May of 2014 reports that $1.2 billion in illegal sales occurred from millions of customers (8). This will not be stopped, and will instead increase in the status quo as we prevent any agency from stopping the use or sale of any weapons.
In most cases, the person who can't get a gun in today's society would be able to in what I am arguing for. This straw gun argument would be pointless since people would be allowed to have guns in more instances than now. For example, in California there is a law that makes it that those who have attempted suicide cannot possess a gun for at least 5 years after that suicide attempt. I know this because I had attempted suicide at one point and had my gun rights stripped away because of that. I don't think this is an instance where guns should be regulated at all, so if someone were to say, buy a gun for me since I can't legally acquire one in my state at this time, it wouldn't matter since under what I propose, it wouldn't be illegal for someone who has attempted suicide to get a gun. The right to protect oneself from an unjust government should always be upheld, and I consider that more important than if someone decides to kill themselves with a gun. For one, it's the person's choice to kill themselves. It's not physically harming anyone else. While, yes, it can be tragic because perhaps someone could have prevented a death, but I don't think that's the job of the government to do. That's the job of the people that person lives with or the people who care about that person to ensure that they cannot kill themselves.
Anyways, I got a little off-topic there, but I found it necessary to bring up an example of a case where I don't see any problem with straw gun purchases. The only case where it would be a problem to me is in the aforementioned cases: if someone were to purchase a gun for a child, someone who is mentally handicapped to the point of having a child's mind, or a prisoner. All of that would already be illegal since I mentioned before it would be illegal for such people to have a gun. As soon as they are in possession of such a gun, then they have committed a crime. There's no need for further legislation or regulation on the matter.
Rebuttals on black market sales:
Well, there would be no black market since there would be no way to sell a gun illegally to someone unless you're doing it where it falls under the aforementioned instances where I agree it should be regulated, so to a child, child-like adult, or prisoner. Black markets arise when something is illegal, if it's legal, there's no black market and it's just a regular market. I don't feel like a black market would arise to sell kids and prisoners guns since I think almost everyone agrees that kids should not have guns and that it's a stupid idea to sell them to them. I mean, maybe there will be a few crazy people out there who think otherwise, but it will probably be so small it would hardly be a problem. Plus, most kids don't have the money to purchase guns anyways, and prisoners don't have access to money to purchase a gun, so there would be no point of a black market for guns under the situations I provided.
Also, I'd like to point out that it's already legal for people to own tanks in America at least and I know of no law or regulation banning them in any way. I don't think this should be regulated either, for if it is, it gives the government a huge advantage over the people. The fact that the US government has tanks, missiles, super sonic jets, etc at its disposal gives it an unfair advantage if the need ever arises that we need to rebel from the government.
I will start with refuting my opponent’s case and then defend mine.
R1: Defense against others
My opponent’s first argument is based on 2 assumptions.
Both assumptions are wrong.
A. Self defense
Gun owners are not likely to use guns in self-defense. Deborah Azrael and Matthew Miller from Harvard University and Northeastern University respectively both published a survey on January of 2001 and found that the purported “self-defense uses” that owners reported were illegal and dangerous to the public. There were 2 surveys that were analyzed in the study and there was a total of 43 self-defense incidents reported from everyday people that used guns. Not only was it found that claims of gun victimization outweighed claims of self-defense use 3-1, but the cases of self-defense were sent to 5 criminal court judges to measure the legality of the self-defense cases, excluding the ones that did not include the actual use of the gun or ones that did not have recent information leaving 35. 51% of the cases were deemed “most likely illegal” and included cases of escalating arguments leading to conflict, and unjustified discharging of a gun (1). This leads us to the conclusion that most guns are used to victimize people, not defend oneself. The most likely impact of increasing gun ownership is an increase in gun victimization and people who violate the law to “defend” oneself. Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post in June of 2015 examines FBI data on gun deaths from 2012 and found that for every justifiable gun homicide in 2012, there were 34 gun homicides, 78 gun suicides, and 2 accidental shootings (4). Thus, flow this argument to the negation.
B. Adequate protection
Gun owners are not protected against any threat on their life. Joseph Vince, Timothy Wolfe, and Layton Field of St. Mary’s University recruited 77 individuals of differing levels of firearm experience to see exactly how average gun buyers fare when put in situations where self-defense by firearm is appropriate using a police department simulation of potential scenarios. Not only were the people with no skill in firearms less likely to take cover, but they also took less shots to neutralize the threat. Even then, only 57% of those labeled as advanced gun users took cover (2). Thus, even if someone were to use a gun for self-defense, it is incredibly unlikely that they would be able to neutralize the situation at hand without being killed themselves, or causing undue harm. As reported by Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post in July of 2015, most states don’t require gun owners to be licensed, much less trained. While states like Arizona prohibited localities from imposing their own training requirements (3). This means that the general gun-owning populous will not be able to respond to threats at all, meaning that my opponent’s point is null. In all likeliness, more guns for people who are put into a situation that justifies the use of said gun without increasing training, which would prevent someone from using a weapon until they mastered it, is a violation of the amendment.
My opponent makes a bare-assertion fallacy claiming that guns are the only protection from any regime. The entire point of representatives and politicians is to protect the people from oppressors and promote security through the social contract. If you don’t like your representative, you can run for office or elect someone else. These are both ways to protect against oppressive individuals from leading a country. Regardless, violence against regimes fragments the country and usually begets more violence. The only thing you need to know to understand this is the Civil War in the US. Not only was it one of the bloodiest war that was ever fought, but the country was subject to a crippled economy and workforce and more divisions in the country than ever. Simply put, violent revolts are rarely the answer, and not even needed for the most part, especially in the US where we can elect those who lead us.
D1: Straw purchases
My opponent states that there would be no need for straw purchasing since all people would be able to own any weapon. This is far from the truth. Henry Blodget of the Business Insider in December of 2012 shows that there are 51,438 gun retailers in the US, not including pawn shops that sell firearms and collector shops, making up over 100,000 dealers in the US (5). These stores would not be shut down. In fact, there will be an increase of dealers in the US. Yet, remember the entire point that straw gun purchasers use this tactic to begin with is not because they can’t pass a background check, or are unable to purchase a weapon under a given statute. Usually, people break this rule to not be tracked. Remember, I gave an example about the San-Bernardino shooter who used this method to not have the weapon traced back to him (6). He wanted to get away without being jailed or detained. However, this does not change with the passage of this resolution. Criminals who intend to use the weapons still would not want to be tracked, which will still happen since the resolution defines regulation as preventing the use of or sale of weapons but not tracking those who buy a weapon. Thus, there is still incentive for buying weapons through straw purchases. My opponent moves on to justify certain circumstances in which he considers straw purchases “ok.” Even if I were to concede that in certain circumstances I would feel sympathy for straw purchasers, the fact that most of these guns are then used in crime far outweighs my opponent’s point. My Everytown research card shows that 47% of gun trafficking cases involved a straw purchase (7). However, if you want to look toward another impact besides trafficking illegal weapons, then the Kevin Williamson of the National Review in October of 2016 can supply you with one. He explains that the real problem with straw purchasing is that instead of going after the straw purchasers who have clean criminal records and are hard to prosecute, the police usually go after the actual recipient of the straw purchase, incentivizing straw purchasing and allowing gangs to have guns that are supplied through others (8). In summation, straw-gun purchases will still occur due to criminals still not being tracked, leading to an increase of gun supply for street gangs and criminals.
D2: Black market
My opponent claims that there would be no black market for guns since all sales would be legal. This is exactly what my point was to begin with, though. Not only are weapons going to be able to freely move into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and other counties to be used for crime, but there would be no action possible to protect the gun market in the US. The Council of Foreign Relations in July of 2013 released a report that hallmarked the failures of the US to protect guns from flowing into their borders, resulting in 70% of guns used to commit crimes in Mexico, 90% of crime guns in the Caribbean, and over 80% in Jamaica being traced back to the US. This large influx of guns into Central America cut the GDP of the country by 8% in security, law enforcement, and health spending (9). This impact occurs at a greater rate since there the gun laws dissipate, facilitating more gun purchases from Latin American countries. My opponent makes this effect worse with his advocacy, meaning you must negate.
Secondly, realize that the US has a problem domestically with the black market. I show how over 400 addresses on the deep web were funneling illegal weapons into the public, which is a net harm to everyone in the US and, thankfully, was stopped by the FBI (10). The problem with these sites were not that they were just selling firearms, but the fact that not only are the users anonymous on the Deep Web, but also the weapons themselves. Sam Biddle of Gizmodo in July of 2012, by using software available to anyone with internet access and a computer, found The Armory. This is a large Deep Web site that sold weapons that were illegal, shipped in discrete packaging to anyone who is willing to put up bitcoins for weapon in question. That’s not where the story ends, though. Sam Biddle sent a private message to a few of the users on the site to find weapons to, “arm a 20-person paramilitary group to overthrow a West African Nation…” The scary part was that people complied and offered everything from assault rifles, to drones and other forms of warfare (11). Remember, this would all be available to someone legally without any requirement on his/her part to even have their name shared. This impact allows users to buy large swaths of weapons with little to no accountability, fueling violence at home. So, regardless of whethe a tank is illegal to own, realize that responsible ownership of weapons will be nonexistent after this resolution is passed with channels of anonymous trade opening. Thus, negate.
This debate has boiled down to impacts. My opponent’s arguments, and thusly, impacts don’t stand. However, I have shown that lives will be saved by negating the resolution, warranting a negative ballot.
A. Self Defense
Just because arms have not likely been used for self defense, doesn't mean that the gun itself cannot be used for self-defense. This doesn't really negate my point. They can still be used for self-defense and it's an important reason why guns should not be regulated to the degree that they are. In addition, there is an example of a case that study offered that is clearly not an example of self-defense: "A 62 year old male said that at 6 pm "the police called. My alarm at my business went oV so I went there to shut it oV. Two men were outside my building, so from my car I shot at the ground near them". The respondent said the men were trespassing". You're claiming these are self-defense cases, but this isn't even one. There was no threat to the person in this instance, so it could be that many of the examples offered in the survey are not even self-defense cases. I would also like to point out from this survey that "on the 1999 survey, 131 respondents
reported a hostile gun uses against them" which is more than the number of people reported having used a gun for self-defense. If anything, this would be an argument for why we need guns. In these instances where someone had a hostile gun use against them, they could have defended themselves with a gun.
B. Adequate Protection
This problem is easily fixed by having a class in school teaching self-defense and use of firearms. I'd say schools should be teaching this kind of thing. If such a class existed, then this point my opponent made would not be true at all. You must remember: there are other solutions to these gun-related issues you're bringing up besides regulating the guns themselves.
I think you are putting too much faith into the election process. Politicians are easily bought, and it's not the people who have the most influence over government anymore. In a study on American politics conducted by Princeton, it is mentioned that there are four theories in which to characterize American politics: "Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination ,and two types of interest-group pluralism"Majoritarian Pluralism, in which the interests of all citizens are more or less equally represented, and Biased Pluralism, in which corporations, business associations, and professional groups predominate." This study found that the average citizen has minuscule effect on the government's policies, and that Economic elites and interest groups are the ones with the most influence in American politics, which is evidence for Economic-elite Domination and Biased Pluralism . Simply electing a new leader is completely pointless since economic elites will soon contribute money to that leader, who will then do the interests of the elites rather than of the people who voted for them. Even if they are an honest individual, it is very difficult to ignore the desires of the elites when they are the ones who gave you lots and lots of money. In addition, gerrymandering greatly reduces the effects the people have on their government, and it should be noted that only 40% of people even approve of the job their own representative does and the trend is that this number if going down. If people had control over the government, and could simply elect a representative they truly like, they would have done so by now. As it stands, majority don't even approve of the job of their own representative. Gerrymandering, political contributions, a lack of term limits, the inherent two party system we have etc all prevent the people from putting in a representative they actually want. So, I believe I have sufficiently disproved that you can simply vote for a new representative and that this would be a viable alternative to making sure government is not corrupt, since who we vote for almost doesn't even matter. I'm sure I also don't need to point out how unpopular the two most recent candidates for president were. Majority disapproved of both. Simply voting for someone else doesn't cut it. What is often the case in the two party system we have, we have to choose between the lesser of two evils, because it isn't viable to vote for a third party candidate.
Now, I suppose there are a few other solutions to this other than a violent revolution: we can pass amendments to the constitution preventing or heavily limiting political contributions from corporations and elites, an amendment to change our voting system to a ranked preference voting system(this would greatly improve the chances of third parties), a term limits amendment, and an amendment that makes gerrymandering illegal. However, you have to keep in mind: you have to convince 2/3 of the state legislatures to do all of this, and since it would be to their advantage to keep the system as it is, it's not likely all of these things would pass. In addition, even if we did get them all to pass, it doesn't prevent the possibility of a dictator rising. Someone could completely lie to get to the office of president, congress could give up it's powers in a state of emergency to that president, and an amendment could be passed to give that president extra power. While this is not likely, it's still a possibility, and in such an instance, an armed populace is absolutely necessary.
In addition, should someone who we elected decides to abuse power and congress were to give them absolute control over laws and is essentially now a dictator, what can an unarmed people do against that? We can't just vote that person out: they're a dictator now.
Under what I suggest, people with guns wouldn't be tracked to begin with. There would be no registering a gun or anything of the sort. Again, there would be no need for straw purchases if there is no reason to do it. You say people do it most to avoid being tracked: well, under what I propose, people who simply buy a gun themselves won't be tracked at all.
A lot of what my opponent here argues is based on how if guns were not regulated, then there would be more crime. However, there are many other ways to end crime than through regulation of weapons. Getting rid of one tool to commit crime simply doesn't cut it, since people will come up with another way to commit the crime. One needs to end the reasons someone commits crime. Poverty is a big motivator for someone to commit a crime. If we focus on ending poverty, crime rates will go down. As someone who is anti-capitalist, and a libertarian socialist, I would suggest the best way to end crime is to make companies worker-controlled, and give self-autonomy to the workers. Doing so will mean each worker will be paid more since there will be no business owner at the top taking a part of the profits, and the money the business owner would take, would be split among the workers. These types of companies are known as cooperatives, and they do and have existed. You can look at my other debate on cooperatives for more information  My opponent seems to be blaming the gun for the crime, rather than the people themselves. You must remember, if someone wants to commit a crime, they will find a way to do it, regardless if guns are regulated, legal, or illegal. As for the fact that guns would be used for crime in other countries, that is not our problem. It's ultimately the fault of that other country for not handling its crime well. We can offer to help them implement policies that would reduce crime, such as combating poverty and other things, but if they refuse, then that's all we can and should do. If they have crime that spills into our nation, then we can demand that nation does something about it or else we cut relations off with them, or, if it gets too bad, we could even send in our own military to take care of the problem.
R1: Self defense
My opponent has completely missed the point of my argument here. I have proven that using a gun in self-defense is something that rarely happens. My data proves this by offering a study from the Harvard Injury Center that shows people claiming they were using a weapon in self-defense and instead committing a crime. This is brought up by my opponent, but he does not understand the full extent of my data. I also brought up that 5 criminal court judges measured the legality of these claims of self-defense and found that over 50% of them were illegal (1). The legality of these claims of self-defense shows that people are blind as to what qualifies as self-defense. I furthered this point, which remains unrefuted as of now, by showing the fact that for every justifiable use of a firearm in self-defense, there are 34 gun homicides (2). My opponent’s impact of a better armed public is reversed as people will instead use these weapons to kill others and justify crimes with “self-defense” even if it illegal.
Next, my opponent brings up gun courses in schools to guarantee that people can use weapons effectively and protect themselves. This point is null since not only do these programs exist, but they are completely ineffective at teaching gun safety or use. Case in point, Eddie Eagle, the most widely used gun education program, is shown to be useless in real life situations. The American Academy of Pediatrics conducted a study that does provide evidence that students of these programs would perform well during a supervised roleplay, but, in real life situations they performed as If they had not participated in gun safety training whatsoever (3). Any program teaching children to fire at criminals or protect themselves would be ineffective as well since the definition of regulate means that children will not be able to use said weapon in training. Thus, my point still stands.
My opponent has proved my point indirectly. Specifically speaking, the 2016 election proves that the everyday constituent does have a voice that is significant. Not only were both Bernie Sanders and now president elect Trump both against the political system and wanted to “drain the swamp of Washington,” but, one of them won while another came close to the primaries. This shows that everyday people will be able to influence the government no matter how much of a corrupt, bureaucratic system is in place. My opponent peddles the idea of economic elites buying presidents and their policy, but this system existed since the beginning of lobbying and there was still significant change occurring from that time forward. Also, my opponent has not yet justified an armed insurrection of the government at this point, or why guns are the best solution to the problem of a corrupt government. My opponent even concedes that there are other ways to protect liberty besides guns that are peaceful and result in less losses of life, following my framework of lives mattering over anything else that has yet to be refuted. Even if it is “unlikely” that this were to past, realize that over 20 amendments were passed thus far and many people support this. In fact, the National Review in September of 2015 shows that a recent a 2013 Gallup poll finds 75% of Americans are in support of term limits. The kicker is that there were not party lines that support was divided by, it was bipartisan (4). Not only this, but the Princeton study my opponent has offered refutes itself by claiming that:
“It turns out, in fact, that the preferences of average citizens are positively and fairly highly correlated, across issues, with the preferences of economic elites (refer to table 2). Rather often, average citizens and affluent citizens (our proxy for economic elites) want the same things from government…” (5)
There is no quantifiable proof to show that business elites’ positions are any different than that of the people and is thus immeasurable. If people differed in opinion to those elites, then there would be a cut and dry case of corruption. However, it is not possible to determine if a president or congress member always votes a certain way to satisfy the people or business elites.
R3: Straw purchases
Yet again, my opponent misinterprets the resolution. Under the resolution, the tracking of weapons will not stop. Tracking does not prohibit people from buying or using a gun by itself, it is only when something in one’s criminal history prevents him/her from buying said weapon. In fact, it would be necessary to prove that someone was not a child or an escaped prisoner who are both barred from buying guns under the excluded cases my opponent brings up in round 1 of this debate. There would be no other way to determine if the people buying weapons are the demographics that my opponent excludes from purchasing weapons. Also, my opponent is not arguing the resolution, and has thus changed his advocacy to the post-fiat world. My opponent cannot determine his proposed change will ever happen since we are only debating deregulation of guns, not the tracking of weapons. Since my opponent shows through his contention on liberty that the government is full of elitism that prevents action through his Princeton study, there is little likeliness that his plan will come to fruition (5).
R4: Black market
My opponent links poverty to gun crime with no statistics whatsoever and then claims that ending poverty will end gun violence. I have 2 responses.
A. Post-fiat world
My opponent is basing this argument on possible future action. However, this is not guaranteed in Central America at all. In fact, since a lot of the governments in Central America are not on the best terms with the US due to past imperialism within the region, there is no guarantee that this could be influenced at all by the US. This was brought about due to fears of communism within Latin America creating a domino effect, toppling other democracies and replacing them with communism. As reported by Daryl Worthington of New Historian in April of 2015, we have since tried to overthrow the Cuban government and sanctioned it, helped a coup in Chile, and even illegally helped a military coup in Nicaragua in the Iran-Contra scandal (6). This type of meddling in the past made it so that that the Central American people distrust any US initiative in the region. In fact, Justin Lance of Ohio State University in October of 2007 lists the reasons that anti-Americanism is popular in Central America with 5 bullet points:
1) The failure of neoliberal economic reform to benefit large sectors of these societies and worsening economic inequality
2) Weak, corrupt political institutions
3) U.S. immigration policy, especially toward Mexico and Central America
4) U.S.-led intervention of Iraq in 2003
5) The continuing hegemonic position of the United States in relation to the region culturally, economically, and politically
These points are the reasons that poor people in Central America support dictators who want to control the state through communism or dictatorship (7). These are dictators who are unlikely to put the people first and look toward cooperatives. Increasing presence of our military in Central America will only make the governments even more resistant to change and hate us more.
B. Reducing poverty
My opponent has not provided any evidence to explain exactly how and why these cooperatives will decrease poverty significantly. In fact, this was tried in foreign markets before and saw poor results. Puja Mondal of Your Article Library shows that lack of support and funding led to its failure (7). This factor would be even greater in Central America with its history of resisting the US and its policies. Thus, there would be no significant decrease of poverty with this plan. The fact of the matter is that cooperation is needed to decrease poverty in Central America, not imperialism. Even in the US, these are not foolproof companies. Even if there is a moderate effect on poverty, there is still a flaw in my opponent’s logic. Robert Muggah of Americas Quarterly in October of 2015 reports that despite economic growth being at its highest while poverty reaches the lowest it has been for years; violent crime has climbed from the 60s and 70s when the economic condition was even worse (8). Thus, even if there are some changes in the economy, there is no guarantee that violence will subside.
Finally, my opponent blames the country in which weapons flow to. However, realize that he has not reduced my impact, and has refuted his last point by asking the US to intervene to decrease gun crime. I have proven the problems with intervening in Central America, meaning that there would be no decrease of poverty in these areas at all, negating the poverty point my opponent brought up. The countries in Central America may not be able to monitor their crime rate anyway, as the countries are experiencing the highest rate of crime in the world (8).
My points are extended as my opponent loses his/hers. My opponent has put too many of his points on whether his post-fiat plans will work and has neglected the status quo. Also, since my opponent has not provided a framework to view this debate through, we can also assume that lives are most important in this debate. So, when you weigh our points on said metric, there is a clear victory for the Con side. I urge a negative ballot.
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