The Instigator
Paradigm_Lost
Pro (for)
Losing
17 Points
The Contender
MaxHayslip
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Revisiting Virginia Tech: An argument about arms

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/4/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,398 times Debate No: 3897
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (11)

 

Paradigm_Lost

Pro

We all remember the massacre that occurred on the campus of Virginia Tech. It reignited a controversial argument in America about the right to own firearms. In this vein, I would like to discuss why I believe the anti-gun lobby is hyper-focusing on the wrong thing, namely, the guns themselves.

I've never really understood the argument from the anti-gun lobby for any number of reasons. Its so easy to blame it on the gun itself rather than where the blame really lies -- the person wielding it incorrectly.

Its a strange dichotomy. Without guns there would be no one shot to death, and yet, we seem to forget that murder was around long before their inception and would conceivably continue long after their destruction. If there is one thing that could be said of humans, its that they are incredibly resourceful. Prisoners don't have access to weapons, but that doesn't stop them from fashioning them from their ingenuity.

So why blame the gun when the gun has no will of its own, rather than Cho or those who knew of his mental illness? The argument, which is incredibly specious in my estimation, is that he bought the gun the perfectly legally, therefore the system is broken. But the fundamental problem is that we are bound by the understanding that there are very real consequences for using guns inappropriately. Cho knew it, but he did it anyway.

When we buy a car we know that we are not supposed to use them for vehicular homicide, but occasionally that happens anyway. When it does happen, should we blame the manufacturer or should we blame the person?

Buying the weapon maybe perfectly legal, but murder is perfectly ILLEGAL. We all know that. Cho knew it. So I say stop trying to place everywhere other than the obvious.

Making guns illegal doesn't stop crime because taking it away from people who use it for protection are now disarmed. The bad guys don't play by the same rules. The bad guy will always find a way to arm themselves. So why are we going to arm the bad guy but disarm the rest of us and allow us to be subjected to their tyranny? Anyone that takes this stance is complicit as far as I'm concerned.
MaxHayslip

Con

I would like to start the debate by telling you that while reading your other debates I remain quite impressed, you are a very intelligent person. This was the primary reason for me starting this debate; I am rather neutral on this matter. I'd like to say Good luck.
Pleasantries done, let the debate begin!

For my position, I would not like to argue the lobbyists' stance on the guns themselves, but the lobbyists' stance on stronger gun control.

I've never really understood the argument from the anti-gun lobby for any number of reasons. It's so easy to blame it on the gun itself rather than where the blame really lies -- the person wielding it incorrectly. (www.nytimes.com/2007/04/18/us/18pistols.html_r=1&ref=politics&oref=slogin)

Guns are a bittersweet thing; they are our shield, but the opposing sword. Although, I'd like to say to your statement "we seem to forget that murder was around long before their inception and would conceivably continue long after their destruction"; with the upcoming age of military intelligence and research I believe that even guns have been forgotten as the main killers, we live in the nuclear age. This is the cycle of death and war; the continuous research for the edge. (This was an irrelevant point to an extent, but I didn't really understand what to say to your point starting with "It's a strange dichotomy").

The gun is no longer being blamed, but the system that gives the guns. We must look into how guns are acquired, and insure that more challenging psychological testing insures to protect citizens from mentally unstable people. The system is broken, and the lobbyists are correct in stating that.

I would like to give you a compliment on the fine analogy, but at the same time mention that the situations are different because the strict testing needed to acquire a driving license and a more lenient system in acquiring a firearm. In your case, we blame the DMV for not noticing the problems within the driver, although we cannot stop all homicides due to poor gun control it should be noted that the anti-gun lobbyists' stance of a stronger policy on gun control would stop many deaths (As does the DMV's testing in stopping vehicular homicide).

An anti-gun lobbyist would push to make the acquiring of a gun have stronger psychological testing (Doing so would show Cho's many psychological problems).
Also, a side note on the VT shooting-

*I'd rather you not try to debate me on this, just mentioning something interesting*

One reason that Cho's rampage went unstopped was because of VT's "Safe Zone" policy which kept staff unarmed.

Anti-gun lobbyists do not try to take away guns, but make the acquiring of guns more challenging so people are protected. Your stance on not allowing these lobbyists to make regulations stricter actually increases their chance of being harmed (because those who care to harm will be able to get a gun easier). Anti-gun lobbyists are preventing tyranny through their advances on gun control so that armed conflict has less of a chance of occurrence.

In conclusion, my opponent is somewhat right in stating we must blame psychological illness, but even more so it must be understood that there should be testing to insure that those who suffer from psychological illness are not permitted to acquire a gun.
Debate Round No. 1
Paradigm_Lost

Pro

"I would like to start the debate by telling you that while reading your other debates I remain quite impressed, you are a very intelligent person."

Well, it doesn't seem to get me anywhere around here. Heh... But I thank you for your candor all the same.

I'm looking forward to the debate.

"it should be noted that the anti-gun lobbyists' stance of a stronger policy on gun control would stop many deaths (As does the DMV's testing in stopping vehicular homicide)."

The Washington D.C. gun ban controversy has recently reached the ears of the Supreme Court. D.C. has enforced a strict ban, one of the strictest in the nation, emasculating the people's right to bear arms. Did tough gun laws prevent handgun murders? Absolutely not! In fact, Washington D.C. has been the murder capital of America for several years in the past two decades. D.C. is the NRA's dream come true, and an anti-gun lobbyists nightmare, and rightfully so I should say.

http://www.theonion.com...

Lets just think about this logically for a moment. Laws are passed for two reasons: As punitive measures to either punish offenders or as a deterrence. What defines a criminal? A criminal is an individual who flouts the law and breaks the law. In essence, they have no respect for the law. So who then is affected by gun laws? Law ABIDING citizens, not criminals! Making these bans does NOT stop the flow of guns being purchased on black markets. All it does is disarm the common citizen who would use the gun to save their own life, or the life of an innocent victim.

"An anti-gun lobbyist would push to make the acquiring of a gun have stronger psychological testing (Doing so would show Cho's many psychological problems)."

Actually it seems that most haven't, but I'm glad you brought this up because I was going to. There was nothing that legally would have prevented Cho from purchasing a gun. However, the real people who should be indicted are the myriad of psychologists who had special firsthand knowledge of Cho's homicidal tendencies, who let him out on the street knowing full well that he was a powder keg waiting to explode.

Since I am all for gun restrictions, I think a serious psychological background should be input in to a nationwide database that flags gun retailers that the individual may not purchase a weapon. And there needn't be embarrassing personal information attached. Just a simple flag that federally prohibits that individual from purchasing a firearm, political correctness be damned.

It is not the fault of an inanimate object that murder-by-handgun occurs. And banning them will not stop murder. In fact, as we have seen in places like Washington D.C., it often makes it worse. The single common thread that runs through all murders are not guns, its human beings.

http://www.nationalpost.com...

People that often hold the view that guns should be banned are also the people in favor of robust freedom of expression, a beautiful thing, unless juxtaposed by massive hypocrisy. The fact of the matter is that the murder rate in America has nothing to do with guns and has everything to do with societal influences. Violence is glorified in movies, television, video games, music videos, etc. If people really want to mitigate violence, they had better first figure out what is captivating the attention of youth, and spurring this on. Because guns don't kill people... people kill people.
MaxHayslip

Con

You are quite skilled in rhetoric my friend.

A 1991 article in the anti-gun New England Journal of Medicine
attempted to show that the registration law in D.C. reduced the average
(arithmetic mean) number of gun-related homicides per month following
the implementation of the law. As with other "gun control" studies
published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and as
with a recent study of the effects of concealed carry reform laws
by researchers from the University of Maryland (to which
the authors of the Loftin study were affiliated)
The most curious aspect of the Loftin study is the particular
span of years which the researchers chose to examine. The study
period covers the years 1968-1987, which can best be described as
a "plateau" period, before which murder/non-negligent manslaughter
(MNNM) rates (as measured by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports data)
were much lower than during the period of study (1)

Although, I do not believe that we can only look at one city when looking upon the topic of gun control. A funny side note though, Mayor Marion Barry recently said, ""If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very very low crime rate". What a stupid thing for someone in office to say! That's like saying, "I am a good person if you don't count sex with puppies"!

Back to the debate…

States which passed concealed carry laws reduced their murder rate by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%; and, If those states not having concealed carry laws had adopted such laws in 1992, then approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and 12,000 robberies would have been avoided yearly. (2)

According to new research by a University of California, Berkeley, law professor, the crime rate dropped dramatically during the 1990s, falling 40 percent in cities and states across the country and in all major crime categories from homicides to auto thefts, producing the longest and deepest crime decline in the United States since World War II. (3) This shows that although there are certain examples of increased crime, for the most part our crime rate has been on a decline.

A criminal is defined as (4):
1.of the nature of or involving a crim
2.guilty of crime.

The reason I argue stricter gun control is to protect citizens because if stricter testing would be done, psychosis or previous crimes could be detected and preventing in the purchasing of a gun. And, I would like to argue that it does directly influence the purchase of guns on the black markets.

Black Market Gun Flow:
Gun Law-> Less guns on market
Less guns on market -> More expensive guns
More expensive guns -> Less buying of illegal guns
Less buying of black market guns will do either one of the two:
1.Reduce the price to match the market
2.Crash the black market do to excessive market fluxation

I am not disarming citizens in my pursuit of stricter gun control, just preventing those of mental instability or those who have had previous crimes of hostility in their pursuit of guns.

I'm sorry, you misunderstood me when I said, "An anti-gun lobbyists would push to make the acquiring of a gun have stronger psychological testing (Doing so would show Cho's many psychological problems)." I was talking about my form of gun control; control that does not limit citizens from getting guns, just preventing possible offenders from acquiring a gun.

That is what I've argued, stronger gun control testing (although, in my version I add a criminal background check) although I disagree with your plan of the nationwide database plan for the following reason; our nation's debt and current situation of poor budgeting shows that we cannot afford to spend money on your program suggestion. It would be much easier to have a federal mandate requiring all purchases of guns to be accompanied by a signed medical form (Doing so could allow doctors to prohibit the purchasing of a firearm and it would be much cheaper).

That is true, which is why anti-gun lobbyists should pursue stronger gun control testing in the psychological field, and the field of previous crimes and situations of hostility.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I believe those who push for guns be banned are quite the opposite of those in favor of robust freedom of expression. Although, the guns do matter in the murder rate in America, guns are to murder as the pen is to the writer. As a writer cannot compose without his pen; the criminal cannot murder without his gun. Although there are many non-gun assaults, the overall picture of American homicide is that of poorly regulated gun control.

Citations:

(1)http://stason.org...
(2)http://www.kc3.com...
(3)http://www.eurekalert.org...
(4)http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Paradigm_Lost

Pro

"States which passed concealed carry laws reduced their murder rate by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%; and, If those states not having concealed carry laws had adopted such laws in 1992, then approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and 12,000 robberies would have been avoided yearly."

This information corroborates my stance. As this debate goes on I've begun to wonder if your stance is closer to mine, which makes me wonder why you have opted to take this debate. Don't get me wrong, I'm having a great time discussing this with you, but you seem like someone with some sense. I guess I was expecting Michael Moore.

"The reason I argue stricter gun control is to protect citizens because if stricter testing would be done, psychosis or previous crimes could be detected and preventing in the purchasing of a gun. And, I would like to argue that it does directly influence the purchase of guns on the black markets."

Then, again, we are in total agreement. I am all for the regulation of weapons, of course. I also am in favor of background checks and waiting periods. Believe me, I do not want weapons in the wrong hands -- namely, people who have PROVEN that they cannot be trusted to own a firearm. My CENTRAL problem is that these bans end up hurting the average citizen who would not use them for nefarious purposes. I agree completely that restrictions should apply to those deemed by professionals to exhibit suicidal and/or homicidal tendencies, either by ideation or action. This, I believe, could have made it much more difficult for Cho to have come to his grizzly conclusion, albeit, slightly.

"Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I believe those who push for guns be banned are quite the opposite of those in favor of robust freedom of expression."

Naturally I agree, I only mentioned it because of the irony of it.

"Although there are many non-gun assaults, the overall picture of American homicide is that of poorly regulated gun control."

What more besides what currently exists can we do, other than adding mental instability to the foray, some of which certain states instituted before the VT massacre? Gun control is already strict depending upon the state. So here is the problem: Normally I like the fact that states do things independently of other states. I think that is fantastic, and I think it is just what the Framers of the Constitution intended. However, here's something else the Framers intended, as per the Constitution. Anything delegated by the Constitution shall not be usurped or abridged by any state law, as the Bill of Rights is the Supreme Law of the Land.

Therefore, what is going in anti-gun states and the District of Columbia is unconstitutional, which is surely why it has reached the Supreme Court.

ARTICLE VI:

"This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

Beyond this, I can't stress enough how little people neglect societal influence in the amount of murders that occur. Its as if people honestly believe that,

1. Criminals play by the same rules as law abiding citizens, and,
2. That somehow an inanimate object muster all of the world's malice within it.

As the next link supports, the cause of death, the motive, the age, the demographic, etc all point to one thing: Societal influence.

Gang affiliated crimes with handguns, most of which are purchased illegally (who would use a registered handgun with a serial number linked to their name in a homicide?) is the number one cause of death by handguns.

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov...

Did you know that you are allowed to carry an unconcealed weapon in the state of Arizona, a far less violent state than its neighbor, California, which has far stricter gun laws. That's because guns don't shoot themselves. The increase of violence is the greatest indication that it is the people residing there that presents the greatest threat, not the gun itself.

"No person shall carry a firearm "concealed on his person." This does not apply to a person in his dwelling, business premises or on real property owned or leased by that person. A handgun carried in a belt holster which is wholly or partially visible or carried in luggage is not considered carrying concealed."

Source: http://www.nraila.org...

I therefore submit that using the Virginia Tech massacre as a way to make some kind of argument against gun rights is specious. About the only good thing that came out of it was that it guided some states to look at mental illness more seriously, which some states already took in to consideration beforehand. There are plenty of restrictions to guns. The real fight is the incursion of illegal weapons being smuggled in to the underground networks. These are where the bulk of the homicide-related weapons originate, not at gun shows.

The answer that stares us in the face is that we need to take a closer look at what is getting in to our children's minds, and be less concerned about Sig Sauer .40 caliber.

I'd thank to thank my opponent for joining me in this very interesting debate, and look forward to any future debates.
MaxHayslip

Con

"States which passed concealed carry laws reduced their murder rate by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%; and, If those states not having concealed carry laws had adopted such laws in 1992, then approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and 12,000 robberies would have been avoided yearly."

I showed this because it tells that a concealed carry law reduces violence. I would like to mention that my stance follows the Negative (Con) resolution; so, you've just agreed that Negative should be voted for.

I also enjoy this debate, and hope that we may one day debate again.

(I hate Michael Moore)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The reason I argue stricter gun control is to protect citizens because if stricter testing would be done, psychosis or previous crimes could be detected and preventing in the purchasing of a gun. And, I would like to argue that it does directly influence the purchase of guns on the black markets."

"Then, again, we are in total agreement. I am all for the regulation of weapons, of course. I also am in favor of background checks and waiting periods. Believe me, I do not want weapons in the wrong hands -- namely, people who have PROVEN that they cannot be trusted to own a firearm."

I completely agree with you on the above statement; although further down the paragraph you say:

"My CENTRAL problem is that these bans end up hurting the average citizen who would not use them for nefarious purposes."

If the Negative plan is followed, no average citizens will be endangered (presuming they have a crime free history and have clean mental health). If the Negative plan would be implemented, VT would be have not happened; not now or not this soon.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Constitution was made as a living document; intended for change. The Framers understood that time would change (Which explains the vagueness of the Constitution). It should be understood that the Constitution is a guideline for our nation, but meant to be changed once a part becomes outdated.

On the subject of your argument on the Constitution of the United States, I'd like to ask you what exactly gun control breaks. It does not break any Amendment, and in your speech you only say that is opposes the constitution.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arizona Applicants must qualify through a AZPOST certified firearms instructor approved by the CWPU (Certificate of Firearms Proficiency). The instructor will provide the applicant with an application that must be filled out and submitted to the CWPU. This shows that Arizona's concealed gun policy requires testing and forms before a permit for the carrying of a concealed firearm is permitted. In California no such testing exists.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You say that gun shows are not where the bulk of homicide-related weapons originate, but I'd like to say that they are near equal in some areas of the United States. (Columbine shooters' weapons purchased at a gun show).

The true thing that needs to be examined is stronger testing in the process of acquiring a gun; criminal and psychological testing. You have already stated that you agree with my plan to increase testing as a form of gun control (We basically are arguing the same thing!) although, this proves the Negative (Con) case. This means that the case should automatically be awarded to Neg.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you for the good debate. I look forward to any future debates we may have, and hope that you might contact me to talk again one day; you have my information.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by MaxHayslip 9 years ago
MaxHayslip
We do not:

My Aim is: Littaman22792
My Email is: Maxhayslip@gmail

Look forward to talking to you, my friend.

This has been a fine debate, and I must say that you have done splendidly.
Posted by Paradigm_Lost 9 years ago
Paradigm_Lost
"Paradigm, I was wondering if you'd be willing to exchange Email/Aim with me."

Sure... Do we have access to each other's email addresses? If not, let me know.
Posted by MaxHayslip 9 years ago
MaxHayslip
Paradigm, I was wondering if you'd be willing to exchange Email/Aim with me. I'd love to speak to you about issues like this, I'm very interested in learning.
Posted by Geekis_Khan 9 years ago
Geekis_Khan
I agree that it's not necessarily the gun (although there is a big argument for gun control when ou look at this), but the matter is not as simple as "the person wielding it incorrectly". But we'll see how the CON decides to argue this.
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