The Instigator
enternamehere
Con (against)
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0 Points
The Contender
Philocat
Pro (for)
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0 Points

Should guns be banned in the US?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/11/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 703 times Debate No: 68131
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)

 

enternamehere

Con

Guns should not be banned in the US.
Philocat

Pro

I accept.

Please post your opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1
enternamehere

Con

I would first like to thank my opponent for accepting. This will be my first proper debate. I am rather busy at the moment, so I apologize in advance for late rebuttals.

Reasons why guns should not be banned in the US:

1. Guns do not kill people; people kill people.
A gun is a weapon - the person behind the weapon is knowingly committing a crime. Violence occurs everywhere. If there weren't any guns, people would use other forms of weapons to commit violent crimes ie. knives etc.

2. Guns will still exist in America even if they are banned.
Illegal purchases of guns would still occur and criminals would still get their hands on them. Meanwhile, law abiding citizens would be left with less ways to defend themselves.

3. Used to defend citizens from government tyranny.
This might be a stretch, but countries have become tyrannical before. It is irresponsible not to consider a government becoming tyrannical, it has happened numerous times in Europe. It might not happen today or tomorrow, but it might in the many years to come.

4. It's a deterrent.
If guns were banned, it could potentially increase crime rate. If criminals illegally purchase or obtain guns, they could commit crimes much more easily. Innocent people would have less ways to defend themselves.

5. There could be improvements in gun control.
The main objective is to keep guns out of the hands of bad people; and into the hands of good people. Better background checks could be implemented to limit the chances of 'bad people' legally obtaining firearms. It would be a worthwhile addition to ban the guns that citizens do not need (not to ban all guns). Only allow them guns that they could use to defend themselves.

6. Many people like to excercise their right to bare arms.
If there was a complete ban on guns in the US, many citizens would fight back. It would be a lengthly process to try and remove all of the guns from the general public. Many wouldn't hand back their guns. As said earlier, improvements in gun control and regulation would definitely be a viable choice.

I apologize in advance for late rebuttals. I am very busy at the moment.
Philocat

Pro

My argument takes the following form:
P1: We ought to reduce the homicide rate
P2: Banning gun ownership would reduce the homicide rate
C: Therefore, we ought to ban gun ownership

Premise 1 is fairly axiomatic and I commend its veracity to my opponent. If he disputes this premise then I will defend it in my next round.

Premise 2 is the one that my argument rests upon, and so I will attempt to verify it as clearly as I am able.

From a rational assessment, it appears logically inductive that banning gun ownership would reduce the homicide rate. This is because a gun is a tool that is explicitly designed to kill people (and animals) in the most efficient manner possible. Taking into account that there are many people with motive and opportunity to kill people (a potential homicide), it follows that the actualisation of a particular homicide would be made more likely if they have a means (a firearm) to carry it out in the most efficient manner possible. If we decrease the efficiency of the means (such as banning guns, which would force murderers to use knives) then fewer potential homicides would be transferred into actual homicides.
Whilst it is true that a knife can kill, it is a lot easier to kill someone with a gun because you can stay at a safe distance, and consequently someone cannot defend against a flying bullet where they could defend against a knife thrust. This becomes even more apparent in mass-homicides, where it is easy to kill many people with a gun whereas it would be difficult to achieve the same amount of kills with a knife (or any other hand weapon).
As it is a lot easier to defend against hand weapon attacks, such attacks would have a lesser success rate and therefore a lesser homicide rate.

This is supported by statistical evidence from different countries with varying gun laws.
The USA and Pakistan have permissive gun laws (1). Here are their homicide rates (per 100,000 people):

USA: 5.22
Pakistan: 6.81
(2)

These are quite high; compare these to Australia and China, who have restrictive gun laws (1). Here are their homicide rates:

Australia: 1.23
China: 1.21
(2)

As we can see, there appears to be a general positive correlation between strict gun laws and lesser homicide rates




I will now respond to my opponent"s arguments:

"A gun is a weapon - the person behind the weapon is knowingly committing a crime. Violence occurs everywhere. If there weren't any guns, people would use other forms of weapons to commit violent crimes ie. knives etc."

Whilst it is true that people will use other weapons to commit crimes, it is a lot easier to kill someone if one has a gun. It seems prudent that we ought to make the murderers" job more difficult by banning guns. Also, it is a lot harder to kill large amounts of people without a gun, which is why the vast majority of single-perpetrated massacres have been using guns.

"Illegal purchases of guns would still occur and criminals would still get their hands on them. Meanwhile, law abiding citizens would be left with less ways to defend themselves."

If a criminal has to initially break the law in order to obtain a gun, then they could be caught BEFORE they commit murder. Also, many murders are not premeditated and are caused on the spur of the moment by anger; this would mean that a lot less of murder attempts would involve guns and consequently less murder attempts will be successful.
Besides, if law-abiding citizens have guns to fight back against criminals, then criminals would be more likely to shoot citizens. This is because, psychologically, you are more likely to shoot an armed man than an unarmed man simply because the former is a threat that should be eliminated. Unarmed citizens are little threat to criminals so it is actually for the citizens" benefit to not allow them to possess guns.

"This might be a stretch, but countries have become tyrannical before. It is irresponsible not to consider a government becoming tyrannical, it has happened numerous times in Europe. It might not happen today or tomorrow, but it might in the many years to come."

Arming the public against its tyrannical government would cause a chaotic civil war that would kill millions. This is what we have seen in Libya and Syria, where armed citizens have attempted to stop a tyrannical government and caused a bloody civil war.

"If guns were banned, it could potentially increase crime rate. If criminals illegally purchase or obtain guns, they could commit crimes much more easily. Innocent people would have less ways to defend themselves."

In theory this could potentially be correct, but the statistics show that mass-gun-ownership does not reduce homicide rates. On the contrary, it increases them.

"The main objective is to keep guns out of the hands of bad people; and into the hands of good people. Better background checks could be implemented to limit the chances of 'bad people' legally obtaining firearms. It would be a worthwhile addition to ban the guns that citizens do not need (not to ban all guns). Only allow them guns that they could use to defend themselves."

The simple fact is that society is not divided into the "good guys" and the "bad guys". Many murders are not perpetrated by criminals. It places a gross over-estimation of the responsibility of the general public.

"If there was a complete ban on guns in the US, many citizens would fight back. It would be a lengthly process to try and remove all of the guns from the general public. Many wouldn't hand back their guns. As said earlier, improvements in gun control and regulation would definitely be a viable choice."

If a law ought to be implemented, it should not be stopped by the public kicking up a fuss.




(1) http://www.gunpolicy.org...
(2) http://chartsbin.com...
Debate Round No. 2
enternamehere

Con

Thanks for appearing for round two! I will rebuttal to the best of my ability.


Firstly, since the topic is "Should guns be banned in the US?" I would like to clarify the definition of:

"gun": "A weapon incorporating a metal tube from which bullets, shells, or other missiles are propelled by explosive force, typically making a characteristic loud, sharp noise." [http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...].

and

"ban": "Officially or legally prohibit (something)" [http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...]

Therefore, all guns would be prohibited to ALL people, including the police force.
This would have a negative effect on society, for all of the people who would illegally obtain firearms ("if a criminal has to initially break the law in order to obtain a gun, then they could be caught BEFORE they commit murder." "They could be caught BEFORE they commit murder". The refute does not prove that some people would not be caught, therefore this point is valid) they would have a severe advantage to commit crime, for the citizens and police force would not have a gun to defend themselves with. As you said "it is a lot easier to kill someone if one has a gun". It would also be logical to say that it would be easier to 'control' people if one has a gun too.

I would also like to add that firearms are included in sports/pastimes like hunting etc.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I will now respond to my opponents arguments.

"Whilst it is true that people will use other weapons to commit crimes, it is a lot easier to kill someone if one has a gun. It seems prudent that we ought to make the murderers" job more difficult by banning guns. Also, it is a lot harder to kill large amounts of people without a gun, which is why the vast majority of single-perpetrated massacres have been using guns."

"It is a lot easier to kill someone if one has a gun." Guns for defense is effective: "A 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons dispersed across the U.S. found, 34% had been "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim, 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they "knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun, 69% personally knew other criminals who had been "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim" [http://www.justfacts.com...].
"It seems prudent that we ought to make the murderers" job more difficult by banning guns."
It would make the murderer's job more difficult, but if there was a total ban on guns, there would be a significant increase in homicides with other weapons.



justFacts
"During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower." [http://www.justfacts.com...]
An example of how implementing the ban of handguns does not necessarily guarantee that homicide rates will decrease. To extend this point, "8,855 total firearm-related homicides in the US, with 6,371 of those attributed to handguns" [http://en.wikipedia.org...] meaning that almost three quarters of total "firearm-related homicides" are committed using handguns.

"This is supported by statistical evidence from different countries with varying gun laws.
The USA and Pakistan have permissive gun laws (1). Here are their homicide rates (per 100,000 people):

USA: 5.22
Pakistan: 6.81
(2)

These are quite high; compare these to Australia and China, who have restrictive gun laws (1). Here are their homicide rates:

Australia: 1.23
China: 1.21"

The Unites States has "270,000,000" guns, however only "2.97 homicides per 100,000 people" [http://www.theguardian.com...]. We can see from this that "the US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world - an average of 88 per 100 people", "but the US does not have the worst firearm murder rate - that prize belongs to Honduras, El Salvador and Jamaica. In fact, the US is number 28, with a rate of 2.97 per 100,000 people." If we were to compare the amount of guns that the US owns to the countries that Pro has compared it to, Australia has 3,000,000 guns and China has 40,000,000 guns. All considerably less than the US.
Pro's whole premise is that by banning all guns (for taking pro for debate "should guns be banned in the US")
would reduce the homicide rate". We can see from these statistics that this is not always the case.

"As we can see, there appears to be a general positive correlation between strict gun laws and lesser homicide rates."
Pro admits that through stricter gun regulation/control a lessoned amount of homicides can be achieved. Pro's second premise is "Banning gun ownership would reduce the homicide rate". He has just illustrated how a reduction of the homicide rate can be achieved without banning guns entirely.

"Arming the public against its tyrannical government would cause a chaotic civil war that would kill millions. This is what we have seen in Libya and Syria, where armed citizens have attempted to stop a tyrannical government and caused a bloody civil war."

"The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common-law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state."[http://en.wikipedia.org...]

As stated above, "The Second Amendment...Supporting the... resistance to opression."
Part of the reason why The Second Amendment was introduced is to allow citizens the right to use a bare arms in resistance to oppression. Resistance would be much more effective if citizens had bear arms. If a revolution is necessary, The Second Amendment would assist the chances of it being successful.

"In theory this could potentially be correct, but the statistics show that mass-gun-ownership does not reduce homicide rates. On the contrary, it increases them."
I displayed earlier that the notion: "but the statistics show that mass-gun-ownership does not reduce homicide rates. On the contrary, it increases them" isn't always valid. This would mean that the US would have a significantly higher homicide rates for fire arms if this were true, "but the US does not have the worst firearm murder rate - that prize belongs to Honduras, El Salvador and Jamaica. In fact, the US is number 28, with a rate of 2.97 per 100,000 people." [http://www.theguardian.com...]

"The simple fact is that society is not divided into the "good guys" and the "bad guys". Many murders are not perpetrated by criminals. It places a gross over-estimation of the responsibility of the general public."
I rephrase to "responsible vs irresponsible."

"If a law ought to be implemented, it should not be stopped by the public kicking up a fuss."
I believe that it could lead to more than a "fuss", it could also start a civil war.

In conclusion:
Pro's reasons for why guns in the US should be banned is that it would decrease homicide rates. I have shown that there homicide rates can also be lowered without a complete ban of guns. And I hope that my argument has shown that through better gun regulation/control, there would be a better outcome to if guns were banned entirely.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would lastly like to thank my opponent for contributing to my first debate!



Philocat

Pro

I congratulate my opponent for such a well thought-out debate, especially considering it is his first one on this site. I will now respond to his points.




My opponent begins by highlighting that banning guns would also prevent the police owning guns, however, this is a mild "appeal to extremes" fallacy because, by asserting that guns ought to be banned, I am asserting that they should be banned in general and not in every single case.
For example, I can still state that "wasps can fly" even though there are some types of wasps that cannot fly.
Moreover, legal police use of a particular weapon does not mean that this weapon is not banned, for example, a Taser in the United Kingdom is banned (1) but it is still legally employed by police (2). This suggests that police use of an item is an exception to a rule, and exceptions do not make examples.

I accept that some people may desire guns for hunting, but I also dispute the legality of hunting, so this is a moot point.




My opponent cites a survey that concluded that many felons had been discouraged from committing crimes by the fact that their intended victim was carrying a firearm. However, I am sceptical of the reliability of the source for two reasons:

1. The survey was carried out in 1982; 33 years ago. I see no reason to assert that this data is applicable to 2015.
2. Felons are not known for the veracity of their statements

A paper by the Violence Policy Centre states that:

"The number of justifiable homicides that occur in our nation each year pale in comparison to criminal homicides, let alone gun suicides and fatal unintentional shootings." (3)

This suggests that, even if guns are sometimes used for self-defence, more homicides would be prevented with a prohibition of firearms.

"It would make the murderer's job more difficult, but if there was a total ban on guns, there would be a significant increase in homicides with other weapons."

The weapon with which a homicide is committed is irrelevant, as we are concerned with minimising all homicides regardless of weapon. Prohibiting guns would reduce the net amount of homicides even if the use of other weapons would rise, as I have already stated that it is a lot easier to kill someone with a gun than another personal weapon.

My opponent presents statistics that show a spike in homicides after a handgun restriction was implemented, but as he presents no valid reason why the spike could have occurred, it is possible that it was a temporary rise that was totally unrelated to the new ban. Correlation does not necessarily entail causation, especially when the correlation is not supported by sound arguments for its causation.
Furthermore, the statistics are not directly relevant to this debate because I am arguing that ALL guns ought to be banned, and we cannot necessarily extrapolate a handgun ban to a total gun ban and assume the correlation with homicide rate would remain the same.

Con's next point is that some countries such as Honduras and El Salvador have much higher homicide rates despite having stricter gun laws. However, in order to make an adequate comparison between countries we ought to only compare first world countries that are socially stable; not unstable, poverty-stricken countries such as Honduras.
Therefore, my statistics are not refuted because comparing stable first-world countries to unstable third-world countries is not a like comparison, whereas comparing first world countries with other first world countries is statistically sound.

I agree that China and Australia have fewer guns than the USA, but that actually supports my point that gun-ownership reasonably correlates to homicide rate

Ultimately, my premise stands because banning guns is shown to reduce the homicide rate in first-world countries, and as the USA is a first-world country, stating that third-world countries may be affected differently by gun prohibition is outside the scope of this debate.

"Pro admits that through stricter gun regulation/control a lessoned amount of homicides can be achieved. Pro's second premise is "Banning gun ownership would reduce the homicide rate". He has just illustrated how a reduction of the homicide rate can be achieved without banning guns entirely."

I do not dispute that the homicide rate could be reduced by moderate gun control, however what I am stating is that the homicide rate could be reduced MORE by banning guns altogether.

My opponent goes on to argue that the Second Amendment would make a revolution more likely to succeed, but this is irrelevant as I argue that we should not instigate a non-peaceful revolution in the first place!
Furthermore, the prospect of a tyrannical US government is so unlikely that it cannot be reasonably hypothesised in order to prevent a homicide-reducing law in the name of a hypothetical situation.

'I rephrase to "responsible vs irresponsible.'

But the governing body cannot know who is responsible or not; many people appear responsible before they decide to go on a massacre. For example, Charles Roberts was a completely ordinary person with a normal family and job. By anyone's standards he would be deemed 'responsible'. However, he went on to murder five Amish children with a handgun. (4)
To summarise, it is naive to suppose that the government can draw a neat pre-emptive line between responsible citizens and potential murderers, and so a gun policy depending on such a distinction cannot work well. More live would be saved by banning gun ownership, claiming that this hasn't been the case in Honduras or El Salvador is non sequitor because we are discussing the effect of banning guns in first - not third - world countries.

'I believe that it could lead to more than a "fuss", it could also start a civil war. '

The banning of slavery caused a civil war, but that is not a valid argument against banning slavery.
Besides, I highly doubt that banning guns would cause a civil war; it has not been the case in any other country that has tightened up on gun control.

In conclusion:
Con insists that moderate gun control would reduce the amount of homicides, but this does fufill his burden of proof because he does not refute my argument that a total ban of firearms would reduce the amount of homicides by a greater amount, which is therefore what we ought to do considering that we are not reducing homicides as best we can unless we ban guns altogether.
My opponent concurs with the premise that we ought to reduce the number of homicides, and he does not veridically refute my assertion that banning gun ownership would fufill this premise.

Thanks for a great debate!




(1) https://www.askthe.police.uk...
(2) Ibid
(3) http://www.vpc.org...
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by XVIII18 1 year ago
XVIII18
"P2: Banning gun ownership would reduce the homicide rate" I disagree with this.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
Forgot to add in my last source:

(4)http://www.nydailynews.com...
Posted by enternamehere 1 year ago
enternamehere
I suppose you could think that." Should guns be banned in the US" means all guns are banned, for everyone.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
When the resolution states that 'Should guns be banned in the US?', it is fair to say that we are debating whether US civilians ought to be allowed to own guns. The military (and some aspects of the police to an extent) are not civilians so would not have guns banned.

Overall, prima facie, this debate is whether the general public should be allowed to own guns.
Posted by XVIII18 1 year ago
XVIII18
Under this argument pro would have to agree that even the police cannot use guns under raid situations in the United States or any other circumstance. US = everything and all entities in the US.
Posted by Booboobear 1 year ago
Booboobear
Im looking forward to seeing how this turns out
Posted by jethro_purazo 1 year ago
jethro_purazo
Just a short opinion: Guns are mainly used for self-defenses and used by the government to protect the citizens. But people just use it in a wrong way that's why, many people die because of weapons, specifically guns.
No votes have been placed for this debate.