The Instigator
KingKasual
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
JohnnyC
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points

Should the United States be a gun-free country?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
JohnnyC
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/4/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,792 times Debate No: 28878
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (6)

 

KingKasual

Con

I'm a strong gun supporter, and I have heard some anti-gun advocates suggest a gun-free America.
JohnnyC

Pro

I'm from the United Kingdom, where firearms are illegal for the general public. I believe that the lawfulness of guns creates a danger in a society which could ultimately end up in murders of innocent members of the public.

I am willing to debate with you if you explain why the United States should not be a gun-free country in the next round.
Debate Round No. 1
KingKasual

Con

The main issues I have with making firearm possession illegal are:

1) The United States of America, since it's infancy, has been a very unique country. We broke away from a very powerful empire, while simultaneously encroaching on land owned by other nations and native tribes. It was a very dangerous time, and it is understandable that the citizens of this new democracy were given the right to bear arms. I have heard many times that the 2nd amendment is "outdated", and that no modern day citizen would have any logical reason to own a gun. My first point is the 2nd amendment is one piece of a very sacred Bill of Rights, and these rights should be in effect "written in stone". They may adjust to modern times, but they should never be done away with completely.

2) We are a country of "United States", and any law that would govern all states the same way I am against. I don't believe that rural Alabama should be governed the same as downtown Brooklyn. I myself live in Los Angeles, we have semi-tight gun laws which work for our social dynamic. On the other hand, the state of Vermont has some of the loosest gun laws in the country.

3) In short, criminals don't obtain guns legally. In my opinion, the only ones tighter gun laws would effect are the average citizens.

I'm excited to read your perspective. A lot of debates I engaged in before had a "I heard in England" or something to that effect. It will be nice to hear the thoughts of someone who knows from experience.
JohnnyC

Pro

In response to your first point: the notion that the right to bear arms can't be outdated because it's on the Bill of Rights is a dogmatic approach. True, it was necessary at the time of its inception due to the danger that some Americans were in. Nevertheless, laws can be wrong (no matter who they were written by) and laws can be made while only thinking about the present. Nowadays it only seems to cause more damage than protection while in the 1700s it may have caused more protection for American citizens. The Second Amendment says that people have the right to bear arms because "a well-regulated state militia is necessary for the security of a free people." This militia is no longer needed - there are other forces like the state police forces, the FBI, intelligence services, the National Guard., the military etc.

The Bill of Rights are federal laws for all citizens of the United States no matter what State they are from. But State laws may still not work with gun regulation. The laws didn't seem to do too well when James Holmes legally bought arms which he used to 12 people and injure 58 more in a cinema. They didn't seem to do well when 2 boys bought guns and killed 12 school children at Columbine. They didn't seem to do well when Adam Lanza's mother bought guns which he later used to kill her and 26 others at a school. I could go on...

Many criminals don't obtain guns illegally when it is to easy to obtain them legally. In the UK, when we hear about a murder, it is almost never gun crime. Murders in the UK are usually from stabbings and domestic abuse. Almost every Englishman has never had contact with live firearms. People here find it strange, stupid and dangerous that it is legal in one of the most developed nations in the world. 19.5/1 is the ratio of people murdered by guns in the USA compared to other developed countries. Does that not tell you how large its capacity to kill is? Most of these other developed countries have laws against guns and therefore low murder rates.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
http://www.businessinsider.com...
Debate Round No. 2
KingKasual

Con

Yes the main body of the text regards maintaining a militia (of which there are still many), but firearms also facilitate a natural right of self-defense. I understand that a militia is no longer needed, but the right to self defense will always be. We hear many stories about men using guns to commit crime, they are what get the ratings, but more often than not they are used to stop crime by everyday citizens. I understand that the time these laws were written was very different than today, but I don't think they should have to play catchup with time and technology. For example, we were given free speech long before the Internet existed, but I don't think the addition of unlimited amounts of information and a worldwide forum to state my opinion should stifle my ability to speak freely. In the same light, I don't think a civilized and stable society should stifle my ability to own a firearm or run a well regulated militia.

Here a 12 year old girl defended her home against an intruder.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

14 year old defends home against armed intruder.
http://m.youtube.com...

Chicago and New York are two cities in America with total gun ban laws, yet they have the highest crime rates. Guns were banned and it worked for a while until eventually stabbings and other types of violent crimes grew in number.

As far as my belief in the amendments being dogmatic, I agree. They have always been sacred unailiable rights endowed upon us by a creator.
JohnnyC

Pro

I still wish to continue with my point that the law is outdated. It clearly cause more destruction than preservation in American society. You said that Chicago and New York have the highest crime rates in the USA. According to a FBI database, Chicago has the 79th highest crime rates of any US city and New York City isn't even in the top 100. The highest gun crime rates are in the states where guns are easy to obtain. When someone buys a gun one cannot know if they intend to use it in self-defense or in attacking others. But, as statistics show, guns are more commonly used to cause crime rather than prevent it in the United States.

The Second Amendment actually allows Americans to own any "arms" - this may be interpreted as blades and firearms but it could in fact mean weapons of mass destruction. Your internet/free-speech analogy doesn't relate too well to our debate because the internet encourages the freedom of speech while modern society does not encourage gun ownership.

Guns are still legal in the US because it is in the Bill of Rights. If it was just another law then most people would see that it cause more vices than virtues. This is because many Americans are so patriotic that they never question the Bill of Rights.
Debate Round No. 3
KingKasual

Con

You made a very solid argument, I can't debate the facts. I will use any further argument under the scope that indeed guns and crime are connected, and that tight gun control does effect crime rate.

In answer to the law being outdated:

I did a lot of thinking, and I've found that my passion for the bill of rights isn't so much based on what was created by law. What I mean to say is, no matter how advanced our society (in America I mean) may become, I don't ever feel that a freedom like the 2nd amendment can become outdated. My right to bear arms comes from my humanity, and my view is that I live in a country that recognizes that right, so it was made into law. As I said before, firearms facilitate a natural right of self-defense. I can't tell you any real reason why I myself am a gun owner, but I also can't give you an exact reason why I have health insurance, I have these things to feel safe. Some may call this "feeling paranoid", but I'm just using my right as a human, not necessarily my right as an American.

I really like what you said about the term "arms". That was a very insightful thought and I'm happy to have the new view.

I have heard many times people say, "Why would any average citizen need an assault rifle?" or heard certain firearms called "weapons of war". I don't know if this has any bearing in our conversation but I have a thought.

Guns are a very unique item. They aren't a multifunctional tool, they kill, and that's all they do. Non-lethal ammunition does exist but that is a modern alternative. As time advances so will technology, an iPhone is a technological miracle now, the first telephone was a technological miracle then, but even a cell phone from the 80s is obsolete by today's standards. My point is that, as time goes by, guns will advance. What people see as an "assault rifle" is kind of an iPhone to me, and I want the newest one. It's a weapon with all the technological advances to make it easier to use, more reliable, and more lethal. Again, I don't know if this applies it was just a thought.

Firearms and violence are part of American culture. They are, plain and simple. I think the removal of firearms would do more harm than good. You already provided a great argument that it can lower crime, but I believe there are other factors. Gun manufacture and sale is a HUGE industry. The manufacture of guns and ammunition generate $11,000,000,000 annually, the hunting industry genereated $22.9 billion dollars in expenditures in 2006. An all out firearm ban would destroy jobs and weaken our economy. Even viewing the statistics alone will show you how much good they do for the country:

http://www.statisticbrain.com...
http://www.fws.gov...

I would never want to get into a conversation about how money is more important than human lives, but I'm willing to take the bad with the good, rather than give up a God given liberty for temporary safety.
JohnnyC

Pro

I respect that you feel that you need to own a gun to feel safe. However, I would say that the constitution that allows you to protect yourself in that way is the same constitution that allows people to commit acts that make you feel scared and insecure. Just a side note because you mentioned health insurance: we have state paid health insurance in the UK because we consider it to be a human right. I don't own any guns and I don't want to. In English culture, although there is a bit of crime, hardly any of it involves arson. I can't think of an English person that I know who believes it to be necessary to carry a gun with them - you would very rarely need one. The only time someone carries a weapon on them is when they are involved in gangs or have a personal vendetta against someone and it is usually a knife and they still tend not to use it.

I don't think that your point about guns advancing really applies to this debate. It is still, however, an insightful idea. As it was said by Will Rogers "You can't say civilization don't advance ... in every war they kill you in a new way." That, for me, highlights how the USA, a country so obsessed with rivalry and exceptionalism, tries to advance. I would agree with you that firearms and violence are a large part of American culture. But perhaps the American infatuation with it is too much. I have never thought about the implications of the United States becoming a gun-free country. But, of course, money is (in my opinion) less important than the preservation of life. The US should, over a long period of time, attempt to decrease its ties with guns in such a way that it won't incredibly anger half of the country and it will be a gun-free society without people feeling worried that they cannot protect themselves.

Is round 5 final argument or conclusion or what?
Debate Round No. 4
KingKasual

Con

A closing argument sounds good.

Under the scope that guns are indeed tied to crime, I would still vote to keep gun laws the same way they are today. A map of states and counties that self govern themselves is the best way to go. The time, money, and effort taken to do away with firearms in America, I think, could be better spent improving our police force and fixing or preventing the issue of criminal behavior (rather than the implement used by the criminal).

I had a great time debating with you, you had some great ideas and definitely opened my mind. Thanks for participating friend. :)
JohnnyC

Pro

My final argument and a summary of what I have said:
Guns are a tool of death which are used more often to attack rather than to defend oneself. The take away people's lives, liberty and rights. Guns are certainly tied to crime as statistics suggest. No other first world country has the massive amount of homicide from firearms as the USA. Furthermore, the 2nd Amendment doesn't have as much relevance in the 21st Century as it did in the 18th Century. The United States should be a gun-free country in the interest of saving lives.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by liscense2kill007 1 year ago
liscense2kill007
I know this post is closed, but I'm curious and have a question for JohnnyC. Given your statistic, I believe you said 19.5 murders by firearm in US to one in England, did you account for population and total murders? It doesn't mean anything to say firearms should be banned if the number of murders are approximately the same in both countries. I know for a fact the US has 5 times the population of the UK, so your statistic is only 4 to 1. Also, I doubt America has as many other (non gun) murders as UK or other nations though I have no evidence (guns are preferred, but a rock/knife/fist... will do). Wish I could have debated...except I hate the format.
Posted by Aned 1 year ago
Aned
Endorsed, not endorse. I am sorry.
Posted by Aned 1 year ago
Aned
But they meant one thing while did another one. If, as they said, all men are created equal, they would have freed the slaves, unless Blacks were not considered human beings. Was slavery endorse by religion, too?
Posted by KingKasual 1 year ago
KingKasual
Also, that's what the deceleration of independence says

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. " That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men

Don't get all weird on the semantics, I didn't say anything our founding fathers didn't
Posted by KingKasual 1 year ago
KingKasual
Hey Aned, I'm a guy. King is the male one.
Posted by Aned 1 year ago
Aned
First of all, Con (pro-gun) tries to impose a religion belief as she connects the Bill of Rights to a "creator" and certain "God." It so irrelevant to gun safety that her argument takes a narcissistic standpoint.

She is very inaccurate as she says that "3) In short, criminals don't obtain guns legally. In my opinion, the only ones tighter gun laws would effect are the average citizens."

Criminals do get guns legally in sales like person to person sales, where background checks are not required.

I congratulate Pro for his level-headed assessment, where the benifit of the whole society takes precedence over individual greediness, avarice, egotism, self-interest, selfishness, and lack of care for our children's and schools' safety.
Posted by KingKasual 1 year ago
KingKasual
Gun possession should be illegal for ownership by average citizen. Sorry I'm new to the site, I should have made a more detailed argument. A citizen of the UK accepted and we will debate it further.
Posted by MaestroEvans 1 year ago
MaestroEvans
To what extent is a gun-free America gun-free? Do you mean that in a gun-free America, citizens are banned from having guns or do you mean that every person who is part of the U.S., Citizen, law enforcement, military, or otherwise, are banned from having firearms?
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Aned 1 year ago
Aned
KingKasualJohnnyCTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Because is the only one showing common sense and well-developed ideas.
Vote Placed by MochaShakaKhan 1 year ago
MochaShakaKhan
KingKasualJohnnyCTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: A good debate. Con pretty much conceded the point on gun harm, so arguments to Pro.
Vote Placed by Eve13 1 year ago
Eve13
KingKasualJohnnyCTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con basically conceded the entire argument by agreeing that guns cause more harm than good.
Vote Placed by GarretKadeDupre 1 year ago
GarretKadeDupre
KingKasualJohnnyCTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I respect the maturity of both debaters.
Vote Placed by threenorns 1 year ago
threenorns
KingKasualJohnnyCTied
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Reasons for voting decision: i gave the conduct to con bec i am so impressed by his ability to dispute a sacred cow without getting, as so often happens, rude and insulting. would've given double points had i the option. however, i live in canada and while we're not gun-free, we have extremely strict gun control here and canada is a far safer country in which to live than the US. from experience, i wholeheartedly agree that the US needs to eliminate (or at least tightly control) guns. my final thought: why would anyone choose to live in a country that keeps them so afraid that they feel they need a gun for self-defence?
Vote Placed by likespeace 1 year ago
likespeace
KingKasualJohnnyCTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con concede that eliminating guns would reduce crime and that the second ammendment is not untouchable as we've already limited the definition of arms to exclude mass destruction. Con's "feeling" that he should own a gun is hardly a strong case in light of that. Thus, I award Pro for the most convincing arguments. Note to Con: There are sources including university studies and the department of justice statistics that show that guns are more often used by law-abiding citizens for defense than by criminals on the attack. It's a shame you didn't cite those.