Should the federal government ban guns?
Debate Rounds (3)
The federal government should not ban guns because it is unconstitutional, risks citizen safety and does not address the actual problem associated with gun control.
The Bill of Rights clearly states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. (1)" The second amendment says that the right to bear arms "shall not be infringed". Thus, the government would be overstepping its boundaries by banning guns. The colonists came to America because of tyranny in England. The Founding Fathers added the second amendment to protect the citizens from an overbearing government. We need this right so that our rights will not be encroached upon.
The purpose for guns is for hunting and protection. Guns should not be banned because they protect the public from crime. Banning guns from law abiding citizens would only put them in danger of the criminals that use illegal ways of acquiring guns. If the Federal government disarms the law abiding citizens, the citizens become defenseless against criminals who do not follow the law. Forcing law abiding citizens to give up this right would be the equivalent to forcing all males to be castrated because a select few are rapists.
Banning guns does not actually address the problem that is behind mass shootings. Around the same time as the Sandy Hook shooting, a man in China - a gun free country - stabbed 23 children (2). The problem of mass shootings is not behind the weapon but behind the shooter. Instead of avoiding the actual problem, politicians could be more efficient if they placed more emphasize on mental health care options available to citizens.
The biggest impact in this round has to do with lives. Firearms are a known cause of loss of life in the United States, as well as internationally. According to the CDC , in 2010, over eleven thousand people were murdered with firearms in the United States, with an additional nineteen thousand using firearms to commit suicide, meaning that firearms was responsible for thirty-thousand deaths in the United States that year. For the age group of 15-24, murder via firearm was the second-highest cause of death, causing nearly four thousand lost lives. In 2010, the number of homicides was roughly 16,250 ; this means that firearms led to nearly three-quarters of homicides in the United States in 2010. The Harvard Injury Research Center further found  that more guns tends to lead to more violence and more homicides. It is clear that guns lead to deaths and destruction. Yet, states which have higher measures of gun control have fewer homicides from firearms  and that countries with few guns per 100,000 people had a less percentage of homicides caused by firearms and less gun-related deaths . Guns kill thousands of people, but controlling guns would result in saving lives and helping the nation.
With this in mind, let us look at my opponent's contentions.
My opponent's first contention deals with the Constitution, in particular the Second Amendment. Note the writing of the Second Amendment. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to bear and keep arms, shall not be infringed." Note the first words of this quotation-- "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." Looking at these words, what is this amendment really referring to? Is it referring to the people's rights to bear arms... or the militia's rights to bear arms? If the Founding Fathers intended to see that the people had a right to bear arms, then why did they phrase the amendment like this? In a 1939 Supreme Court decision , the Supreme Court realized that, in fact, the Second Amendment referred to the effectiveness of the military, not the common people, so any gun control laws passed by a government would not violated a right. Even if it did violate rights, so what? There is no major impact from this contention! As long as we are saving thousands of lives, which is an established fact, then it doesn't matter if we are violating the right to shoot a gun; we are maximizing the right to life.
My opponent goes on to state that the purpose of guns is for hunting and protection. Likewise, the purpose of fire is to provide warmth, energy and a place for cooking fires, yet we as a country have made setting fires illegal, especially in a public place. The purpose is irrelevant; as long as it results in negative effects, it should be discarded. My opponent also states the misconception that guns help save lives, especially in cases involving self-defense. However, as Harvard found , more guns leads to more deaths, including unintentional ones, and that guns were improperly stored and used in the home, leading to even more deaths. Clearly, it is not worth it to have guns in the home.
My opponent then goes on to quote the case of a man in China who, on the same day as the Sandy Hook tragedy, stabbed 23 children in a school. Yet, it is important to note that all twenty-three children survived their wounds; twenty-six children and adults died due to firearms in Sandy Hook. Clearly twenty-three people who were stabbed and survived do not outweigh twenty-six killed due to firearms.
For these reasons, I urge the judge to vote for the affirmation.
Sources:  http://www.cdc.gov...
If my opponent wants to make life the most important value in this round, then let's add some more stats. According to UN Data, Great Britain, a country that has banned guns, has a much higher crime rate compared to Israel and Switzerland, two counties where guns are very prevalent. (1) If you look at the countries ranked by the highest crime rate, the U.S is no where near the top. Also, according to the FBI, crime related to firearms has decreased 52% since 2005 in spite of the fact that more than 128,000,000 firearms have been purchased since 1991. (2) According to the NHTSA, these are the number of people killed by drunk driving: (3)
Year BAC > .1 BAC > .08
2005 15,985 13,582
2006 15,970 13,491
2007 15,534 13,041
2008 13,826 11,711
2009 12,744 10,839
These are the number of people killed due to firearms (4):
Persons Murdered by Firearms:
As you can see, alcoholism has killed more people but alcohol is legal and not being argued in Washington. The difference between the possession of alcohol and guns is this: alcohol is not a Constitutionally protected right but gun possession is.
My opponent mentioned a Court case from 1939 that established that any gun control laws would not violate a right because the 2nd amendment does not refer to the people. However, District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. Chicago in 2010 established that the 2nd amendment DOES refer to the peoples' right to self protection and struck down those cities handgun bans. (4) Also, Founding Father George Mason refers to the word "militia" in this quote: "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." Militia is the people, also defined by Supreme Court at least twice in the last five years.
My opponent said in his argument: "Even if it did violate rights, so what? There is no major impact from this contention! As long as we are saving thousands of lives, which is an established fact, then it doesn't matter if we are violating the right to shoot a gun; we are maximizing the right to life." Since my opponent does not value our Constitutional rights that the colonists died for, he obviously supports gun control. I'm sure my opponent would agree that all men should be castrated because some are rapists. In doing this, we would be maximizing lives. My opponent used a statistical source from the CDC about the number of deaths related to firearms. However, in the age group he quoted, the number one killer was "unintenional mv traffic". If cars kill more than guns, we should ban cars. In banning cars, we would be maximizing lives. If gun control works, then why are the cities with the highest gun restrictions the cities with the highest crime rates? (5)
My opponent went on to compare fire to guns. However, fire is a natural thing. Guns are man made and created for the purpose of safety, protection and hunting. I will present a situation in which having a firearm for self defense is extremely important.
Let's say an elderly widow is at home. This woman lives in the country (on a highway) and is at least twenty minutes away from police. She has a large estate and her neighbors is not anywhere close to the home itself. If a burglar breaks in with unknown intentions, what is the woman going to do? An elderly woman cannot fight off the intruder and cannot simply hide for twenty minutes, hoping that she will not be harmed. Having a firearm would ensure her protection and would give her peace of mind.
If my opponent valued life, he would value this woman's life.
In response to my CNN article, my opponent simply noted that the children were not killed but the Sandy Hook children were. Those Chinese children could have been killed. A knife is a lethal weapon as well. We should be thinking, "Thank goodness those children survived!". Since my opponent values life, he should be just as concerned about these children as the children from Sandy Hook.
Why I should win this debate:
- We should value our Constitutional rights
- I have effectively shown that my arguments are stronger and more logical
- Banning guns would put the law abiding citizens in danger from the criminals who would not follow any kind of gun restrictions
(2): http://www2.fbi.gov..., http://tinyurl.co..., http://tinyurl.com..., http://tinyurl.com...
have-the-highest-crime-rates/article_5006c426-5f30-11e2-81de-001a4bcf887a.html, http://www.washingtontimes.com..., http://theweek.com..., http://townhall.com...
Let's look at the main points of this round and see why they all flow to the affirmation in this debate.
The first impact is lives--arguably the most critical point, in terms of scale, in this round. Clearly the affirmation wins. Not only has the affirmation shown that firearms have lead to dozens of thousands of deaths annually, but that having firearms in the homes do not help and only lead to more deaths and expenses. My opponent's rebuttals to this is a.) countries with gun control measures have high crime rates, b.) the U.S. has a fairly low crime rate and c.) drunk driving kills more people than guns. Keep in mind the scale of lives here; we are saving thousands of lives annually by having more gun control measures. So what if crime may increase? What is more critical, what should be weighed more; the saving of thousands, or the increase in some robberies? Clearly, it's lives, which we are improving with gun control! The third rebuttal hardly does its job at rebutting; so what about drunk driving? We are saving thousands of lives annually by reducing guns. Comparing death rates is irrelevant; as long as we save a significant portion of lives, which gun control does, then we do good. With the affirmation, you have thousands of lives saved and criminals having a harder time committing crime. With the negation, you have the opposite of these two things. The affirmation wins "lives".
Now let's look at the second-biggest point in this round, rights. Keep in mind, lives is the most critical impact in this round. The affirmation saves thousands of lives through gun control. There is no hard, groundshaking, lifesaving impact on this point. My opponent repeatedly uses fallacies in his rebuttals and support of this contention (for instance, in the paragraph prior to his mentioning of my analogy dealing with fire, he uses an appeal to emotion by saying, "Since my opponent does not value our Constitutional rights that the colonists died for, he obviously supports gun control." and a strawman when he says, "I'm sure my opponent would agree that all men should be castrated because some are rapists."), so even this point on his side looks shaky. But why the affirmation wins this contention has to do with total rights. Look at the right the negation is optimizing; the right to own a gun. But look at the right the affirmation is optimizing; the right to life. Clearly the affirmation is winning this, because the affirmation is optimizing a more crucial right than the negation. Even if one looks at the right to self-defense, one sees that little will change--people can still defend themselves through other means, means that are meant to protect, not kill. Flow "rights" to the affirmation.
In conclusion, this round clearly flows to the affirmation. The affirmation wins as the affirmation has proven a clear link between lives saved and guns controlled, while the negation has offered unsatisfactory rebuttals. The affirmation wins as the affirmation better promotes critical rights to a greater extent than the negation, and the negation has failed to prove why we should optimize the right to shoot a gun over the right to live. The main points, the points this entire round hinges on, flow to the affirmation. For these reasons, I strongly urge the judge to vote for the affirmation, for "Pro". Thank you.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by induced 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: both sides oversimplified the issue, but i consider Pro to have the burden of proof, which i dont think he sufficiently met, so arguments go to Con
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