The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Stricter gun control laws would reduce gun violence, both murder accident and suicide

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/31/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 173 times Debate No: 95108
Debate Rounds (3)
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I believe firmly that stricter gun control laws will reduce gun violence. Having grown up in a conservative family, I have heard every argument against gun control but none of them stand up to any honest evaluation. Let's have a good argument!


I accept the challenge and am looking forward to a good debate. I would like to open with that while stricter gun control laws may reduce some gun related violence, it won't be able to reduce all the issues it's trying to resolve. It may just end up causing more problems than it creates.
For example, guns are a very popular item to own. In some areas, like rural Idaho, having a gun is needed for hunting and warding off bears and other carnivores from your ranch. In the city, one might argue that they need it to protect their family or it might just make them feel safe. No matter the reason, 1 in 3 Americans own guns (according to the journal Injury Prevention) and with added pressure on stricter gun control, the number keeps on rising.
After events like San Bernadino, pressure for gun control goes up, but at the same time, so does the desire for more to own guns. According to an article on NPR, they are afraid of the governments power if they don't or that if they have a gun when a terrorist comes through town, they can fight back. If this trend was to continue, there could be an increase in crimes involving guns.
Another example is relatable to the this issue is the government banning alcohol during the Prohibition Era in the 1920's. When the government cracked down on the consumption of alcohol, the people responded with an underground movement to continue to enjoy their favorite drink. I don't believe people would act any differently today. They'd just seek out the black market to buy guns, which since the black market or similar vendors wouldn't adhere to any federal law, would make it impossible to track the gun owner.
As for the other two, accident's wouldn't really be considered violence. As for suicide, while firearms make up for approximately 50% of how someone commits suicide, there are still plenty of other ways and if your truly suicidal, you'd find anyway possible to do it. There's still a 50% of other methods used, and that's just in the U.S. alone.
Debate Round No. 1


Gun control laws reduce gun violence--the evidence for that is overwhelming. Take two states who did exactly the opposite Missouri and Connecticut: in 1995 Connecticut tightened its gun laws; in 2007 Missouri loosened them. Gin related homicide dropped sharply in Connecticut and rose in Missouri.

A frequent talking point of gun rights supporters is that gun violence occurs in other countries too. Well, yes, but not nearly as often. For example, see this headline after the murder of a British Mp: Gun violence rare in U.K. compared to U.S. The numbers are staggering: Britain has 50 to 60 gun killings annually. In the USA, by contrast, there are about 160 times as many gun homicides with a population only about six times larger. This disparity isn't due to some unavoidable law of nature. After a mass shooting in 1996, the British government decided to do something about it and actually passed some laws. Military-style weapons and most handguns were banned, background checks were tightened, and thousands of guns were taken off the street. Australia that very same year passed strict laws in response to a mass shooting; the results were similiar. Gun violence has gone considerably down since then in both countries.

I'm confused by my opponent's following statement: "As for the other two, accident's wouldn't really be considered violence." Deadly accidents, like a recently publicized tragedy of a father shooting his gun at a gun range in Florida, aren't considered violence? Easy access to guns is responsible for so many lethal accidents. By the end of 2015, about 265 children under 18 picked up a firearm and shot someone by accident, and 83 of those shootings were fatal. This simply doesn't happen anywhere else in the world.

My opponent makes another common but deeply flawed argument regarding suicides: "there are still plenty of other ways " That's a very misleading statement. Suicide attempts are much more "successful," if that's the right word, with a gun. Suicidal acts with guns are fatal in 85 percent of cases, while those with pills are fatal in just 2 percent of cases, according to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.

The Alcohol/Prohibition analogy my opponent uses, which my pro-gun father also uses, is a straw man. What I am proposing is stricter gun laws, not outright prohibition. The Court ruled in 2008 that there was an individual right to a firearm so any national laws banning guns--which won't pass-- would be immediately invalidated.

Easy access to guns in America doesn't go unnoticed by our foreign enemies. A recent ISIS defector was quoted as saying: For America and Canada, it"s much easier to get them over the social network, because [ISIS says] the Americans are dumb " they have open gun policies. From 2002 to 2014, 85 percent of people killed by terrorists in the U.S. were killed using guns, according to our analysis. Link:


Looking at each of these different countries with great success at gun control what about areas where gun control has not been so successful? The amount of crime in the UK has been steadily declining since 1995, even before they passed their strict gun control laws. Link: El Salvador also has some pretty restrictive gun laws according to But here:( ) it shows that their gun crimes are still up by a few points from the US. Not just El Salvador but countries like Brazil, Honduras, Mexico.
Some of these countries are also, third world countries with many of their officials corrupt. They control the guns it is possible they could also be giving them to criminals or terrorists to propel fear into people. That makes it easier to control their lives. The US is capable of doing this even more so than some countries. They've done it before. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan gave weapons to Iraq under the leadership of Saddam Hussein. Later, after discovery of the American involvement, the US got involved more directly invading Iraq and taking control under the guise of ousting a dictator. Link:
I'm not a conspiracy theorist but from examples like this it's hard not to see that if we go forward with gun control it could be the first step to becoming like the UK, which is pretty much no guns. Which sounds good on paper, but it begs the question what would the American government do with power like this? It's not a risk that I personally am willing to take. It may have worked for the UK but looking at the other statistics from around the world. How can we be sure it will work for the US?
To clarify on my earlier comment, the definition of violence does not include the term accident in any way.
noun: violence
behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.
synonyms:brutality, brute force, ferocity, savagery, cruelty, sadism, barbarity, brutishness More
"violence against women"
forcefulness, force, power, strength, might, savagery, ferocity, brutality
"the violence of the blow"
strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force.
"the violence of her own feelings"
synonyms:intensity, severity, strength, force, vehemence, power, potency, fervency, ferocity, fury, fire
"the violence of his passion"
the unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.
While the incident mentioned in Florida is tragic and sad, it does not constitute as violent according to the definition. Violence is a negative word probably thrown in with accidents to lead people to believe that guns are bad and should be banned. But that hasn't been answered yet. Accidents are accidents. Maybe an alternative would be teaching gun safety instead of removal.
The rebuttal my opponent used calling my argument on suicide "deeply flawed" and "misleading." I have no intent on doing either. While true that suicides are more successful with a gun, if a person is truly suicidal, they will seek a way to end their life. It's a very sad reality but are taking away guns really the answer to preventing suicide? Guns are not the cause of suicide but a means to suicide. Instead, why not focus more of our attention on help for those who are suicidal.
Suicide can be in relation to many different reasons. Mental illness, abuse, feeling like a failure, drugs, etc. The list goes on as outlined on the website Link for the page I'm referencing:
I would encourage anyone to seek help before seeking an end. If anyone is feeling suicidal, please visit that page for resources on how to help.
The example of the prohibition I used is also mentioned as a straw man, which is "a sham argument set up to be defeated." I used this as an example of other things the US government has tried to control in the past. I don't imagine they just outright banned it. It's more likely that they tried to restrict the consumption of alcohol and the consequences that came from it. After a while, they banned it completely. While alcohol is no longer banned it still serves as a good example. The government felt that restriction wasn't enough. It didn't help so they repealed the law. They still kept restrictions in place, but how much has that helped today?
According to this page: every day, 27 people die in an drunk driving accident. Now, that may be an approximate but it still stands true to the argument and example. Even if it is illegal, people will not listen and find ways to do what they want anyway. Whether it's guns, alcohol, or even their favorite song they don't want to pay for. My point being, why try repeating mistakes that we've made in the past? Why not focus on something more constructive? For example, if banning guns won't help, lets focus on teaching our children about guns to prevent accidents. Lets get them help when they need it. Let's up our game on violent crimes and let people know they won't be tolerated.
Overall, I guess my question is this; Why are we avoiding the real problem?
As for the comment made about terrorists, are we really going to listen to a public statement from a confirmed terrorist about our gun laws? It doesn't make sense to listen to a guy who is dead set on destroying America and her western allies. I for one don't want to take the advice of a guy who'd rather kill my family and friends. I can't see how you win a fight by letting you're enemies use propaganda to destroy you. They used it all the time in WW1 and WW2, it makes sense that people would use it in this war.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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