The Instigator
JasonMc
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
Yraelz
Pro (for)
Losing
16 Points

The U.S. government should impose stricter gun control laws in order to reduce violent crime

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Started: 2/14/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,215 times Debate No: 2655
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (11)

 

JasonMc

Con

The belief that imposing stricter gun laws will reduce violent crime is an erroneous belief. If a person is going to commit a violent crime with a gun, how does it make sense to think that stricter gun laws will prevent them from doing so? Does anyone really believe that a hypothetical murderer becomes compelled to murder someone in cold blood, but then stops him or her self because it may be illegal to have a gun at the time?

This was the first news headline I read when I logged on to Yahoo this evening (2/14/08): "DEKALB, Ill. - A man dressed in black opened fire with a shotgun and two handguns from the stage of a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University on Thursday, killing five students and injuring 16 others before committing suicide, authorities said."

Illinois is a state which already has strict gun laws, but that obviously didn't protect these people from getting gunned down. After this incident and the one at Virginia Tech, I reaffirm my position that Americans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and that gun laws should be relaxed so law-abiding citizens are able to protect themselves in situations such as these.

If the government were to take our guns away, or continue to impose stricter gun laws, it will only impede our ability to protect ourselves. The closer the U.S. comes to having full gun control, the closer we approach a time in which the only people with guns are cops and criminals. Prohibition didn't work for alcohol, it's not working for drugs, and it won't work for guns.
Yraelz

Pro

Ughhhh..... no.......

Thank you for extending the debate but I most strongly oppose you and I will show you why.

I'm going to cite things you have said and offer my thoughts on it.

"The belief that imposing stricter gun laws will reduce violent crime is an erroneous belief."

>>"A study by the American Journal of Public Health found that "the United States has higher rates of firearm ownership than do other developed nations, and higher rates of homicide." - Wiki

"If a person is going to commit a violent crime with a gun, how does it make sense to think that stricter gun laws will prevent them from doing so?"

>>Person with a legal handgun vs. person with a legal full automatic walks into a school and starts shooting people. Who is going to commit more crime....?

"Does anyone really believe that a hypothetical murderer becomes compelled to murder someone in cold blood, but then stops him or her self because it may be illegal to have a gun at the time?"

>>You're approaching this the wrong way. If the gun is illegal it is harder to come by, especially for deranged children or college students. Under our current laws I can walk into a store in most any state and buy a full automatic weapon. WTF do you use a full auto for?

"This was the first news headline I read when I logged on to Yahoo this evening (2/14/08): "DEKALB, Ill. - A man dressed in black opened fire with a shotgun and two handguns from the stage of a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University on Thursday, killing five students and injuring 16 others before committing suicide, authorities said."

Illinois is a state which already has strict gun laws, but that obviously didn't protect these people from getting gunned down. After this incident and the one at Virginia Tech,"

>>You cite me two examples of why gun control doesn't work. Your fallacy assumes that because one thing happens then it must have a link to another. This would be like saying, "The rooster crows when the sun rises, thus the sun rises because the rooster crows" Its simply not true. Another example, because sometimes people die when they are wearing seat belts therefor seat belts don't work. You assume that these two incidents are the rule but it isn't true, they are the exception to the rule.

Also, concerning Virginia Tech. What would have been done if there were no gun control laws? Are you suggesting college students should carry fire arms? -.-

"I reaffirm my position that Americans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and that gun laws should be relaxed so law-abiding citizens are able to protect themselves in situations such as these."

>>The constitution was created in 1971! Times change, when the Bill of rights was made the second amendment meant that you have the right to keep a musket for defense. It was created in a time when the police force was almost non-existent, in a time when people were expanding west past the confines of the law. Our for-fathers could have never imagined the world as it is today especially fully automatic rifles. Amendments need to be updated and changed as time goes on, look specifically to the 3rd amendment; it means nothing in contemporary society.

Then you go on and tell me this needs to be so that law-abiding citizens are able to protect themselves. With a fully automatic weapon I ask you!? From what!? The USFG SWAT!? Who reading this debate has heard of deranged murders traveling in groups so large that fully automatic weapons are needed to contain them?

So let me give you a situation. Someone pulls a pistol in a school cafeteria and starts blasting away. Another guy sees this and pulls his own pistol. A third guy looks around and notices the two guys blasting away at each other and decides to help the guy he likes the most. Guy four notices his friend being shot at and pulls his pistol. Guys five six and seven decide to fight for justice, sadly they don't know who started the fight so they are shooting everyone with a pistol.

Yeah not very likely huh? After all how many people are going to have weapons on them in a public area like a school? Oh wait.... you are advocating that people have weapons for self defense. This is what happens when people panic, they shoot whoever is possibly threatening their life. Now hand them fully automatic guns. What now......

Our forefathers added the second amendment to mean people should have the right to possess muskets, in a time when the law could not be trusted to properly defend any individual. Nobody needs fully automatic weapons or even weapons at all to protect themselves in the status quo.

"If the government were to take our guns away, or continue to impose stricter gun laws, it will only impede our ability to protect ourselves."

>>Let me approach a different thought for a second. I'll deter my thoughts from fully automatic weapons briefly. Say someone pulls a gun on you. How exactly do you propose to defend yourself? The obvious solution right? Reach for the pistol in your pocket.... oh wait, you just got shot. Most people don't carry guns in public as it is, its one of those things society tends to frown upon. How does having guns protect us at all, at least if guns were illegal the criminals would have a difficult time of getting their hands on them. Accidents would happen less often, school shooting would happen less often.

"The closer the U.S. comes to having full gun control, the closer we approach a time in which the only people with guns are cops and criminals."

>>Sure, but we also approach a time when there are far fewer criminals with guns. This is the advantage. Because the united states have a higher rate of fire arms we have a higher rate of murders. Owning a gun is not likely to prevent you from being murdered by a gun. However banning guns prevents criminals from getting their hands on them without some serious effort. Also reducing the number of guns makes the ones that exist easier to keep track of.

"Prohibition didn't work for alcohol, it's not working for drugs, and it won't work for guns."

>>What... no link at all. Alcohol and drugs are both a source of recreation and fun for those who use them. This is why prohibition failed, this is why the war on drugs is failing. Guns help kill people.... nobody wants to be killed. Banning guns works, has worked in the past, and is working right now in many other countries, like those of the European Union. The United States has the highest murder rate. I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 1
JasonMc

Con

"A study ... found that "the United States has higher rates of firearm ownership than do other developed nations, and higher rates of homicide." -Wiki

- Just because the U.S. has higher rates of homicide in no way means that it is caused by a higher rate of gun ownership. All the American Journal of Public Health is effectively doing is putting one figure beside another in the same statement in order to put a spin on a controversial issue. If anything, I would attribute the higher rates of homicide to largely flaws in our legal / prison system / police state, which serve to worsen conditions for criminals instead of correcting them in any way.

"Person with a legal handgun vs. person with a legal full automatic walks into a school and starts shooting people. Who is going to commit more crime....?"

"If the gun is illegal it is harder to come by, especially for deranged children or college students. Under our current laws I can walk into a store in most any state and buy a full automatic weapon. WTF do you use a full auto for?"

- First off: You are grossly misinformed about fully automatic weapons. School shootings aren't being committed with full autos. There is a difference between an automatic handgun or rifle (meaning that the firearm is operated automatically as opposed to manually) and a fully automatic weapon, which fires multiple rounds with a single squeeze of the trigger. I challenge you to name one store in the U.S. that anyone can go into and buy a fully automatic weapon. Full autos aren't even legal to possess without a special federal permit that very few people can obtain.

Secondly: Firearm prohibition will not work, just like alcohol and drug prohibition haven't worked. The assumption that "If the gun is illegal it is harder to come by, especially for deranged children or college students" isn't true at all. If guns were outlawed, they would be obtained the same way illegal drugs are. A person who's compelled to commit mass murder isn't going to change their mind because the weapon they plan to use is illegal, and / or a little harder to come by.

Third: In regard to the analogy of a person walking into a classroom with a handgun vs a fully automatic, if a person is walking into a classroom with any gun, does it really matter how many rounds they can get off per squeeze? It's a matter of time and ammunition. If there are thirty people in a class room, and the aggressor has enough ammo to kill sixty and intends to, what do you think the end result will be?

Fourth: To address your question "WTF do you use a full auto for?", the Second Amendment was intended to preserve the right of the people to keep and bear arms so that we may protect ourselves from tyrannical oppression. In the event that tyranny would ever befall our country in the future, we're not going to be able to fend it off with pea shooters and shotguns if the aggressors are using more sophisticated weaponry.

Additionally, in certain areas of the country like LA, gangs frequently carry illegal automatic weapons. If you happened to be a person living in an area that had to deal with gang violence, would you rather have the option to possess weaponry as sophisticated as the gangs that were terrorizing your neighborhood, or would you opt for lesser weaponry or none at all? I guess you could call the cops and wait for them to arrive, but there's not a lot they're going to be able to do for you when the incident is already over. It's a matter of proactive vs reactive, and which side of the fence you prefer to be on.

"Your fallacy assumes that because one thing happens then it must have a link to another. This would be like saying, "The rooster crows when the sun rises, thus the sun rises because the rooster crows" Its simply not true. Another example, because sometimes people die when they are wearing seat belts therefor seat belts don't work. You assume that these two incidents are the rule but it isn't true, they are the exception to the rule."

- The point I'm trying to make is that many of the places that have the most stringent gun control laws in the US are vulnerable to violent crime, e.g. college campuses.

"Also, concerning Virginia Tech. What would have been done if there were no gun control laws? Are you suggesting college students should carry fire arms?"

- I am absolutely claiming that students should be able to carry firearms. There would be far less incentive for someone to walk into a classroom and start shooting people if they knew they would die before they got more than a round or two off. The same applies to other aspects of society as well.

"The constitution was created in 1971! Times change, when the Bill of rights was made the second amendment meant that you have the right to keep a musket for defense. It was created in a time when the police force was almost non-existent, in a time when people were expanding west past the confines of the law. Our for-fathers could have never imagined the world as it is today especially fully automatic rifles."

- As I stated above, the Second Amendment was intended to preserve the right of the people to keep and bear arms so that we may protect ourselves from tyrannical oppression, which after numerous geopolitical events such as WWII, it is every bit as relevant today if not more so. At the time when the constitution was written, personal protection was a given. I seriously doubt that if our forefathers could've anticipated that our rights to personal protection in 2008 would be eroded to the point that Americans were having debates such as this, they would've amended the constitution to appropriately address the issue. Ask some of the people who have served in war what they think about gun control, and then ask yourself if founding fathers, who fought and died for our rights, would have a difference in opinion.

Not to stray too far from the topic at hand because we could have an entire debate on the issue, but as far as the police force being non-existent in the eighteenth century, I could make the argument that the police state is in-part responsible for the increase in violent crime.

"Who reading this debate has heard of deranged murders traveling in groups so large that fully automatic weapons are needed to contain them?"

- I've heard of some; such as the mafia, street gangs, biker gangs, etc. Many of the people who do obtain a federal permit to legally possess a fully automatic weapon are eligible to do so because of the fact that they live in areas with high street gang activity, so that they can put up a fair fight should a time come when they would need to defend themselves from such threats.

"Someone pulls a pistol in a school cafeteria and starts blasting away. Another guy sees this and pulls his own pistol. A third guy looks around and notices the two guys blasting away at each other and decides to help the guy he likes the most. Guy four notices his friend being shot at and pulls his pistol. Guys five six and seven decide to fight for justice, sadly they don't know who started the fight so they are shooting everyone with a pistol."

A) What sense would it make to anyone with an I.Q. of over 25 to go into a cafeteria intending on killing someone when they know many or all of the people in there were or could be packing a firearm?

B) Historically, similar situations have occurred on numerous occasions. Think about the exact same scenario playing out in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries if a person walked into a bar full of people carrying a gun intending to kill many or all of the people in there. Do you think they'd all panicked and kill each other?

- If you need more refutation of full gun control, research the Nazi's during WWII. Also, Do you really need a link to illustrate the fact that prohibition doesn't work because it's impossible to completely police due to the fact that any of the above can be easily obtained on the black market?
Yraelz

Pro

Alright. I'm going to go point by point down my opponents statements.

First my opponent points out the fallacy between linking gun control and rates of homicides in the United States. To some extent I agree with him, however it is obvious that if we didn't have guns we would have a lower rate of homicide with them also. Furthermore my opponent goes on to conjecture, "I would attribute the higher rates of homicide to largely flaws in our legal / prison system / police state, which serve to worsen conditions for criminals instead of correcting them in any way" I find myself in accordance with my opponent here however I can not deny that the availability to weapons has helped these criminals.

Next my opponent states that school shootings don't happen with full Autos however I would challenge my opponent to back up this claim or prove beyond a doubt that school shooting have occurred with only small scale handguns. Anything but this would be superfluous and should be illegal under my arguments. Secondly my opponent goes on to tell me that full autos are illegal in the U.S yet this isn't entirely true. The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibited importation of non-sporting weapons from other countries. It also prohibited registry of most automatic firearms after that point. The The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 on the other handed restricted some semi-auto weapons and banned the production of the machine gun. This however still allows for the sub-machine gun, assault and auto rifles, and machine pistols.

My opponent also makes it seem as if fully-automatic guns are nearly impossible to register however a quick glance at wikipedia reveals that nearly 175,000 have been licensed to date in the U.S. This does not account of unlicensed guns. By the way here is an entertaining link to 72 articles on the AK-47. A quick glance over the list shows at least a few of them to be shootings. http://topics.cnn.com...

The third story about the mall shooting 2 months ago should be observed.

Next my opponent argues that making guns illegal will only cause them to go underground. I partially agree with this statement however at the same time it still does make it harder to people to come across these guns. The amount of work required to attain an illegal gun is substantially more than that required to buy the gun or grab your dads gun (if you are a school child). My opponent goes on to state that a person who is compelled to commit mass murder isn't going to change their mind because a mass murder gun is illegal. So here I must state that any mass murderer would want a full auto machine gun as it would be one of those effective guns in doing such a task. However the fact that the machine gun is illegal within the United States has prevented this from happening. My opponent spreads some light on this issue when he argues that school shootings do not happen with full autos. School shootings typically happen with the easiest weapon to come by.

My opponents third point is that a person walking into a classroom with a hand gun vs. a full automatic will do just as much damage. This is simply not true, a person walking in with a handgun will be 1. Forced to reload 2. Forced to actually aim and 3. Forced to take more time between each shot. These factors allow for nearby people to attack said person. If my opponent would like we could expand this idea to a school cafeteria, the larger scale shows the benefits of full auto over handgun.

Fourth: In the odd even we as a people face tyrannical oppression I doubt guns will do anything to protects us from what the government has. Either way unless you can prove tyrannical oppression will be happening on this scale the point is moot.

Next my opponent goes on to argue proactive vs reactive. I care little for such an argument, I am simply arguing preventive. My argument takes the guns off the street which lowers the chance of them falling into the hands, legally or illegally, of criminals.

From here he argues that students should be allowed to carry guns. This is a bad idea, to have the gun there simply promotes the idea of violence. As I said earlier if a school shooting like this did break out it would simply result in chaos.

Next my opponent argues once again that we need weapons in order to fight the government should it repress us. I would simply like to offer alternative versions such as peaceful diplomatic democratic discussions.

Finally my opponent finishes his speech by attacking my school cafeteria chaos point. He does so on two levels.

A. He questions why anybody would start a shooting if they knew everyone was going to shoot them back. My answer is simple, because at the point when someone walks into a school intending to shoot many people they have already given up their will to live. This can be seen through the AK-47 link above and many other incidents where the criminal commmited seucide afterwards.

B. My opponent states,

"Historically, similar situations have occurred on numerous occasions. Think about the exact same scenario playing out in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries if a person walked into a bar full of people carrying a gun intending to kill many or all of the people in there. Do you think they'd all panicked and kill each other?"

This is his downfall and an example the clearly proves my case. As I recall from many old westerns such shootings resulted constantly in anywhere from 1 to 10 people dieing. It was incidents like this that started the whole "gun control" idea in the first place. The fact that we don't have these incidents any more simply proves my point. The fact that it is now illegal to carry guns like that has prevented many needless homicides.

In summary my opponent advocates for a proactive stance on this issue; everyone should have guns to preempt other people. However my opponent never answers my argument stating that it is impossible to preempt someone who pulls a gun on you. I on the other hand advocate prevention, my case stops the gun crimes before they ever happen by making the guns more and more difficult to come by. Examples of this are the western scenario my opponent offered or the lack of school shootings involving full auto machine guns. I do not advocate the complete restriction of guns I simply advocate all guns above the common handgun and hunting rifles should have stricter control laws.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
JasonMc

Con

JasonMc forfeited this round.
Yraelz

Pro

This makes me a little sad, this debate was one of the most thought provoking I have had on gun control. I simply ask that all my arguments are extended.

Thank you for the good debate.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by the_conservative 6 years ago
the_conservative
shut up all of you. Guns create peace. The majority of areas where crimes take place are in places where guns are....guess what.....banned. That just says to a criminal "oh no guns here i have one so no one will stop me" unlike a place where guns are not banned and someone is carrying one and then they shoot the criminal.
Posted by ericjpomeroy 6 years ago
ericjpomeroy
If liberals don't want to own guns that is fine, but I don't want the government to tell me what tools I can own. If you think of a gun as anything more than a tool you are foolish and ignorant. I shot my first gun at the age of three and have had access to guns my entire life. I haven't shot anybody or had any accidents. I am not a minority if that is what your thinking. If you don't trust yourself with a gun fine don't buy one if that makes you feel safer.
If you want to have gun control, you may as well have car control, don't make any cars that go faster than 60 MPH, you have to be 21 to drive, felons can't own cars, or just ban cars all together and make everyone ride the bus. That will save thousands more lives than gun control.
Posted by ericjpomeroy 6 years ago
ericjpomeroy
http://youtube.com...

Gun control creates victims.
Posted by qwerty15ster 6 years ago
qwerty15ster
I would love to debate this, but I am going out of town for a bit. I hope whoever does debate this is good. Good luck.
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Yraelz
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