The Instigator
GMan7112
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
David12N
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The United States Should Pass "Stand Your Ground" Laws

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 401 times Debate No: 73695
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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GMan7112

Pro

Good luck to my opponent! I will be arguing that the US should pass national "Stand Your Ground" laws.

One of the most pressing issues in today's society is the issue of gun control. We see that some people claim that gun control is a magical solution and some that claim it is a problem. However, the only way to keep people safe without infringing on their Second Amendment rights is to pass "Stand Your Ground" laws. Such laws allow people to use deadly force against any threat without retreating. Let's take a look at Switzerland.
Switzerland has a set of laws that conscript people of certain ages into militia training and often provide them with guns. Switzerland has one of the highest, if not the highest, gun ownership rates in the world. It also has an extremely low violent crime rate; in 2010 there were only .5 gun homicides per 100,000 people. Is it a coincidence? No. Almost every single person who has no criminal history or mental illness is trained to use a gun. Guns are not the problem in Switzerland- they are the solution.
Now let's examine the ability for a "gun free zone" to be effective. Say an adult with no felonies or history of mental illness suddenly decides to go kill all of the children in a school. This man, completely legally, has a gun. He goes to a school, ignores the "no gun" sign, and begins to shoot students and teachers. By the time the police arrive five minutes later, the man has killed 50 students and shows no sign of stopping. If even one person had a weapon and was authorized to kill this man under "Stand Your Ground" laws, many of these imaginary students could have been saved. Regardless of gun control, people will still legally (and illegally) have guns- with 900,000,000 million guns (roughly 3 guns per person, if evenly distributed) already owned in the US alone, gun control is not an effective way to stop people from getting guns. There are simply far too many guns to effectively regulate. So, the only way to keep people legally safe and prevent criminals from hurting too many people is to allow good citizens to defend themselves and others. While in other countries gun control may be an effective method, it would not work in the United States simply because of the sheer number of already owned guns. Therefore, if people were allowed to have guns with less restrictions and more freedom to act, crime rates and tragedies would decrease.
David12N

Con

I agree with you that gun control is not going to be the only solution to the crime problem. Many killings are by gang members that presumably could get their hands on guns no matter the law. I would argue that is wrong though to believe the best or one of the best ways to protect someone from being murdered and drive down crime rates are through allowing people to have guns with less restrictions and more freedoms.

There were armed guards at Columbine high school and Virginia Tech but that did not prevent the massacres.
In 2010, the third leading cause of death for children was murder. So stand your ground laws would not do much good for a child being killed by a parent for example. Pulling a gun out at during the hypothetical school shooting you noted could make matters worse especially when the police or other gun owners may not know if the person with the gun running around is the bad guy or good guy. Owning a gun would not have saved any of the victims of the Seattle sniper who killed them from a distance without any warning.

Reasons cited for murder {at least in some states} is personal conflict. Usually involving partners killing partners or ex partners and guns are not going to help much if your partner kills you when you are sitting in front of the TV after a sudden angry outburst from them. Mental health and substance abuse were cited as other major causes of murder and focusing on that would do more to drive down the murder rate than guns. Norway has very low rates of ex-cons re-offending when they are released from prison compared to America where it can be half or more of people released re-offending. This is based more on a better prison system and support system then guns. So the argument that guns drive down the crime rate is just not the case.

The Switzerland example does not prove that having more gun freedom in America is good. You noted that gun control might work in other countries but not America. Japan for example has one of the lowest murder rates in the world and one of the reasons cited is gun control. I take your point though just because it works there does not mean America would be the same. The same applies to the Switzerland example. There are some big differences to America. There is national conscription with ongoing training so the people who own the guns are not just Bob from down the road. The poverty rate is also significantly lower than America which reduces the likelihood of crime. No evidence has yet been provided {in this forum} that the Swiss have a low violent crime rate because of gun ownership.

I could make the same argument the other way round. Lots of guns in America. Very high murder rate. Coincidence?
Most murders are not of someone minding their own business at home then hears a killer trying to break in. If only they had the time to get their gun to kill the would be thief or murderer they would be fine. It is often more spontaneous then that and even having a gun on you does not mean you can react quick enough. Police officers with guns have been killed in surprise attacks.
Debate Round No. 1
GMan7112

Pro

I apologize for misinterpreting the Switzerland evidence; my research appeared to frame it that way but if that is not the reality I apologize.

1. I am not arguing that "Stand Your Ground" laws will help in every situation. I am arguing that it will help in SOME situations. You mentioned how "Stand Your Ground" laws would not prevent a hypothetical parent from killing a hypothetical child; I am arguing that having "Stand Your Ground" laws would not help or hurt in this situation. You also mentioned how people having guns in the situation could make it worse- but I disagree, provided the school follows standard lockdown procedures. If the school does this, students will be out of the way and a teacher could be armed. Thus, if the hypothetical murderer attacked a hypothetical classroom already in lockdown and the hypothetical teacher has a gun, the teacher has the potential to stop the murderer.

2. These laws don't have drawbacks that outweigh their good points. As long as the person is a legal gun owner, the "Stand Your Ground" laws increase this person's chances of survival in a dangerous situation. I cannot think of any sort of situation where a "Stand Your Ground" law would make a situation more dangerous; feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

3. This debate is not about gun control laws; I would like to stipulate that "Stand Your Ground" laws can coexist with gun control laws, provided the gun owners are owning legally. I understand I brought it up in round 1 but I would not like to address it again.
David12N

Con

One could make the argument that expanding stand your ground would only make things worse. If you have a gun and someone attacks then one assumes the person will use the gun to protect themselves weather the law exists or not. So nothing is being gained. There is a study that shows stand your ground laws however result in people being not charged for homicides when they should have been.

Where drug dealers and others engaged in criminal activities have used the law to try and beat criminal charges. One study showed an increase in the number of murders occurring. People could argue for not getting rid of the laws but improving them but with little real gain and complexity in changing to a law that works then it may be better to just get rid of them. At the very least not expand to all states.

The NRA supports it because they believe it will encourage more gun ownership which may not be a good idea because it means not only will calm people get them but also people with anger issues for example. I would argue the best way for people to be safe would be to support the organizations and politicians tackling the big causes of violent crime in the first place mentioned in the first round.

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

http://thinkprogress.org...
Debate Round No. 2
GMan7112

Pro

GMan7112 forfeited this round.
David12N

Con

David12N forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
GMan7112

Pro

GMan7112 forfeited this round.
David12N

Con

Thanks for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
GMan7112

Pro

GMan7112 forfeited this round.
David12N

Con

David12N forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by EthanV 1 year ago
EthanV
Having lived in Switzerland for the last ten years, I'm calling out Pro on BS. "Guns are not the problem in Switzerland- they are the solution." This statement is false. While it is true that the majority of males do own a firearm, I believe they don't get to take the whole thing with them home, thus making the gun useless. Furthermore, saying that the fact that there's such a tiny homicide rate is linked to gun ownership is a false correlation, just like Con has pointed out. There are many other variables that come into play in making things the way they are, mainly the fact that there's little reason to commit crime.
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