The United States has a moral obligation to ban guns.
Order Goes: First off,
Round one, Pro puts down case, and Neg ) makes arguments against my case, and puts down their case.
Round two: Pro attacks neg case, while defending their case. Neg defends their case, while attacking pro.
Round three: Pro attacks neg, defends case, and gives reasons for why they should have won the round. Neg does the same as Pro does.
REMEMBER NOT TO IGNORE ANY ARGUMENTS OR THAT WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU. ALSO PLEASE NOTE: YOU CAN NOT BRING UP ANY NEW INFORMATION IN YOUR FINAL SPEECH (NEW EVIDENCE, OR NEW ARGUMENTS AGAINST YOUR OPPONENT'S CASE)
I affirm. Resolved: The United States has a moral obligation to ban guns.
Observation: The resolution (topic) is fundamentally asking us to weigh the moral reasons in favor of guns against the moral reasons counseling it. This means that simply providing one example or multiple examples of guns where guns would have been justified is not sufficient to weigh the round. Rather, both sides have a burden to prove their side as a general rule.
First off. GUNS PROMOTE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The only possible way to refute the Pro World, is to somehow prove domestic violence and gang violence are justifiable. This goes against the whole resolution (topic) however, because this goes against the idea of morals. Domestic Violence and Gang Violence are two very serious things that take away thousands, among thousands of lives, each year, traumatizing and separating families. This means by voting AGAINST you allow for people merely wishing to get out of domestic violence to get hurt.
Second off, Guns Assist Suicide.
One of the most common ways people commit suicide is through guns. Guns take away millions of lives each year, whether it is through someone else such a terrorist, shooting an innocent civilian or a person who should be seeking help, commit suicide. This means that you are justifying millions of deaths through suicide, instead of helping innocent people who are going through depression, and giving them some extra time to think about their decisions.
Thus, because the Negative world harms more people than the Pro world does, meaning I outweigh my opponent on how much harm guns bring (so do not let them try to bring this up) I stand in Pro, and hope you do to.
Apologies in advance; I am not well-versed with the structure and style of Lincoln-Douglas debates. Hopefully you will be fine with me simply responding to your arguments one by one.
Contrary to your statement, the people of the United States have a moral obligation to defend and uphold gun rights.
I will define moral as that which is conducive to the life of a rational, productive human being -- as such, that which is good, or moral, provides positive value to human life, and that which is evil threatens the basic requirements of human life. This is self-evident as morality provides a set of values necessary for life -- and living to the fullest extent is the ultimate purpose of morality.
Further, I will define rights as "freedoms protecting an individual's right to choose a given course of action." As such, the fundamental purpose of a right is to uphold the requirements of every individual's proper survival.
As such, individuals must have a right to uphold their life through the use of reason, as opposed to coercion and force. Put simply, coercion is based on the use of fear -- a coercer violently seizes property from another man if he fails to comply with the coercer.
A coercer exits the realm of reason and voluntary trade, threatening the lives of rational, law-abiding citizens. As such, others have a right to use force against this coercer in order to uphold their own lives -- every individual has a fundamental right to self-defense.
It follows that if an individual has the right to use retaliatory force to preserve his own life, he must have the right to choose the optimal means of doing so. By restricting gun ownership, the government essentially infringes upon individuals' right to choose the best means of defending their life -- and this is profoundly immoral.
Now that I have defined these fundamental terms, I will address your arguments.
First, you claim that guns promote domestic violence, and violence in general. This claim is based on a kernel of truth -- guns are a means to an end: the harm of another individual. But harming others is not inherently immoral; as I have shown above, harming others in retaliation is perfectly justifiable. Furthermore, the suppression of gun rights, beyond being fundamentally immoral, does nothing to inhibit violence in the long run. Violent criminals, by definition, abstain from following the law. As such, a ban on guns or any other restriction on gun rights will not be obeyed by criminals truly bent upon destruction -- as is easily shown by the rise of homemade weapons, the massive illegal arms trade, and the black market for weapons. For instance, after a 1996 ban on handguns in the UK, gun crime more than doubled (http://www.telegraph.co.uk...). A ban on guns does, however, violate the rights of law-abiding, innocent citizens. By stopping individuals from defending themselves to the fullest extent, we leave them completely vulnerable to the actions of violent, ruthless criminals. This is inexcusable and undoubtedly immoral.
Second, you claim that guns assist suicide. This relationship is not consistent and definite -- and there most certainly is not a causal relationship between gun ownership and suicide. A 2007 analysis (http://www.law.harvard.edu...) of international evidence found that "there is simply no relationship evident between the extent of suicide and the extent of gun ownership." They provide ample evidence for this claim:
Furthremore, as Jacob Sullum writes,
"Japan, with a gun ownership rate of 0.6 per 100 people, compared to 88.8 in the United States, has a suicide rate nearly twice as high as high. China and South Korea likewise have much lower rates of civilian gun ownership but much higher rates of suicide. The relationship between gun ownership and suicide clearly is neither consistent nor straightforward."
Clearly, there is nearly no relationship between gun ownership and suicide -- and thus, this argument is no justification for the violation of gun rights.
OK onto my opponent's first argument. My opponent says guns are used for self defense and are used to harm people, to get revenge. My opponent then concedes guns are violent, and is OK with harming people domestically or with gangs. He also fails to address the issue that guns separate families, and is OK with this. Meaning by voting Negative, you are allowing for groups of people getting harmed, and families to separate. This goes against the whole idea of morality.
Second off, now onto my opponent's case. They try to bring up statistical data comparing Sweden to Germany. However, you can't compare Sweden as an analog to United States. They are in different continents, have different populations, economies, and different suicide rights in general. The resolution is fundamentally asking us to weigh the moral reasons and obligations in favor of guns against them, my opponent fails to do this, and provides an invalid argument, because you cannot compare Sweden to the USA or Germany.
Finally, my opponent fails to produce a negative case, meaning my opponent has no offense or defense going into or out of this case, besides the arguments into my points. Except their definitions and self defense argument.
The opponent has misrepresented my argument, claiming that I am "OK" with gang and domestic violence. I clearly stated that this is not the case -- and I provided evidence showing that infringing gun rights only helps the criminals my opponent condemns. Guns in and of themselves are not violent. They are inanimate objects. Their uses, and only their uses, can be judged in a moral context.
The primary (but certainly not the sole) purpose of a gun is to inflict harm upon another human being. As I clearly stated, not all violence is immoral -- but that which violates the rights of others most certainly is. The protection of gun rights does not "allow for groups of people" to be harmed, or cause "families to separate." On the contrary, defending gun rights to the fullest extent enables innocent families and individuals to defend themselves against criminals who fail to obey gun restrictions. As I have shown, those truly bent upon violent crime will circumvent regulations and restrictions of any kind -- the more severe gun restrictions become, the more vulnerable innocents become to thugs and coercers.
By voting positive, you are supporting a set of laws that would blatantly violate the rights of innocent human beings. In doing so, you would make civilians, who are otherwise capable of deterring and retaliating against criminals, completely vulnerable to violence and harm.
In response to your second argument:
Suicide rates can most certainly be compared amongst countries in the context of gun policy, since they account for differences in the things you listed. This is exactly what I have done. I have provided various examples of different countries with more gun restrictions having higher suicide and depression rates. You are right in saying that this problem extends beyond gun rights -- but coercive policies like the ones you advocate are undeniably the cause of this problem. The conditions of people in this countries clearly shows us what happens when the government infringes upon the rights of its citizens. Beyond statistical arguments, a single fact remains undoubtedly important: suicidal people will find other methods of ending their lives. This is easily explained; to them, the pain of living in the real world is immeasurably larger than any temporary pain suicide could cause them. As such, they are bent upon ending their lives to eradicate this pain.
Finally, you claim that I have failed to "produce a negative case." Assuming we are functioning on the same definition of a negative case, I have provided various rebuttals, both statistical and moral, to your arguments. On the other hand, you have failed to counter my statistics and my moral arguments. As such, you have no valid arguments at the moment.
My opponent has slandered my argument as incomplete and fundamentally flawed. This is a misguided attack, and voting pro still means you support coercive laws that threaten the lives of ordinary citizens.
My alternate solution is simple: restore everyone's right to defend themselves to the fullest extent. As I showed, gun restrictions do not deter criminals -- but the threat of being shot in retaliation often does. Furthermore, guns do stop crime -- conservative estimates are in the tens of thousands, and generous estimates are in the millions (http://rense.com...). By restricting gun ownership, you would condemn thousands, if not millions, of innocent people to death and violence.
Ultimately, the right to self-defense is a basic requirement of human flourishing. The right to self-defense reqiuires the right to choose the best means of defending onself. By violating this fundamental right, gun control measures threaten the lives and prosperity of millions of innocents -- and this is profoundly immoral. If you choose to vote con, you are choosing to oppose these coercive, anti-human measures.