The United States should ban all guns
Debate Rounds (4)
Round Two: Constructive Arguments
Round Three: Rebuttals
Round Four: Final Rebuttals (no new arguments)
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I offer the following definitions: Should is defined as used to express obligation, or as ought. A ban is defined as a prohibition of the use, performance, or distribution of something. A ban can be full or partial. All is defined as the whole, entire, total amount, quantity, or extent of. Gun is defined as a portable firearm. (All definitions from Merriam-Webster).
Because of the word "should" in the topic, this debate will be evaluated based on ability to uphold morality.
The best way to uphold morality is to protect life. Every society is structured to protect life, so there is agreement that it is a good goal. Protecting life is a prerequisite to any other moral standard because one can't be moral if they are not alive. Thus, the role of the voters is to vote for the debater that better upholds life. Protecting liberty or other standards is irrelevant.
First, I contend that guns are inherently dangerous.
According to Oxford Journals, over 60% of all homicides and suicides in the United States occur using guns. According to studies from the NIH, for every 1% increase in gun ownership there is a 1.1% increase in gun homicide and 0.7% increase in homicide in general. After banning firearms in 1975, Virginia's murder rate dropped 23% and robbery 11% in 15 years. South Carolina recorded a 24% murder rate decline between 1975 and 1990 with a similar law. (People.Duke.edu)
Easy access to firearms doubles the risk of homicide to any one person. 21,175 people die from firearm suicide each year. People will not turn to other means to commit suicide if guns are not readily available: 90% of people who commit suicide do it within one day of deciding to, which does not give them time to get means that are not already there. One in four do in less than five minutes! Guns in houses are easy to access, and 85% of gun suicides are lethal.
Guns are not useful for self-defense. For every one "justifiable" gun homicide in self-defense, there are 34 criminal gun homicides, 78 gun suicides, and two accidental gun deaths (Washington Post).
Second, I contend that banning guns eliminates them.
Some might say that criminals would choose to disobey a ban and get guns anyway. However, that is not true. According to Jay Watchell, a crime gun patterns expert from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the most common way criminals get guns in through straw purchases, which is where one person gets a gun legally on a criminal"s behalf. Second-most-commonly are street purchases, when someone gets a gun legally and sells it illegally to a criminal. The final way criminals get guns is on the black market, in which someone gets a gun either through straw purchases or street purchases and sells it again. Vietnam has banned guns and now has 1/4 the homicide rate of the USA. Australia has a partial ban in place and has a very low homicide rate.
Third, I contend that guns harm mental health.
When people in society, especially children and adolescents, are exposed to gun violence, they are very likely to suffer numerous negative effects. Test scores are greatly reduced, and high levels of anger, withdrawal, and depression were noted among teens who were exposed to violence as opposed to teens who were not exposed to violence. Children may also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after seeing gun-related violence occur. This can lead to all sorts of horrible effects such as flashbacks and inability to move past the incident, leading, again, to depression, anger, and withdrawal.
In the world of the con, we live in a world of death, violence, murder, and crime. In the world of the pro, we eliminate all of that and live in a society with less violence, less crime, and happier youth. It is clear that the pro world is much more desirable, so please vote pro!
1. The reason why we have all these mass shootings here in the United States and around the world is because the background checks of potential buyers are not thorough. So because of that, people who are mentally unstable or who have evil plans are able to buy a firearm and shoot people. It is true that we have background checks for some states. In these states, 46% fewer women are shot to death by their partners, 48% fewer on-duty police officers are shot to death, 48% less people have commuted suicide using guns, and gun trafficking had been reduced by 48%. But people who buy guns illegally find loopholes through this system and are allowed to buy guns with no background checks or questions asked to them. (everytown.org) This system is like having two lines that go through a high security bank. One has security checks, and the other doesn't. All the bad people out there who want to buy a gun or other weapon know about this. This is one reason why guns should not be banned. The gun background checks should be more thorough.
2. Sometimes guns are needed depending on their occupation or where they live. The law enforcement workers, such as police officers need guns in case if someone makes threatening moves towards them, and they can use that in self-defense. People who live in states where there isn't that many people need to get their own food. Not through supermarkets, but by actually getting their food by hunting. People who live in Alaska may need a rifle to defend themselves against wild animals such as grizzly bears. For these people, guns are just a "must need" item. This is my second reason on my belief that guns should not be banned.
3. Selling firearms creates jobs for people. As of 2014, the United States has over 100,000 people employed selling or making weapons. (nssf.org) If we banned guns altogether, we would be cutting jobs of so many people who work hard to earn money. Millions of dollars in wages would not be given. The unemployment rate could be up several tenths of a percent. This is my third reason.
In conclusion, guns should not be banned because (1) it is the background checks that need to be improved, (2) people, depending on where they live or their job occupation, and (3) it helps the economy. The idea of living in a harm-free world is a nice one, but not a practical one. I look forward to my opponent's response.
On my opponent's first argument: First, they only say that we should have background checks, not that we shouldn't ban guns. So this argument is not even relevant. But even if you don't buy that, it would actually be much worse to increase background checks than to ban guns. Banning guns solves all gun violence. My opponent claimed in their own argument that there was only a 48% reduction in the gun suicide rate, gun trafficking, shooting of police, and domestic violence shootings. But banning guns would solve 100% of all of those things. In the con world, violence might be minimized, but people would think it is solved and just ignore it, even though it isn't solved. This "ruse of solvency" would allow the problem to get much worse because people wouldn't be trying to address it. In the pro world, however, the problem is actually solved.
On my opponent's second argument: Police should not carry guns. They use guns in "self-defense," but actually all self-defense is is a supposedly justified killing of someone who is trying to harm you. It doesn't actually minimize the amount of death. Police officers often shoot too quickly in a crisis, killing someone that was not a threat. This is proven time and time again in the news: According to the Washington Post, there are over 1000 police killings every year. The goal of police is to protect people, not harm them. If police need to protect themselves, they can carry pepper spray or TASERS or other less deadly items. There are no states without any grocery stores; that's ridiculous. If you need to protect yourself from an animal, it would be better to carry a less lethal weapon than a gun because shooting an animal only ends up taking more animal lives than absolutely necessary, which is bad.
On my opponent's third argument: This argument was not impacted under the framework of protecting life. My opponent has no proof that keeping people in the gun industry protected their lives. Any slight good that would be done is outweighed by the huge amounts of death caused by the existence of guns.
My opponent admitted themselves that the idea of living in a harm-free world is "a nice one." There is no reason why it isn't practical; on the contrary it is quite easy. The only thing we need to do for this world that both my opponent and I agree would be good is ban guns. Thus, please vote pro.
First, extend my framework. The purpose of the debate is to determine what is moral, and the best way to determine what is moral is to determine what best protects life. Any argument not relating to the protection of life is irrelevant. My opponent concedes this, so the debate will be evaluated under this framework.
My opponent's only attack on my first argument was that I do not solve completely for murder, and that the guns aren't dangerous but rather the people using the guns. Turn this argument. I solve for murder better than my opponent because I completely eliminate gun homicide, while my opponent doesn't mention anything about gun homicide, so they don't solve for any of it. Also, even if the people, not the guns, are causing the harm, those people would not be able to cause the same amount of harm without access to guns. My opponent says nothing countering the fact that I minimize homicide and suicide, so you can extend those arguments.
My opponent said nothing countering my second argument, so you can extend that also.
My opponent did not refute my third argument, but only said that they solve it with background checks. You can extend my third argument.
I now move on to my opponent's case. Their defense of background checks only says that we need to solve these loopholes. But turn this: I solve for the loopholes in the system by banning guns entirely better than my opponent does by simply expanding background checks. My opponent offers no reason why allowing guns to exist but with background checks better protects life than eliminating guns, and I have offered reasons why it doesn't. So you should vote pro on this argument.
My opponent drops my attacks his second and third arguments, so I win those.
This debate comes down to three key voting points. First, my opponent conceded the framework, so the debate will be evaluated under who best protects life. Second, does it better protect life to eliminate guns or to set up background checks? I have proved that it is far better to eliminate guns entirely than to allow a system where people can get legal guns and pass them off to criminals, as I said happens in my second contention and that my opponent never refuted. Third, practicality. My opponent said it is not practical to ban guns, but they had no reason why. So this argument of impracticality should not be considered.
It would be far better to have a world without gun violence than a world with maybe slightly less gun violence but where it still occurs. For this and all the reasons stated above, you should vote pro!
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