The Instigator
jnedwards11
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
TheHitchslap
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Universal Background Checks, as recently proposed in the US Senate, would not mitigate crime

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
TheHitchslap
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/2/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,931 times Debate No: 35220
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (4)

 

jnedwards11

Pro

The goal of universal background checks is, ostensibly, to prevent easy access of firearms by criminals through gun show, Internet, and private sale/lending transactions. To reach this goal, each of the transactions listed above would be subject to the current FBI background check system. I hold that this law, as written, would not contribute to an aggregate reduction in gun crime and would unreasonably scrutinize the law abiding citizens of the United States of America.
Round 1 is to accept; 2,3,&4 for rebuttals and 5 will be closing arguments.
TheHitchslap

Con

I accept.

Get ready for a good fight boys!
Debate Round No. 1
jnedwards11

Pro

Thanks to TheHitchslap for accepting this debate, I look forward to the challenge.

I will start with a fairly simple assertion. If a law is made to stop something, the illegal acquisition of a firearm in this case, it needs to be enforceable to deter criminals and wrong doers.

Obviously someone who attempts to obtain a gun illegally, or for illegal means, has no regard for the law, so simply making something else illegal cannot be logically assumed to be a deterrent. In order for this law to be successful (in other words, to keep guns from those that should not have them) authorities would need to prove it is being broken to prosecute those who would not comply. Since authorities would have no way of doing this, there would be no incentive for the criminally inclined to even consider this law when attempting their next acquisition.

To illustrate this idea, I will use two scenarios involving the illegal purchase of a gun...

1) A criminal asks his friend to buy him a gun. The willing friend purchases the gun after passing a background check and then gives it to the criminal. The authorities can't prove this transaction occurred and are powerless to stop it having no prior knowledge it was taking place. UBC fails to keep a gun from a criminal in the exact type of transaction for which it was designed.

2) A criminal locates a stranger selling a gun suitable for his needs. He offers to pay the stranger $100 more than the asking price to avoid the "inconvenience" of a background check. The seller, being raised a capitalist and lacking civic responsibility (a characteristic all to common these days) and fearing no reprisal, is happy to pocket the extra cash. Again, the authorities have no way of proving this transaction occurred and the criminal is free to use the newly acquired gun for whatever evil purposes he see fit.

As you can see, each of these transactions are completely untraceable unless one of the parties decides to turn themselves in over a sudden bought of guilt. If this bought represents the pinnacle of the laws effectiveness then I think we can all agree it is not worth the time it will take to pass it, much less the trouble it causes responsible, law abiding citizens.

Regrettably, only those with a strong feeling of civic duty will be, at the least, inconvenienced by this law, and at most, outright wrongfully prosecuted. Since this law effectively requires all gun sales be made through an FFL, citizens who live away from populations and towns may have to drive for miles simply to legally sell a gun to an acquaintance. Depending on the price of the gun and the background check, this could effectively negate any gain to be had from the sale. This law also allows our attorney general (a political appointee with no fear of voter reprisal) to set the price of a background check at whatever he/she sees fit. While you can't assume abuse of such a privilege, you also cannot guarantee it's fair keeping.

With this law a gun owner could face federal prosecution for selling his gun to his brother without a UBC, if he first listed that gun for sale in an online forum that his brother was a member of...How does that make sense? Also as written, a gun owner could face federal prosecution for lending a friend a gun on a hunt, or letting a stranger use their weapon at a gun range (w/out first having the background check) I ask again, how does this make sense?

With all the potential downfalls to the law abiding, and all the holes afforded to the lawless there is no reason to assume any tangiable reduction in crime would result from this amendment being passed.

http://www.politifact.com...

http://www.docstoc.com...
TheHitchslap

Con

Thank you for your arguments!

Purpose of a Law:

I agree with my opponent here on the purpose of a law, and how they work (need enforcement), but I disagree with his conclusion here.

If a law is made to detter criminals, and it must be enforceable, then the state must create the law to deter criminal activities and enforce said law. However, the problem with my opponents conclusion is that criminals break the law, and because they break the law (as criminals do not register their guns) we should scrap it. But that is an argument for more gun control not against it. Criminals are exactly criminals by definition because they break the law regardless of what it is. Criminals may also commit a theft, do we say we should scrap theft laws because criminals do not follow them? We do not. Same idea with guns, if we wish to enforce it, the NRA needs to stop lobbying the state to preventing law enforcement officals from posessing the tools they need to enforce the law.

Senarios:
1) actually, when the gun is used, all the police would have to do is check the serial number of the weapon to see where it was registered to trace it back to the person who bought the gun, enabling the killer. Now, if my opponent mean't to show something like a private transacton at a gun show for instance, then it stems to reason for more gun control not less. The Colombine shooters were known to ask around at gun shows if the person was private or public sellers, they wanted private because they couldn't pass background checks...if only that loop-hole was fixed...

2) finger prints perhaps? Again this is a claim for more regulation, not less.

Selling arms privately was only opposed due to the power of the NRA. They are paranoid about losing their second amendment, but the problem is limiting a right is not the same as eliminating it, and all we want is the ability to track who sells what gun to whom.

Inconvienence versus Saftey?

While it may be a pain to sell the gun, let's not forget we're talking about a weapon here after-all. Would you sell a 300 HP car to a kid? I know I couldn't! Same idea here, the seller ought to be weary about who he sells his guns too, because if that person was crazy and in turn shoots someone, the seller would have an abundance of guilt hanging on their heads, quite the burden to live with if you ask me.

Furthermore, let's look at the statistics shall we? Harvard Health has examined gun control, and found that more guns equates to more crime: {http://www.hsph.harvard.edu...} in fact, even having a gun in a home increases the likelyhood of a child getting hurt: http://childrensnyp.org...;.. could you imagine being a father knowning your gun harmed your child? States with the most amount of guns per capita often have the worst crime rates as well:

In fact, a heavy correlation exists between relaxed gun-law states, and increases in violent crime http://247wallst.com...;

What about other Countries?

Australia ended up having a major gun buy-back, and had drops of crime rates, espescially for mass shootings.

The Nordic Countries, (Finland, Switzerland, etc...) have some of the highest gun ownerships per capita of people, yet almost no gang shootings what so ever. Both countries have some of the strictest gun laws in the world; Switzerland does not even have a standing army they have a peoples milita, and don't even get ammo in their guns unless an officer allows them too, you can only purchase ammo at a gun range and you MUST use it there, same as any other nordic state.

I live in Canada, where gun laws are incredibly tough, your not even allowed an open-carry here. In comparison to Toronto Chicago was far more violent, despite having similar stats http://www.thestar.com...

The list continues ... gun control simply works, so long as the loop holes of the law are closed.

Self-Defence:
Having a gun in the home does NOT deter crime as noted here:
http://www.iansa.org...


Furthermore, the law isn't black and white. The second amendment is not inalienable; it can be taken away for legal purposes. http://www.cato.org...;

so if someone breaks into your home, although you do have a case for self-defence, you may run into being charged with man-slaughter should you shoot him .. making you the criminal and not him (which is why guns produce more crime, not deter them)

The Home Run:

One country I can think of in which has some of the freeest gun regulations. Enjoy living in Somalia, where gun control simply doesn't exist (to the best of my knowledge) and where gun violence is rampant.

My case is made, Guns are unsafe and need to be controlled. Gun controls, saves lives, and furthermore, lessens crimes. Not the other way around. It also prevents accidents, and finally, I believe my opponents logic is flawed. If criminals do not follow the law and we scrap them, should we also scrap theft because they do not follow it either? No, we keep it. we ought to do the same with Guns, and close the loop-hole.


Thank you

Over to my opponent!
Debate Round No. 2
jnedwards11

Pro

Thank you for your reply, I will be happy to address each of them in order.

1) Main Argument

"If a law is made to deter criminals, and it must be enforceable, then the state must create the law to deter criminal activities and enforce said law. However, the problem with my opponents conclusion is that criminals break the law, and because they break the law (as criminals do not register their guns) we should scrap it."

I regret to inform my opponent that failing to register a weapon is not a crime in the vast majority of the United States (the only jurisdiction this amendment would have authority). I live in Virginia and own a number of firearms varying in size and type without having registered a single one of them and I am not considered guilty of anything by any legal authority. To help prove this concept further, please feel free to view the link I have enclosed. The only type of consistent registration requirements we have in the US are for weapons and devices designated as "Class 3". These include fully automatic machine guns, (not the AR-15 civilian "assault rifle") short barreled rifles (SBR's), short barreled shotguns (AOW's) and silencers. I would also like to point out that the amendment we are debating clearly points out that the creation of any such federal registry would be entirely illegal (as other US laws have also clarified) and even goes so far as to declare penalties for such a trespass. Since there is no registry, and there can't ever be one, there is no way to track sales and hold people responsible, which I assert, makes this law unenforceable.

http://www.handgunlaw.us...

Having based this main counter point solely on the grounds that not registering a weapon is illegal, I feel your reasoning to be unacceptable for this debate.

2) Scenarios

"actually, when the gun is used, all the police would have to do is check the serial number of the weapon to see where it was registered to trace it back to the person who bought the gun, enabling the killer."

Again, unfortunately your conclusions condemning my examples are based on the incorrect assumption that the 300 million firearms in the United States are registered. Facts have shown that this is not the case.

3) Inconvenience Vs Safety

"While it may be a pain to sell the gun, let's not forget we're talking about a weapon here after-all. Would you sell a 300 HP car to a kid? I know I couldn't! Same idea here, the seller ought to be wary about who he sells his guns too, because if that person was crazy and in turn shoots someone, the seller would have an abundance of guilt hanging on their heads, quite the burden to live with if you ask me."

A seller should indeed be weary of who they are transferring a lethal weapon to, no arguments there. But as history has demonstrated over and over again, multiple times a day, laws do not create morals in miscreants. For a law to be effective in preventing a demonstrated criminal from acquiring a gun (which is the ONLY purpose of the amendment) then it has to be enforceable. For the law to reasonably keep people from errantly transferring a firearm to a criminal those people need to have some fear of consequence. There is no mechanism that exists that can be logically assumed to create this fear.

"Furthermore, let's look at the statistics shall we?"

I think it's fair to say anyone even remotely familiar with the internet can pull up a number of "statistical studies" that give weight to one side of the gun debate over the other. If you would like me to do that in the next round, just indicate so and I will be happy to comply. To put it simply though, we can both show correlations in various studies indicating a wide variety of results, neither of us however, due to the impossibility of controlling (or even understanding) all the variables in play, can draw a reasonable conclusion from said results. As basic science taught all of us in high school, correlation does not prove causation.

But on a more important note; we are not debating the legitimacy of gun control as an idea. If you would like to offer another line of debate on this topic I would relish the opportunity. We are specifically debating whether or not the recently proposed UBC amendment could effectively mitigate crime on its own merits. I have yet to see how this study offers anything more than a token view of the assumed success of gun control

4) What about other countries?

Again, for the same reasons as above this is not relevant to our particular line of debate. Not to mention comparing one country's gun laws to another's is about as "apples to oranges" as it gets. If full gun control is so successful then why do countries like Brazil and Mexico have some of the highest murder by gun rates in the world? The questions is rhetorical, because again, until you show me how this argument directly relates to the universal background check bill as proposed in the US Senate, this is a moot point.

5) Self-Defense

"Having a gun in the home does NOT deter crime"

Yes it does, but this again is another debate I would be more than happy to have when properly offered.

"Furthermore, the law isn't black and white. The second amendment is not inalienable; it can be taken away for legal purposes."

I haven't made a single argument that opposes this view, nor do I believe it is relevant.

"so if someone breaks into your home, although you do have a case for self-defense, you may run into being charged with man-slaughter should you shoot him"

A simple review and understanding of the local laws you adhere to is an easy way to understand your rights in these situations. In most cases a defensive shooter need only prove they felt their life was in danger, and that the person endangering it had the willingness and opportunity to do so. In my district in Virginia, for example, the DA is more than happy to clarify before hand that in his legal understanding, a thief breaking into your home while you are sleeping meets each of these qualifications. Again though, and not to sound like a broken record, but it appears you have digressed from our agreed upon debate to the wider debate of general gun control which is not what we are discussing.

5) The Home Run

" One country I can think of in which has some of the freest gun regulations. Enjoy living in Somalia, where gun control simply doesn't exist (to the best of my knowledge) and where gun violence is rampant."

Somalia has also been plagued by civil war and lawlessness for more than two decades. Are we to believe their lack of gun control was the cause of this turmoil or is it fair to admit there are other variables that may not be have been given the appropriate consideration in your example?

Back to you Con!
TheHitchslap

Con

1) Main Argument Re

-I never contested the legitimacy that not registering a gun is always illegal. I am well aware that not all guns must be registered, but that's not the question today we are suppose to be facing. The question is --hypothetically speaking -- if the US senate were to make universal background checks today it would not have an effect on crime. My BOP is to show it would prevent crime instead. Indeed, the main issue here then is what should the law ought to be? And I showed through the examples of Canada, Findland, Switzerland, and Australia that statistically speaking the results overwhelmingly favor background checks and heavy gun regulation to prevention of crime.

-Secondly, it is enforceable, the problem is the NRA striking down such bills in which enable the law enforcers to uphold the law. For instance, http://www.bloomberg.com...;
This bill would have regulated the private transactions between buyer and seller, espescially in the loop-holes of the law, so places like the internet would have had to adhere to the same regulations of reporting like any other gun salesman. Sounds equitible no? Well, looks like only business are subjected to giving background checks, meaning that a loophole is in place, and is the only reason why the law does not work.

In fact, the Colombine shooters did the same thing as previously noted. http://thinkprogress.org... 80% of guns used in crimes are done through private sales such as person to person rather than business to person, because that's the only way criminals can get their guns. If the law ought to regulate that, crime would certainly decrease, and the studies I used from Harvard health clearly show this data is solid as well.

2) Senarios Re:

- Even if assuming those guns are not registered, all guns manufactured in the US do have a serial number, and the data is easy to obtain via a database when looking up the serial number. Why can we not do this with purchasers of weapons as well? The info often gives the manufacturer, and the seller, from there the seller may identify who the buyer is. This does not require a registry, though a registry would make this process far easier and a lot more cheaper.

3) Incon. vs Saftey Re

- I never asked for the law to create a morality, only to regulate the consuming of that in which can be fatal to one's self and/or to others. And while I agree that laws need an enforcement mechanism, that mechanism was stopped by --once again the NRA -- from allowing that to happen in the first place. One example is the gun segment on the Jon Stewart Daily Show in which showed a leader from the NRA going aginst the Brady Bill as "unconstitutional" even though it has been shown to prevent suicides, and delay shootings. Furthermore, if my opponent is correct and those criminals simply have no fear, this is not an argument for more gun freedom, but rather less. If criminals do not fear anything, then why fear a gun? That would create more crime not less, as the lack of fear makes perfectly good citizens culpible for man-slaughter upon shooting a criminal.

4) Stats Re

-Which is why I noted that a strong correlation exists with increase gun control and less crime. However as a matter of fact, the Harvard Studies I used were done with cross-sectional data, showing a distinct long-term pattern for more gun control within a controlled experiement as a result http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Indeed, the stats seem to imply that an indirect systemic causation is in place and in favor of more gun regulation.

5) What About Other Countries Re

- ....Sir, apples are comparable to oranges! They're both fruit, round, warm in colors, ...

Mexico does NOT have full gun regulation, actually it's a constitutional right to all, and again with how bad their laws are you've proven my point http://en.wikipedia.org...
Same as Brazil, heavy gun regulation is a new thing just coming in http://en.wikipedia.org...
clearly on this small amount of data (5 years) it would be a hasty conclusion to decide that gun control has failed Brazil, we need at least 10 -15 years to see a long-term trend in Gun regulation's success or failures. Even then the results of Brazil is also in favor of my argument, as Brazil is one of the largest arms dealers in the world, earlier studies I posted clearly showed more guns equates to more crimes.

Furthermore, it is applicable, Canada, and Swtizerland are both incredibly differing countries. Yet they both had the same results on gun regulations, same as Findland and Australia. This idea that somehow the US is the only exception is outright wrong. The fact of the matter is, is that gun regulation simply works. It knows no differing countries! Background checks show that preventing everyone from having a gun decreases crime.

6) Self -Defence

- No it does not.
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu...

Guns are used more often to intimidate than that for self-defence, and are only used in cases of escallating arguments more commonly. Which is still socially undesireable. Guns do not deter crime. They escallate them.

- Furthermore, if my opponent conceeds to my point about the second amendment being violated due to background checks, then legally, there is no reason for my opponent to oppose background checks. He indirectly conceeds to the fact that it's not an inconviencne to gun owners as well, because nothing of these checks is harmful to the person, they're justa precaution.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu...

-And it's not that simple, State v. Faulkner, 483 A.2d 759,769 (Md. 1984) is an example of a man being charged with involuntary manslaughter because he incorrectly thought he had the right to kill someone, but that use of force was unreasonable, but what exactly is reasonable the courts never actually define, making it difficult to tell.

7) Home Run

Indeed I think we should, as Somalia isn't the only country with this issue, South Africa also has this problem of people arming themselves, which escallates the issue not defuses it! http://www.guardian.co.uk...;

This is also an issue in Afghanistan, where purchasing an AK-47 goes for US $150

Again, a strong correlation to gun ownership follows with higher amounts of crime, likewise the opposite is true as well, that less guns = less crimes.


Thank you!
Over to my opponent!
Debate Round No. 3
jnedwards11

Pro

I must dutifully inform my opponent that there is nothing "Hypothetical" about the universal background checks we are debating. The title of this very debate specifically includes the words "As recently proposed in the US Senate". My opening statement further clarifies we are discussing the law "as written". Accepting this debate requires you to show this law could mitigate crime WITHOUT being amended and in the conditions under which it would be applied. The main issue being debated here is in no conceivable way "what should the law ought to be" (my opponents phrasing, not mine). Having made this clear, I will proceed with my rebuttals under the defined constrictions of this debate"..

"I showed through the examples of Canada, Finland, Switzerland, and Australia that statistically speaking the results overwhelmingly favor background checks and heavy gun regulation to prevention of crime."

I have demonstrated to my opponent (with a basic law of science no less) how statistical studies are in no way proof of ANYTHING and can easily be manipulated to give favor to either side. More importantly, however, each of these countries have restrictions on guns that go well beyond that of the United States'. Arguing that this policy is successful in those countries necessarily includes the aggregate effect of laws that could never even be passed in The US (a national registry being the prime example). Again, you have failed to show any proof of how UBC's (as written!) would be effective in The US.

"Secondly, it is enforceable, the problem is the NRA striking down such bills in which enable the law enforcers to uphold the law. For instance..."

The NRA does not have ANY authority to "strike down bills" They represent millions of people concerned about gun rights in The US who have a perfectly reasonable right to gather and vote as they see fit. And if UBC's problem is that it can't work without passing more laws then you must necessarily admit UBC'S, as recently proposed in the US Senate, would not mitigate crime.

"because that's [private sales] the only way criminals can get their guns."

I challenge my opponent to show why a criminal is incapable of stealing their weapons, making them with a 3D printer, or benefiting from gun traffickers.

"all guns manufactured in the US do have a serial number, and the data is easy to obtain via a database when looking up the serial number."

Yes and it traces back to an FFL dealer only. Probably one that buys thousands of guns at a time.

"Why can we not do this with purchasers of weapons as well?"

Because that is a registry which is specifically illegal.

'The info often gives the manufacturer, and the seller, from there the seller may identify who the buyer is."

Lets apply that scenario to real life".A federal authority suspects a gun used by a criminal was acquired illegally. They start by locating the business the gun was sold to, then they would have to confirm the store it was sold from, they would then have to hope that based on nothing more than a general description of the gun and a ten digit number that a sales clerk who likely sells hundreds of firearms a month will remember who they sold it to. Then they would have to get that clerk to agree to testify. Then they would have to get a DA to be willing to try the case solely on a near unbelievable eye witness account, and lastly, you would need 12 jurors to unanimously decide that said evidence is enough to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is supposed to effectively mitigate crime?

"One example is the gun segment on the Jon Stewart Daily Show in which showed a leader from the NRA going against the Brady Bill as "unconstitutional" even though it has been shown to prevent suicides, and delay shootings."

How does this further the idea that the recently proposed UBC's would mitigate crime in The US? A law being effective at the prevention of something hardly makes it constitutional. We could pass a law limiting free speech that would effectively prevent Westboro Baptist Church from being a public menace. I would not, however, consider this change to be inherently "good".

"Furthermore, if my opponent is correct and those criminals simply have no fear"why fear a gun"

I never said criminals were fearless. My opponent seems to attempt to credit a number of ideas and cessions a have made to him that never occurred. In the future. I will ask that you use direct quotations to indicate what I have said in this debate. To clarify, I believe criminals do not fear the law when there is no reason to fear consequence. Losing your life is a consequence almost any human will consider if it's occurrence is likely.

"Which is why I noted that a strong correlation exists with increase gun control and less crime. However as a matter of fact, the Harvard Studies...."

Direct quote from the "conclusion" portion of this source....."our study cannot determine causation". This could also read "hopelessly doomed to ambiguity" That is EXACTLY what I have been saying, right?

"Apples, Oranges, Mexico, Brazil, more studies and back to Canada & Switzerland..."

Are we really going to argue over an expression with an obviously accepted use?......

Having already shown why other countries do not constitute a rational comparison for this debate I will add only that Mexico's right to bear arms is nothing like The United States'. The constitutional right you speak of has been watered down such as to make it wholly ineffective. Local police districts in Mexico hold legal authority to severely limit gun private ownership such that only farmers in the middle of nowhere can get small caliber long guns. All this control and Mexico's murder rates make ours look like child's play.

*Self Defense... "Here's another study..."

Here's another quote from your study regarding its controls....."To believe fully the claims of millions of self-defense gun uses each year would mean believing that decent law-abiding citizens shot hundreds of thousands of criminals. But the data from emergency departments belie this claim"

You do not have to shoot someone to use a gun defensively, that is an absurd qualification at best. You could fire the gun and miss, you could simply point the gun, you could deter crime by merit of having it in the plain view of a criminal looking for target. Your source allows for NONE of this.

"And it's not that simple, State v. Faulkner..."

Essentially someone killed someone else and tried to claim self defense unjustly. This is not an argument against guns, but rather against self defense in general. A person can kill another person with any object and attempt to claim self defense thereafter. Is my opponent somehow indicating that the banning of a right to self defense would help UBC's mitigate crime in the US?

"Somalia"

My opponent has openly avowed he feels the situation in Somalia is a result of having no established gun policy. I believe it is the result of having no established government for decades. Since this argument could not possibly show how UBC's would mitigate crime inside the lawful boundaries of The US, I am content to leave this for the reader to decide.

Thanks, and back to you con..
TheHitchslap

Con

Re: Hypothetical

The question does call for a hypothetical outcome, because my opponent makes the claim "it would not" or "it would" implying that if passed it has a certain consequence, and I must refute that consequence to meet that BOP. I have, and indeed my opponent claiming there is nothing hypothetical about this debate ought to count as a concession to my studies that he simply rejects on the basis of a bare assertion fallacy (see later rebuttals). Finally, while it does state "as written" what I was trying to show was that the bills provisions could be effective, but because it was struck down, I needed to show it pragmatically in another country .. I did, those were done in countries like Canada, Australia, Findland, Switzerland, etc... Oh and one last note, it has to be what the law ought to be, if passed the law would have made internet sales be reported. Which my opponent is arguing that it was struck down (we both agree that's an objective fact) but should it have been struck down? Your claiming yes it ought to have been shot down (hehe .. SHOT!) due to it being a pain, whereas I say it ought to have been empowered for the saftey of non-gun owners. My opponent commits a "moving the goal post" fallacy here, by trying to change up the fundamental question this debate rests upon to assist his own argument!

Re: Effects in Canada, Australia, etc...

While correlation is not causation (I agree) it is still important to note the correlations within a specific formulated policy. Firstly, my opponent never actually refuted my argument here, he completely drops it, I never stated it was causation (when it was correlation) but instead showed that when gun policies restricting their avalibility is imposed within a country (or any given land mass) that a pattern of less crime occurs with it. Which, is all the proof I need to meet my BOP. My opponent again moves the goal posts on me here, by rejecting my evidence and asking for more. In fact when I pointed out in round 2 that the Colombine Shooters were asking around at gun shows for "private sellers" and not public ones due to the legal loop-hole, my opponent completely dropped this argument. I showed my proof.

Re: NRA

While they do not have the authority to actually strike down the bills themselves, it is well known that they are a gun-rights lobby. In fact the very bill you use as a topic was taken down by politicians lobbied by the NRA, and no I do not have too, my opponent commits a non-sequitor here, my position is background checks do work, but can't because they indeed were struck down, and a "loop-hole" is present in the law (private/internet transactions)

Re: Private Sales

The State department took down the 3D guns webpage, as noted earlier gun trafficers only get them due to the "loop-hole" of private transactions without a mandated UBC, and finally, assuming the gun owner actually puts his gun away like he is suppose to, it would have been locked away in a safe, unable to be moved. While thefts do occur, this is for more regulation not less, so that the state may sort out who was approved and not approved to have a gun.

Re: Tracing

Thank you for the concession; however, as we agree here, the case is easy to show that all an officer needs them is the survillance tapes to identify the perp and then catch him, done and done. My opponent just showed right here that UBC works.

Re: Why Not With Guns?

But this isn't a gun registry, it's a simple background check thats it thats all.

Re: Senario

Lets apply your logic to something else to show why I think it's silly (with all due respect), say a neighbour witnesses a murder. They have to go to court, they have to varify that the person indeed was the killer, they have to clean up the bodies, they have to test the blood, find the murder weapon, hope that the witness isn't scared enough to NOT testify (which is obstruction of justice by the way and is illegal as well), find and arrest the man who did the killing, and possibly get a warrant to find additional evidence in his house by a judge soely on the basis of an eye-witness acting hystarically! Does this mean we should somehow scrap murder as a law becase not everyone follows it? Nope, and the above seems like an absurd argument, but with guns it's no different. Police launch investigations all the time. It's their job after-all, otherwise why are we giving them all that taxpayer money?!

Re: Daily Show

Because the buy-back program took out 1/3rd of the privately owned guns in Australia, furthermore, it tightened background checks on people seeking to posess an arm. Before the law was imposed, 13 shootings had occured, after? None thus far. (As seen on the show!) Clearly UBC works, and Australia is an example of it.

Re: Fear

If criminals fear repercussions, then this is an argument FOR UBC not against it, if your right to arms is limited on the basis of a criminal record or not, then you have a further incentive to be good now don't you? And I should conceede here that indeed, I misread my opponents position, I apologize, he never stats their fearless, but have no fear without repercussions, (again for UBC not against due to incentive)

Re: Correlation

Uhh .. yeah .. which is what I said... correlation .. not causation..

Re: Mexico

Uhh .. what? Mexico is 7th in gun ownership figures in the world (http://www.gunpolicy.org...) and have over 15 million guns privately owned, not including government guns, and furthermore you completely ignored my source in which showed the state actually allowed for considerable gun freedoms. What are you talking about?

Re: Self-Defence

And as I noted with other studies, the examples you use actually do not result in one running away, but the threat correlates with increased likelihood of violence within those areas .. again you completely ignore the list of sources I used. Furthermore, the case showed my opponents self-defence argument doesn't work due to the subjectivity of self-defence; meaning the force I may feel is necessary might not be what the judge agrees with as legitimate force. Which is why guns fail in self-defence. My opponent straw-mans my argument here, I'm talking about self-defence, that's it!

Re: Somalia

Exactly, and with no government to enforce laws (gun control!) the guns run rampant, anyone can have them including pirates for example .. I think we know what happens when pirates get ahold of an AK-47 ... a certain ship a few years ago got high-jacked because of it .. this is again an argument for background checks not against it.


Conclusion:

My opponent moves the goal-posts, strawmans my arguments, and even outright commits bare assertion fallacies, and concedes to several of my points while dropping my argument about colombine shooters. If UBC were put fourth simply speaking those shooters would not have had guns, they had priors, and it was them buying from private people that enabled them to shoot up their school .. sadly, gun-rights proponents don't recognize this, and simply say "more guns!" but it does not work that way as the studies (previous rounds) have shown time and time again. My opponent offers no evidence to the contrary.

Thank you!
Debate Round No. 4
jnedwards11

Pro

Before I begin I must remind my opponent (again) to refrain from crediting me with things I did not say. I NEVER said our debate was not hypothetical. What I very specifically said is that there is nothing hypothetical about the BILL we are debating. It exists in fact and is distinct in meaning. Suffice it to say I am very unhappy with your decorum thus far.

Pro BOP # 1 (From Title & Opening Statement)

Pro has asserted that UBC's, as recently proposed in The US Senate, would not mitigate crime because there is no mechanism to enforce the stated intent of the bill. My opponent agrees 1) The intent of the bill is to keep criminals from illegally acquiring guns via private transfers & 2) A law must be enforceable to mitigate the crime for which it was written. Therefore to prove the Pro side conclusively I only need to show that this law, AS WRITTEN, cannot be effectively enforced. (Anywhere in the world if this makes con happy)

In an attempt to prove enforceability my opponent has offered the following arguments:
1) Studies show gun control is successful in other countries, monitoring private sales in particular
2) Serial numbers would enable the tracking of unauthorized sales
3) UBC's would have prevented Columbine

In covering your studies I will simply restate the reasons they fail to prove/bolster points associated with this debate...

1) As you openly admit, your studies aren't conclusive and are impossible to prove
2) The controls can be easily manipulated to the benefit of either side of this debate
3) I offered to produce any number of studies to illustrate this point & my offer was totally ignored

Statistical ambiguity aside, lets assume every other country you mentioned has successful gun control programs & can effectively monitor all private sale transactions. I would still be remiss if I did not point out that every one of the countries used as examples ALSO have national registration laws. It is this mechanism alone that allows for these countries to know who is legally supposed to own a specific weapon, thus enabling the tracking of illegal sales. Again, registration is specifically illegal under the terms of the bill being discussed. Relying on any country with gun registration laws in place cannot possibly show how this bill could be enforced because the comparison is in direct contradiction with the limits placed by its own written word.

I would have thought my example regarding serial numbers sufficient but my opponent still insists this scenario is plausible, especially with a camera! This reply is so frustratingly oversimplified that I must admit my own ire when reading it. As if to completely ignore how implausible it would be for a human being to remember one 10-digit number out of the hundreds he regularly deals with ,you rebut with your camera comment. Again unless there store clerk has total recall you could not possibly hope to know what you are looking for in a security camera. How is this not totally obvious? My subsequent illustrations were meant to further the idea that it is impossible to assume such shaky accounts would even lead to a trial, much less a regular conviction. Defense attorneys would make a mockery of this total lack of evidence. And this entire situation ignores how brainlessly easy it is to remove a serial number, rendering this whole point moot!

This bill would NOT have prevented Columbine. If history shows these children specifically sought private sale transactions then I rest this case on the stated facts from above. This bill has no specific mechanism to enforce it, thus there is no reason to believe criminals (the columbine kids included) would not be able to find a private seller willing to ignore a UBC'S requirement, particularly if it means making a few extra dollars. Your failure to show where any such mechanisms exists means you can't possibly prove Columbine was preventable with the UBC'S bill, as written.

Pro BOP # 2 (From Opening Statement)
I also maintain that this bill would be more of an inconvenience to law abiding US Citizens due to the unreasonable amount of scrutiny placed on them. To prove this I will only reiterate my original scenarios regarding this topic while emphasizing my opponent's failure to demonstrate how these illustrations are not terribly inconvenient to the law abiding US citizens they represent.

I have shown how this bill unfairly cloths a political appointee with the unlimited and arbitrary right of setting the price of UBC's. I have shown how the potential added costs in this bill (withstanding the looming potential for price increase) could negate any gain a private owner may yield, effectively rendering the sale pointless. And finally, I have demonstrated how a law abiding citizen could face federal firearms charges for lending his gun to a friend or a stranger at the range. Or by selling his brother a gun after listing it for sale online.

My opponent failed to offer any argument regarding the power to set prices and presented the following replies to my other examples...

1) Inconvenience should be weighed against safety
2) Studies show guns are not safe at home and unlikely to be used defensively

For reasons I have amply clarified above, and throughout this debate, I do not accept the findings of such easily manipulated studies that openly admit their own conclusions can't be proven. And while I admit some may decide to accept statistical studies and be compelled by arguments that guns are unsafe, one must also admit that there will always be a large portion of people that completely oppose this view. That being said, it is irrelevant whether or not one believes guns are unsafe and unfit for defense because those that disagree will continue to buy, own & sell them according to their own beliefs. Thus the cases of extreme inconvenience that I originally illustrated would most certainly still occur. Con has failed to present a rebuttal that even reduces the degree of inconvenience to which I spoke, much less the fact that it exists.

Having thus verified the claims I set forth to affirm in this debate, I send it back to con to close this one out!
TheHitchslap

Con

Let me explain the justifcations I think the voters should have to give me the win:

First: my opponent commits a rampant amount of fallacies, from bare assertion fallacies, to moving the goalposts on me, etc...

Second: my argument concerning the colombine shooters and their relationship to the private sellers at gun shows. Those two shooters were known for asking if one was private, was completely dropped my by opponent. Furthermore, my opponent conceeds to several of my arguments of the effectiveness of the bill, it's legality (and the constitution), and the impacts of rampant gun ownership (he never actually refuted my study in which showed guns escallated arguments and leads to cases of manslaughter, while also conceeding to the fact that they are not aon inconvieience to the seller)

Third: I have met my BOP, showing that logically, and empirically through studies, other countries, etc... That background checks would have correlated to a reduction of crime in the US, it's a crying shame that the Bill was struck down.

Now on to refute the last of my opponents arguments.

Hypothetical:

" I must dutifully inform my opponent that there is nothing "Hypothetical" about the universal background checks we are debating" - Round 4 Quote from my opponent

" Before I begin I must remind my opponent (again) to refrain from crediting me with things I did not say. I NEVER said our debate was not hypothetical." - Round 5 Quote from my opponent

See what he did there? The question called for the recent striking down of the Manchin-Tooney Bill, (already done) coupled with the fact that the title says "would have" causes this debate to be about the consequences of implimenting the Bill, in fact my opponent indirectly consents to this, when he argues that it would have been an inconvienence to gun sellers. But it's struck down, and so I must argue to meet my BOP that it would have (should it have been implimented) correlate with a decrease in crime. I have, and my opponent only wants to shift my BOP in this debate as a result. I must insist it stay the same.

"Suffice it to say I am very unhappy with your decorum thus far." <---- I ask for conduct due to this ad hominem my opponent launched against me. This was uncalled for.

Crime Effects:

"Therefore to prove the Pro side conclusively I only need to show that this law, AS WRITTEN, cannot be effectively enforced. (Anywhere in the world if this makes con happy)" -- Right, and we agree on everything thus far, however, my problem was with the enforcement mechanism position. I was very clear: enforcement is fine, but the argument my opponent puts fourth is logically flawed. Criminals can still get guns, but they don;t register their guns because their criminals, likewise, we have theft laws, and we keep them even though criminals break that law all the time as well.

My opponent is in general correct though that correlation is not causation, however, correlation is still a form of evidence into seeing the impacts of a policy when implimented, and can be used as an excellent objective empirical unit to measure the success or failure of a policy, rather than offering an alternative study, my opponent simply pushes it away and asks for more evidence. (Moving the goal posts) I shouldn't have had to ask for the evidence, my opponent should have simply given it to me.

Furthermore, my opponent dropped my argument about the colombine shooters again, and never addressed it! Even if gangs do get their hands on weapons, does that mean we should strike down the law? No! (See theft argument) and even as one study showed, it would still decrease crime with the decrease in guns avalible.

As for the hypothetical, anyone working in retail knows that the serial numbers for every product is noted in their databases for inventory. The company would have it and could recall provided a warrent is given to the store. The memory of the storeclerk is not in question, it's technology. Furthermore in court this evidence is both direct (serial number of the gun) and circumstancial (footage/ witness of the account of purchasing) enough for a conviction. "How is this not totally obvious?" I agree, how obviously simple it is. How is it not obvious opponent? Even if they do hide the serial number, other forms of evidence can be found/used. Manufactures can trace the realitive positions of the guns.

As for the bill, it was able to guide private transactions and enable a check on the emotional stability and the mental soundness of the person buying the gun. Upon trying to buy the gun, the two colombine shooters would have been denied the guns due to them having previous criminal records. End story. His own source (here: http://www.politifact.com...) even showed how the bill would have worked, but due to it;s striking down it no longer has the enforcement mechanism law experts need to uphold the law. This has been my case since round 2! My opponent simply dropped my argument, picked it back up, and moved the goalposts again! The only thing uninforced would have been family members, which is it. And while the bill it's self may not have an enforcement mechanism, the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Bureau) already enforces these laws anywho! This simply gave them the tools to track and watch for online sales and public sales via gun shows.

Re: BOP 2

My oppoent dropped this argument in previous rounds. He now claims the prices would make it horrible, however this is a new argument, and is awefully painful to me that he would do so in the last round! I shall rebuttal quickly but this isn;t fair to me: while price was never an issue here, the bill was struck down, even then the agreement between two sellers is their own business, and has nothing to do with the bill about where it is bought or sold, but the mental soundedness of the buyer. That's it. It prevents guilt should a shooting occur, and it's the same as preventing someone from selling a high-powered vehicle to a kid with a record for driving recklessly as noted earlier. When saftey and convienence collide, the saftey of the public should be priority, not making a quick buck at the expense of someone elses life!

My opponent never offered a price argument earlier!

Those studies (in final passing) were reliable, and even admitted their own short-comings, along with methods employed, and justifications for said methods. Furthermore, all they noted was that their correlation was incredibly strong, but unlike most other cross-sectional data studies this one didn't fit within the parameters of causation at that point and time. That's it, and it's disingenuous to claim that somehow they lied when it was all written in there, heck my opponent even quoted it (their was correlation but not enough for causation)


Conclusion:

Unfortunately, my opponents conduct in the end was disappointing. None the less, I enjoyed the debate, and thank him for his participation. I have shown through studies, other countries, etc... That the bill could work if it was implimented for UBC's. My opponent dropped several of my arguments, commits several fallacies, and logically deduces his arguments incorrectly in my opinion. Criminals are expected to break the law by very definition. Legal experts get paid to investigate crimes, and they generally do well. Time for those background checks to come in. Thank you

Please Vote Con For Reasons Above!

opponent: goodluck on your future endeavors!
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
1) Example:
"The gun laws of California[3][4] are some of the strictest in the United States. A Handgun Safety Certificate, obtained by passing a written test, is required for handgun purchases, although there are exemptions to this requirement.[5] Handguns sold by dealers must be "California legal" by being listed on the state's roster of handguns certified for sale. Private sales of firearms must be done through a licensed dealer. All firearm sales are recorded by the state, and have a ten-day waiting period."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The documentation inherent in all of this regulation could easily substantiate lawful or unlawful possession.

2) Again, enforcement can be as simple as fining someone upon determining guilt. It does not need to be present at the time of transaction. Guilt in California is determinable by unlawful possession, part of which is determined by a background check.
Posted by jnedwards11 3 years ago
jnedwards11
You the man Rich! I appreciate your dedication to your own assertions, and regardless of topic no less!.....

1) Can you please logistically explain how authorities could figure out who the weapon weapon formally belonged to?

2) I am living proof that your conclusion can't be proven as I don't agree with the former or the later example (neither does my opponent, per his opening concession). We believe that any person (I admit I am assuming cons concession was inclusive to all types of people as he didn't specify), evil or otherwise, can be deterred by a law as long as it can be effectively enforced (Understanding of course that no law can completely prevent all crime). To illustrate consider this; Murderers seldom commit their acts in the open, or so as to leave easily attainable evidence of their implicit guilt. In this way, murder being illegal deters even the most evil of souls from acting on those impulses whenever and however they please.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
1) On transfers, would unauthorized possession be a crime? I would think so. They could then figure out whose weapon it formally belongs to. I agree with you it's hard to enforce, but it is enforceable, and that's what counts.

2) On criminality, there's two ways to look at it - there are either evil people, or people who do evil. If you firmly believe in the former, then you believe that no law in existence will deter crime. If you believe in the latter, then you can understand how law would be a deterrent. I believe the vast majority of people fall in the latter, to include criminals and would-be criminals.
Posted by jnedwards11 3 years ago
jnedwards11
I gave on the stats, you guys win, I think it's stupid, but I still concede I should have completed the simple task of running a google search.

To fine someone you have to prove guilt. Someone calling and telling on a neighbor does not establish guilt. Why, because you can't prove it's him transferring the weapon unless the transaction is observed by a police officer. Are you seriously saying that we have the police force required to observe even 1/10 of 1% of the private transactions that occur in this country. How does that effectively mitigate the crime it is being created to address? Remember, my opponent already ceded that a criminal will not observe a law he cannot reasonably be assumed to be caught breaking.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
"and my that my opponent failed to acknowledge the existence of studies that refute his own,"

The problem here is that that's your responsibility as the opposing debater do demonstrate, not your opponent's.

---

"The voters seem to think a concept was proven that UBC'S somehow effectively close loop holes. I concede if so many see this fact proven it must be somewhere. I, however, was unable to locate such proofs."

http://www.cnn.com...

---

"If we both agree a law needs to be enforceable, wouldn't con need to prove how you could enforce a failure to comply with the law to show that it could mitigate crime of any sort?"

To me, enforcement can be as simply as a fine upon demonstrating guilt, or just someone calling in 911 that the gun collector down the street is giving away his collection to the neighbors (one of whom is Norman Bates). It doesn't necessitate a surveillance program installed in each and every gun retailer and gun owner in America.
Posted by jnedwards11 3 years ago
jnedwards11
I can deal with the feedback on sources. While I stand by my conclusive proof that they are inept, and my that my opponent failed to acknowledge the existence of studies that refute his own, (Until his closing, of course, when he knows I can't say anything further) I still could have easily demonstrated this.

The voters seem to think a concept was proven that UBC'S somehow effectively close loop holes. I concede if so many see this fact proven it must be somewhere. I, however, was unable to locate such proofs.

If we both agree a law needs to be enforceable, wouldn't con need to prove how you could enforce a failure to comply with the law to show that it could mitigate crime of any sort? Including closing loopholes? I would greatly appreciate someone explaining his success in this area. Thanks!
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
8) PRO: "I offered to produce any number of studies to illustrate this point & my offer was totally ignored"

You should have proffered them anyway. I'm tempted to give sources to CON because of this.

9) PRO: "Relying on any country with gun registration laws in place cannot possibly show how this bill could be enforced because the comparison is in direct contradiction with the limits placed by its own written word."

Fair enough.

10) PRO: "This bill has no specific mechanism to enforce it, thus there is no reason to believe "

I speed all the time, but I recognize laws against speeding as being an effective deterrent...otherwise I'd do it more.

11) PRO: "And finally, I have demonstrated how a law abiding citizen could face federal firearms charges for lending his gun to a friend or a stranger at the range. Or by selling his brother a gun after listing it for sale online."

As it should be, if your brother was Adam Lanza.

12) CON: "My opponent never offered a price argument earlier!"

He did, actually, in round #2.

13) CON: "Unfortunately, my opponents conduct in the end was disappointing."

I did not get this sense.

---

CONCLUSION:

I recognize PRO to be a strong debater with views to which apparently I am typically opposed.

On this specific matter, I found the Columbine example to be the most telling case that negated the resolution, especially in light of Sandy Hook. I found PRO's enforceability argument to be weak.

However, this is counterbalanced by a bevy of facetious claims made by CON. For me, quality of argumentation is important, as it makes the debate worth reading...and many of CON's points were just out there. I was not aware this was a troll debate.

Therefore, I will score arguments a tie. I will hand sources to CON for a relatively well-researched position, and for PRO's relative lack thereof.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
1) PRO: "I will start with a fairly simple assertion. If a law is made to stop something, the illegal acquisition of a firearm in this case, it needs to be enforceable to deter criminals and wrong doers."

I think this is too narrow an argument given the resolution. I see the resolution as also encompassing barring access to people who are unfit to own firearms, regardless of criminality, i.e. CON's Columbine point.

2) PRO: "Having based this main counter point solely on the grounds that not registering a weapon is illegal, I feel your reasoning to be unacceptable for this debate."

Convincing. Will see how CON counters.

3) PRO: ""Having a gun in the home does NOT deter crime"

Yes it does, but this again is another debate I would be more than happy to have when properly offered."

Neither of you really substantiated your points. CON does not elaborate on his statement. Sources do not make arguments.

4) PRO: "I have demonstrated to my opponent...how statistical studies are in no way proof of ANYTHING and can easily be manipulated to give favor to either side."

I see this as engaging in the slippery slope of nihilistic arguments. PRO later concedes that stricter gun regulation (including a registry) leads to reduced violent crime.

5) PRO: "I never said criminals were fearless. "

Agree that CON's charge here was facetious, similar to the whole Somalia thing.

6) CON: "Re: Effects in Canada, Australia, etc..."

CON's entire section here was valid.

7) PRO: "To clarify, I believe criminals do not fear the law when there is no reason to fear consequence."

This is IMHO similar to adultery charges in the military (it is illegal there). No one fears getting caught for adultery, but if there was something more serious involved like fraternization leading to corruption (i.e. fvcking your boss, getting that promotion), then adultery is something you can pile on top of other charges. It is still a deterrent.
Posted by jnedwards11 3 years ago
jnedwards11
People I never, ever made the argument we should get rid of laws bc criminals don't obey. I felt it was obvious in my opening and closing that I felt laws needed to be enforceable to be obeyed by criminals. My opponent accuses me of making this conclusion by drawing it up himself. Since I made not even the slightest illusion in support of such a belief I did not feel it needed to be addressed. Can voters point to where I affirmed this conclusion in this debate?
Posted by jnedwards11 3 years ago
jnedwards11
"roouund 2" is supposed to be "Round 3"..........Wow
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
jnedwards11TheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: see comments.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 3 years ago
MrJosh
jnedwards11TheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: CON's arguments were just flat out better. I would have given CON conduct as well, for the reason he mentioned, but I feel requesting a conduct vote to bad taste, therefore negating the conduct vote.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
jnedwards11TheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The wall of text defeated me... I started seeing huge holes in pro's case in R2, and imagined a huge slippery slope fallacy of getting rid of all laws, because some criminals will break them anyway. As I cannot give this debate the consideration it deserves, no points shall be awarded from me.
Vote Placed by JustinAMoffatt 3 years ago
JustinAMoffatt
jnedwards11TheHitchslapTied
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Total points awarded:25 
Reasons for voting decision: Well... I didn't particularly enjoy reading this debate. This topic is one that is important to me, but this debate was poorly handled (especially by the end). The bill itself probably should've been presented, rather than a summary of it. However, since that was all we had to go on, then that's what we have to go on. :P Conduct- Con repeatedly misquoted Pro, and outright accused Pro of cheating. Pro's argument was NOT new. Look at the first round, Con. The pricing he was referring to (if I'm not mistaken) was about the Attorney General's pricing of UBCs. S/G- Pro blew con out of the water on this. Con, for a little while in the last round, your arguments were almost unintelligible. Args- Pro had my vote UNTIL Con's final point about arguing the bill, as it was proposed. From the summary, it seemed it was all encompassing (with the exception of family). Due to sources, and argumentation for UBC eliminating loopholes, Con won this debate in round 5. Sources- Pro should've used som