Winter Regular Final: Gun Ban
This is a debate between TUF and myself for the Winter Regular Tournament hosted by Fortis. This is the final match, meaning the the victor is the winner of the tournament.
The United States should enact a nationwide ban on all firearms by the state and federal governments.
United States: refers to both federal and state governments, this helps to focus the debate on the issue of a gun ban, rather than the role of a government, or other irrelevent issues.
Should: I’m going to use Whiteflame’s definition, “This simply designates that we are engaged in a policy debate, and therefore what should happen. This is distinguished from 'could,' as what we are discussing is whether a ban should or should not happen, rather than whether it could given current impediments in Congress and elsewhere. This also implies a net benefits framework, where we'll be debating the merits of our respective cases."
Firearm: Any kind of gun.
Ban: legally prohibit
1) No forfeits
2) No "kritiks" of the topic (e.g. suffering doesn’t exist, humans deserve death, etc.)
3) My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add resolutional definitions
4) For all undefined terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
5) The BOP will be shared. Meaning that Pro has to convince the judge of his stance despite Con’s reasons, and Con has to convince the judge of his stance despite Pro’s reason.
6) Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss.
Con should present his case in R1 and Pro present his case in R2. No new arguments in the final round (R3 for Con and R4 for Pro). Con must waive his final response.
Thanks...to TUF in advance, I'm sure this will be an awesome debate!
I agree to Pro"s terms, and appreciate the simplicity in the definitions, this should make for a very straight-forward debate. Because the burden is shared here, character limits will likely be an issue. I ask that Pro focus only on his main points for his own case, keeping in mind that having to refute an opponent"s case while providing your own tends to make for a lengthy response. I will do myself to stick to this standard as well. Because of this, I will stick to two relatively important contentions, and focus the rest of my allotted time and space for refutation. In lamen's terms, no shotgunning fallacies.
Argument 1: A ban is not a solution to violence.
Do gun bans really stop crime? The answer to the above has so many diverse answers, with different source material to back it up. There is evidence across many countries that differ in gun ban"s. In some Countries in Europe(1),[England, Wales] for example, violent crime increased when a handgun ban was issued. And other countries, statistics show a dramatic decrease of violent crime from a gun ban. Delving into a source war, therefore seems to be widely irrelevant. Commonly, statistics show raw data on a very specific subject, and don"t include many different factors; IE cultural difference"s, societal history and background, specificity of the type of gun being banned, etc. What this goes to show is that showing raw data doesn"t necessarily prove a point, if that raw data varies between societies and cultures or excludes other major relevant details and reasons for crime increase or decrease.
In America, we can demonstrate that private ownership of guns reduces crime, but from country to country there is no correlation between gun availability and the violent crime rate.(2)
But on the other side of this argument, it IS very possible to show the real alternatives to being able to have access to these weapons outside of going into a store and buying one. One of these alternatives is a black-market. There are many common mis-conceptions about black-market"s, however. Many people still think that these markets are very hard to find, and only the most dedicated of criminals are able to get their hands on weapons or drugs from these. This may have been the case 10 years ago, but in 2016, not so much. Many of you may have heard of the infamous bit-coin surge that has swept over America. Any individual from their home computer can download a tor network, and surf anonymously to meet their illegal possession desire(3). While occasionally the government can get in and shut down one of these "major player" online black-market sites, there are so many that it is un-reasonable for them to shut them all down. That"s right, your next door neighbor"s fed-ex"s package could very well contain a few grams of marijuana, or a 9mm. The crazy thing about this, is that it doesn"t even require a lot of technical know-how for you to do something like this. The average American can simply google "Tor browsers" and can start browsing anonymously within minutes and start using bit coin to buy illegal things online to be delivered right to their doorstep. What does this mean? It means that a ban is not solving the problem of gun crime. Does having a legally bought gun taken from you mean that you are suddenly out of options, if you have a real intent to go and cause a drastic scene in a shooting? Maybe for the impulse killers. But the mass shootings that inspire all the heat on gun violence, are mostly pre-organized, well-planned, and thought out.
Mass murderers typically plan their assaults for days, weeks, or months. They are deliberate in preparing their missions and determined to follow through, no matter what impediments are placed in their path.(4)
This means simply banning guns doesn"t prevent death in the slightest. If we talk about banning things that can cause mass death and destruction, we might as well also talk about boxing all Americans into a comfy white room without any sharp objects. The Boston massacre was set off with bombs made from slow-cookers, and household nick nack, and it is obviously un-reasonable to suggest banning crock-pots.
"The pressure cookers were filled with nails, ball bearings, and black powder." (5)
Argument 2: Alternatives to a gun ban.
At this point you may be saying "Well if a ban isn"t a solution to gun violence then what is?"
I get it; gun violence IS a problem, and just because a ban isn"t a solution doesn"t mean solutions don"t exist. A government has an obligation to protect it"s citizens. As of right now, in many states you can own a gun with only a background check. People with mental dis-orders, psychological therapy history, etc can waltz into a gun store and purchase a gun. Or a "level-headed" individual who is radicalized into a belief system bent towards killing innocents, like in the San Bernadino shooting. It is clear that some sort of psychological testing should be done prior to handing out weapons, considering stress levels, medical history, and intentions for owning a fire arm.
In the United States, car accidents are the 4th highest cause of death in America, where gun violence doesn't even make the list of the top ten.(6) In America, a licence is required however for you to renew every 4 years. That licence can be revoked by mis-use (drunk driving, or other unsafe driving habits).
Annual weapon safety certification/re-certification for everyone who owns a firearm. Separate certifications for conceal carry or open carry. This will be used to help fund Homeland Security. And if someone later on suffers from a mental illness or psychological dis-order, it is on record and gun privilege can be removed.
Child proofing can be obtained through trigger-locking, or using a safe. Accidental child self harm can be punishable by the gun owner who fails to meet weapon security requirements.
Of course the specific details of these actions can probably be fine tuned, but they are a far better alternative then banning weapons from owners who use them for personal protection (either from the citizens, or by constitutional right against government abuse).
Guns are dangerous when mis-used, but the biggest mis-conception with them is that they are the problem with violence. Many people seem to view problems the same way as they do with guns, and that is the real problem. Cigarettes and hamburgers don't force themselves into people's mouths to cause health concerns, the same way guns don't pull their own trigger to kill people. Personal responsibility is a factor that seems to get lost on people, but when you look at it objectively, it seems unfair to take away responsibility from a person who commits atrocities by blaming the weapon. A murder with a knife, or home made bomb is still a murder, and it takes a human being to commit a murder.
I look forward to an interesting debate, and wish Hayd good luck in round 2 of this debate.
My case will focus on the amount of deaths that the existence of firearms causes in America. It follows that taking away firearms will save these lives. Since the value of lives outweigh all other factors (e.g. cost, culture, etc.), the outcome of this debate relies heavily on Con’s ability to refute the following contentions; and which side has more lives saved.
If guns were to be banned, this would greatly decrease the lives taken by suicide.
“Using survey data on rates of household gun ownership, we examined the association between gun availability and suicide across states, 1999-2001. States with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm suicide and overall suicide. This relationship held for both genders and all age groups. It remained true after accounting for poverty, urbanization and unemployment.” 
When a person possesses a gun, they are more likely to commit suicide, (3 times more likely) . This is because when someone is feeling depressed, they think of the gun sitting in the closet, and a way out of their pain. This causes them to think about committing suicide, and sometimes they do. When you take away the gun from the situation, they are less likely think about that way out, and are less likely to take that way out.
Suicide by firearm is also more likely to successful; more than half of all suicides are done by firearm  and 85% of these are successful , the most fatal method. If a gun is taken out of the situation, the troubled person will be forced to use a less lethal method. By using a less lethal method, his/her chances of surviving the suicide attempt are raised drastically. For example, the next most used method is drug overdose, which is fatal 6-12% of the time . Now that the person is more likely to survive the suicide attempt, they can get help and receive treatment for their depression, which cures them of it 80-90% of the time .
By taking away gun rights, you effectively give the victim the chance to recover and get their life back. You reduce the amount of suicides nationwide, saving millions of lives.
Enacting a ban on firearms would dramatically decrease the amount of homicides.
Firearms are a criminal’s favorite tool; easily concealed, fast, fatal and easy. No wonder of the 12,765 murders in 2012; 8,855 of them were performed with firearms, 69.4% of all homicides .
Taking away the murderer’s most effective weapon forces murderer’s to use a different weapon, a less effective one, making murders less effective and saving thousands of innocent lives in the process.
A firearm is an extremely dangerous object. An accidental bump, or brush of the trigger unleashes a high-powered bullet that destroys everything in its path. Firearms claim thousands of accidental deaths every year.
"In 2007, the United States suffered some 15,000-19,000 accidental shootings…American children under age 15 were nine times more likely to die of a gun accident than children in other advanced wealthy countries… About 200 Americans go to emergency rooms every day with gunshot wounds…” 
Gun accidents are the worst kind of death; they are senseless, completely devoid of purpose. They leave anyone involved with the act a terrible sense of guilt that stays with them for the rest of their life. If guns were to be banned, this would not happen.
 http://www.hsph.harvard.edu... 4.
R1) A Ban is not a solution to violence
Con first argues that it is irrelevant to use raw data from different countries other than the US. This is because there is no way to show that guns are causing the change in crime instead of the other factors that could influence this such as police funding, drug availability, economy, culture, etc. This also makes the effects of gun policy/bans in other countries impossible to apply to the US because of these same differences (culture, economy, etc.). I agree. But this is merely a defensive argument against the use of raw data from different countries and applying it the US. Which neither of us are doing.
Con then says that, “In America, we can conclude that private ownership of guns reduces crime...” What evidence does he use to justify it? He cites a website that uses no source to justify the claim. The site just says it . Thus, it can be thrown out as a bare assertion.
Con argues that if guns were banned, people would go to black markets for guns, which is very easy to do. And thus a gun ban wouldn’t reduce the amount of firearms and therefore a gun ban wouldn’t reduce violent crime. This is a nirvana fallacy; rejecting a partial solution because it isn’t perfect. A partial fix is better than no fix at all; something is better than nothing. Even if the black market is so accessible and easy to use there is still compelling reason to enact a gun ban. If breaking the law entails punishment, criminals have to internalize a cost factor into their actions. Although this won’t deter the most evil of criminals (first-degree murderers, mass murderers, etc.), it will deter the majority of criminals. Deterring the majority of criminals is better than not deterring any. Besides, citizens who want to follow the law (which is the majority of people), will follow the law, and thus firearm accidents and suicides still prevail.
A black market is also unlikely to be created, or used very often. This is because the cost of guns on the black market are double or triple their actual retail worth . As most criminals are poor, this is an expense they cannot pay. They will refer to what they can get; knives and clubs. As I outlined in my argument, this makes crime less effective. Research has found that it is not the actual volume of firearms that produces illegal drug trade, but the flow . This is the key factor in the black market. Disrupting this, disrupts the effectiveness in the black market. If guns were banned, it would be illegal to manufacture guns except for government agencies (police department, military, etc.). Not having an influx of new guns to society disrupts this flow, and thus shuts down the black market industry. Therefore we can conclude that a gun ban would not increase a black market, but actually disrupt it.
If we are arguing that we reject laws because it will not have a 100% compliance rate, what is the purpose of having laws at all? By Con’s logic, we could repeal the law against murder and, robbery, rape...anything, out of the fear of violation. This logic devolves into a society lacking any laws whatsoever, an anarchy. It's not sound logic.
Con doesn’t propose any good things about guns. It is truism that a gun ban would reduce the amount of guns, even if we accept that a black market would open up. Thus this argument doesn’t have any positive impact for Con, for there is no reason to believe a loss of guns would be a good thing.
R2) Alternatives to a Gun Ban
Here Con proposes all of his counter-plans.
Con suggests that people who want to purchase a gun should have to pass psychological testing. But by Con’s own black market argument, people that fail the psychological test could easily just go onto the web and purchase anything they want using bitcoins. This is counterplan is negated by Con’s own reasoning. He must concede one of the arguments; counterplan or black market argument. If he concedes this CP (counterplan), the black market argument is still negated by me on nirvana fallacy. If he concedes his CP, the argument is negated by impact analysis; the amount of lives that can be saved by a gun ban is more than will be saved by psychological tests (it will have a small impact on violent crime, but none on suicides and accidents, outweighing it).
This same concept can be applied to Con’s repealed licence plan, the people who lost their privileges can just get guns through the black market.
Con then suggests child-proofing guns. Requiring trigger-locks, putting it in a safe, etc. The thing about this is that it is detrimental to safety. Putting trigger locks on loaded guns is dangerous , and using either “safety precaution “completely takes away any self-defense argument Con can run.
Besides, gun owners are unlikely to follow this counterplan, and it will be nearly impossible to enforce. The counterplan will actually make things worse.
“Many gun owners report storing their guns loaded and unlocked. Gun training is often associated with an increased likelihood of storing firearms in this manner.” And that, “Some 400 parents with firearms in the home responded to questions about firearms storage. Over 20% of parents had a loaded firearm and 8% stored at least one firearm loaded and unlocked. Households with teenagers were somewhat more likely to store firearms unsafely.” 
Gun training is required to buy a gun in many states, it is the law. This counterplan would only further the problem it wishes to solve.
First the absolute biggest problem I have with this point, is that it presumes to undermine what suicide really is, ignoring it's effects, and failing to understand the reality of suicide. Of course suicide is "less likely" without a gun. Using a gun is probably the quickest, most painless method of suicide that most people know about. Impassivity is just as likely with most medication that any adult can get their hands on in a 5 minute depression spurt. And even if Over-dosing is more likely to result in a failure, that doesn't mean that the person will stop trying to kill themselves, or that the help you give them will even work. This argument puts the responsibility of the death out of the person pulling the trigger, and turns the gun itself into something more sinister than an inanimate object can realistically be. So my opponents sources show us that suicide is more likely, but don't account for every case, or even most cases of depression! So what if we take that weapon out of the hands of someone who is mentally ill, who has been medically treated for depression many times, has been through multiple different psychological treatments, and still is 100% sure they want to die? All you are doing is leaving them with a far more painful option for suicide. Some people can be helped, others can't. My opponent isn't accounting for all types of depression and personalities. He goes further to say that they have a higher likelihood of survival. How sadistic is that, for someone who wants to die quick and painlessly, but fails, having to continue living in a world of self inflicted mental trauma, and we are proposing that they stay and suffer when medical treatment has not effected them? People who have major, persistent, and psychoactive depression symptoms who are much harder to treat.
I am agreeing with my opponent's sources on impulsivity, and stats of higher likelihood of suicide.
So my argument to this point is that suicide is a non-issue, and shouldn't be a factor in a gun ban. Ideologically, suicide is a choice. While it is in our best interest to help people with depression, the government should NOT have a vested interest in self harm that doesn't adversely relate to criminal activity towards others. It should be a civilian issue, and responsibility should fall on family, friends and loved ones to make sure a weapon isn't readily available to their loved ones.
To save character space and make this debate cleaner, I will do my best to combine this point to his rebuttal to my argument 1, as they are essentially the same point.
My opponent drops some quick stats on homicide being mostly performed with firearms. In my last round I spent a good little paragraph spheal about how inaccurate these sources are to making to making the point, and in the rebuttal section of his response, my opponent seems to agree. In my last round I had also showed a link with homicide statistics that shows countries with increase of violence after a homicide ban. (1)
What this means is that these stats are a non-issue. Take away guns from the criminals, violence still occurs. There is no statistical evidence from my opponent to prove that every homicide is simply not going to occur because we take away a weapon from someone with true intentions to commit harm to another person.
My opponent laughably chooses the wrong part of a quote to attack. The point of the quote, quite obviously was to point there is no correlation between gun availability and crime rates which was the point I was trying to make. However, to refute my opponents inaccurate assumption of "his source just says it", I advise that he scrolls down a bit.
The U.S. has a violent crime rate lower than 12 of seventeen industrialized countries due in large part to the 2.5 million annual defense gun uses.(2)(3)
Prior to that, it also dedicates high gun crime to suicides which is also in interesting tid-bit, given you seem to agree that suicide is a good reason for a gun ban.
60% of American gun deaths
are suicides 44 and the U.S. has a suicide rate 11% higher 45 than international averages. This accounts for most of the difference. (4)(5)
On to the black market debate, my opponent incorrectly accuses me of a Nirvana fallacy. I don't think he fully grips an understanding for that fallacy based on the context he uses for it. It's only a fallacy so long as it's supporting the idea that violent crime decreases with the banning of guns, which is what he is proposing, but not what has been demonstrated here on my side of the debate. However, the black market argument applies similarly to drug use. Because drugs are illegal, yet still very accessible, it's tangible evidence of the effectiveness of a black market in the U.S. What I am saying is that banning drugs or guns doesn't make them any less available, there is no fallacy in that. The factor of deterrence my opponent introduces has no evidence supporting it at all, nor does it cover the harms of removing weapons from the hands of those who do not mis-use weapons, while acknowledging mass murderers can still get their hands on them. My opponent in his own rebuttal is saying "Let's give the big mass murderers weapons and take means of self defense away from the would-be victims, all for the potential idea of deterring someone from wanting to buy a gun
See what I am saying? They've already had thoughts of committing a crime, but simple laziness is what's going to keep them from buying from a black market? Convenience isn't a big make or break factor in what makes a "good" person a bad person who will go to some lengths to kill another human being. Pro is riding a thin line to make a stretch out of this one.
Next my opponent makes an inaccurate statement by saying guns on the black market would not be affordable. He then sites a an article for Forbes magazine to prove his point (his source 4). Several flaws with this.
1. We aren't even talking about the same type of black market's. In this article, Agent Mulham is talking about street blackmarket's. I am drawing comparisons with ease of access through online blackmarket's, which aren't even comparable.
2. Guns are already legal?! How is my opponent drawing conclusions about black market costs from a vague quote from an agent when it is already incredibly easy to get firearms? This conclusion wouldn't be accurate until after a gun ban had actually happened.
3. The article doesn't actually make them sound that expensive. "Well, a quality pistol like a Glock might go for double or triple retail. Lower-quality guns, however, are often worth only $100 or $200 more than retail." Criminals can still get there hands on weapons for a mere 100-200 more than normal retail prices, awesome. Sucks for all you law abiding citizens out there.
Pro later assumes that "Knives and clubs" will replace guns after a gun ban, with some vaguely obscure reasoning about obscuring the flow of gun creation except for police and military. This in an inanely naive way to assume the black market will be shut down, ignoring overseas benefactors, mis-use of military weapons providers, and international part creation. My opponent doesn't supply any actual evidence here that the black market would be shut down, and again we can cross apply the current drug black market here as well.
Again I am going to combine my my counter-plan to this argument to keep things cleaner since it's the same topic. My opponent puts a source demonstrating the number of deaths caused by guns deaths, and follows it up by saying that "Gun accidents are the worst kind of death". I am utterly baffled by this statement. How is a gun death any more senseless, and devoid of purpose than any other accidental death?
If guns were to be banned, this would not happen.
Right, if guns were banned, no accidental deaths will ever happen. Got it. We should ban cars too, since they have one of the highest number of accidental deaths.
Following that Pro says this, possibly one upping his previous baffling statement:
Putting trigger locks on loaded guns is dangerous, and using either "safety precaution "completely takes away any self-defense argument Con can run.
Why oh why would the trigger locked gun have to be loaded? That makes no sense, and defeats the purpose of trigger locking the weapon in the first place.
Next my opponent says gun owners won't follow this plan. Many people also don't follow the law about drinking and driving, but they still get caught and punished. Again, if an accident happens then an investigation will prove that safety requirements were not met, and punishment can follow.
I am not contradicting my black-market argument at all actually. I am acknowledging that any of these counter plans are fallible. Having alternatives to a gun ban just mean it fulfills Pro's deterrence argument to some degree while at the same time avoids all the negative impacts of taking guns away from law abiding citizens, protecting that constitutional clause that gives us safety from our government and others.
My opponent cross applies this logic to both the psychology argument and extensive licensing argument with no further rebuttal, so we can assume Pro agrees that these are viable alternative methods.
2. Criminal Victimization in Seventeen Industrialized Countries, Dutch Ministry of Justice, 2001
3. Targeting Guns, Gary Kleck, Aldine Transaction, 1997
4. Center for Disease Control WISQARS Fatal Injury Data is the National Vital Statistics System for 20105
5. World Health Organization, mortality database as of November 2006
Con did a fairly good rebuttal of this, but conceded a lot of my points such as suicide being more likely to occur with a gun. Con appeals to the people that will attempt suicide over and over and over, and how a gun gives them a way out of this “world of self inflicted mental trauma”. What we must realize is how small a percentage of the total suicides this is, and how the thousands of lives that can be saved outweigh these few.
First of all, Con seems to suggest that people with psychoactive depression symptoms are very hard to treat, and they should just be able to give up and kill themselves with a firearm, instead of continue trying for treatment. The fact is that if someone is cured, getting their life back and living it through is worth all the trauma that they experienced getting there. It makes it all worth it. Putting a gun into the situation takes away this redeeming possibility.
Secondly, the percentage of people like this is so small. Only about 7% of people who survive suicide attempt it again . When someone attempts suicide, they almost die. When someone almost dies, they are rushed to the hospital. The hospital sees that the person attempted suicide and prescribe them depression treatment. This cures them of the depression 80-90% of the time . When the fatality of suicide is so high, not as many people are given the opportunity to be cured, and thus get their life back. The amount of suicides that could be deterred, and the amount of people that could be cured and get their life back far outweighs the few who have psychoactive depression symptoms. I win this argument by impact calculus.
Con also argues that self-harm issues are not a government’s business. But the government inherently has a duty to protect its citizens. If a gun ban helps save thousands of lives, the government has every right to save them; it is its duty to do so.
Con says that I dropped his argument on an increase of homicides after a gun ban in a different country. But I did not drop it, I explained how it was self-refuting because Con explained in the beginning of R1 that data from different countries was irrelevant. This data was raw data from a different country; thus it's irrelevant.
Con then says that I have no statistical evidence to prove that people with the intention to kill will choose not to carry it out when there is a gun ban. I never said this would happen. My argument is simple. A firearm is a criminal's favorite tool, evidenced by the fact that more than half of crimes are committed with it. If we took away firearms, criminals would have to use a less effective weapon such as knives, or clubs, etc. These are less effective in carrying out crime, making more people able to survive attempted homicide. As well as making crime less effective overall. So to answer Con’s comment, they would merely be less likely to succeed.
Con then defends his quote about higher gun ownership leading to higher crime. He quotes the website, but the quotes he used did not prove that gun ownership leads to lower crime. It cites other countries which Con already pointed out was irrelevant. I was referring to the part of the site that Con was referring to, the the part he quoted. It has no footnote, no sources. The rest of the site’s facts are irrelevant because Con did not cite them, and they use raw data from other countries.
Con rejects my nirvana fallacy by saying that banning guns would not make guns any less available. Even if we accept this is true, it's irrelevant. What matters is not the availability of guns in this context, but rather the volume. Since the majority of citizens are law-abiding, it would follow that only premeditative criminals would have guns. This would be a reduction in the amount of guns, and a reduction in the amount of crimes committed with guns (as premeditative crimes are only a fraction of total crimes). This reduces violent crime because (see homicide). Thus a gun ban would reduce the amount of guns (as the majority of citizens are law-abiding), and would decrease violent crime. Con is throwing this out because it doesn’t take away all guns and doesn’t reduce all guns. This is a nirvana fallacy.
Con then says that the gun ban would only take away guns from the victims of mass murderers. This is the same as before, the majority of crime is not done by mass murderers. The majority of crime is done by less-hardened criminals, therefore a gun ban would deter the majority of crime. Deterring the majority of crime is better than dettering no crime at all.
Con challenges my source:
1) Con says that the online black market is much different than the street black market. Why aren’t these two black markets compatible? He doesn’t say.
2) Con says that there was already a ban or something? It was really confusing...can’t really respond.
3) In regards to the black market being more expensive. The majority of criminals are poor , paying three times the amount of already expensive firearms is tough. And it deters criminals.
Referring to the disruption of black market influx. The majority of guns are made in the US, cutting off this resource shatters their number one importer, which harms the influx. Harming the whole operation. Banning guns would hurt the black market, not promote it.
Con argues that his trigger-lock counterplan would reduce the amount of accidents created by firearms. Con argues that people wouldn’t use a trigger-lock on a loaded gun because that is stupid. But people are stupid. As my study shows, people are not responsible with guns.
“Many gun owners report storing their guns loaded and unlocked. Gun training is often associated with an increased likelihood of storing firearms in this manner... some 400 parents with firearms in the home responded to questions about firearms storage. Over 20% of parents had a loaded firearm and 8% stored at least one firearm loaded and unlocked. Households with teenagers were somewhat more likely to store firearms unsafely.” 
The most common reason people have guns is for safety . How the hell is your gun supposed to keep you safe when in the event an intruder walks in, you have to go down to the basement, unlock the safe, find the key to the trigger lock, unlock the trigger lock (which is difficult ), load the gun, and then face the intruder. This process at best might take 10 minutes. By that time, the intruder is already on you. Since gun owners have guns for safety reasons, they would keep it stored in a way to maximize that safety; leaving the gun loaded and without a trigger lock. Therefore, the majority of gun owners are unlikely to use this counterplan. And gun accidents will continue to prevail.
Con fails to address why his black market argument and his counterplans contradict each other. If Con is going to argue that people would still be able to get firearms through an online black market if guns were banned, it is viable to believe that people would still be able to get firearms through an online black market. If Con argues that the online black market is so easy and accessible, isn’t it still easy and accessible by Con’s counterplans? People who are not allowed to acquire firearms by Con’s counterplan (those that don’t meet psychological tests), by Con’s own reasoning, easily get some by the online black market. This is something Con fails to address in his defense. I apply this same logic to all of Con’s proposed gun control counterplans except for trigger-locks, as the same logic negates all of them.
In order for his counterplans to work, he must drop his online black market argument.
What we must realize is how small a percentage of the total suicides this is, and how the thousands of lives that can be saved outweigh these few.
The fact that there is a blurry line at all demonstrates how much this shouldn't’t be a governmental issue. Just as the government doesn’t have the responsibility to help every addicted alcoholic that isn’t harming other people by driving, it shouldn't’t forcibly take a role in removing means for self-harm. The government should have no role in whether an individual harms themselves or not, because the reasons to why they do it are so vast and different, it’s impossible to say who it really helps and who is just being forced to live in a cruel world for the sake of others. Just because someone is treated after surviving a suicide attempt doesn’t mean depression symptom’s just go away. We can manipulate people to believe there is some purpose to life that they just cannot grasp, but that doesn’t make their pain go away in every circumstance. Pro is arguing that we force people to live in pain, and if they want to escape, they must do so by following a more painful route than necessary that pro admits may not even work.
First of all, Con seems to suggest that people with psychoactive depression symptoms are very hard to treat, and they should just be able to give up and kill themselves with a firearm, instead of continue trying for treatment.
I am quoting this because it is completely untrue and is blatant manipulation of my stance. People should seek help for depression. But as I said, when the treatment doesn’t work, or if someone refuses to take treatment it is wrong to simply force people to suffer. Taking away the freedom to end our own misery is the almost the same as forcing someone to be tortured. Let the family and the individual be in charge of a suicidal person’s choices. If the government has a duty to protect it’s citizens, it should do so in a way that doesn’t violate their freedom of choice. They can offer free mental therapy programs, or any other such means for help, so long as it is the individual’s choice to attend them.
Con mis-interprets me. I don’t think I ever accused him of dropping an argument. The purpose of the link isn’t to prove that a gun ban always means more or less homicide, just that homicides rates can’t be proven to be based on a gun ban alone. Pro keeps insisting that a criminals favorite weapon is a gun, and I agree whole-heartedly that homicide crimes are easiest with a gun. Where we dis-agree is on pro’s naïve assumption that criminals will suddenly start using knives and club’s to carry out these homicides, when Pro’s own source tells us criminals can continue to get guns on the black market for only an extra 100-200 dollars or so.
Next Pro continues to go on about the irrelevant part of my first round quote saying that it had no sources or footnotes. While I suppose it’s his prerogative to try and derail once again the main point of the quote (that gun ban’s do not effect homicide rates), I have already posted the sources for the part of the quote that he is saying is unsourced. Pro is blatantly refusing to read and scroll down by saying it has no footnotes and sources.
I don’t know why this point needed to be separated from the homicide point by pro, seeing as they go hand in hand in relevancy, but oh well. The major point in this point that pro seems to be missing is the negative effects of the black market on crime. Pro seems to realize that the black market exists but seems to mark it down as an issue of less importance by applying it to only pre-meditating criminals. Then without so much as a source citing how many of these criminals are pre-meditative, ignores the negative repercussions of taking away that sense of safety from law abiding civilians. Pro needs to stop equating this point inaccurately to a nirvana fallacy, seeing as again, it is only a fallacy so much as it supports his point. To be more specific on this, he is equating my point to saying that guns themselves are a problem (which I have never said ones) and that the black market isn’t a solution to that problem. In order for this point to be work, I would essentially have to be agreeing with him that guns are a problem, and not the mis-use of them through human mis-judgement. What I am actually saying is that the black market exists meaning that the pre-meditating criminals (that pro tries to down-size the impact of based on an un-sourced assumption that they make up only a fraction of total gun crimes) have their hands on weapons where law abiding citizens don’t have a means for protection. Pro is advocating that we reduce the benefits of protection self and government for the hope that less impulse crimes occur; Crimes that he also admits can still occur with “Clubs and knives”. The benefits of a gun ban simply don’t outweigh the con’s.
On the source challenge: Pro asks why the street black market and the online market are not compatible. There are multiple obvious reasons why they are not. First, ease of use. Is it not much easier to log onto a home computer than to seek out individuals who sell illegal products? There is also a risk factor in criminals being caught looking to buy weapons illegally on the streets that isn’t so strict in the online world, as I proved in round 1. Having something delivered to your house via fed-ex is ten-fold easier than going through the lengths of getting hands on illegal merchandise through the black market, and that is why they are so different. Pro next mis-understands how his source is inaccurate because it doesn’t apply to the current situation in the United States. To reiterate, Pro is attempting to use a source to draw a conclusion when guns are currently already legal, meaning that the Agent in his source is only looking for black market buyers seeking out illegal weaponry in the heavy arms category. It has no relevance to what an online black market would produce, and has no applicability. The third part of this, I am confused on how Pro interpreted me. His own source in Round 2 shows that guns aren’t that expensive, and now he is contradicting that by saying firearms are “three times more expensive”. His source contradicts his own point. On disrupting the black market con makes another assumption that all guns are made in the U.S.
Pro completely ignores my counter argument to this, and continues to repeat his point that people will still trigger lock loaded guns. My argument was that even if people are stupid enough to trigger lock a gun with a clip in it as opposed to waiting to put the clip in afterwards (seriously, that's what my opponent is saying lol), that my counter plan is that it is still the law. Again, he completely ignores my comparison that drinking and driving is illegal, yet people still do it and there are still consequences. Just because people break the law doesn't mean that they won't get caught and punished for doing it.
Con argues that the government does not have the responsibility of stepping into the subject of self-harm, and therefore should not intervene in the issue. Con justifies this by saying that the reasons for why people commit suicide are vast. That there is no way to tell whether someone is being forced to continue suffering, or if they are actually being helped and getting better. Thus if I show that people can be helped and get better, the justification is proven false. To this I bring up my statistic, for the third time now. 80-90% of those treated for depression are successful in alleviating their problems . Since I can show--and have shown--that the majority of people are helped and get better, Con’s justification is proven false. Thus this argument is negated.
Con also argues that my plan would force some people to live in pain, and have to use a more painful route to escape their suffering. As I said before, letting people kill themselves eliminates the redeeming option of getting better. There is always a chance, and a gun takes away this opportunity for the people. Since this opportunity to get better is always present, and outweighs all the suffering experienced to get there, this opportunity must always be made available. A gun ban does this.
Furthermore, even if we accept what Con argues above in its entirety, it is still negated by weighing analysis. Since 80-90% of people will have their suffering reduced, this is the majority. Thus, since more suffering is prevented than is created, my side still wins out.
Con furthers his non-government-intervention argument by saying that the government can still protect its citizens and not violate freedom of choice. Firstly, this is a straw man fallacy because a gun ban would not take away a citizen’s right to commit suicide. Merely not do it with a firearm. This would be to discourage it, but not at all ban it. Even if we were to accept this argument as relevant, the harm principle does not work here (harm principle is Con’s reasoning in this argument ) because people outside of the individual are harmed by the suicide such as loved ones, the community, etc.
Con says that he did not accuse me of dropping an argument. In R2 Con says, “My opponent drops some quick stats on homicide...”
Con argues that because of his black market argument, criminals will continue using guns through the black market and not resort to less effective weapons such as knives, clubs, etc. But as I have shown, the black market’s strength will be hindered as the result of a gun ban because of the disruption of flow. So it is quite the opposite as Con argues; illegal guns will become less available.
Con quoted a website claiming that gun ownership had an effect on crime. This claim had no source. All the other sources listed afterwards had no relevance to his quoted claim. Even if they had relevance, it is self-refuting because of Con’s argument against raw data from different countries, which Con dropped.
Con argues that the nirvana fallacy cannot be applied to this argument because Con would have to agree with me that guns are a problem, and that the black market isn’t a solution to that problem. This is a blatant straw man of my proposal. I will explain what I mean in depth. This is basically Con’s argument.
1) Violent crime is bad
2) Guns are used to carry out violent crime.
3) Not having guns makes violent crime less effective.
4) If guns were banned, criminals would just use the online black market to purchase guns.
5) A gun ban wouldn’t reduce violent crime.
6) We should not have a gun ban.
Con has conceded 2 and 3. I was arguing that this logic was a nirvana fallacy because although some criminals would use the online black market, even if I concede the majority of criminals would use the black market, this is not all criminals. Some criminals will be deterred, as I have pointed out earlier, by internalizing the danger of their actions. Some will be deterred by the increased cost. Some just aren’t premeditative criminals. It is truism that a portion of crime is not premeditative. Thus, a gun ban would partially reduce the amount of guns, and thus partially reduce the amount of violent crime. Con is attempting to reject banning guns at all based on the logic that it does not stop all violent crime. A nirvana fallacy is rejecting a partial solution because it's not perfect. That is why Con’s logic behind the black market argument is fallacious. This alone is enough to throw out the impact of the argument. But even so, there is reason to believe that a gun ban would actually hinder the impact of a black market, not enlarge it. This is also a reason to value a gun ban over Con’s counterplans, as his counterplans wouldn’t combat the black market.
As my study shows , the key to an effective black market is the flow of the product. Banning guns would entail the manufacturing, transportation, and sale of guns. But the important part is the manufacture. If there is no influx of product--or at least this influx is hindered--the entire system is hindered. The amount is considerable when you take into account that the US is the top manufacturer of firearms in the world by far . While traffickers can still attempt to import firearms from other countries, this makes their job a lot more difficult. But as long as it hinders the influx, the system is not as effective. And that's exactly what a gun ban does.
Con responds to my argument on the reason for why people will not use trigger-locks by saying that people will get caught and punished for doing it. But this does not explain why people will use trigger-locks. As I explained, people own guns to be safe. Trigger-locks hinders their ability to do this. Con shows that it would not completely shut-down their ability to use it for self-defense, but he does concede the fact that it hinders it. Thus my objection is still valid, since using trigger-locks hinders the owner’s capability of protecting himself (which Con concedes), and the entire purpose of him having a gun in the first place was to do so, gun owners will not use trigger locks.
Whether people will get caught and punished is irrelevant to the fact of whether people will use trigger-locks. Con needs to establish that everyone will use trigger-locks in order for his rebuttal to work. Saying that since it is a law, everyone who breaks it will be caught and punished is meaningless since it does not establish why people will follow the law. Con needs to use external reasoning to show that people will follow a law. Saying that it is a law is the reason people will follow the law is circular, as is being caught and punished. Even if we accept that being caught and punished is viable, then my homicide contention stands and Con’s black market argument falls. If that is valid reasoning, then I could reason that guns being banned would mean that nobody would break it because everyone would be caught and punished. This reasoning contradicts Con’s own case. Thus his case must fall or this reasoning must.
First off I would like to explain that even if all of Con’s counterplans are accepted as true that it has no weight. Con argues that these counterplans would preserve all of good things about guns without having a gun ban. “It satisfies the best of both worlds” as Con puts it. If Con’s counterplans were to hold all of the values that my case presents, then why should we choose Con’s plan over mine? If a gun ban and his plan were to hold the same values, he must provide a reason for why to choose his counterplans over the gun ban. When Con says it satisfies the best of both worlds, what's the benefits in the world without a gun ban? He does not give anything. His case in R1 consists of a defensive argument against violence deterrence from a gun ban and introduces his counterplans. Thus, since my gun ban and Con’s counterplans hold the same values, there is no reason to choose one side over the other based on the contention. Therefore this contention is neutralized.
Thanks...to TUF for this debate, I have definitely learned a lot from it. May the best debater win!
As per Rule #6, I will waive this argument. Good luck to Hayd in the voting period, I had fun in this debate. One of the first debates I've actually enjoyed in a while.
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