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The Contender
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gun restirictions should be lessened

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 504 times Debate No: 42226
Debate Rounds (3)
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the problems with increasing gun restictions are..
1. it disarms those who might be able to stop a shooter before he causes so many deaths
2. shooters are going to get guns anyway
3. guns dont kill people.

in the shooting at the theatre a while ago, the shooter was the only person who had a gun on him. we all know how bad this turned out. If someone in the crowd had a gun, they could of dropped the shooter before he caused as much trouble. but as i said before, only one person had a gun, the shooter. this is because of the high restrictions on guns.
also if someone is willing to kill dozens of innocent people and often themselves, then they are willing to steal guns, break restrictions, or get guns from gangs or black markets. with the increasing gun restictions, we are only restricting the innocent people who lose the chance to be a hero and save lives because we tried and failed to prevent the shooter from getting a gun.
finally guns dont kill people. this is a statement that we hear all of the time. i argue that people kill people because my pencil wont write my homework by itself. this is a smaller example but its the same idea. should we get rid of cars? more people die in car accidents than shootings.
because of these points i think that we should lessen the severity of gun restrictions


I do not hold all of these views personally. I am defending them for the sake of debate.

I would respectfully like to point out that my opponent seems to misunderstand the nature of gun control legislation. I will not support the outlawing or banning of all guns, although I will defend the argument that certain particularly dangerous weapons (bombs for instance) do not belong in civilian hands. I am making an argument for certain gun control measures.

I will address my opponent's arguments one at a time.

1. It disarms those who might be able to stop an attacker

The gun control measures which I am defending limit access to guns in three ways: (1) gun ownership is only legal if you have a gun license without which it is illegal to purchase or carry a gun, (2) people with a history of criminality or mental instability will be unable to obtain a license, (3) it should be illegal to carry concealed guns in public, and (4) there should be a minimum age for being allowed to obtain a license. Homicidal attackers are likely to be violent and/or mentally unstable. Normal civilians who might use guns to defend themselves are less likely to have a criminal history. As such, the gun control measures I'm making a case for won't change the access generally non-violent and sane civilians have to guns, except if they are not adults. However, it would make it a whole lot harder for proven criminals or the mentally unstable to get their hands on a violent weapon.

2. Shooters are going to get guns anyway

That's like saying we shouldn't have laws against rape, murder, fraud or speeding because people are going to do it anyway. Sure, people break the law all the time, I won't argue that. However, we need the laws for several reasons. Firstly, to protect everyone's rights as guaranteed in the Constitution; secondly, to make it possible for law enforcement officials to prevent crime; thirdly, to allow the justice system to punish criminals. Without the gun restriction measures I'm endorsing, a convicted murderer on parole could walk right into the middle of a mall brandishing an assault rifle, and at no point would the police have the power to detain him or force him to relinquish his weapon. This is dangerous. Finally, gun control laws will make it far harder for likely shooters (i.e. the violent, criminal and mentally unstable) to acquire guns. That alone is a worthy reason to seriously consider passing, or keeping, such laws.

3. Guns don't kill people

I'm not really sure how to respond to this. Of course an instrument is still doing something, even if it isn't acting on its own – it's an instrument, that's its job. Yes your pen is writing your homework, yes your gun is killing someone, of course a tool needs to be *used* in order to *function*. Our own bodies are tools – if I were to accept your reasoning I could say people don't kill people either, intentions kill people because our bodies normally do not commit conscious deeds such as murder without intention behind it; thus, why bother imprisoning people? After all, they're not the problem here. That line of thinking is clearly fallacious. Our bodies are vessels of our will. This does not mean they cannot be held responsible for the consequences of obeying our will. Should we be putting guns on trial? No. We put actions and intentions on trial for murder. Thus, I don't know why this is an issue for you – the law and justice systems are not assuming that guns kill people. Nevertheless, taking instruments away from people will diminish the ease with which they can perform certain tasks. If you were to ban all cars, trains and planes, people would still move from place to place, but it would be far slower with major impacts on traffic, economy and environment. Of course gun control will have consequences – consequences which are arguable, but extant.

4. Slippery slope

If we go after guns, what else will the government take from us? Cars? Detergent? Kitchen knives? This slippery slope argument comes up all the time, but it's wildly silly for two reasons. Firstly: we're debating gun *control*, remember? Cars kill more than guns do – this is why we have licenses for cars, and a minimum age for driving, and a training period, and your license gets suspended if you use your car illegally or destructively. The other two aforementioned instruments are not as deadly as guns, so these sorts of restrictions are not necessarily as productive as they are regressive. I don't support knife licenses. Secondly, and far more importantly, all of the non-gun examples share one trait that guns lack: they are not purely weapons. Their function is not exclusively destructive. As such, appropriate regulation measures between the two groups are in no way comparable. Cars, detergent and kitchen knives all share important alternative roles in the average lifestyle. Cars are highly vital for efficient transport, especially in big cities or across large distances. Detergent is used to clean the home. Knives are used as cooking utensils and other types of knives are used in art, construction and eating. However, guns are used *exclusively* to kill people; furthermore, that is their *primary* purpose. So it's actually ridiculous how many restrictions we have on cars in, say, America, while there are virtually no restrictions on guns.

Now I will briefly make a case for some of my skeleton arguments.

5. Gun ownership should only be legal if you have a gun license, without which it is illegal to purchase or carry a gun.

If we have car licenses, we should have gun licenses. It's as simple as that. If you would like to revoke gun licenses, please revoke car licenses and see where that gets your country.

6. People with a history of criminality or mental instability should be unable to obtain a license.

The power to kill should not be given to people who are proven to be violent, law-breaking, sadistic or irrational. Shops which sell guns should have the right to demand a psychiatric evaluation of any customer. Again, we are not talking about an instrument with mainly positive and constructive uses, and certain alternative abuses; we are talking about the exclusively destructive function of killing.

7. It should be illegal to carry concealed guns in public.

If you are not a criminal, why would you be worried that revealing your gun will alert others to your gun ownership? You may be more likely to be stopped briefly by the police, but this is for sensible safety reasons. You are less likely to be attacked. However, there is really no good reason to disguise your gun illegally unless for criminal purposes. This will make it far easier for law enforcement to apprehend shooters before they act.

8. There should be a minimum age for being allowed to obtain a license.

There is a minimum age for drinking and receiving a car license. If for no other reason, there should be a minimum age restriction in order to protect children from themselves. A policeman could not stop a five-year-old from carrying, handling or using a gun without such regulations in place. This would endanger not only people and property surrounding the five-year-old, whose motor and cognitive skills are far from fully developed, it would also seriously endanger the child. For these reasons we restrict drinking and driving age. Until you are at least 15, you are considered unable to shoulder the responsibility of driving. Until you are at least 18, you are considered unable to shoulder the responsibility of voting. Until you are at least 21, you are considered unable to shoulder the responsibility of drinking alcohol. When can a person shoulder the responsibility of having the power to kill dozens of human beings within minutes?

Gun restrictions in America should not be diminished. (Note that I do not need to prove that they should be increased in order to win the debate.) Please vote for Ithacus / Con if you feel that I have accurately and persuasively defended that position. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


k10parkins forfeited this round.


As my opponent has forfeited this round, I respectfully withdraw my case until the 3rd round wherein we may continue the debate if my opponent so chooses. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2


k10parkins forfeited this round.


Thank you for an interesting exchange. Please vote for Ithacus / Con if you feel that I have accurately and persuasively defended that position. Thank you & happy holidays!
Debate Round No. 3
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