more guns mean more homicide, more gun control means less homicide
Debate Rounds (3)
Hemenway and coauthor Lisa M. Hepburn reviewed research from peer-reviewed journals and found that the evidence from studies of U.S. cities, states and regions "is quite consistent " where there are higher levels of gun prevalence, homicide rates are substantially higher, primarily due to higher firearm homicide rates."
this is true when you compare developed nations v developed nations. you can't compare undeveloped. and you also have to have variable control of things like poverty v homicide and guns v homicide
states with more gun control have less deaths than states with less gun control. following are some studies that indicate as much, including some literature reviews conclusing as much. you cant find literature review consensus finding different conclusions aside from a few shoddy studies.
I would like to thank my opponent for initiating this debate.
I'm assuming since Pro is arguing in the affirmative, that pro bears the burden of proof. Additionally, the resolution is two parts. If pro fails to fulfill this burden on either or both of these parts, then Con should be the victor of the debate. Those two parts are:
1. More guns mean more homicide.
2. More gun control means less homicide.
I will be arguing in the negative for both of these parts of the resolution.
I'd like to open by responding to the statements presented thus far by Pro.
"more homicides correlated to more guns owed."
I'm uncertain what Pro means by "owed" here. I'm assuming it is meant to be "owned" instead. Correlation hasn't been properly demonstrated, as I'll show soon. Even if it had, correlation does not equal causation, like the resolutions would require, "more guns mean more homicide." Correlation could mean that the latter instead caused the former, which could make sense. People as a whole may decide to purchase firearms in order to defend themselves and their family if the homicide rate increases. A third possibility is the case where correlation occurs randomly, but the studied concepts aren't even related. There's a website that lists 30,000 strongly correlated but unrelated items .
"Aside from a shoddy study or two..."
My opponent makes reference to not-yet-cited studies. I'll let the reader decide if the claims and citations I make stand up better to scrutiny rather than many of the biased sources my opponent provides, like thinkprogressive.com
I found this statement verbatim at a site not listed among my opponent's citations . Rather than accuse of plagiarism, I'll assume that one of the many links my opponent provided references it, or they share a common source. What my opponent did not include, however, was the statement immediately following: But, again, the 2004 report said: “None of the studies can prove causation. They merely examine the statistical association between gun availability and homicide.”
"this is true when..."
I'll show it not true below. The qualifiers my opponent gives are unrelated to the resolution, and allows unscrupulous statisticians to manipulate otherwise meaningful data. If regression techniques are used with enough additional data, it can either intentionally or unintentionally further confound the statistics.
"states with more gun control have less deaths..."
Already my opponent has conflated the issue. "Deaths" in this context includes suicides and is beyond the scope of this resolution, which instead looks at homicides in both parts. The politifact source my opponent provided even admits this, saying, "...when suicides are taken out of the picture, there’s not as clear a correlation between more gun laws and fewer non-suicide gun deaths."
I have chosen not to respond to any of the links, with the one above exception, as I don't see any of Pro's contentions referring to them specifically.
Now that I have mitigated my opponent's presentation, I'll provide evidence to the contrary of the resolution, starting with the first half.
Homicide has been decreasing in the United States.
As of 2014, the U.S. per capita homicide rate is 4.5,  which is the lowest it has been in over 50 years.  The homicide rate is about half what it was 20 years ago.
The Number of Firearms is increasing in the United States.
Since homicides are significantly lower than they were 20 years ago, then for the resolution to be correct, the number of guns must have also declined during the same period.
About 132 million new guns have been added to the total supply over the last 20 years. The total supply of civilian owned firearms in the U.S. is estimated to be somewhere between 270 million  and 310 million .
When we use real, unmanipulated data, it suggests that not only is the resolution not accurate, but the opposite is the truth in the United States.
International comparisons tend to have their own sets of problems. The Crime Prevention Research Center has made an attempt  to reconcile the differences in the way nations count civilian firearm amounts, or some other statistics that are known to be inaccurate. The conclusions they made shows a negative correlation between homicide and firearms per 100 persons. Even when they only include developed nations like Pro indicated should be done, they still show a negative correlation, even though it isn't statistically significant.
Let's move on to the second half of the resolution, that more gun control means less homicides.
The Failure of the Brady Bill to Reduce Homicides in the United States
The Brady Bill refers to the legislation passed in 1993 that required background checks and waiting periods for those who want to purchase a firearm. According to JAMA , there were 18 states that had similar background checks and waiting periods prior to the federal bill, but there was no statistical difference in the change of homicide rates in those states compared to the other 32. From their conclusions, "... implementation of the Brady Act appears to have been associated with reductions in the firearm suicide rate for persons aged 55 years or older but not with reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates."
The Failure of the Assault Weapons Ban to Reduce Homicides in the United States
The Assault Weapons Ban was legislation that was active between 1994 and 2004 that banned firearms with a certain set of classifications. The NIJ  conducted a study on the impacts of that legislation and it concluded in 1999, "The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims." When the NIJ did an updated assessment  in 2004 after a trend of reduced gun violence, it concluded, "...we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation's recent drop in gun violence."
The Failure of 51 Other Methods of Gun Control to Reduce Homicides in the United States
In 2003, a task force under direction of the CDC conducted a study  that evaluated 51 of the gun control programs in their effectiveness. It “...found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes."
Pro has failed to demonstrate in his presentation any evidence that suggests the resolution is affirmed. Con has demonstrated that the first half of the resolution is falsified because in the United States, a decreasing homicide rate occurred during a period of increasing firearm supply. Additionally, Con has shown evidence of a negative correlation between homicide rates and firearm supply internationally.
For the second part of the resolution, Con has shown the Brady Bill, the Assault Weapons Ban, and 51 other instances of gun control have failed to produce a lower homicide rate.
As my opening is now completed, I await the reply from Pro.
con shows that guns went up and homicide went down in the country. that is an outlier though. I provided ample evidence the opposite is true in the bigger picture. I even gave studies of literature reviews that anyone can do on their own. if your position were true, you'd be able to find academic support for it, which you can't find.
"Even when they only include developed nations like Pro indicated should be done, they still show a negative correlation, even though it isn't statistically significant."
you have to control for variable such as poverty and violence and guns etc. that is a basic tenant of scientific analysis. when this is done, you see the correlation. again, if your position were true, there wouldn't be an effective consensus regarding my position.
con goes on to argue against two forms of gun control. i'm not arugign about specific types of control, my resolution doesn't try to. so this is moot. but to be fair regarding your points, forty percent of gun sales do not require a background check so it's fair to think maybe the law is ineffective cause it's not broad enough. plus just because we didn't see a result doesn't mean it's not there, correlation doesn't mean causation. just common senese is enough to know that some people don't get guns cause they aren't allowed to, and then when they go nuts and don't happen to have a gun, some lives are saved.
"I wasn't trying to prove causation I only was pointing out that where there are more guns there is more homicide."
And my contention remains that my opponent failed to do so. Among the resources listed (but not actually referenced for any particular argument), are highly politicized, such as motherjones, politifact, thinkprogress, and huffingtonpost.
Looking at others, such as amjmed, the conclusions only deal with deaths, not homicides, so it doesn't even link the resolution provided.
Out of the other resources, I can only find where the researches had no choice but to inject regression or other manipulations of the data in order to get the results they desired in the hypothesis. I provided direct links to the raw data, without such manipulations, and no such correlations exist for similar sets of data.
I would like for my opponent to be able to provide a single source that doesn't require any of the following: An obvious political bias, data manipulation techniques, or conflation between "homicides" and some other statistic that would include such events as suicide or accidents.
"... it isn't a far leap though to imply causation.... if makes sense that you are more likely to kill someone if you have a gun..."
Except for the fact it doesn't make sense. The presence of a firearm in the hands of a law abiding citizen would be used for the defense of their own lives or a family member, which would more likely prevent, not cause, a homicide. The lowest estimate I've ever seen for the annual defensive firearm uses in the United States is 55,000–80,000  by the anti-gun researcher my opponent cited, David Hemenway . Other estimates range from the hundreds of thousands to the millions . In any case, all these estimates greatly exceed the annual number of homicides in the United States at a little more than 16 thousand .
"con shows that guns went up and homicide went down in the country. that is an outlier though."
What I find most interesting is that my opponent refers to the raw data, unmolested by statisticians with an agenda an outlier. If the resolution were common sense, then nobody would be required to make adjustments on a half dozen different variables. Understand, each time another variable is adjusted for, that introduces the possibility of error, bias, or noise being introduced into the data.
The raw data only has one source of data...an unbiased one.
"if your position were true, there wouldn't be an effective consensus regarding my position."
Incorrect. These are just opinions of academics who may have only done scant amount of research on the topic. Consensus among a group of researches who happened to have the word "firearm" somewhere on a study that they have ever done is hardly evidence of fact toward this resolution. It is common knowledge that academia tend to overwhelmingly self-identify as liberal . If we polled residents of the Vatican, we'd likewise find consensus about matters of faith.
"con goes on to argue against two forms of gun control. i'm not arugign about specific types of control,"
Two were discussed specifically, but my opponents seems to have ignored the 51 studied and that failed to be effective in reducing homicides. I suppose since my opponent isn't going to provide any argument or evidence affirming the second half of the resolution.... vote Con.
"...just common senese (sic) is enough to know that some people don't get guns cause they aren't allowed to..."
The only people who aren't able to get guns are the ones who actually follow the law that doesn't allow them...the very people we would prefer to be the ones with the most access. The common sense is on the Con side here. Restricting access to the law-abiding only helps criminals, as they would prefer their victims to be disarmed.
The focus of the remainder of this round will be as a response to the following my opponent had:
" it's fair to think maybe the law is ineffective cause it's not broad enough."
I grant concession here. The United States as a whole hasn't had broad enough changes with items I discussed in my previous round. For instance, the assault rifle ban only impacted less than 2% of the total gun supply We'll have to look at other nations or subsets of the US that have attempted gun control that would be considered "broad enough." I'll show one of each.
The Failure of Gun Control in England and Wales
Consider the two big firearm restrictions in England and Wales. The first is the Firearms Act 1968 and the other is the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 which all but banned handguns. If the resolution is true, we would expect the homicide rate to drop in the following years. The opposite happened. The homicide rate in England and Wales has averaged 52% higher since the 1968 gun control law was enacted. The homicide rate has averaged 15% higher since the enactment of the 1997 ban .
The Failure of Gun Control in Washington D.C.
In 1976 Washington D.C. passed a law that banned handguns and requried all other privately owned firearms to be unloaded and inoperable by either being disassembled or having a trigger lock. This is the law struck down by the Heller Supreme Court Case. During the time that law was in effect, the murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the time of its passage , while the homicide rate in the U.S. was 11% lower during the same peroid.
Con has provided multiple sources from reputable sources, linking directly to the raw data. Because the sources that Pro has used are from biased sources or where data was manipulated in order to fit a hypothesis, or are unrelated to the resolution, they should be considered invalidated.
Pro has yet to offer any valid evidence affirming the resolution, and con has shown valid evidence refuting it, or showing the opposite to be true.
it is common sense that you are more likely to kill someone if you have a gun. that's what is supported indirectly by the studies that say you are more likely to die where there are more guns. if you want to not presuppose that and want to argue that s the conclusion look at domestic violence. a woman is five times more likely to die if your significant other has a gun. this doesn't always include criminals with guns, anyone is susceptible to domestic violence even those who are legally able to have guns. this fact is easly transferrable to any situation where sudden passions flare such as fights or simple anger at someone.
con goes on to show anendotal evience in england and washington. who cares what happens in two places? i could show australia where homicides dropped up to fifty percent after gun control, and there was a mass shooting every year before that control and no mass shooting after.... that couldn't be anomaly. but that's just an anecdotal fight. con does nothing to attack the studies i show regardign gun control, i guess he just ignores them or chaulks it up to them being liberals run amok. if his position were true, though, youd be able to find support. just look at the evidence... you are twice as likely to die in the states with the least gun control as you are in the states with the most gun ocntrol.
"i cited some bias sources, but that ignores the majority of unbias sources which include literature reviews that represents a scientifi onsensus effectively."
I reviewed every one of them, and described in general the problems I had with each. R2 I challenged my opponent to come up with one source that met unbiased, unmolested data confirming the resolution, while none was presented in the final round.
"if your position were true youd be able to find it. if ninety nine percent of engineers said a bridge was unsafe would you argue it was safe?"
Just to dispell the analogy, the "consensus" isn't anywhere near 99 percent. The "consensus" of polling data has a positive response rate that very closely aligns the ideaological grounds I cited in R2. If my opponent wants to make the case that a consensus would require 99 percent, then that standard fails. To follow the analogy however, if a majority of engineers self-describe as misogynists, and a similar majority of engineers also claim a bridge designed by a female is unsafe...but only after manipulating the data through multiple levels of regression...and the raw data shows that opinion incorrect...then yes, of course I think it reasonable to have doubts on the claim those engineers make on the safety of the bridge.
"...if your position was true and it was as mushy as you claim, youd be able to find decent support for your position..."
I wanted the challenge of attempting this debate using only neutral sources for data directly relating to the resolution. So far, I think the ones I provided, such as the FBI, crime statistics, CDC, all qualify, except one. That one, I only presented the raw data it utilized. I intentionally left Con's argument absent of the works by scholarly people such as Professors Gary Kleck, Don Kates, John Lott, or Gary Mauser. I'm certain had I presented them, Pro would have rejected them for the same reason I'm rejecting Pro's. They push an agenda. Raw data pushes no such agenda, and that raw data does not fit the narrative that Pro has presented.
Raw data also doesn't require "decent support" from anyone, so this is a moot objection.
"...studies that say you are more likely to die where there are more guns..."
What studies? There's no reference to these unnamed studies here. Take suicide out of the equation out of this and the other assertions Pro makes in this paragraph, and the numbers change to being in favor of Con.
"...i could show australia where homicides dropped up to fifty percent after gun control..."
This is inaccurate, although my opponent does use "up to" I suppose to mean any number desired. I do commend my opponent for finally bringing to the conversation one gun control program, though the one brought up also doesn't affirm the resolution. The homicide trend was already declining 15 years prior to its buyback/confiscation program. The gun legislation cannot be responsible for a declining homicide trend that was occurring prior to its enactment. The rate of decline both before and after the ban was virtually identical.
If the resolution were true, then I would have expected the rate of decline to accelerate. Instead, the rate stagnates, and continues the exact same path it was on before the ban, and in similar decline to New Zealand's homicide rate which did not have that law.  Also take note of the upward spike in homicides that occured within a few years of the failed policy. That upward spike, is another example where the resolution is invalidated.
"...and there was a mass shooting every year before that control and no mass shooting after"
I'm not sure why my opponent doesn't include murder-suicide by Geoff Hunt who killed his wife and three children in a shooting spree before turning the gun on himself in 2014. There was also the Sydney Siege in 2014 where 4 were shot, 3 of which were killed, but I'm not sure what might qualify as a "mass shooting" as far as my opponent is concerned.
" con does nothing to attack the studies i show regardign gun control"
I've addressed them all. Some specifically, like the politifact link that actually demonstrates evidence in favor of Con, and others in general.
"just look at the evidence... you are twice as likely to die in the states with the least gun control"
This is a non sequitur. You have are 100% likely to die no matter what state you reside in. Supposing for a moment my oppenent meant to include with a firearm, we are including suicides with that statisticEven just assuming the accuracy of this uncited statistic, it remains immaterial to the resolution. When you take suicides out the equation, according to my opponent's source anyway, there is no correlation between state's homicide rates and their gun control policies.
I want to thank Pro for this debate. Since all the sources Pro had provided were either from biased sources, manipulated data, or conflated suicides or other items not related to the resolution, Pro has failed to demonstrate affirmation. On the other hand, Con has demonstrated using untainted data, multiple instances where the resolution fails or the opposite is accurate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by SchinkBR 3 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Both participants had good conduct and spelling/grammar, aside from one small mistake I found. Nonetheless, it was not significant enough to award a point so the first two points are ties. Sources I give to Con for using raw unbias sources and more importantly, he clearly reference which sources he was using when using footnotes, rather than having the voters search through the links. Also, pro makes numerous claims in R2 and R3 that don't have citations such as "look at domestic violence. a woman is five times more likely to die if your significant other has a gun." Most importantly, the arguments. While Pro starts off strong he finishes tepidly and poorly refuteses cons point: in R2 "you have to control for variable such as poverty and violence..." misses cons point that his sources do in fact, both analysis and comes to the same negative correlation. Meanwhile Con refutes pro with arguments like "the rate stagnates, and continues the exact same path it was on before the ban..
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