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Gun Rights in the USA

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/15/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,171 times Debate No: 108123
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)




People think gun control will help stop mass shootings, when a simple google search will prove otherwise.


First, I would like to thank Soiled Flapjacks for initiating this debate. Gun control is an important and divisive issue and I hope we can discuss it reasonably and intelligently.

I stand in contradiction to the belief that gun control is ineffective at reducing mass shootings. There are countless examples of gun control being enacted effectively by numerous countries around the world. What is often referred to as "common sense" gun reform such as a mandatory waiting period,universal background checks and bump stock bans have been to be very effective at reducing gun violence.
Debate Round No. 1


To begin with, I never said that tighter gun control won't lower mass shooting, only that it won't stop them.

I'm sure gun control has worked pristinely in other countries, I don't think it will work in a culture that is embedded with the right to bear arms, as stated in the U.S. Constitution. People don't want to let their culture be dismantled by fear.

While you may be right that gun control may lower gun violence, the biggest factor in gun violence is suicide. As Garrett Jennings said in his article, Why Common Sense Gun Reform Fails, on, "Discussions of gun violence are often centered on homicide but in reality the leading cause of gun death, according to the Center for Disease Control, is death by suicide."

He also said that, "Although I believe requiring background checks for purchasing items designed to kill with great efficiency is common sense," which I agree with, he went on to say, "it should be understood that passing universal background check legislation will NOT decrease gun violence to the levels seen across European countries and other advanced nations."

I'm not too sure how a mandatory waiting would change gun violence, other than that it will only happen later. Gun control may lower mass killings, but it will never end them. If somebody want to commit a mass killing and there is a gun, they use a gun. If there is no gun, they will find the next best thing, a vehicle, a knife, or even explosives.


So are you saying my burden of proof is to show that mass shootings are impossible under tighter gun laws. That to me seems absurd. Of course, sometimes people get their hands on explosives, or a vehicle, or plane. But that doesn't mean gun control isn't effective at reducing mass killings it just means that gun control isn't 100% effective. If you had a vaccine that reduced cancer deaths by 95% you would probably use that vaccine. Just because something isn't 100% effective doesn't mean you shouldn't use it at all. Seat belts aren't 100% effective at stopping you from dying in a car crash. They can even sometimes harm you in certain very specific scenarios. But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. That's what I'm trying to prove with gun control.

While you say that gun control would not work as well in the U.S. as other countries I would argue that there are examples of countries with a very strong gun culture losing their guns. Most notably, I would look at Australia a country with a large rural conservative demographic (like the U.S.) and a strong gun culture. After a mass shooting in the 1990's, Australia pushed through tight gun controls such as a national gun registry, a mandatory 28 day waiting period, and a national gun buyback program. Despite pushback from special interest groups and activists, Australia pushed their legislation through. Since the legislation was passed, Australia has seen zero mass killings their homicide and suicide rates both drop significantly.

Mass killings could also have been prevented in the U.S. by enforcement of America's current gun laws. In Texas, enforcement and use of the background checks that exist would have prevented a mass shooting there. I also want it to be noted that guns are by far the best machines for killing large amounts of people. My opponent claims that "they will find the next best thing,". Knives are of course very inefficient at killing most stabbing attacks only kill 1-2 people at the most. That isn't even a mass killing. Vehicles can only be used in open spaces such as bike paths. For the most part they too are quite poor at killing. Explosives are also not as good as guns because wiring explosives is difficult and they are often discovered before the attack. There is also a risk that the explosive will backfire or fail to go off. For those who want to kill many people, guns are just better. They are the ultimate killing machines.

My opponent claims that gun control does not effect the suicide rate. This is not true. Universal background checks have been shown to decrease the suicide rate meaningfully. According to the New York times "states with universal background checks had a decrease of 0.29 suicides per 100,000 people from 2013 to 2014. Those without such laws had an average increase of 0.85." The article continues to note that there was a decrease in suicides of 0.38 per 100,000 in states with mandatory waiting periods. It is completely untrue to say that a mandatory waiting period would not effect gun violence. The director of Harvard's Injury Control Research Center said with regards to suicides "Studies show that most attempters act on impulse, in moments of panic or despair. Once the acute feelings ease, 90 percent do not go on to die by suicide." Therefore, mandatory waiting periods can have a very large impact on suicide rates. Allowing time for psychologists to hopefully help the suicidal person. Time matters.

So in conclusion, gun control has been shown to be effective around the world as well as in the United States. Universal background checks and mandatory waiting periods have both been shown to reduce the suicide and homicide rate meaningfully. It has also been shown to reduce mass killings by large amounts in other countries that implemented gun legislation (most notably the conservative Australia). As a result of the fact that gun control is immensely effective at saving lives I urge a con vote.
Debate Round No. 2


My original argument was that gun control won't stop mass shootings. I know gun control can lower the chances, and I would like to express that I think that the gun laws will be better if they are enforced much better.

Gun control and vaccinations aren't as easily comparable as you may think. If you take a vaccine, chances are, you won't die from that disease. Same goes for gun laws. If you have strict gun laws, the probability of being shot to death lowers, obviously. But the chances of being stabbed, slashed, run over in a fit of rage, or otherwise murdered increase. The same does not apply to vaccinations,as in, if you take the vaccines you don't have a higher susceptibility to other diseases.

Australia's gun culture was not as strong as it is in the United States. Their gun ban did not, in fact, stop mass killings as you have claimed. Since 1996, there have been six mass murders in Australia, according to Wikipedia, one of which was orchestrated using a gun.

I agree that many injuries and fatalities could be prevented by better enforcement of gun control. But what we are talking about here is not enforcement, but implementation of ridiculously strict gun laws that prevent people from defending themselves from other people that don't follow the law and use illegal weapons.

In Australia, crime may have gone down, but look at the UK. They implemented strict gun control and, "After the ban was enacted, homicides trended up until they reached a peak of 18.0 in 2003. Since 2003, which incidentally was about the time the British government flooded the country with 20,000 more cops, the homicide rate has fallen to 11.1 in 2010." As stated on

The best way to prevent crime is to better enforce laws, not implement new, unenforced ones.

Just because explosives are difficult to use does not mean they are any less dangerous. Take any crazy person with a strong enough motive, and they will find a way to level a building.

I never said that gun control doesn't effect suicide rates. I have no idea where that was pulled from.

Enforcing gun control has been shown to decrease crime. Which I agree with. As you said yourself, if existing gun laws were enforced, multiple mass shootings could have been prevented.

Taking guns out of the hands of people that actually follow the law only serves to embolden criminals. The more people that own guns there are, the fewer criminals there are that want to take a chance at robbing, assaulting, or otherwise attacking somebody who could very well defend themselves.

According to Mark Perry of, from 1993 to 2013, there was, "a 56% increase in the number of guns per person that occurred during the same period when gun violence decreased by 49%."

So overall, I believe that if we take away people's weapons, criminals will have less to fear.


Firstly I want to note that your claim about Australia's gun culture is completely unsubstantiated. I would like to submit an image from an Atlantic article that shows the size of the gun protests in Australia.

Again your opening statement did not say (as you seem to believe) that gun control won't stop mass shootings. You actually said " People think gun control will help stop mass shootings" you said help stop mass shootings. "Help stop" does not imply totally eliminate as you seem to think, it implies that gun control will in NO way contribute to stopping mass shootings. Since I have proven that gun control reduces the odds of mass shootings I will address this point as conceded.

You say "Any crazy person with a strong enough motive, and the will find a way to level a building." While, yes terrorists do blow up buildings sometimes, guns are by far the more effective method of killing.
To respond to Mark Perry, police presence also increased at the same time as gun ownership rose. This also occurred during a period of relative prosperity, so one would expect the crime rates to decrease.

I don't think all guns need to be banned. I just think that it's completely unnecessary for anyone to posses a semiautomatic weapon to defend themselves. Britain's handgun ban failed because it was unenforceable. It was quite easy to keep your guns if you had criminal intent. Australia's ban was effective because it was more moderate. It eliminated semi-automatic weapons as well as added new restrictions on who could own guns. This was effective because it was enforceable.

Finally the states with the least restrictive gun laws also are the states with the highest violent crime rates. Louisiana, the state with the least restrictive gun laws is also the state with the 6th highest violent crime rate.

In the end, the numerous school shootings and gun massacres serve as obvious evidence that America's gun obsession has to be dealt with. This senseless killings has to be curbed. Guns are a serious danger to society. In order to end the cycle of gun violence I urge a con vote.

Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by debatemoez 3 years ago
Perhaps a more strict screening process for those that get weapons that are designed for mass killing.

But the mental health of the person buying these weapons is being ignored.

Less money paid out to retired officials (and those in office as well) and more money on addressing OBVIOUS mental health health.
Posted by Themadman 3 years ago
I think some people misunderstood me. My opening statement was essentially just me accepting the debate. These were in no way my contentions.
Posted by Soiled_Flapjacks 3 years ago
That is a fair point. Perhaps I was in too much of a rush in my original post. I have added citations in my rebuttal.
Posted by Novenate 3 years ago
Neither of you have sources, saying something is "common sense" in a debate is as retarded as saying "just google it"
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