The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

There should be mental health regulations rather than gun regulations

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,177 times Debate No: 53314
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




So many people don't hesitate to blame gun laws for the resent killings in public areas. But where there is a gun, there is a person, and for every person, there is a thought. Thoughts pull the trigger and that is why I believe that if there are better and more strict health laws for mental instability it can prevent the thought from even rising and prevent the killing in the first place.


(1st round is acceptance and maybe introduction)

I am honestly confused with your question (debate topic). And from what it says, there should be no gun regulations but only mental health regulations.
(I won't do any rebuttal for now.) For the first round, let me define two terms (make it as part of my intro.)

Gun laws (regulations) - Gun politics describes a category of politics involving and/or addressing firearms that fall into the category of small arms. Generally the topic addresses safety issues and ideologies related to firearms through criminal and non criminal use. (

Mental health law- the area of the law that applies to persons with a diagnosis or possible diagnosis of mental illness, and to those involved in managing or treating such people. (

We can't deny the fact that guns are severely dangerous and useful at the same time. But in this debate PRO is suggesting that the usage of gun is due to a person's mental state or choice (which goes back to the mental state).
As the cons of this debate I will stand to my point that there should be gun regulations and mental health regulations but to be fair with pro I will fight for the point that these should be more gun regulations than mental health regulations.
In other words, my point here is, gun regulations outweigh mental health regulations and that society should focus more on gun regulations.

(let the debate commence)
Debate Round No. 1


Just getting new to the website but I guess the topic title is not the best. Let me word it this way: most of the concern is placed on regulating gun control laws, which is getting a lot of fire with the 2nd amendment, instead of working with the person him/herself. I am not proposing to completely eradicate all gun control laws. Some gun laws do keep the fire arms in safe hands (most of the time). But lets face it: Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country yet it is out of control with gun related deaths. Same as D.C.

Lets take the Navy yard shooting incident for example. It doesn't matter how much you regulate guns. If the person is not in the state of mind to kill, then that person is not picking up that gun. Before Aaron Alexis killed 12 people, he 1.) shot at his upstairs neighbors in his apartment because they were making "too much noise" 2.) shot 5 shots from a .45 caliber into the air and into a construction workers car 3.) told police he was hearing voices and 4.) he said three people were "sending him vibrations that kept him from sleeping". Even worse: Aarons condition was never communicated to the chain of command. Now that is not related to mental health but gun regulations cant force a person to report unusual sightings up the chain of command. Aaron was still accepted into the Navy. If Aaron had gone to a psychiatrist, the Navy would see his health records and know what he did in the past. (

An average person does not do these things obviously, but if someone was willing to tell others or even tell Aaron to see someone, this crisis could have been averted.

Another example: Adam Lanza. The man grew up being obsessed with mass shootings and had a history of obsessive-compulsive disorders. He refused any medication that could minimize his symptoms. His mother even told her friends that she was worried about him! Yet nothing was done. Adam was also reportedly trying to "stay off the grid". /(

There are so many examples I can give but the point I am trying to give is that instead of regulating gun control laws and hurting our second amendment in the process, we should instill more explicit screenings and more restrictions based on mental health rather than if he/she owns a gun or not.

I would highly recommend watching the movie "We Should Talk About Kevin". It goes into great detail of how these psychopaths grow up and the signs they could possible show but are always ignored by the parent do to control problems.


I'm also new here and I understand as well so don't worry.

But how effective is prioritizing mental health laws over gun laws? My point here is that there should always be mental health laws, yes they can improve society's mental state but they would be very futile without gun laws. Just imagine a world where gun laws are less important, treating mental illness won't assure no chaos, favoring mental health laws doesn't mean anyone won't do any crime. Right?

Not all killers (using guns) are mentally unstable. 6,009 people were murdered with handguns in America in 2010, which was 67.5% of all murders in the country that year. There were 8,775 total firearm crimes reported in the U.S. in 2010. ( That doesn't mean those murderers are all crazy.

According to, Chicago's gun violence is so high because their gun regulations may be strict but have to be done on a national level. Guns there are so transportable. McCarthy even said, "Guns are bought legally and transferred illegally, and those are the guns that are ending up killing people here."

I feel sorry for the navy yard shooting incident, I know there are numerous incidents like that but you showed no clear evidence on how your mental health laws would be able to solve the problem.
"this crisis could have been averted.", even if he wen't back to his normal state, you can't be so sure that he won't do another or the same crime.

I feel sorry for the Sandy Hook incident as well but in that incident, it clearly shows to focus more on gun regulations, the weapons he brought and the lack of gun regulations that caused his mass shooting madness proved that gun regulations should be prioritized.

The problem about Lanza should be treated at home. I mean, there's no need of making too much mental health laws. Even if he doesn't want to be cured (as said in the news), it's still the parent's responsibility to raise their child correctly. Situations should be handled as easy as possible. You can't unwrap a piece of a candy with a sledge hammer.

Reason why other countries with strict gun controls still have a high violence rate is because of the lack of giving high value unto the issue.
A man with a gun chooses to pull the trigger or not, that is a decision made by a person in a normal mental state, a decision where prioritized and strict gun regulations should take part.

Gun Regulation is not a failure at all, it only becomes one because it is not used properly, not handled strictly and not taken to consideration as something as important as abortion or other big issues in the world.

Being mentally stable is not enough to survive in this world. The influence brought by society and environment can't be stopped by mental health laws alone, we need better gun regulations.
Debate Round No. 2


I agree with you on the fact that not all mentally unstable people kill people. Unfortunately, some sane people do. However, the question is what is the source of the problem? Is it the gun or is it the person? Yes you can look at it as well...if there is no gun, then it can't be used. There will always be guns floating around regardless the measures that are taken. The way I see it, if we can find a way to marginalize the people who are allowed to use a gun by knowing their past/present traumatic events i.e divorce, lost relative, recent medications used, hospitals visited, therapists seen, severe depression, odd obsessions etc., that could work. However, I don't think that just because someone lost a relative means they can't have a gun so there are those annoying loopholes.

It has been shown that 31% to 61% of all homicides were committed by disturbed individuals in 2013 when they had their first psychotic breakdown even when they had no criminal background. (

If we can separate the mentally ill from guns, that could be the first step to ending public shootings.

In Connecticut, there was an estimated 140,000 residents with severe mental illness but only half got treated because the state closed 17% of its available hospital beds for people with psychiatric disorders. The people that should have been treated were released. (

No, I do not have a solid blueprint of medical evaluations that I think would be necessary. But I don't think more gun laws are going to help anyone at this point. With so many strings to pull on the 2nd amendment, its hard to make more gun laws without having the amendment get in the way. This is where I agree that gun regulations are not being used properly (maybe in a perfect world where they could be, we would not be having this debate). In fact, common sense can work better than the gun laws themselves. If someone TELLS you that they are hearing voices or you SEE them doing something out of the ordinary, you should tell someone! It angers me that for most public shootings, the shooter showed obvious signs but everyone ignored them. As you said, the parents have a duty to raise their child correctly and a believe that. Unfortunately, not all parents are role models for their children. Some parents just don't care about what their children do.

My final point is this: There should be gun AND mental health laws. One cannot work without the other. However, I see gun regulations as a slippery slope. I am not saying that all mentally unstable people commit acts of violence, I am saying that they are more likely to and when they do have their first mental breakdown, every one wonders how it happened. If we can find a way to put mentally unstable people away before they buy a gun, that would be sufficient.


"if there is no gun, then it can't be used"- No! That's not my point, my point is that we should create better restrictions in gun regulations, everything should have their own limitations but keeping those limitations in the usage of gun won't be easy if not through better gun regulations.

According to , a “pathetic social misfit,” as a judge described the lone gunman, killed 35 people with a spray of bullets from semiautomatic weapons. After that the Australian Government worked on their gun reforms and regulations. The point is, a crazy man killing people can easily be stopped if he is not holding a dangerous and illegal type of gun. That's why society's working hard with gun regulations.

I found this news through ( 16 children and their teacher were killed by a gunman in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996. Their government created one of the strictest gun regulations in the world.
The result has been a decline in murders involving firearms.

"If we can separate the mentally ill from guns, that could be the first step to ending public shootings." EXACTLY. That's when we need strict gun laws. You said you don't want the second amendment to be affected due to gun laws, but from this statement, you're contradicting your own side my dear opponent.

" But I don't think more gun laws are going to help anyone at this point. " Of course it can! If it is not through gun laws you could be dead by now. A robber with a gun can easily break into your house, putting your life in danger.

Your point about common sense is very risky. Why does the shooter have the gun in the first place? It is because of the lack of gun regulations, guns are being transported illegally and that's a very big issue.

I don't think gun laws are in a slippery slope situation. They've been a big help, only reason why they fail is, again, the lack of prioritizing it that's why I propose for focusing more on gun laws . In fact, mental health law is the slippery slope in this situation.
If mental health laws are prioritized over gun laws, there is a risk of lowering the standard and importance of gun laws. If that would happen, there would be more chances of holding a gun. I can see that you're trying to support the second amendment but wouldn't that cause even more chaos? Me holding a gun, you holding a gun, everyone holding a gun, even innocent people's life would be in danger.

A robber with a gun may break into anyone's house, not because he is crazy but because there is a need, maybe because of poverty, he is not mentally unstable to shoot anyone inside but because there is a need of doing that, there is fear of being caught or being hurt as well. I don't think mental health laws can solve that easily, why not take the gun away from him in the first place? How? Through better gun laws.

Debate Round No. 3


I will say again: I am not assuming that gun regulations should be completely, absolutely and formally wiped off the face of this planet. Yes, with the gun laws now, we don' have people running around with guns per say. But I don't think more gun restrictions is going to help anyone. Lets take Chicago for instance. Guns are shipped in and out of that city, which is why gun restrictions don't work to their full potential. Right? Is it just that city? Is California better off? Placing gun restrictions on "mobile" guns do not help anyone. Its just like illegal shipment of drugs. Marijuana is illegal, most people at my HIGHSCHOOL use it.

"It is because of the lack of gun regulations, guns are being transported illegally and that's a very big issue."- Placing gun restrictions only increases its value. Yes, if your strict enough to prevent VISUAL transportation of these weapons, that great. But its the INVISIBLE transportation of guns that we should be worried about. CRIMINALS DO NOT FOLLOW GUN LAWS. But we do! You think that by limiting the people's supply of guns is going to help us fight those who DO NOT follow gun laws? Laws mean nothing to the outlaws. Laws only help the lawful but in this case, it could be the death of us.

"A robber with a gun can easily break into your house, putting your life in danger."- Yes. Of course he can. But that still happens even with gun restrictions now. Gun restrictions cannot prevent an intruder from entering a home. That intruder can still get a gun from his friend that has every right to have a gun.

So why are we cutting off the tail of the snake instead of the head? We think we are stopping gun violence by getting ride of the product, but if we get ride of the source, the idea that breeds the thought of pulling the trigger. You think gun violence is bad now? Wait till guns are illegal.

Why do we need gun laws to keep the mentally ill from using gun? What wrong with putting them away so they don't even walk into the store? Again. We are only cutting off the tail on this one because we think guns are killing people but they are not. I know its clique but: guns don't kill people. People kill people. The real threat is us. We choose to buy the guns; our brain does. Guns just don't pop up on someone's front porch and scream "USE ME!".

To your point about common sense: common sense is irrelevant to both mental and gun laws. Gun laws will not make someone say "hmmmm he says he's hearing voices and yet he has a gun. Oh well." Now before you say anything about more gun laws. Before you say that more gun restrictions would keep a person like Aaron Alexis from getting a gun. The place he goes to buy the guns knows NOTHING about his mental status. Why? Because he never went to a therapist, so there are not records of him showing signs of schizophrenia. Crazy people never tell other people they are crazy. WE have to determine that so they don't buy a gun, not through laws, but by plain, old, underrated common sense.


I've talked about Chicago my dear opponent, if you were paying attention to my arguments I already said that the reason why Chicago's gun laws fail is because of the lack of focus on it. The regulations are not working because the regulations are not being prioritized well, and their government even said that it should be done on a national level. If they'd really focus on their gun laws, I doubt that it won't work.

"But its the INVISIBLE transportation of guns that we should be worried about. "- And how can mental health laws stop that? Criminals do not follow gun laws because they are not that strict, punishments are not that heavy and gun laws are not properly enforced, here's a proof, "The Obama administration has failed in gun control because it has failed to enforce existing gun laws." (

"But that still happens even with gun restrictions now"- EXACTLY, that's why we need better, improved and well enforced GUN RESTRICTIONS (How? By prioritizing them). Chances of having a gun from a friend with an authority should be handled with responsibility. I mean, shouldn't it be a part of their job to prevent non authorized people to have a gun?

Seriously, we are not even cutting off the tail instead of the head in the first place(irrelevant analogy). I wasn't talking about getting rid of the product, but my point is to limit and put restrictions to the usage of the gun.
You haven't showed any strong evidence of how getting rid of the thought that pulls the trigger can stop violence in the first place, instead you insinuated the existence of less gun violence if people are mentally stable. Just like what I said, not all criminals are mentally unstable.

"guns don't kill people. People kill people"- People kill people through the gun. The real threat is the presence of illegal guns that could possibly be used for illegal purposes and that can be done by a mentally stable person.

To end this, mentally unstable people cannot easily have a gun in their hands if guns are not sold to EVERYONE. Gun restrictions should only allow authorized personnel to have and use a gun. I am not saying that checking the health records is futile but my point is, why not take the illegal gun away from them in the first place? You can easily stop a guy like Aaron if he was using a knife.

Gun laws are not useless, of course they can prevent gun violence. Why aren't they working?

Laws are laws, people have to follow them no matter what. Even criminals, they don't have the right to go against it. But why are they still taking initiative to illegally have that gun and KILL for survival? I'll stay true to my point since the very beginning. What harm may strict and well enforced gun laws with heavy punishment can bring? No illegal guns to be used, no illegal trigger to be pulled, no one dying through illegal actions done by illegal thinking citizens.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by whiteflame 7 years ago
Couple of questions:

1) What is Con's burden in this debate? Is it to take the line that gun regulations should be pursued instead of mental health regulations? Could I take the tack that both sets of regulations should occur?

2) What do you mean by "mental health regulations"? What are you proposing as effective policy?
Posted by Conservative101 7 years ago
Agreed Pro. Good luck.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con wins sources by simply outsourcing his opponent. I'd like to note to con that wikipeadia is not a valid source and you'd do better using another dictionary source entirely. Though I don't agree with con on any of his arguments made he did bring up valid points that went all the way into the final round and con was still hitting it on the nail such as his Chicago argument and he showed flaws in how mental health laws would be able to stop such a thing.

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