The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

the united states should require universal background checks for every gun sell or transfer of owner

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/25/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 4,435 times Debate No: 104623
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (5)
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Resolved: The United States should require universal background checks for all gun sales and transfer of ownership.

We affirm the resolution.

We define the term universal background checks as the current database, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

Our Framework is: Utilitarianism: the philosophy that the team with the greatest benefit for the greatest amount of people should win the round. We show you that we save as many people as possible through the strengthening of democratic values, and through the number of deaths that can be decreased through the implementation of universal background checks.

Contention 1: Power of the People
Subpoint A: Public Support
The vast majority of Americans support the idea of background checks, as reported by the Pew Research Center. According to Fingerhut 2016, 85% of the public, including 79% of Republicans and 88% of Democrats favored making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks. In addition, a poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News revealed that nine in ten Americans support background checks on gun purchases. This poll shows support from Democrats, Republicans, and even members from the National Rifle Association, which is a group that has vehemently opposed gun control laws in the past. These polls show us that the people are in support of these policies and that in implementing this policy, that the public will support it, therefore solidifying the importance of American democracy
Subpoint B: Democracy
Democracy is one of the cornerstones of America and needs to be preserved at all costs. In requiring universal background checks for all gun sales and transfers of ownership, American democracy is upheld and according to The Economist, America is a flawed democracy currently. In upholding a policy that is supported by such a large percentage of the American people, the basis of democracy is upheld, therefore saving everyone from extinction. According to Diamond 95 "Nuclear, chemical. and biological weapons continue to proliferate. The very source of life on Earth, the global ecosystem, appears increasingly endangered. Most of these new and unconventional threats to security are associated with or aggravated by the weakness or absence of democracy, with its provisions for legality, accountability, popular sovereignty, and openness." The biggest impact of this contention is that democracy is paramount to not only the support of the people but also the survival of the human race. We have proven to you that the possibility of extinction is quite high based on the rate that America is losing its democratic values, so therefore we must work to preserve democracy and this requires the passing of a policy that is supported by the vast majority of the population. Therefore according to the philosophy of utilitarianism, the saving of as many lives as possible is paramount, so democracy needs to be upheld.

Contention 2: Save the People

Subpoint A: Suicide

According to the CDC, the 10th leading cause of death in America in 2016 was suicide. The top method used to commit suicide in 2015 was the firearm, which accounted for roughly half of all suicides. The major problem with this is that many of these deaths could have been prevented. In fact, universal background checks have caused an average decrease of 0.29 suicides in some states compared to an average rise of 0.39 in states with no UBC"s. If we can work on implementing a background check system that helps to catch and mitigate the number of mentally ill people that have access to guns we can work to lower the number of suicides that are caused in the United States per year. Swanson 2015 shows that most suicides are the result of " the substantial contribution of environmental factors"notably including the availability of lethal means such as firearms"and exposure to media reporting of suicide." If we can lower the availability of these firearms, we can strive towards a very low suicide rate. The impact of this is that we can work to lower the rates of the tenth largest cause of death in the United States.


I thank my opponent for the insighful yet misguided arguements he presented.

The first issue I have with my opponent is with his use of citing public opinion polls. If his theory was correct and that almost every american supported these laws then action would have taken place. People often vote with their feet and its clear they are not as no laws have been passed. Secondly these polls are often used as tricks and are immediately asked after a national tragedy. Of course no one on the phone is probably going to admit they are agaisnt checks over the phone.

It is not a violation of demoracy to entrust the politicians WE ELECTED instead of encating policy on some scruff polls collected by left leaning news agencies. My message to Pro if you want gun control laws changed and this movement is as popular as you say then you and the "80 perccent of americans" who support this should vote in politicians to make laws for background checks. This throughly disproves his POV on this being a violation of democracy.

My opponent commits a logical fallacy by assuming causation = coorelation. He fails to say why someone who would committ suicide would not use a different intsrument if not the gun. And just because someone commits suicide with a gun does not mean we take away the rights of other americans. I want further elaboration on these points as right now his arguement is not clear.

Universal Background checks ultimately have one final goal. To register and track firearms so confiscation in the future would be easy. With a federal system in place for all firearms the feds will know where all the firearms and when the time comes to take them away they will know where they all are. I suggest to the Pro that he should move to a state where they love gun control or try and make progress in his own state and try to enact his policies there instead of using the feds as a oppurtunitiy to impose a calforinian agenda on the rest of the country.
Debate Round No. 1
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Debate Round No. 2
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Nuevo 2 years ago
Make it three to four rounds with clearer debate structure and I'll debate.
Posted by unicornvomit 2 years ago
Yes, most Americans, even gun owners, believe background checks are a good idea. The problem is universal background checks will never work unless every gun is registered. Overwhelmingly most gun owners are vehemently against registration. Whether perceive or real, registration is looked at as the first step to confiscation. For example, New York has only an estimated 13% compliance with their SAFE act which NY residents are supposed to register their AR-15 type rifles. There's actually no way to enforce compliance without the state violating people's rights. The other problem is that studies that have shown background checks reducing gun violence didn't factor other regulations and social/economic forces. I believe it is safe to say background checks do/would reduce some gun violence, but there would be no way to enforce compliance. Also, focusing on background checks ignores that economic and education factors that are better indicators whether a community will have low or high crime/violence.
Posted by backwardseden 2 years ago
Background checks are nothing. You don't get that most gun crimes are committed with legal guns. And as far as suicide is concerned, well that's mostly due to vets. On average 22 - 23 vets commit suicide per day with a gun. Not good. So really what good would background checks do especially for them? Not only that but you have to think about 5 years down the road. Why? Because the second amendment and all gun rights will either be wiped clean and or changed completely. Why? Because guns will have advanced so far that people will be able to build them in their basements and make today's guns look like an atom as compared to the big bang. People are right now building 3D printer guns in their basements as an example and there are no laws to stop them. None. So what do you think is going to happen in 5 years?
Posted by Debating_Horse 2 years ago
Are you pro gun-control?
Posted by Bitch_Goddess 2 years ago
So should all mentally-ill people be restricted from owning a weapon? If not, what types of peoples mental illnesses are you referring to (besides depression) that we should determine the restriction of guns to?
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