The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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universal background checks r a common sense solution to gun violence

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 631 times Debate No: 80646
Debate Rounds (3)
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i was called out to be debated, so i created this debate just for that purpose against con:

people like to say criminals don't obey the gun laws so why have them. they don't obey drug law, theft laws, murder laws, or any laws... does that mean we shouldn't have those laws? the fact is, some people will not run and get a gun if they have dont have one because they are denied. if they dont have a gun when they might otherwise commit a crime, a crime has been prevented.
if there's any doubt, why not err on the side of caution and pass the background checks?

this isn't even controversial. ninety percent of people favor checks. and even seventy percent of NRA members. so anyone i'm arguing with on this is in a big minority. and, aren't we forced to conclude the only reason this doesn't pass, doesn't even get to the floor to vote in congress, mean that they are beholden to the gun lobby, and the likes of the NRA? that's the only way to make sense of it as far as i can see.

forty percent of sales do not involve checks. there is plenty of room for improvement here. if we treated guns like cars, and required licenses, checks, permits, etc, people wouldn't even bat an eye or think diferent about it. only when someone moves your cheese and challenges a status quo do people even care.

[not that we couldn't do more. the more likely a person is to have a gun, teh more likely tehy are to kill someone. this is common sense. but it's also empirically proven....the more guns a person or geographic area has, the more likely they are to commit crimes. countires with that take away guns have less crime. it's a fact. ]

people who might challenge me... do you seriously contend that one hundred percent of people who are denied a gun and might commit a crime will run out and get one? those kinds of absolute statements are notoriously known for being false. so what gives?


here is con's reply:
"It says I can not debate you because I do not meet your criteria. First I'd like to state the reason for leaving government out of private gun ownership. The idea of having an armed populace is so that you can defend yourself against a tyrannical government. Don't think it could happen to us in the US? Think I'm being absurd? We are still a young country (not even 250 years old), and it has happened so many times to "free" and "liberated" societies that there is an actual cycle that has been created. This is called the Tytler cycle. It follows this order and then repeats itself: bondage, spiritual faith, courage, liberty, abundance, selfishness, complacency, apathy, dependence, then back to bondage. I believe we are in between the apathy and dependence stage presently, but you see it is a very real possibility. Now WHEN the government starts violating our basic rights, then having an armed populace will be beneficial as we could resist enforcement of these unconstitutional laws. But what good would having an armed populace be if the government knows who owns guns and how many? When armies fight does one general tell the opposition's general where his troops are, and how many are at each station, and how well armed they are? No, because that would defeat the purpose, and you can only then choose between slaughter or surrender. This is why having a license and register for every gun would be counter productive to the American people. Now as for background check, who would you recommend conduct these checks? The government perhaps? Again if the main reason for having a 2nd Amendment is to protect us from the tyranny of the government (which there is an abundance of evidence for) this is counter intuitive. For example, veterans coming back from the Middle East are being denied gun ownership because they have PTSD (which there is evidence that it is way overly diagnosed). I am almost out of characters for this comment. Debate me, or you're scared."


the main point i have is that background checks are against specific people, not everyone. so the doomsday scenario where the government takes away guns then takes over the country is irrelevant. and, background checks doesn't mean gun registry's.... it just means you pass a check before getting a gun. this paragraph seals my resolution and defeats con.

but even on that point by con that the government would use info to take over, it would be better to have whatever means necessary to control guns even if that meant inventories. th government take over thing is far fetched. it's not far fetched to see that there are people dying by the second due to gun violence. we need to weight the evidences here. i could even get into perhaps takign guns away, but i will seal my victory with the first paragraph, and seal the extra points with the paragraph.



The "doomsday" scenario as you call it is not irrelevant because you are ignoring the fact that the government is the entity deciding who is fit for gun ownership, and who is not. If they wanted to disarm the most well trained, and the most likely persons to own guns then they would do it as it would benefit them in case such a scenario were to happen. These people would most likely be veterans due to their military training, and their familiarity with firearms. It would be all to easy to have psychiatrist at the governments disposal to misdiagnose P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome), and then use this as grounds to restrict gun ownership. The fact that the government is the one determining who is "fit" for gun ownership, and who isn"t proves the point is not irrelevant.

z88;z88;z88;As for background checks we already have these in place (Vary state to state, but the Brady Bill and the current NICS system are examples). You are saying then that these background checks that are already in place don't work, so your solution is to add more filters? What more could you do that wouldn't restrict access to law abiding and mentally sound citizens, thereby violating their 2nd Amendment right? You are also assuming that people who intend to commit violent crimes are going to go through the legal parameters to obtain a firearm. If they are fine with taking the risk to commit the crime, then why wouldn't the same person be fine with taking the risk to gain the means to commit said crime? They wouldn't think twice about buying a gun off the street or through the deep web because they are already accepting the risk that comes with committing the violent crime they want the gun for. Also I'd like to point out that while you are not talking about banning guns that it doesn't matter if you ban guns or if you add more filters to the system, people are still going to kill people and in mass. China has mass stabbings happen frequently, and gun violence as well as non gun violence is still a very real problem in the UK. They still have mass stabbings and homicide. You have a human problem not a gun problem. Yes it is easier to kill someone with a gun than some other means, but the person behind the gun is ultimately the cause of the homicide. People are a product of their environment, and in a culture that surrounds our people with such poor influences it is no wonder why we have a problem with homicide, not just gun related deaths.
This is an argument based on logic and facts, not emotions. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to arm a populace so they can resist a tyrannical government (which it is), then by adding more filters to an already existing screen you would be restricting access of firearms to law abiding citizens who are mentally stable. I'm not saying you wouldn't filter SOME crazies through this screen, but you wouldn't catch all of them nor would you be doing the nation a favor. You would only be disrupting the balance of power between the state and the people, which is catastrophic. "It would be better to have whatever means necessary to control guns even if that meant inventories." So you're telling me then that the end justifies the means? The end being what? Safety from people who use firearms to commit violent crimes? If so you still would be ignoring stabbings, arson, and brute force while still not filtering every violent criminal out of the system. And then the means would be allowing the government access to the information of who owns guns, how many do they own, and where are they. You would still be disregarding criminals who won't register guns or go through any screens to obtain one, but you would still be accepting all the risks of giving the government that dangerous information. "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety," Benjamin Franklin.

I understand a lot of people get emotional over the "gun issue," but this is a topic where there is only room for logic and not feelings. There is no filter that you could implement that would be effective at catching the majority of these people who will commit violent crimes with a firearm without simultaneously restricting the 2nd Amendment right of mentally stable law abiding citizens as well. To implement policy that would cause the latter would be reckless and dangerous for the currently free people of this nation.
Debate Round No. 1


con is arguing unheard of points about governmet involvement with guns, here is is talking about if the government has the power to decide who can have a gun then they have a power to take it away from those with rights. the problem is con is trying to make gun rights absolute, and there are very few aboslute rights. all amendments to teh constitution even have exceptions. so con contineus to take far fetched scenarios more seriously than the current reality of gun violence that is out of control.

con doesn't respond to the idea that not all people are black hoodies who will stop at nothing to get a gun. con just says if you want a gun you can get it. he ignores that i pointed out that not everyone will. if you dont have a gun when you might commit a crime due to a background check, a crime would have been prevented.

studies show that more guns in an area means more overall death. that means it's more than just popele will kill with whatever they get,,, they are more likely to kill with a gun. sure it's the person who is the problem more than the gun, but when it's so direct, it's fair to say the gun is the problem too.


Power is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "the ability or right to control people or things." In this sense our government certainly has power. They certainly have the power to take away our rights, but will we as a people allow them to do this? It is therefore only up to us the people to safeguard our own rights. I think Pro has a short memory, or at least has never studied history. Rome was a Monarchy at first (like the Colonies under British rule). Rome was then a Republic (Like we are now). Then Rome was made into an Empire (hopefully we will never be under the rule of an emperor). Are we so forgetful? Are we so proud to think that we are an exception to the rule? You are correct that our rights are not absolute, but that is only because nothing is absolute. Our freedom that we have right now is not absolute, and can be lost overnight without the ability to arm ourselves. Do you need a more recent example? What about Communist China, Communist Russia, Nazi Germany? All of these nations right before their moment of radical change urged (and forced) people to turn over their guns. This occurred right before each respective radical change because the people when disarmed could no longer oppose tyranny. The list goes on and on, but if you still need more proof research the Tytler Cycle. It is an actual cycle still studied today that describes the different phases a civilization will go through before returning to bondage (that is if the society can survive until then). You can argue that every civilization ever (including the US) has followed the phases in this cycle. This is a poster from Russia that translates into "Turn in your WEAPONS comrades." This poster was dispersed throughout Russia right before they nationalized (stole) independent farms from their citizens. Notice they said weapons and in the picture their are swords as well as firearms. This perfectly illustrates that they want the security of knowing they have disarmed their citizens, and therefore their opposition. In other words their goal wasn't for brotherly peace among their own people, but rather more power.

I would like to point out that it is very racist and closed minded of Pro to associate criminals with black people in the ghetto. Pro needs to understand that not all violent criminals are black or live in the ghetto. But Pro also rejects the fact that again a criminal who has already decided to commit a violent crime (premeditated risk) will not be stopped by the legal parameters set in place to prevent them from obtaining the means to commit the crime. They will buy a firearm off the street, smuggle one, or buy one from the deep web, and those are just the options I can think of off the top of my head. I am not ignoring anything, rather Pro is. She is saying that a hate filled lunatic who has already premeditated a mass shooting will stop because his background check didn't clear. No that person won't stop because they are still bent on destruction. They will either obtain a firearm through illegal means or simply find another means to destroy (arson, stabbing, bombing). Don't believe me? This article describes a mass stabbing at a train station in China that left 29 people dead. It is sad that no armed citizen was able to save innocent lives since China bans it's citizens from possessing firearms. The point that Pro can't ignore from this article is that a person who is bent on destruction will use whatever means they can to destroy. Humans have waged war, committed mass homicide, and just killed each other for as long as history has been recorded. People who wish to commit violent atrocities will stop at nothing to commit them, for they have already made up in their minds and in their hearts to hurt another as much as they hurt if not more.

I couldn't find the statistics in Pro's argument that she said shows that more guns in an area means more overall death. Is this a typo, a technical error, or did Pro simply not include any statistics? Don't worry, I have some statistics for us. Since 1982 Kennesaw, Georgia (population 32,400) has mandated that every head of household own a firearm. Since then, "not a single resident has been involved in a fatal shooting " as a victim, attacker or defender." So this proves that guns are not the problem (and possibly the solution), but rather bad people and people who are products of a bad environment are the problem. But I'll continue with the UK. The United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Wales) bans the private position of all automatic, semi automatic rifles and shotguns, as well all handguns. Essentially you can only own a gun for hunting and sport (bolt action rifle or a hunting shotgun). This is a 2009 article from the Daily Mail "The latest Government figures show that the total number of firearm offences in England and Wales has increased from 5,209 in 1998/99 to 9,865 last year - a rise of 89 per cent." "Lancashire suffered the single largest rise in gun crime, with recorded offences increasing from 50 in 1998/99 to 349 in 2007/08, an increase of 598 per cent." "The number of people injured or killed by guns, excluding air weapons, has increased from 864 in 1998/99 to a provisional figure of 1,760 in 2008/09, an increase of 104 per cent." All of these statistics are from 2009, a decade after the ban of all the firearms listed above. This proves that violent crime is not directly related to the number of firearms, but rather the culture that produces the criminals who commit violent crimes.

Pro thinks that guns are inherently evil, and that less guns would mean less dead. I believe that this is not the case since a violent criminal will use any means to commit the crime. Pro has provided no statistics, and suggests that we simply take her word for her argument. A firearm is ultimately nothing more than a mechanized piece of inanimate metal. It takes a person filled with fear/anger to commit a violent crime using a firearm. A background check would ultimately only filter some of the criminals out of the system, but would also filter some law abiding citizens out of the system as well. The only difference is that the criminals will then pursue illegal means to obtain a gun, and the law abiding citizens will not pursue illegal means since they obey the law. This would disarm law abiding citizens, preventing them from protecting their self, their families, and most importantly their freedom. Remember Rome was a Republic before it was an Empire, and we are still a very young Republic.
Debate Round No. 2


con is being far fetched and radical

radical cause he puts the far fetched scenario of government take over over the present actual reality of gun violence.

far fetched. he suggests that one hundred percent of people who are denied a gun will go get one when they might commit a crime. not all people are black hoodies who will stop at nothing to get a gun. con just says if you want a gun you can get it. he ignores that i pointed out that not everyone will. if you dont have a gun when you might commit a crime due to a background check, a crime would have been prevented.

studies show that more guns in an area means more overall death. that means it's more than just popele will kill with whatever they get like knives,,, they are more likely to kill with a gun. sure it's the person who is the problem more than the gun, but when it's so direct, it's fair to say the gun is the problem too.;;


Again, Pro is being redundant. I have already explained why this is not a far fetched scenario as governments have disarmed their own people throughout history to oppress them. Instead of disproving this or offering a counter argument, Pro has just simply repeated herself in saying that history is "far fetched." I have also stated more than once that background checks would stop SOME criminals, but it would also restrict gun ownership to innocent civilians. Not once did I say or even suggest that 100% of PEOPLE (both criminals and lawful civilians) would turn to illegal means to obtain a firearm. In fact I said that law abiding citizens who weren't going to commit a crime would not turn to illegal means if a background check prevented them from owning a firearm BECAUSE THEY OBEY THE LAW. However, CRIMINALS who wouldn't pass a background check would most definitely turn to illegal means to obtain a firearm since they pay no regard to the law. Why would they care about obtaining a firearm illegally if they already accepted the of risk being sent to jail for committing a crime they would use a firearm in? They wouldn't. Pro is simply being redundant, and has not offered any new substance to her argument.

Pro is again being racist by assuming that "criminals" automatically means black people living in the hood, or "black hoodies" as she calls them. Not once have I specified the race of these criminals or where they live. Pro is still failing to understand that not all criminals are black or poor nor are all poor black people criminals, therefore Pro should stop being prejudice against impoverished black people. Pro still insists that not having a gun means there will be no crime. I have already pointed out that violent crime existed before guns (I believe since the beginning of recorded history), and that not having a gun doesn't mean you have stopped a crime since areas with no guns still have violent crime such as China. If a criminal has been prevented from obtaining a firearm by all measures (legal and illegal), then it is still a possibility that they will commit the crime. Smaller and weaker criminals MIGHT be deterred after failing to obtain a firearm (both legally and illegally), but a bigger stronger criminal won't. They might use a knife, a fake gun (and no, no one would stop someone with a realistic looking fake gun because they wouldn't know if it was real or not unless they could read the micro-print that says "replica"), or they might commit the crime with no weapons at all. This is call a "strong arm robbery," and it is usually committed by bigger stronger criminals who can't obtain a gun. So no you haven't stopped a crime for sure, but yes you might deter some criminals who are small, poor, weak, and those who have tried all means to obtain a firearm. But is it worth preventing such a small number of crimes with the consequences of restricting access of firearms to some law abiding citizens? This would only weaken us as a nation, and jeopardize lives and freedom. If this is what you want then you are sacrificing freedom and liberty for an illusion of safety.

Earlier Pro stated that I was speaking in absolutes, but now it would seem that Pro is speaking in absolutes. Pro states that the studies that she has provided prove that more guns means greater overall deaths. I have already provided the example of Kennesaw, Georgia. In Kennesaw (population 32,400) every head of household has been required by law to own a firearm since 1982. Since the law has been enacted not a single citizen from Kennesaw has even been involved (in Kennesaw or abroad) in a fatal shooting as a victim, attacker, or a defender. The statistic I have just provided then disproves what Pro is suggesting. Pro says that without a doubt more firearms in an area means more overall death, yet the example I've provided above disproves this. I will explain what this means a little later, but now I will focus on one of the studies you have provided (as I am limited on characters).

The first study you have provided is from Harvard (usually left leaning, but never the less reputable). They start by saying in cities with more guns there is more homicide. My example above disproves that, but what they do not say is where these places are. Are they saying New York City suffers more firearm homicide casualties than Omaha? Are they taking into account that there are more people in New York City (where it is near impossible to own a gun by the way) than Omaha? New York City has a population of 8.5 million and Omaha has a population of 434,000. Of course there will be more guns in a city where there is over 17 times the amount of people as another place, and of course that large city will have more firearm homicide since you have 8.5 million diverse people living so close together.
The second statement by them states that where you have more gun availability, there is more crime. Again this is disproved by the Kennesaw example, but notice in the statement how they leave out legal or illegal availability. It might not be a wrong statistic, but take Chicago and New York City for example. Firearms are illegal to own or possess (with very few exceptions) in these cities, and yet their firearm homicide rate (especially Chicago's) is atrocious. So now Chicago and NYC have disarmed all law abiding citizens so they can't defend themselves, but the criminals in these areas obviously didn't get the memo that firearms are illegal to own. Of course in actuality they know they are breaking the law, but they just don't care. So availability is a broad term, and they don't include legal or illegal in their study.
The third statement says, "Using a validated proxy for firearm ownership, we analyzed the relationship between firearm availability and homicide across 50 states over a ten year period (1988-1997). After controlling for poverty and urbanization, for every age group, people in states with many guns have elevated rates of homicide, particularly firearm homicide." They only say that in states with MANY (not more) guns have elevated (do they mean higher, more, or simply a lot?) rates of homicide. Next.
The fourth statement of theirs reads, "Using survey data on rates of household gun ownership, we examined the association between gun availability and homicide across states, 2001-2003. We found that states with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm homicide and overall homicide." I stopped it there because again they use the word availability without specifying legal or illegal, and also they are relying on a survey where criminals who illegally own guns would not tell someone if they own a gun or not.

3 studies that directly contradict Pro's studies. Keep in mind that these studies are from the FBI, the CDC, and the DOJ. These are not private universities that made these studies. These are legal and government institutions.

So when you combine all of our studies, statistics, and examples you have many reputable sources directly contradicting each other. So who is right? I believe that none of these studies are right as I believe that a firearm is just a piece of metal. It takes a criminal to commit a crime using a gun, and therefore a gun is not in itself evil. I believe these studies all contradict each other simply because guns are not the factor, but rather people and their environments are. If you mandate background checks you will only be weakening individuals, this country, and liberty. I ASK THE JUDGES OF THIS DEBATE 2 THINGS. PLEASE READ ENTIRE DEBATE, AND REALIZE THAT THE TRUE GOAL OF DEBATING IS TO CHALLENGE YOUR OWN BELIEFS SO THAT THEY CAN BECOME STRONG OR BE REPLACED WITH STRONGER ONES.
Debate Round No. 3
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