Resolved: The US should require a Universal Background Check for all Gun Sales and Transfers of Ownership
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 4 votes and with the same amount of points on both sides...
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Definitions of the resolution and terms of debate:
Universal Background Check- Any system that would require a background check be performed, under threat of fine and/or imprisonment, upon purchase of, or transfer of ownership of, a gun.
For example, the NICS system for FFL sales, but expanded to include and any all sale or non-sale "transfers of ownership."
It is also pertinent to note that *require* in the resolution relates to the *under threat of fine and/or imprisonment* aspect of the definition of UBC.
Also that *The US* in the debate resolution implies adherance to the framework laid out by the founding documents and subsequent legislation/legal rulings of the United States. This isnt a debate on the validity of the framework itself, it is a debate on whether that framework and system would permit the implementation of a federally mandated universal background check for any and all transfers of ownership. As well as a debate upon the harms/benefits of any such implementation.
Gun Sales- The sale or exchange, and necessary "transfer of ownership" that entails, of a gun between one party and another.
Transfer of Ownership- The exchange of ownership between one party(individual, group, or business) and another party through sale or gift(voluntarily giving).
Non-voluntary transfers of ownership are not to be included as non voluntary transfer of ownership is theft. And the legal expectation of a person performing a background check in the midst of a theft is facially absurd. Also, that transfers of possession, such as lending, leasing, etc. As those transfers automatically imply that the possession of the object in question will be at some point, returned back to the *owners* possession.
This debate pertains to a UBC and not any other form of gun control, unless it be directly related to implementation of a UBC. Extensive policy planning should be viewed as grounds for disqualification. General advocacy plans are of course permissible, but should be kept relevant to the resolution.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. - The Second Amendment
Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.
Criminals want to avoid background checks and guns that can be traced to them. Surveys of offenders consistently show that a vast majority did not obtain their firearms from licensed dealers, thereby avoiding background checks.
When background checks are required, they are extremely effective at keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous, prohibited persons. Since the federal background check requirement was adopted in 1994, over 3 million people legally prohibited from possessing a gun—mainly convicted felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill—have been denied a firearm transfer or permit.15 In 2014 alone, 147,000 prohibited people were blocked from acquiring guns by NICS, the federal background check system.16
researchers found that a 1995 Connecticut law requiring gun buyers to get permits (which themselves required background checks) was associated with a 40 percent decline in gun homicides and a 15 percent drop in suicides. Similarly, when researchers studied Missouri's 2007 repeal of its permit-to-purchase law, they found an associated increase in gun homicides by 23 percent, as well as a 16-percent increase in suicides.
18 USC 926(a)(3)- “No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established.”
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"
a search and seizure by a law enforcement officer without a warrant and without probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is present.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
"that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm under sec.5841 or for possession of an unregistered firearm under sec.5851."
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
"To regulate commerce with Foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
The very process and operation of the background check system intentionally makes it impossible for the federal government to use those records to create a registry of gun owners or the guns they purchase.Right now, when a person buys a gun at a federally licensed dealer (where a background check is already required), the first thing the store does is to give the buyer a blank copy of ATF Form 4473. The buyer fills in his name, address, and birthday, and affirms that he is not prohibited from having a gun and is not buying it for someone else.4 The store clerk takes the form, looks at the buyer’s photo ID, and then either picks up the phone to call the National Instant Check System (NICS) or logs onto their secure website. It takes an average of 7 seconds for someone at NICS to answer the phone,5 and the gun dealer reads the name and date of birth from the form or types it into the computer. Typically, within a few minutes NICS can search its database to make sure the buyer is not prohibited from owning a gun. If no records are found, the dealer is told he can proceed with the sale.6Here’s what happens next: The buyer leaves the store with the firearm. The NICS system destroys all records of running a check on that buyer within 24 hours.7 On the 4473 form, the dealer marks that the buyer passed the NICS check, writes down the transaction number and the serial number of the gun that was sold, and files it away, where it must be kept in a paper file by law for 20 years.8Thus, there is only one official record of the sale, and it resides in the individual gun dealer’s files. Currently, there are approximately 59,000 gun dealers across all 50 states,9 each of which keeps individual files of the approximately 16 million 4473 forms that are filled out every year.10 There are only four ways the government can ever even see this record: during a compliance inspection of dealer records, during an ongoing criminal investigation, if your gun is found at a crime scene, or if the gun store goes out of business.
Our constitutional rights are not an all-or-nothing deal. We can uphold the Second Amendment and still pass reasonable regulations that further the public’s interest in safety. So don’t feel you need to choose between protecting our Second Amendment rights and supporting sensible gun regulations. Why should you? The Constitution doesn’t.
The purpose of universal background checks is not to limit the right of an individual person to own their guns, but to keep those who are legally forbidden from obtaining firearms
The average price of a handgun is out of reach for a lot of poor people (including me). Are we to then say guns must be provided for free or cap how much a gun can cost?
Secondly, a gun background check takes only seconds and is usually provided at no cost.
I was unaware of this "fiat" you mentioned. I can see your point that with fiat you get to assume something *will* happen 🤔. That was my mistake in fleshing out resolution terms because my thinking was, if such an advocacy would require repealing multiple parts of the constitution, repeal laws, and overturn certain S.C. rulings, then that would be changing "The US" to something other than "The US". But, can see that's not the case 🤔
If you want to change your vote or nullify it, ask the admin on the site. Thanks for the vote and the feedback
I think feasibility issues do play into "should" debates when they're issues like "the government physically has no way of implementing this policy," e.g. if the topic is "governments should ensure food security for their citizens," an argument that it would be physically impossible is okay.
What doesn't play into the debate is when the government has the power to get the ability to do that. In this debate, the actor is the US government, which has the power to change the constitution. I'm sure you know about this already, but if no, I'd recommend reading up on "fiat" in debating -- whether something "can" happen plays into a normative resolution, but not whether something "will" happen, for instance.
I agree with you on the fact that it was the rules, my fault for not going through the debate details. Apologies, feel free to ask the moderator to have my vote removed.
However, I strongly disagree that that's implied by the word "the US" in the resolution -- because the resolution gives Pro the *fiat* to repeal or reword constitutional documents. So I think this was strange resolution drafting.
"Also that *The US* in the debate resolution implies adherance to the framework laid out by the founding documents and subsequent legislation/legal rulings of the United States. This isnt a debate on the validity of the framework itself, it is a debate on whether that framework and system would permit the implementation of a federally mandated universal background check for any and all transfers of ownership. As well as a debate upon the harms/benefits of any such implementation."
Okay, I didn't see this rule. Is there any way for me to nullify my vote?
I do think this rule is bizarre and the resolution should be rephrased to avoid such confusion arising in the future.
I'll try to vote on this in the next 6 hours, can't promise to though.
Just skimming through the debate, I don't think this was particularly good though:
1. The entirety of Con's case appears to be an is/ought conflation -- it occurs to me that Pro has the fiat to pass the proposal nonetheless.
2. Pro never explains why universal background checks would actually reduce violence; their own source says that people transition to illegal guns. So where's the offense? I don't see any solvency.
I also don't like that there were only two speeches per side in the entire debate. The reason LD works is that the 2NR is effectively two speeches and is the equivalent of a Neg block in other formats, and the 2NR and 2AR aren't allowed to make new arguments. Unless clear character constraints are put in place, it seems to me that the format would be inherently unfair -- and in this debate, new arguments were made in last speech, which is strange.
Yeah if I had more time I’d probably be able to put together a better case.
Just from my reading, it seems like you got swamped and weren't able to flesh out your arguments all the way. A shame since I'm for gun control.
Got it. Thanks for your feedback
Pro I mean Green/Left side; Con I mean Red/Right side.
I was arguing for the resolution just to be clear. Not sure if you realizes that or not. I was just a bit confused by the RCD
I'm going to re-read this one more time... It's close... Likely I'll end up concluding a tie.
Im further curious though, cause as a lawyer yourself you likely have a keener eye on legal argumentation. "Legal arguments were a tie, both pro and con showed ways it would be constititional or unconstitutional"
Care to elaborate? Like I said, for someone with education in law, you likely can cogently detail this, and if my legal argumentation is not sound, I would keenly want to know specifically where it did. Also, that half of my constitutional arguments were dropped has me extremely confused how that was viewed as a tie, but, because I per your view did not fully address the proposed benefits, despite nullifying much of them, that means arguments on utility are de facto to Virtuoso. Seems an inconsistent application of weight to percieved dropped areas of argumentation 🤔.
As opposed to one where equal weight is afforded to both feasibility, utility, with a lesser weight given to purely moral argumentation, as should implies, and as was set forth in the details. "On balance, a UBC would be beneficial" is a resolution that fully prioritizes utility. "The US should require a UBC" is a resolution that prioritizes neither the laws of the US or the utility in such an action. It sets them on an equal playing field because the debate is in part centered around "The US" as an actor. If it were just, "a UBC should be required" sans US, this removes the component of constitutionality and legality because the US is no longer in the resolution, and turns it into an argument on utility and morality, with priority given to utility, because when "ought" is used, that's prioritizes and presumes moral authority. "You ought not do that because it's wrong(morally)."
Could prioritizes feasibility over all.
Should prioritizes feasibility and utility over morality.
Ought prioritizes morality over feasibility and utility.
There is indeed a difference between could and should, but how does feasibility not play a heavy hand in whether or not something should be done? For example, "you shouldn't bake that cake because you don't have all the ingredients" is a measure of practicality. "You shouldn't bake that cake because you don't know how to bake" "you shouldn't do that because it's against the law". You shouldnt jump off that cliff because you cant fly. These are all reflections of feasibility.
In a debate centered around the US that debate absolutely factors in constitutionality and lawfulness. For example, though "you shouldn't because its unconstitutional" could be responded to with, "well we will just repeal the constitution". But that in itself necessarily removes the component of "The US" in the resolution. No constitution, no US.
Or as an alternative, "we will repeal these specific parts" however, the repealing of such is an entirely seperate debate in and of itself and absolutely counts as extensive policy planning because qualifiers that need be accomplished, before the resolution can be accomplished, are presented. But whether or not they actually would is entirely up in the air and cannot be assumed as likely, particularly because it would necessarily involve repealing constititional amendments, something that is not likely to happen. General policy planning would be, "A UBC could be implemented in this manner" in specific regards to the UBC itself.
And, "the way I interpreted the debate"
This is where reading debate details comes into play because as a voter you very well know you don't get to set the debate criteria, that's set by the debaters, usually the one initiating the debate. What you've done basically amounts to ignoring full debate details set forth pre-debate and necessarily accepted by acceptance of the debate itself, because you would rather see another kind of debate in which a higher priority is placed on utility.
Sorry I didn't clarify it better in my rfd, let me try again:
The way I interpreted the title of the debate, the main arguments about whether or not the united states SHOULD require UBC's for gun transactions would focus on the possible benefits and drawbacks such a system would have should it be implemented..... On the other hand, focusing arguments on the legality of UBC's in general would be central in a debate about whether or not the united states COULD require UBC's. It could not if UBC's were unconstitutional, it could if UBC's were constitutional, and a majority of the arguments in this debate revolved around those points rather than the benefits and drawbacks of UBC systems in the first place.
Feasibility of implementing a system in terms of how it fits into legality would definitely be an argument worth exploring, but it shouldn't be the main argument that takes up 80% of the entire debate. It should have been a side argument at most. Having the legality arguments be the main focus of the debate changes the debate from being about whether or not the united states SHOULD do something, to debating if it COULD be implemented legally in the first place.
Does that help, or have I only made things far more confusing?
Oh well, its largely irrelevant, as he said the legal arguments were a tie to him. Its just irking me that he is attributing a narrow scope to the word 😂
"This isnt a debate on the validity of the framework itself, it is a debate on whether that framework and system would permit the implementation of a federally mandated universal background check for any and all transfers of ownership. As well as a debate upon the harms/benefits of any such implementation."
Practicality and Utility in essence 🤔
Practicality just seems a stock part of "should" in context of the debate. But its not like I didnt spell it out clearly in the full details anyways 😂😂😂
Well that should includes more than utility should have been understood with the resolution. It wasn't, "On balance a UBC would be more beneficial than not" it was "the us should implement a UBC" that prima facie includes practicality be necessity of being a nation, with laws therein limiting what practically can and cannot be done 🤔
the definition of should is extremely deep and complex in 'should' debates and is a huge part of what SHOULD be explored in it.
Am I wrong on that? Have I been reading practicality falsely into the word? I hope not, its how ive taken it for years and my life would be a lie 😂😂
Thanks for voting Bench! I must ask though, you mentioned that,
"but a vast majority of arguments were instead focused on the legality of UBC's rather than their potential effectiveness or ineffectiveness"
though I disagree they were purely legal arguments, my main question, is what you think "should" means?
It seems you are taking it as meaning purely utility(harms/benefits), but doesn't feasibility also play a factor? Should is a measure on feasibility(practicality) and desirability(harms/benefits). As opposed to "ought" which usually implies moral authority 🤔.
Hrmmm, so in an LD debate presentation of new evidence past construct, even if strictly applied to rebuttal counts as case construction. That would explain why I always got docked conduct points in LD debates in school 🤔
Has anybody else noticed it awards tie points to the side who was actually awarded the least points? Should it even be doing that? If a specific metric is a tie, shouldn't no points be awarded to either side regarding the specific metric?
Yes but you did not do that in your first round perhaps because it was your constructive and you wanted LD I get why you did it. I voted for you but it's currently flipped because I voted "con" not thinking.
Overall though, thanks for the thought out and reasoned vote. Regardless of whether it's for me or Virtuoso, I appreciate the due consideration given to the debate 👏👏
I can certainly see perhaps why "on the bemefits of a UBC was considered a new argument considering I put forth evidence not previously presented in regards to mental illness. However, being that it was claimed in construct by Aff that UBC's were extremely effective, evidence that shines light on that not quite being the case, imho ought to count as a rebuttal to the claim imho 🤔
I voted Con thinking con was Opp I am sorry the red side was Prop and I forgot that in clicking the button. I have asked the admin to flip it.
Read bottom-to-top ty
Opp finishes again in such a strangely successful manner. They attack exactly where Prop is defending instead of where Prop is weak and win the debate anyway because their points are sufficiently sound in logic and legal precedent. I really liked the whole inflation argument about how UBC pricing would cause market inflation that would end up hurting the poor. It was a total lie but since I can only assess how debaters fought each other, Prop never disproved this or laid out any logic for us to deny that this would occur.
I am not considering the part of Opp’s debate entitled ‘On the Proposed Benefits of a UBC’ because this was a series of brand new points brought in a Round that couldn’t be fought back by Prop and in a 2-round debate your entire ‘new points’ need to be in the first round unless they are rebuttals to what the other side says after you say your first round.
What I found in this debate’s conclusion was that Prop had basically said ‘UBC can be somehow justified by legal bending in the name of not being unreasonable’ whereas Opp said ‘It’s unconstitutional and hurts the poor.’
Overall, Opp wins as Prop has not only initial BoP but the burden to directly address matters like how he’d specifically make it accessible to the poor as well as justifying UBC and not considering it some kind of de facto means to control guns that is inherently good.
So, from the first round given by each debater we see Prop insufficiently attack and only defend the legality of UBC and Opp insufficiently defend the alternative to UBC but successfully launch powerful attacks on the very aspects of the resolution that Pro is defending and somehow doing well anyway… This is an example, to me, of how some of the best battles in any sport or martial art are usually between two equally skilled fighters even if both are only medium to the same degree at what they do. Both played suboptimally in their first rounds and somehow Opp ends up a major leader going into the second round of debates (which is the final round of debates since both ended up making this a 2-round debate).
Prop hits back in Round 2 saying fundamentally “I don’t care if it’s not really in line with specific laws, it’s not something to fear and doesn’t violate all that much.” While I don’t want to mock a debate with my Reason For Deciding (RFD) my vote, it is quite poor how Prop fights back purely because they again go pure defence and short of saying ‘unfounded fear’ literally have zero attacks in their second and final round of debating. Furthermore, just because something is not unreasonable does not make it legal or constitutionally sound. It also was a terrible comeback to say that because Opp is a hypocrite in showing care for the poor and the cost of the paperwork and licensing needed for UBC, that you are going to laugh at the poor who can’t afford guns and say Opp doesn’t care about the poor either. While true (I am 100% sided with Prop on this topic personally and even support outright gun bans with Japan-level gun control) this doesn’t make it okay to use in a debate. That’s a good quip to make in a political campaign or as a media headline or bolded caption in an article but it cannot be the basis on which you explain how you will make UBC accessible to everyone (hint, think left-wing politics you tax the middle and upper classes… Just admit it).
Let's get the equal votes out of the way, both had excellent sources, spelling and grammar. I found Virtuoso had better conduct than Buddamoose but that it wasn't such a disparity that would require a vote in Virtuoso's favour.
The issue I had this entire debate with Prop (Virtuoso was actually the side of proposition and not the green-appearing side) is that UBC was held to be a default and somehow an inherently good thing throughout. Virtuoso was continually defending that the resolution is able to be enacted constitutionally but never once (and I do mean not once to my eyes) actively made the case for UBC and didn't clarify the details of the UBC in both how it's carried out and why.
I believe that the reason Prop didn't actively push forth a case for UBC is that Prop felt they were on the side of status quo but the angle of this debate is such that you cannot be Proposing a resolution like that and just rely on people thinking you're on the blatantly right side leaving you only needing to defend rather than offend/attack.
Opp (side of opposition) doesn't ever call Prop out on this but instead decides to take Prop on exactly where Prop is defending their outlook. That is very poor strategy on the part of Opp because you always want to chip away at the weakest element of your opponent's skill-set and/or case but you were chipping at the forefront of what was being built by Prop. Nonetheless, Opp successfully hits hard in the beginning with clauses of laws and amendments that seemingly render Pro’s stance unconstitutional (and since the constitution is the highest authority in USA, this is a strong point but since that wasn’t mentioned I won’t congratulate Opp on securing their case in this way).
Think we should just make this a normal debate where pro waived the first round and I’ll waive the last round to make the rounds even?
Even edeb8 orders it wrong and has an 'all out' cx round
This is minimum one posted-round late as Virtu's second round gives him a disadvantage here as we can attack his attacks on you etc/
Also that's the point, Cx is always meant to happen before anyone rebuts anyone so that the rebuttals can be based on questions that come up for both sides.
That is not true, there is a different time for Cx. After Virtu's first round should have been a virtu-only cx but it's supposed to be us asking you not you asking each other.
The problem here is this will be seen as me helping Virtuoso unless I go hard on him and I agree with his side overall heavily so Idk how to ask without explicitly helping him come up with rebuttals from my questions.
Ok is there a rule on who goes first or maximum number of questions? I’m pretty sure negative goes first
Yeah, if any questions are needed 🤔
Is this when we do cross examination?
If you want to make this just a regular debate where I went first and I’ll waive the last round I’ll be fine with that
Aff Cons > Cx Aff > Neg Con > Cx Neg > First Aff Reb > Only Neg Reb > Second Aff Reb
Isnt it 1 construct + 2 rebuttals each? Cx is done post each construct round? 🤔
In DI there is a haphazard solution where we make the Cx a round of rebuttal-only for the opponent. Only edeb8 has proper Cx functionality that I know of.
Not the opponent, only the audience can ask, the opposing debater is not allowed to interact in the Cx of the Cx'd debater. It's one at a time and zero words from the mouth of the other debater at the end of each's constructive. LD also would have 3 for each and would enable an EXTRA ROUND for Affirmative.
Cx is just asking questions regarding your opponent's case, to which they provide answers. Simple enough to carry over to a debate online in comments fmpov
Sounds good! I never really done CX before
I did state I was arguing neg in basic details btw, and outlined round sequence so as to adhere to LD debate format 🤔