On Balance, The US Should NOT Tighten Gun Control Policies
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After 7 votes and with 22 points ahead, the winner is...
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One of my strongest debate topics I have yet to debate on this site. Burden of proof is shared. Pro will argue US should keep its loose gun control policy, or even loosen it further (if possible). Con will argue for stricter regulations or even ban on gun ownership.
The infamous fascist leader Adolf Hitler, who led Germany in World War II, once said: “To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.” Indeed, without guns, people would be defenseless against any threat. Relevant to Hitler’s statement, criminals within everyday life endanger the people if they lack the means to defend themselves. As true to this idea of self-defense, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows "a well regulated Militia”, as well as “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms [to] not be infringed". The fathers of the Constitution had the intention to order to protect our people, militia or no. Not only do people desire to use guns to protect themselves, but gun control policies are also severely ineffective.
The peoples' rights ought to be respected, and gun-owners believe that they ought to have and keep guns. Polls given to gun-owners show the average gun-owner believes that stricter gun laws “will lead to stricter laws that take guns away from citizens” (Pew Research Center, 2013). They also believe that “owning a gun makes them safer”, as well as that “stricter guns laws ‘give too much power to the government over average citizens’”, and most importantly, “gun rights are more important than controlling gun ownership” (P.R.C, 2013). With the gun-owners’ opinions displayed in such a fashion, it will be impractical and difficult to take away the guns from them, with a frustrated and unwilling population remaining while the criminals can obtain guns with other methods.
Gun control advocates claim that self-defense is inefficient, one even stating that “for each justifiable gun homicide, there is 34 criminal gun homicide” (Ingraham, Christopher). However, this can be a misleading figure, because many potential murders are prevented but not reported since they never occurred. There are many solid examples too, as an expert named Eugene Volokh listed: In Chicago 2015, a driver with a concealed-carry permit “shot and wounded a gunman who opened fire on a crowd of people” (Volokh, Eugene); in 2012, South CA., a man who killed another and also wounded a man in a bar pointed his gun at the bar manager, but was shot by that manager, effectively stopped (Volokh, Eugene); in 2009, Atlanta, two men at a party discussed killing everybody after raping the women, only stopped by a Marine acting as a citizen (Volokh, Eugene); in 2007, Colorado, a man who brought more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition killed four people and was shot and stopped by a volunteer security guard (Volokh, Eugene)... Mr. Volokh had numerous examples of people being able to stop potential murderers, and with those examples, he proved that people protect themselves along with others by using guns. This gun-control policy expert is only further supported through statistics--guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense, meaning 6,850 times per day--overall 80 times more often to protect than to kill the citizens (Gun Owners of America). In addition to self-defense as a commonly used tactic by citizens, hunting and sports are also a wide use for guns, with just the year 2011 alone reporting more than 3,000,000 firearm-buyers spending a total of about $3,000,000,000 (US Fish and Wildlife Service). The revenue earned from guns could not only benefit the companies, but also the government. With so much positive gain from widely allowing guns, from self-defense to recreational use to even revenue gain, there is no reason to have gun-control policies, as they would only limit all these well-deserved liberties.
In addition to guns being able to be used in self-defense, guns are not that often used by criminals. Studies display that more than 99% of guns bought are used for non-criminal purposes (Gun Facts). 90% of criminal violence doesn’t involve a gun; even in crimes in which the offender had a gun, they did not use or threaten to use the gun (Gun Facts). Adding to further simple/aggravated assaults, knives had an equal percentage of use compared to firearms (Klimas, Liz). The gun control policies would be inefficient since most of them would harm non-criminals, and assault-wise, it would not truly affect those statistics due to criminals being just as easily able to use knives. Keeping this logic in mind, the following examples perfectly display precisely how gun control policies fail to keep criminals in check.
Current-day countries' diverse take on gun control strengthens the argument that gun control policies have no notable effects. Australia is famous for its “effective gun control policy”, with its take-back of guns within 1996 leading to a seemingly incredible downward trend to nearly no gun homicide rates in only about one decade (Chapman, Steve). However, no such relation in the effectiveness is shown, as the gun homicide rates were already declining before the policy took effect in 1996, and even afterward the declination rate was still the same (Wright, Antonio). Furthermore, a study indicating “the program worked” admits that the policy may not have the same effect on other countries: "…An island nation [can] restrict illegal gun imports… the absence of any domestic gun manufacturers …meant that legal restrictions on gun ownership were more likely to 'bite' in Australia than…in countries with porous land borders” (Chapman, Steve). The gun control policies in Australia not only had no obvious effect, but even a study of its effectiveness also displayed that pro-gun-control advocates were mistaken to believe Australia’s policy could easily apply to any other country.
Some countries prove that Australia is just a cherry-picked country. Brazil has quite a strict gun control, yet is the most violent nation in the world, at a massive 18.79 homicides per 100,000 people as of 2010, which rose to about 25 homicides per 100,000 people in 2011 (Taverner, Ben). Its policies failed due to its poorly designed police force enforcement. This stems from the corruption of the federal-republic government. All firearms are required to be registered, yet of the 17 million firearms in the country, merely 9 million are registered (Taverner, Ben). Mexico is also known for extremely strict gun control, with only one legal gun store in the entire country, yet it has wide gun ownership, with only about 29% of 15.5 million guns registered in compliance with the law, and following up with a 9.97 rate of homicide per 100,000 people (Kopel, David). Some opponents argue that the illegal amount of guns may be due to US smuggling, however, a study finds that only about 18% (compared to the 85-90% stated by Mexican officials) of guns can truly be said to come from the US (Kopel, David). Even then, most of the guns are about 15 years old, supporting the theory that they had been in the black market, rather than being smuggled (Kopel, David). In contrast, the previous two countries, United States has a loose gun control policy—the highest rate of gun ownership in the world, with 88 guns per 100 people-- but rather a low gun homicide rates in comparison, with only 3.55 homicides per 100,000 as of 2013, which is even lower than the average or median homicide rate (Cookie, Charles).
The fact that gun policies hold little to no effect makes a lot of sense; if criminals want to use violence, nothing is stopping them. They can easily produce guns, obtain knives, or even bare-handedly threaten innocent people at point-blank. It is only logical that the criminals would do anything to get their hands on money or fulfill their greedy needs. It is similar to the prohibition of alcohol, in that nothing could stop the people from getting what they desperately wanted. With the ban of alcohol, the drinking ironically got worse. From all these examples, and supported by logic, the only conclusion is those gun policies are futile.
- Gun Facts, "Gun Facts | Gun Control and Crime." Gun Facts. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2016
- Gun Owners of America, "Just For Skeptics." Fact Sheet: Guns Save Lives. Gun Owners of America, 16 Oct. 2008. Web. 13 Jan. 2016. http://www.gunowners.org/sk0802htm.htm
- Pew Research Center, "Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason." Pew Research Center for the People and the Press RSS. Pew Research Center, 12 Mar. 2013. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.
- US Fish and Wildlife Service, “2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation”. http://v.gd/hunts ;
- Chapman, Steve, "Hillary Clinton, gun buybacks and a win for the NRA", The Chicago Tribune. 14 Dec 2015. http://v.gd/buyback ;
- Cookie, Charles. "Gun-Control Dishonesty." National Review Online. National Review, 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 5 Jan. 2016. http://v.gd/gunfail ;
- Ingraham, Christopher. "Guns in America: For Every Criminal Killed in Self-defense, 34 Innocent People Die." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 19 June 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.
- Klimas, Liz. "Guns and Crime: What the Statistics Really Say and How They’re Interpreted in the Debate." The Blaze. The Blaze, 7 May 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.
- Kopel, David. "Mexico's Gun Control Laws: A Model for the United States?" Washington Post. The Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
- Taverner, Ben, “Despite Firearm Restrictions, Gun Violence Kills Five People Every Hour in Brazil”, http://v.gd/braz2 ;
- Volokh, Eugene. "Do Citizens (not Police Officers) with Guns Ever Stop Mass Shootings?" Washington Post. The Washington Post, 3 Oct. 2015. Web. 5 Jan. 2016,
Resolution: On Balance, The US Should NOT Tighten Gun Control Policies
Thank you Gugigor for the debate.
This round will be brief, I will set up a simple syllogism, definitions, interpretation of the resolution, and criticisms of Pro's arguments. My goal with this debate is to be as concise as possible while still dismantling Pro's points. I will begin.
- Gun Control - "laws that control the sale and use of guns and who is allowed to own them:" 
- Tighten - "to make a rule, system, or law stronger and more difficult to ignore:" 
Therefore my B.O.P is: "On balance, the US should make laws which control the sale, use, and owners of guns stronger or more difficult to ignore"
- The word "should" can refer to this in the legal sense or the moral sense - therefore I can argue that it would legally be preferable or morally preferable to tighten gun control laws.
- The phrase "on balance" refers to the impacts of this debate, thus, the links are very important. If Pro or myself cannot justify the links between a claim and an impact then it is invalid.
- The word "policies" implies that we are not discussing one specific policy or gun law, but gun laws as a principle - thus any impacts which are directed to one policy is invalid unless it is representative.
P1: Whenever something is easier to obtain it is used more
P2: Guns are easily obtained in the US 
Con: Therefore guns are used more (relatively) in the US.
P1: The higher population of an area the higher crime rate of an area 
P2: The US is the third largest country by population 
Con: Therefore there is more crime
P1: Guns make crime easier to commit 
P2: The ease of an action correlates with the prevalence of an action
Con: Therefore higher gun crimes are because of more guns
P1: IF you value lowering crime, THEN you should restrict the sale and use of guns.
P2: The US government values lowering crime domestically 
Con: Therefore the US government should restrict the sale and use of guns.
- Higher density of firearms per citizen does not equate to more safety or less crime   
- Guns do not typically increase the success rate of intervening in a shooter event  
- Gun laws are typically effective at reducing gun violence  
gun-owners believe that they ought to have and keep guns. Polls given to gun-owners show the average gun-owner believes that stricter gun laws “will lead to stricter laws that take guns away from citizens” (Pew Research Center, 2013). They also believe that “owning a gun makes them safer”, as well as that “stricter guns laws ‘give too much power to the government over average citizens’”, and most importantly, “gun rights are more important than controlling gun ownership” (P.R.C, 2013).
Firstly, the voter must notice that that all of these are the opinions of gun owners in general, it is not empirical truth, in fact, as I have previously demonstrated they are incorrect in every accusation.
With the gun-owners’ opinions displayed in such a fashion, it will be impractical and difficult to take away the guns from them, with a frustrated and unwilling population remaining while the criminals can obtain guns with other methods.
Pro misunderstands what gun laws are, they are not taking away guns from people who have already purchased them, not in general anyways - they are - and I quote: "laws that control the sale and use of guns and who is allowed to own them:" Gun laws would, in general, prevent more people from having access to guns. This point by pro is thereby irrelevant, and not topical.
Gun control advocates claim that self-defense is inefficient, one even stating that “for each justifiable gun homicide, there is 34 criminal gun homicide” (Ingraham, Christopher). However, this can be a misleading figure, because many potential murders are prevented but not reported since they never occurred.
This is not a valid point, as they are reported as attempted shootings, they are not just scrubbed from any record or never recorded. Furthermore the GENERAL REBUTTALS makes clear that guns are not typically used to successfully interfere. Notice that the two main examples are purely one shooting case, not cases in general.
guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense, meaning 6,850 times per day--overall 80 times more often to protect than to kill the citizens (Gun Owners of America). In addition to self-defense as a commonly used tactic by citizens
There is a problem with, in general, the kind of statistics which claim the number of self defenses used by gun, and that is heresay and overinflation of reports which are false.  This studies explains 10 reasons for this, but I will highlight only two- one is simply "Guns are not used in millions of case of self-defense each year" and the other is "guns are used more often to intimidate than for self defense."
hunting and sports are also a wide use for guns, with just the year 2011 alone reporting more than 3,000,000 firearm-buyers spending a total of about $3,000,000,000 (US Fish and Wildlife Service). The revenue earned from guns could not only benefit the companies, but also the government.
Pro is making a direct comparison of impacts - the economic success of gun sales - and the number of lives saved by reducing the limiting of gun sales. Firstly; Pro has not demonstrated a significant impact on the economy of these things in the first place, secondly - the types of guns laws which are typically enforced are ones such as the universal background check, which would only reduce criminal purchase of firearms, not recreational use.
A) In addition to guns being able to be used in self-defense, guns are not that often used by criminals. B) Studies display that more than 99% of guns bought are used for non-criminal purposes (Gun Facts). C) 90% of criminal violence doesn’t involve a gun; even in crimes in which the offender had a gun, they did not use or threaten to use the gun (Gun Facts)...D). Adding to further simple/aggravated assaults, knives had an equal percentage of use compared to firearms (Klimas, Liz).
A is flatly false: about 1/5 inmates report to have been carrying a gun to use or assist in the crime for which they were arrested . B is missing the point, of course most guns aren't used for non-criminal purposes most times - most guns aren't used often  and the ratio of criminal to innocent citizen is around 1 to 100 . Finally, is another flatly false statistic, guns were used in 73.6% of homicides in 2019 . Using the same study, D is evidenced wrong as knives and sharp objects only account for 10.5% of murders in 2019.
Current-day countries' diverse take on gun control strengthens the argument that gun control policies have no notable effects. Australia is famous for its “effective gun control policy”, with its take-back of guns within 1996 leading to a seemingly incredible downward trend to nearly no gun homicide rates in only about one decade (Chapman, Steve).
This is not relevant, I never referenced or even used this study to demonstrate my point.
Some countries prove that Australia is just a cherry-picked country
Again, I never referenced Australia nor ever intended to use it as an example; all of this is irrelevant in regard in what the US should do.
 - https://giffords.org/lawcenter/gun-laws/policy-areas/background-checks/universal-background-checks/
 - https://nycdatascience.com/blog/student-works/pressure-cooker-higher-population-densities-increase-crime/
 - https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/guns-crime/reports/2016/10/11/145830/america-under-fire/
 - https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2017/06/22/guns-and-daily-life-identity-experiences-activities-and-involvement/
I concede. I think in essence, the evidence is partially stacked against pro because there would be some tangible benefits to adding restriction and making it harder to obtain guns. A more interesting debate might be total ban of gun vs total allowance. I goofed up.
Thank you for the concession, as Pro has forfeited Vote Con.
Its nice to debate you again Seldiora, this was quite a nostalgic debate: anyways vote Con!
As the voters might have noticed by now, Pro has completely forfeited the debate, and therefore my arguments are left standing; I would have hoped for a full length debate, but this works too.
"The same vote would be tolerable if it did not assign points."
Good Idea, I will keep that in mind.
It's not a big deal, especially as it did not seek to change the outcome... But please don't do it again. The same vote would be tolerable if it did not assign points.
I apologize. I am new to debating online, and I am sorry for creating inconvenience. Please forgive me.
If you're so confident you can "harm me" than actually make a valid point. Otherwise you are creating needless trouble for our moderators. Which is at the very least a jerk move. Do you know why Debate.org is such a bad site nowadays? Because of a lack of moderation. Moderation is what keeps this site afloat, please refrain from any more immature bouts of "troll voting".
It was obviously a troll vote - I know the system and had I really wanted to harm you I would have made a valid point.
Not even going to open the template for this... What's going on to make you cast such an intentionally abysmal vote?
The now deleted vote was as follows, for 7 points to pro...
This vote will most certainly be reported. But that's fine. Here is the RDF:
I thought at the very least you had a valid reason for voting.... seriously? Are you that sore at our disagreement that you want to include that kind of vote? Wow, I used to have a much higher opinion of you.
In terms of your observation, I agree that the topic doesn’t bind you to a specific advocacy or particular gun control policy. But it doesn’t stop you from having one if you want to. Some regulations, like universal background checks or training requirements, are fairly easy to defend. But even if you don’t want to have a strict or specific proposal, you can still use examples of gun control policies for which Pro’s arguments didn’t apply. Those would help prove your responses on Pro’s arguments being sometimes untrue of many gun control policies, but without requiring you to make arguments centered around exclusively them.
Thanks for the vote and feedback, the reason I was vague is because of the specific resolution - to use a specific example would be ignoring the second observation I made of the resolution. I don't like to make contradictory arguments. I made the basic claim and provided evidence for each argument structure - and those dropped points were irrelevant to the debate. A lot of the structure was because of the specific resolution.
go ahead and challenge whoever you will.
There seemed to be a lot of agreement with you, would you care if I were to make a debate: "On balance the US should tighten gun control policies"?
It might be more interesting to look at the correlation between the amount of gun restrictions and the level of liberty citizens enjoy.
the sourcing is misleading, most of it outdated and not correctly interpreted or just flatly wrong - I look forward to your response Seldiora.
if you make the debating time a week you got yourself a debate
Yeah, I'm of a similar mind to Ragnar. I've argued for the other side before, but my thoughts about gun control have changed since then, and I find the position of pushing for increased gun control to be a little too weak for me to argue right now.
I'm instantly torn, since I believe both sides are probably correct (some gun laws should be tightened, others should be loosened).
nah, I agree with you
dare you challenge my well-written essay written from years ago? It may not be as well researched as Smoking Ban, but the kritik here is definitely not as easy...