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BurnSide

The Right of Gun Ownership

23 posts in this topic

Everyone feels strongly about their rights. Their rights to free speech, for example. But what about the Right to Bear Arms in America? Is it justified? Should the people have access to firearms or should the right be revoked?

This is a formal, 1 vs 1 debate. The first 2 participants to show their interest in the debate will participate.

Now i understand that this is a sensitive topic, so keep it civil, no harsh or offensive words will be tolerated.

If both participants want to debate the same side, a coin toss will decide who debates for what side.

I'll post the rules when the participants are decided. Any questions feel free to PM me. thumbsup.gif

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I've never joined a debate before, however, I will debate the pro side if nobody else has chimed in.

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Okay.

SO.

Joc, you will be debating FOR legal gun ownership.

Now we're just looking for one more debater, SERIOUS debater please, to debate against joc on this topic.

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I will debate against Joc. original.gif

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Alright!! I know this will be a great debate.

So finally it's underway.

Joc is debating for ownership of guns.

Lottie is debating against ownership of guns.

The rules are very simple. Each debater will post one introductory post to their side of the argument, followed by five body posts where you will be marked on countering, style, persuasiveness and relivance to the topic, follwed by one conclusion to your argument.

Sources used must be stated, and please no flaming or insulting or anything like that. Keep it civil.

If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me. thumbsup.gif

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The Peoples Right to Bear Arms

We Americans are a country awash in weapons. High-powered hunting rifles, shot-guns, and pistols of virtually every description. We are also a country with an extremely high violent gun crime rate. On the surface it is quite easy for some to say, “If there were not as many guns, there would not be as much gun crime.” I understand and to some degree even echo these sentiments; however, it is the Right of the Individual to own these weapons. It is also the Responsibility of the Government to prosecute those who commit violent gun crimes. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution secures for us, the common people, this Right.

SECOND AMENDMENT 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.

Second Amendment

I personally own a shotgun, a 357 magnum pistol, and a 22 caliber pistol. Of these weapons, the only one I purchased was the 357. I did so because of a desire to be able to protect myself against the very gun crimes we are talking about. The others were given to me as gifts. They belonged to my late uncle, who was an avid gun lover and owned hundreds of weapons through the years. He never committed a gun crime and in fact, served with several different law enforcement agencies. Am I going to go rob a bank and commit gun crime simply because I own guns? No. Does the fact that I own these weapons make me anymore likely to become a criminal? No. There is an old adage, ‘When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.’

It is the citizen’s Right to own guns. Relieving the citizen of this Right will not affect gun crime in the least. It will perhaps give the criminal even more desire to perpetuate criminal activity knowing that the populace is unarmed.

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Introduction

After I put myself forward to debate against the right to bare arms, I went to find out the statistics of gun violence in America along with the laws. What I found has shocked me and although most of these statsistics are estimations the figures speak for themselves:

Present day,

60 million Americans own around 200 million firearms.

449,150 victims in 2003 said that the attacker had a firearm present.

Everyday in America hundreds of people will die due to to firearms.

A Reuters report in 1999 reported that there was roughly one million gun related deaths in America annually.

Since 1972 over 30,000 people have died in gun related homicided, accidents and suicides every year.

Another report in 1999, suggested that in 1995 there were 21.600 murders and accidental deaths including 15,551 shootings which caused this figure to rise to 35,673.

In 1997, there were 6,044 gun-related murders involving young people aged between 15-24.

Another report suggested that out of the 36 richest nations of the world America still had the highest gun related crime rate.

Alarming incidents have occured due to fire arms such as the shootings in 1999 at Columbine High School where 15 people died and 25 others were injured

and one in ten schools across the country having at least one major gun related crime every year. Between 1997-98, 40 people died due to gun violence in schools.

These statistics are only some of the many findings and reports I have seen. What they suggest to me is that gun culture and the right to bare Arms in America should be banned. There are no excuses in a semingly progressive and civilised society.

Edited by Lottie

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First Response

A Reuters report in 1999 reported that there was roughly one million gun related deaths in America annually.

This would equal 2740 per day

Since 1972 over 30,000 people have died in gun related homicided, accidents and suicides every year.

This would equal about 82 per day...from what I have researched this figure seems more credible.

In 1997, there were 6,044 gun-related murders involving young people aged between 15-24.

Alarming incidents have occured due to fire arms such as the shootings in 1999 at Columbine High School where 15 people died and 25 others were injured

and one in ten schools across the country having at least one major gun related crime every year. Between 1997-98, 40 people died due to gun violence in schools.

Yes, it is true...Columbine was horrific...a nightmare...a terrible tragedy. But whacked out kids equal violence, whether or not they have guns...keep in mind that The Columbine Episode involved a large amount of explosives as well. But guns are not the leading cause of death for teens….car crashes are!

Teen related car crashes are the leading cause of permanent injury and deaths in teens. There are some 8,000 deaths and some 400,000 injuries ANNUALLY across North America!

Link

41,821 people died in car crashes in 2000

Link

It is clear that more people die in car wrecks every year in America than die by the gun. Are we to outlaw cars therefore? Or is it a matter of stiffer penalties for drunk drivers, perhaps more education and tougher traffic fines for speeding and running red-lights?

In 1996, 1.37 million abortions took place...

Link

About 3753 per day...are we to outlaw abortion therefore?

The same exact argument can be used for guns. Are we to outlaw guns therefore? Or is it a matter of tougher penalties for gun crimes? Perhaps better education for gun owners?

Many people die in this country every year. Murderers are capable of using weapons other than guns to kill. If a person is truly suicidal...a lack of guns will not deter him.

The solution to violent gun death in America is NOT removing the 2nd Amendment from the Constitution and banning gun ownership. A better long-term solution would more likely be found in better education and in tougher gun crime penalties.

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Sorr for the interuption.

lego jedi, i have deleted your post here. Please note that the formal debates are for the debaters only, and people not chosen to debate here cannot post opinions, as it may affect the debate.

Thank you.

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Soooooo.....are we still debating this? huh.gif

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Hey yes...here I am sorry about the delay original.gif

Post one

A Reuters report in 1999 reported that there was roughly one million gun related deaths in America annually.

You said:

This would equal 2740 per day

That’s still a lot of deaths per day! And alot of unnecessary deaths that are caused because of gun ownership.

Since 1972 over 30,000 people have died in gun related homicides, accidents and suicides every year.

You said:

This would equal about 82 per day...from what I have researched this figure seems more credible.

And again I say is this a legitimate figure to carry on the rights of firearms? I don’t think so, it’s all too easy to pull out a gun and shoot because there is a distance between the two people. It is much harder to stab someone to death or throw oneself of a building. For an example a typical scenario at the weekend in a pub or bar: Two men get totally inebriated and start a fight. In a country where guns are banned there would be a physical fight, maybe glass would be involved, maybe there is even a chance one person maybe carrying a weapon such as a knife. The fact is though in this situation there is less chance of a death because unlike shooting a gun it is easier to get out of the fight. You cannot walk away from a fight if a gun is used.

Another example, in 1996, this is the only statistic I could find at this time, 30 people in the UK and 9,390 people were killed by gun violence. Regardless of how much bigger the population of America is to the UK, this does not detract from the fact that in that year 9,390 people lost their lives unneccesarily due to a culture where gun ownership is socially acceptable. Whereas in the UK its not and its illegal.

Yes you are quite right car crashes are the leading cause of fatalities in the U.S with firearm fatalities leading a close second. In fact from what I have read it seems to be that death induced by a firearm is increasing so fast that its appearing to be the fastest form of death apart from diseases such as AID’s in the country. Cars are a necessity to get from a to b, guns are not a necessity and are only made so because it’s the same old story that, for example, Joe Bloggs down the street owns one and so should I. You also mentioned abortion; abortion is a choice and something totally different to a gun that in the wrong hands is no choice at all. As for Columbine although a large amount of explosives were used this ties in nicely with gun culture also. Guns and explosives go hand in hand, both sadly too easy a way of killing a person point blank with distance between the criminal and the victim making it that much easier to do the heinous crime. Is this really such a great way for a society to live? Owning guns make it easy to kill someone and in the wrong

hands is fatal, in fact owning a gun puts you at an increased risk of actually being shot by a gun. Guns are made for one reason and one reason…to kill.

Its very simple, ban gun ownership and you automatically decrease countless deaths and violence.

Edited by Lottie

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Second Response

That’s still a lot of deaths per day! And alot of unnecessary deaths that are caused because of gun ownership.

That is a lot of deaths per day. But the vast majority of them are caused by evil people and the guns they use to do their deeds are not ‘legally’ owned anyway. These people would still have guns even if the government told me that I could no longer own one. These people would still have their guns!

Owning guns make it easy to kill someone and in the wrong

hands is fatal, in fact owning a gun puts you at an increased risk of actually being shot by a gun. Guns are made for one reason and one reason…to kill.

Owning guns does NOT make it easy to kill someone. It is not EASY to kill another person. I don’t know that if you had a gun pointed at someone, you could pull the trigger. It isn’t the gun…it is a matter of conscience…and ‘the wrong hands’ are the hands that have no conscience. Owning a gun puts you at no greater risk than owning a car puts you at risk. The risk is always there and we can’t just crawl under rocks because it is a dangerous world. It would be a lot more dangerous if the good, descent, law abiding citizens were denied the right to protect themselves.

Guns are made for one reason and one reason…to kill.

This is true. Most guns are made to kill people or animals.

Again the solution to gun crime is to more fully prosecute and punish the criminals who commit gun crime.

Its very simple, ban gun ownership and you automatically decrease countless deaths and violence.

Is it really that simple? If you ban gun ownership, who are you banning it from? The law abiding citizen that’s who. It is already illegal to rob a bank or convenience store, but people do it every day. Do you honestly think they will stop because guns are outlawed?

I don’t. Again the majority of countless deaths and violence are perpetrated by CRIMINALS who have guns. It is the person…not the weapon that does the crime.

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Second Response

That is a lot of deaths per day.  But the vast majority of them are caused by evil people and the guns they use to do their deeds are not ‘legally’ owned anyway.  These people would still have guns even if the government told me that I could no longer own one.  These people would still have their guns!

Even if these deaths are caused by some ‘evil people’ these people may not be necessarily evil to begin with. It could be infact the average Joe who decided in a fit of rage or passion to kill another person and you hear this alot. Or the drug addict who is so off his head and desperate for cash, whips out a gun and kills and by having the right to own a gun this can happen quite readily. Also it seems that a percentage of these deaths are caused by stupidity. For example there is a thread on this forum: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum...showtopic=27566 that just shows the insane stupidity of what can happen if one has a gun in their home. If that person had not been allowed to own a gun in the first place, it would never of happened.

Having a law that enables a person to own a gun causes massive problems. If anyone can own a gun then the amount of people who are not civilised and decent citizens like you or I are owning them as well and this shows in the amount of homicides, suicides, hold ups that take place regularly.

It is the person…not the weapon that does the crime.

Yes you are correct. However the person is allowed to own the gun and that crime may not of happened if the person was not allowed to own a gun.

In fact most of these deaths would not of happened if it was illegal to own a gun.

Is it really that simple?  If you ban gun ownership, who are you banning it from?  The law abiding citizen that’s who.

Apart from the fact that everyone owns a gun...Why does the law abiding citizen need a gun anyway?

It is already illegal to rob a bank or convenience store, but people do it every day.  Do you honestly think they will stop because guns are outlawed?

I don’t.  Again the majority of countless deaths and violence are perpetrated by CRIMINALS who have guns.  It is the person…not the weapon that does the crime.

These banks and convenience stores are robbed everyday by people who have guns because they are readily available. One does not even have to shoot a gun just show the gun to frighten everyone. Imbiciles have done this with no intentions of killing anyone but just wanting some extra cash and have succeeded because they are able to obtain a gun.

Its very simple...Guns create criminals. Regardless of whether the decent, law abiding citizen and the admirable intentions; once a gun is in the pocession of a person and if circumstances/ situations change it all becomes very dangerous.

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Third Response:

Having a law that enables a person to own a gun causes massive problems. If anyone can own a gun then the amount of people who are not civilised and decent citizens like you or I are owning them as well and this shows in the amount of homicides, suicides, hold ups that take place regularly.

Actually the facts show that the truth is the exact opposite of your argument. As per the information below from data originating with the FBI:

88 percent of violent crimes do not involve firearms.

How many violent crimes involving guns are committed each year? FBI data for 1990 show that criminals used firearms in about 258,000 violent offenses, or about 16 percent of the 1.6 million crimes reported to the police. Fewer than half of all violent crimes are reported to the police, however. The National Crime Survey (NCS) estimates that there are about 5.4 million violent crimes (both reported and unreported) and that guns of all types are involved in some 650,000 or 12 percent.10 In other words, 88 percent of violent crimes do not involve firearms.

Kleck, Point Blank, p. 44; U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Handgun Crime Victims, July 1990.

Web Source

It is the person…not the weapon that does the crime.

Yes you are correct. However the person is allowed to own the gun and that crime may not of happened if the person was not allowed to own a gun.

Again you are equating gun ownership with criminal behavior. It just isn’t the case. If a person is violent and reckless of the law, he is that way whether or not he owns a gun. The mere fact that a person owns a gun does not make him a criminal. As well, the mere fact of guns being illegal to own would have no impact on the criminal who doesn't respect the law to begin with.

Apart from the fact that everyone owns a gun...Why does the law abiding citizen need a gun anyway?

Many law abiding citizens enjoy shooting their guns. Target shooting is a popular sport and both indoor and outdoor shooting ranges offer the law abiding citizen as well as the law enforcement community the chance to shoot their weapon and therefore become more proficient and better educated about gun safety. Many citizens as well just enjoy collecting guns. The major reason ordinary law abiding citizens need a gun is to provide them a margin of safety when confronted with reckless criminals. I have known several people who have thwarted crime by brandishing a weapon without actually using it.

Not all criminals have guns. Many criminals carry knives or no weapon at all. To some criminal minds, anything, can be a weapon. The largest deterent to a criminal is an armed and educated gun owner.

Its very simple...Guns create criminals. Regardless of whether the decent, law abiding citizen and the admirable intentions; once a gun is in the pocession of a person and if circumstances/ situations change it all becomes very dangerous.

Guns do not create criminals. Crime is a choice. One makes the choice to commit a crime whether or not one has access to a gun.

once a gun is in the pocession of a person

While this may have been an unintended mixing of words, the folly of your argument is found there-in, nonetheless. Guns do not possess people! People possess guns. Your argument seems to be that anyone will become a criminal if they own a gun…that it is just too great a risk to take. I think you are not giving the average individual enough credit for possessing the strength and character which I believe the majority of people have.

The fact is that owning a gun will not make you a criminal. Rather, it is the case that owning a gun may very well save you from being the victim of a violent criminal.

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3rd Response

Again you are equating gun ownership with criminal behavior.  It just isn’t the case.  If a person is violent and reckless of the law, he is that way whether or not he owns a gun.  The mere fact that a person owns a gun does not make him a criminal.  As well, the mere fact of guns being illegal to own would have no impact on the criminal who doesn't respect the law to begin with.

Many law abiding citizens enjoy shooting their guns.  Target shooting is a popular sport and both indoor and outdoor shooting ranges offer the law abiding citizen as well as the law enforcement community the chance to shoot their weapon and therefore become more proficient and better educated about gun safety.  Many citizens as well just enjoy collecting guns.  The major reason ordinary law abiding citizens need a gun is to provide them a margin of safety when confronted with reckless criminals.  I have known several people who have thwarted crime by brandishing a weapon without actually using it.

The fact that one can purchase a gun legally makes it so much easier for the criminal to obtain and cheaper! Making guns illegal would make it a lot harder for the criminal to obtain firstly because they are illegal and secondly because the price of obtaining a gun illegally would be so much higher.

Also there are a huge amount of thefts from the general publics homes a year where the gun is stolen and then used for criminal activity. If the right to own a gun was illegal then this would not happen. So to say that if guns were made illegal only the criminals would have guns is not an excuse. The fact is that they are obtaining these weapons because they are legal! A vast majority of those guns would not have been available in the first place and innocent people would not have died if they were illegal.

The law abiding citizen in this example is in fact helping the criminal.

Not all criminals have guns.  Many criminals carry knives or no weapon at all.  To some criminal minds, anything, can be a weapon.  The largest deterent to a criminal is an armed and educated gun owner.

Yes anything can be a weapon however it is much easier to shoot someone then it is to stab or kill someone another way. It is quick and easy and if this is the criminals intention in the first place then a gun is the right weapon to use for the purpose. Statistics show that the fatality rate in gun robberies for example, is 3 times more likely than a knife attack and 10 times more likely than any other weapon.(Taken from: Cook, Philip J., "Robbery Violence," Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 78-2, (1987):357-376.)

Also a large percentage of accidents with guns are in the home.

The fact is that owning a gun will not make you a criminal.  Rather, it is  the case that owning a gun may very well save you from being the victim of a violent criminal.

Owning a gun legally aides criminals and the accessibility to aquire a gun in the first place.

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Fourth Response

The fact that one can purchase a gun legally makes it so much easier for the criminal to obtain and cheaper!

The hard fact is that America is a huge country with literally hundreds of millions of guns of all varieties.

Making guns illegal would not get rid of all of the guns in America. If every law abiding citizen turned in to the authorities the weapons they own, who then would have guns in America? The Police and the Criminals.

This debate has been about whether or not guns should be made illegal. Much has been said on the other side about the death rate involved with guns. The whole debate however goes much deeper than just guns. In order to eliminate gun ownership in this country it is first necessary to abolish the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. The Freedoms we enjoy in this country are protected by this document which most of us here hold dear and sacred. Gun ownership is a right.

The fact is that most people who own guns don’t kill other people with them. The fact that bad people with guns are dangerous will not change because guns are made illegal.

I would like to thank Lottie for debating with me and also thank all of you who took the time to analyse the responses given on both sides. And thanks to Saruman who gives us all the opportunity to express our ideas and thoughts.

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Looking for a response from Lottie now. thumbsup.gif

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Summary

Some of the articles and statistics I have read regarding gun crime are hard to digest and pretty shocking. Simply, thousands of unnecessary deaths and lives have been wasted by gun crime in America.

The fact is if a person has the legal right to own a gun then more lives are at risk.

The fact is that most people who own guns have the potential to use the gun as a way to hurt or kill another human.

The fact remains that whilst guns are legal in America it is easier for criminals to obtain such weapons and so it goes on.

Take away this right and crime and violence involving guns would reduce dramatically.

America, the land of the free where people should be able to walk along the street without having to always worry that someone is about to shoot them or their neighbour is suddenly going to become a crazed lunatic who shoots his family and then himself. Free to me is about not having that worry in the corner of one's mind.

Thankyou Joc for an interesting debate, you tested me... original.gif x

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This debate is finished now.

I'd like to thank joc and Lottie for debating this difficult and touchy subject as civil as they did. You guys were great! grin2.gif

Now it's on to the debate judges for the scoring!

Both debaters will be scored out of 10 on their countering, style, persuasivness and relevance for a total score out of 40.

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Here we go!

Debator 1: Joc

Relevancy: 9

Countering: 10

Style: 8

Persuasiveness: 9

Total: 36

Debator 2: Lottie

Relevancy: 9

Countering: 9

Style: 8

Persuasiveness: 8

Total: 34

Great job guys!

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Debator 1: Joc

Relevancy: 9

Countering: 9

Style:8

Persuasiveness: 9

Total: 35

Debator 2: Lottie

Relevancy: 9

Countering:9

Style: 8

Persuasiveness: 8

Total: 34

Great job, both of you, that was a terrific debate and it was so hard to pick a winner! Congratulations!

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Debator 1: Joc

Relevancy: 10

Countering: 9

Style:8

Persuasiveness: 9

Total: 36

Debator 2: Lottie

Relevancy: 8

Countering:9

Style: 8

Persuasiveness: 8

Total: 33

Good job to both debators!

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And the debate is judged! The results are in.

The magnificent Lottie scores an awesome score of 34!

The fantastic Joc scores a incredible 36 and wins the debate!

These are both some of the highest scores on a debate. This truely ws a great debate and i thank you both for taking part. original.gif

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