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On balance, allowing civilians to own guns is detrimental to society

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RomaniiRomanii (PRO)

 Thanks for accepting, Stag.

I already posted this in the "rules" section, but just to re-iterate...

The resolution presumes a utilitarian framework, essentially stating that a world without civilian gun rights would be better off than a world with them. Burden of proof is on me to affirm this proposition. Aside from that, let’s note that 1) the resolution is *not* US-specific-- it refers to society and the world at large, 2) since the resolution explicitly mentions “civilians”, local police forces and the military would still be allowed to utilize firearms, and 3) this should *not* devolve into a gun control vs. gun ban debate-- Con may not advocate strict gun control measures such as gun registration, required training, bans on semi-automatic firearms, bans on handguns, etc... In other words, Con will be limited to advocating something similar to the current status quo in the United States (which is why I'll be using the US as a sort of "golden standard" of the harm civilian gun ownership causes to society).

C1) Homicides

Let' start with some general statistics: in the United States, the country with the highest rate of legal gun ownership on the planet, 67% of homicides are committed using a firearm [1]. This fact alone makes it highly unlikely that access to guns has no effect on homicide rates, because such a claim relies on the ludicrous assumption that if guns were not available, *all* of those murderers would simply switch to other weapons in order to commit their crimes. This view is absurd because if it were true, other developed nations with low rates of gun ownership would still have very similar homicide rates to ours, yet this is far from being the case [2]:  

Ignoring the few outliers* for now, we can see that the countries with low gun ownership don't have *nearly* the amount of homicides that the US has.  So we can conclude that murderers do *not* just switch to other weapons when guns aren't available. In other words,  guns facilitate violence in a way that no other weapon does. Guns provide a relatively quick, easy, and detached (compared to stabbing or beating someone to death) way to kill someone, meaning that having a firearm in the proximity makes it much easier for tense situations to escalate into fatal encounters, whereas they would otherwise have ended in heated arguments or fist fights. This has especially big implications considering that 79% of homicides occur between family, friends, and acquaintances [3],  60% of homicides occur at the victim's home [4],  and almost 40% of homicides stem from mere *arguments* [5]. It shows that the majority of homicides of impulsive in nature and occur in domestic settings-- they would most likely not have happened had there not been any easy access to lethal force (i.e. guns).

So on the basis of a few objective facts and some theoretical reasoning, it can be concluded that allowing civilian gun ownership is responsible for a substantial portion of homicides in society. That alone should be enough to show that civilian gun ownership is detrimental, considering immense negative utility that loss of life generates. But that's not all-- the conclusion that guns facilitate violence is corroborated by large number of professional statistical studies which do a much more thorough job of avoiding pitfalls such as faulty causation by controlling for various relevant external variables. Most of the following quotations come from peer-reviewed papers which were published in reputable journals:

---  "Using a validated proxy for firearm ownership [survey data], 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." [6][7]

---  "Given the number of victims allegedly being saved with guns, it would seem natural to conclude that owning a gun substantially reduces your chances of being murdered. Yet a careful case-control study of homicide in the home found that a gun in the home was associated with an increased rather than a reduced risk of homicide. Virtually all of this risk involved homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.” [8].

---  "This paper uses a unique data set [gun sales as a proxy for gun ownership rates] to demonstrate that increases in gun
ownership lead to substantial increases in the overall homicide rate.
This is driven entirely by a relationship between firearms and homicides
in which a gun is used, implying that the results are not driven by reverse
causation or by omitted variables. The relationship between changes in
gun ownership and changes in all other crime categories is weaker and
typically insignificant, suggesting that guns influence crime primarily by
increasing the homicide rate.
" [9]

---  "Studies [from the Violence Policy Center] show that the
mere presence of firearms in [domestic violence] situations—no matter who actually owns the firearms—
increases the risk of intimate partner homicide five times more than in instances where there
are no weapons present
." [10] [11]

All lines of evidence examined thus far go overwhelmingly in support of the notion that allowing civilians to own guns leads to significant increase in homicide rates. 

* The outliers are easily explained by independent reasons, such as Estonia's astronomically high poverty rate [13] and Mexico's organized crime problem (which, as will be explained later, is largely fueled by a steady supply of guns from the US).

C2) Suicides

The logic here largely follows that of the first contention. Since the vast majority of suicides are impulsive, it makes sense to assume that many of them would not happen if the means to painlessly kill oneself were not readily available to the victim. A gunshot to the head is one of the easiest, most reliable, and most painless ways to die, which is why, unsurprisingly,  52% of suicides in the United States are committed using a firearm [13]. It logically follows that the absence of guns would make it much more difficult for the average person to commit suicide, thus forcing victims to take more drastic measures and substantially decreasing the likelihood that the victim will actually go through with it. And it shows-- [14]

It's quite safe to say that allowing civilians to own guns significantly increases suicide rates...

C3) Accidental Discharges  

Between 1965 and 2000, approximately 60,000 people in the United States were killed from unintentional firearm shootings [15]. To put that into perspective, that is more than the number of Americans who died in wars during that same time period. The impact of this should be clear-- deaths from accidental discharges are 100% impossible without private civilian ownership of guns, and thus represent yet another considerable toll of allowing civilians to own guns.

C4) Mass-shootings 

In the US, there about 16.4 mass-shootings per year, with 486 people having been killed in such shootings since 2000 [16]. That isn't a very big number; however, like terrorism, the primary harm of mass-shootings is not in the number of deaths, but in the collective psychological effect that such incidents have on a society: “Mass shootings are a marginal concern, even relative to other forms of gun violence, but they cause an unusual degree of terror and grief—particularly when children are targeted. Given the psychological and social costs of certain low-frequency events, it does not seem irrational to allocate disproportionate resources to prevent them… our perception of danger is easily distorted by rare events. Is gun violence increasing in the United States? No. But it certainly seems to be when one recalls recent atrocities in Newtown and Aurora. In fact, the overall rate of violent crime has fallen by 22 percent in the past decade.” [17]. This is confirmed by the results of a survey released by Pew Research Center, which showed that only 10% of Americans feel that gun violence has decreased over recent years. [18].

Guns are not responsible for all incidents of mass-murder, of course, but they undeniably make mass-murder much, much easier. Their long range enables the rapid shooting of multiple people at a time, and the "detachment" effect of shooting a gun allows for mentally unstable people get more satisfaction out of killing than they would from stabbing or setting a fire. Moreover, a mass-shooting is far more likely to end up in numerous deaths (instead of just injuries) than other forms of mass-murder; knives only kill if they hit a vital organ, and most modern buildings have fire escapes. It is simply absurd to claim that in absence of guns, mass-murders would continue occurring at the rate they currently do. The fact is, that incidents of mass-murder do not occur *nearly*  as much around the world as they do in the US [19]. Allowing civilians to own guns greatly increases the frequency of mass-murder incidents, which has a profoundly negative impact on society by making its inhabitants feel less secure.

C5) Injuries

One thing which is commonly overlooked in analyzing the impacts of civilian gun ownership is injuries from firearm violence, which occur far more often than homicides or suicides. According to the CDC, about 84,000 Americans are suffer injuries from firearms every year [20], which has been estimated to cost over 2.3 Billion dollars per year in medical costs [21]. This kind of financial expense is quite detrimental to the welfare of a society, because not only can that money be spent on more productive ends, but National Healthcare and emergency room regulations cause much of the burden of that cost to fall upon tax payers (in the US, it is roughly half of that burden). Following the logic outlined in C1 and C2, we can conclude that many of these injuries would not have happened without the 

I was going to make another argument, but I'm running low on time, so I'll just save it for next round.... 

Spoiler: it's about increasing the risk of civil wars in third world countries.

CONCLUSION: I have shown that allowing civilians to own guns results in a number of highly detrimental costs to society such as causing . It substantially increases homicide and suicide rates by providing the means for relatively minor events (e.g. heated arguments, fist fights, road rage, anxiety attacks, depression, etc.)  to escalate into such fatal occurrences, and it also makes possible death by accidental discharge, which claims a considerable number of lives as well. Furthermore, guns makes mass-shootings-- the most frequent and most common form of mass-murder-- possible, which has a demonstrably negative effect on a society's collective psychology akin to that of international terrorism. Lastly, civilian gun rights result in a massive number of injuries, which has a high financial toll on society.  

Given all that, we can only believe that allowing civilians to own guns is detrimental to society. Thus, the resolution is affirmed.

I look forward to seeing Con's case! 


1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States (citation #2 has a link to a UNODC data table)

2. http://crimepreventionresearchcenter.org/tag/more-guns-less-crime/

3. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded/expanded-homicide-data

4. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/domestic-violence-murder-stats

5. http://tinyurl.com/lts9uzv (books.google.com)

6. Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. Household firearm ownership levels and homicide rates across U.S. regions and states, 1988-1997.American Journal of Public Health. 2002: 92:1988-1993.

7. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/

8, Arthur L. Kellermann et al., Gun Ownership As a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home, 329. New England Journal of Medicine. 1084, 1087 (1993)

9. https://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/dranove/htm/dranove/coursepages/Mgmt%20469/guns.pdf

10. http://www.ncdsv.org/images/NTFESDVAW_LetterToSenateOnGunSafetyBill_4-8-2013.pdf

11. J. C. Campbell, J.C.,Webster, D., Koziol-McLain, J. and et al. (2003). Risk Factors For Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results From A Multi-Site Case Control Study. American Journal of Public Health. 93(7).

12. http://www.stat.ee/65388

13. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm

14. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/magazine-features/guns-and-suicide-the-hidden-toll/

15. http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/preview/publiced_preview_briefs_pdfs_07_08_07_290_PetitionerAmCuMajorAmerCities.authcheckdam.pdf (pg. 17)

16. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/25/us/25shooters.html?_r=0

17. http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-riddle-of-the-gun

18. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/

19. http://world.time.com/2012/12/17/when-massacres-force-change-lessons-from-the-u-k-and-australia/

20. http://webappa.cdc.gov/cgi-bin/broker.exe

21. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/04/us/annual-cost-of-treating-gunshot-wounds-is-put-at-2.3-billion.html

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-02-25 12:25:22
| Speak Round
BlackflagBlackflag (CON)
Thank you too, Romani
My side fully recognizes the  harms of gun ownership in peacetime. The most important idea of gun control I will be promoting, is the point most often ignored.

In War: Everyone Is a Soldier 
In peacetime, it would make a lot of sense to limit the amount of firearms. As much as the average Western gun owner would care to believe, we are not in any immediate danger that would require us to be locked and loaded. ISIS will not be pillaging through our summer homes and massacring our families anytime in the near future.  We do though, need to live in constant fear of the day that danger will reach us. If history has taught the world anything, it is that one day, danger will reach us all. This danger I speak of is called war.

In over 90% of the wars waged in human history, there have been more non-combatants killed than soldiers! A wild, but true statistic. How can this statistic be explained? I am sure there are numerous answers, all of which reach the same foregone conclusion. You are more probable to die without a gun  than with one in war. 

Taking away firearms might not have much of an effect on society within the next couple of years, but what about the next couple of decades? War can reach us at any point in time.  The regulation of firearms is an elitist plot to disadvantage the common man. How come every time a war happens it is the poor farmer who gets killed and not the billionaires? Billionaires have guns and manpower, which in a regulated society, the common man would be denied. The elites control the government, the military, but why should they control the common man too? Why should the common man be denied the smallest of protections?

It is a gross inhumanity that the elitist backed society supports the practice of arming trained killers, and then turns around and distrusts its own citizens who are legally on an equal level.  It is a classic imbalance of power. Gun regulation is an authoritarian measure, and it will lead to millions of casualties in the event of an inevitable war. A war that the authoritarian elitists will surely back in order to make  money on the average mans suffering. 

There is much sympathy among those who believe in war readiness to the arguments of the affirming position. We acknowledge that these problems exist. We are simply aware that this kind of extreme protocol isn't the answer. The right solution would be much more moderate. Stripping concealed weapon permits, and performing more orthodox inspections into gun owners armories would lower crime significantly. Until these moderate solutions are tried and tested, there is no reason to advocate for such an extreme non-solution.

We must bear with the dangers of firearms, because if we do not, then the consequences will be much more severe in times of real widespread danger. Everyone in war is a soldier. Should we segregate who can protect their families  simply due to an elitist backed status quo. The opposing position rests its case.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-03-11 11:33:46
| Speak Round
RomaniiRomanii (PRO)
Well... this debate took an unexpected turn... 

Con's argument really just has one fatal flaw to it:

In modern warfare, a huge variety of extremely dangerous weapons are used, from fighter jets to landmines to grenades to tanks to bazookas to chemical weapons to bombs. Almost every national military in the world is equipped with such weaponry; additionally, in order to successfully carry out an attack on civilians, the invading army would have had to be powerful enough to defeat the defending country's army. To claim that a hastily-assembled militia made of citizens armed with petty firearms could possibly make a successful effort at resisting a full-scale invasion from a relatively strong military is absolutely absurd. The citizens would easily be overwhelmed by the superior military technology of the invading army. No amount of guns can put up a serious fight against an air strike. In fact, TURN this argument; by arming civilians and allowing them to try engaging in such futile resistance, there would just be *more* casualties because it would force the invading army to use more force than would otherwise have been necessary.

Thus, Con's argument refutes his own case. 

The resolution remains affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-03-23 13:02:50
| Speak Round

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Posted 2015-04-20 13:14:35
Ah, screw this
Posted 2015-04-20 09:46:24
Alright @Sovi , you can go ahead and post now
Posted 2015-04-09 16:56:47
OK, will do. Cheers.
Posted 2015-04-09 16:50:55
No. Just give me the ability to write and a day and a half to do so.
Posted 2015-04-09 15:56:07
@Sovi - do you have the rest of your argument saved somewhere? I can't recover that but I can get everything else working for you.
Posted 2015-04-09 14:15:29
If it is a larger message than I probably did not miss it.
Posted 2015-04-07 16:30:35
I may of missed it. I have no way of knowing if it was there or was not there.
Posted 2015-04-07 16:30:07
Because the data uris for your images combined were longer than what the database was able to store. I'll add in an error message for long uris in the future. Realistically, data uris are a way of storing the images along with the text on the edeb8 server, and I really don't want to be storing all that on this server. I'll keep you posted as I work on this.

It's very weird you were not shown any kind of error message though. It would have shown right underneath the title "Review Your Argument", with the word "warning" in red - is it at all possible you simply missed it? I'll look into it as a separate bug anyway.
Posted 2015-04-07 16:25:12
I went to the image button with the green arrow and inserted the html. I was not presented with a warning message. I cannot remember if I reviewed my argument before I hit submit, but I reviewed it several times previous to that and the other two paragraphs were definitely there.

How could an image erase everything after it?
Posted 2015-04-07 16:17:09
@Sovi - can you walk me through how exactly you inserted those images? They're embedded there as data uris, not web uris as would be generated had you used the buttons I made, and I want to know why.

Also, when you went to review your argument, were you not presented with a warning message saying your content will be clipped or something? I added a red warning message to the top of the review screen when this happens so you have a chance to go back.

Fixed the redirect issue as well.
Posted 2015-04-07 16:13:31
Sure... @Sovi
Posted 2015-04-07 15:04:27
Priest of SwagPriest of Swag
Will look into this asap. There's something fishy about some of those image links @Sovi , and Chrome seems to think there's a redirect loop indicating an image might be trying to redirect people. @Romanii , I'll probably give you a bit of extra time if you need it.
Posted 2015-04-07 14:04:04
@admin - Half of my argument was cut off upon positing. Really disappointed.
@Romanii - Can you wait until we figure this out?
Posted 2015-04-06 07:05:23
lmao I was in such a rush that I didn't even finish some of my sentences towards the end -_-
Posted 2015-02-25 12:38:11
You're free to do so in this debate as well.
Posted 2015-02-23 07:05:00
I would. It would make a more interesting debate.
Posted 2015-02-23 05:06:26
Well, very few people would argue that guns should be available without any regulation at all...
Posted 2015-02-22 15:56:26
How bout
"Allowing citizens to own guns without regulation is detrimental to society"

That is considering your rule disallowed an argument advocating regulation.
Posted 2015-02-22 14:12:58
Posted 2015-02-22 14:10:28
"On balance, allowing the majority of civilians (i.e. anyone who is not part of an official police force or the military) to own the majority of types of guns in existence is detrimental to society and the world at large"

how 'bout that, Jiffy?
Posted 2015-02-22 14:07:39
Well you come from a different breed.
Posted 2015-02-22 14:05:57
Long resolutions suck as well. I prefer the rules.
Posted 2015-02-22 14:02:58
Beyond that fair point, the rule continues to be pointless and controlling over the debate.
Posted 2015-02-20 10:07:43
A lot. Rules suck and -people who make them also suck. Romanii, you don't want to suck, trust me.
Posted 2015-02-20 10:06:54
What's the difference between making the resolution longer and adding a couple of rules >.>
Posted 2015-02-20 10:01:39
In the future, make the resolution clearer and avoid using too many rules
Posted 2015-02-20 05:16:03
Yeah, and I don't actually have anything against allowing people to own guns in such a heavily regulated setting; but that can barely even be considered "gun rights' in the traditional sense anymore, which is what I'm most interested in arguing against. You would be surprised to see the number of American conservatives willing to defend our idiotic gun laws :P

I think we pretty much agree on this issue...
Posted 2015-02-18 15:24:23
I think it'd be easier to win with con if con didn't have a counter-plan.
Posted 2015-02-18 14:19:07
Well, when I say it'd be tough for CON, I'll admit it's because I don't live in the US and, along with most of the rest of the world, quite frankly we think your gun laws are pretty ridiculous. I can't imagine trying to defend them.
The tweaks I would have wanted to introduce would have pretty much been the exact ones you forbade. Restrictions forbidding certain gun types, handguns, autos and such, and tougher laws on who can hold guns as well as where they can be carried and how they must be stored.
Basically high levels of restriction.
Coming from an agricultural country where guns are essential tools for pest control, the idea of outlawing private use entirely is clearly crazy to me, but you don't shoot rabbits and deer with a pistol or an Uzi - so I'm good with banning those.

After thinking about it though, I do have an interesting line I'd test out for CON with this debate set the way it is. I'd want to restructure though. I hate long drawn out debates, and if I'm going to have CX, I prefer it to be short.
Posted 2015-02-18 14:17:12
Well yeah they don't directly force Con to advocate anything, but with those specific counter-plans off the table, it indirectly does so.
Posted 2015-02-18 12:43:07
They sort of do.... if Con wants to win, that is.
Posted 2015-02-18 12:36:43
No they don't. They don't force con to advocate anything.
Posted 2015-02-18 12:03:49
@nzlockie Why would it be tough for Con to win? What the rules basically does is force Con to advocate the current status quo in the US, which is what a lot of gun rights advocates support anyways.

I would be glad to debate you on this ;)
What tweaks do you have in mind?
Posted 2015-02-18 10:54:37
In that case you should edit the resolution and not the rules.
Posted 2015-02-17 22:31:56
OK, reading that last comment, I have a clear understanding of what the rule means now, and I'm glad I did not accept. This will be a tough one for CON to win, but I think I know the approach I'd take. It'll be interesting to see this play out.
In fact, if I could tweak some of the setup options, I'd be pretty keen to take a run at this!
Posted 2015-02-17 21:58:17
How is it stupid? All I'm doing is making sure that you will be advocating a world in which the *majority* of civilians will be allowed to own the *majority* of the types of guns in existence. Is that really that big of a deal? I put it in the rules section simply because putting the word "majority" in the resolution twice would have made it really awkward and unwieldy.
Posted 2015-02-17 16:50:14
Who knows if it is wrong. It is incredibly stupid.
Posted 2015-02-17 13:19:41
@Stag! Doesn't automatically mean it's wrong though.
Posted 2015-02-17 10:25:41
Except barring arguments is rare here
Posted 2015-02-16 22:24:20
"Basically it bars con from running a (specific) counter-model which is perfectly fine"

exactly... I don't see what's wrong with it haha
Posted 2015-02-16 16:18:33
The only thing I disagree with there is the idea of "referencing", but I think pro said "making an issue" - which is fair, because it clarifies that this is not the issue that the resolution intended to be about. It would be equivalent to if the resolution was:

"Irrespective of gun control regulations, on balance, allowing civilians to own guns is detrimental to society"
Posted 2015-02-15 03:19:20
Maybe you did not fully comprehend his final rule. If you argue civilians should own guns and reference proper gun control, you lose. It is not clarifying the intent of the resolution. It is saying you automatically lose by making that argument.

How unbelievably stupid to deny any reasonable argument in a debate. Judges should ignore rules. That space should be for clarifications and setting up the debate format.
Posted 2015-02-15 03:00:45
@Stag! , you can use at-tags in comments. :)

I think the last rule clarifies the intent of the resolution, which is about banning guns as opposed to the benefits of gun control. Basically it bars con from running a (specific) counter-model which is perfectly fine - con does not need to argue any alternative at all. The existence of gun control and possible benefits are, so far as I can tell, pretty much irrelevant to the debate anyway.
Posted 2015-02-14 16:27:21
My point exactly
Posted 2015-02-13 22:42:49
I'm fine with people setting up extra rules for a debate, if I don't like them, I just don't accept the debate.
In this case, I was very interested on taking the con side. Coming from NZ, I'm really struggling to see how outlawing private use of guns can possibly be net beneficial. The reason I didn't accept straight away was because the rules seem to forbid con from arguing the only sensible alternative, making their side a lot harder to win.
Posted 2015-02-13 21:38:31
Admin, how is a rule saying you cannot use a completely legitimate argument "super" normal?
Posted 2015-02-13 20:13:48
I should not be expected to give one side my judgement simply because the other side chose to argue something the instigator didn't like.
In this case, I am allowed to argue civilians owning guns is beneficial to society, but I will lose the debate if I supplement my case with strict regulations.

You can take that crap back to debate.org. All the debates there are full of restrictions on what you are allowed to do. Autoloss if you do this. Lose a conduct point if you do not follow that structure. Concede arguments if you say x.

It annoyed the piss out of me. Which is why I encourage judges too not take these rules seriously.
Posted 2015-02-13 20:12:38
If someone makes a rule (which to be honest, we have no need for additional rules), there should be no obligation to follow it like on DDO. We almost never include additional rules in our debates, so I perceive additional rules, especially on what can be argued, as a bad pariah for debates.

If someone doesn't follow your made up rules, then do not debate that person again, but I personally will not be making up any rules. I thought that slot would be used to define the debate format, provide definitions, and to "request" certain judging formats as well. In fact, that is all that space should be used for.
Posted 2015-02-13 20:05:49
Finally got around to this... interesting challenge :)

I think Romanii's rules are fine. Different debate standards are cool, and these seem super normal, so there's no problem. Judges must judge according to the framework of whatever the rules are, though.
Posted 2015-02-13 17:42:00
haha thanks...

btw, I'm probably gonna take a while to post. I have a busy weekend coming up, and then I have a lot of sources I have to compile to make my case
Posted 2015-02-12 10:07:23
: D
Posted 2015-02-12 05:59:23
I do not mind them. If you do not want it to auto convert just add a space.
; )
Posted 2015-02-12 05:59:04
dammit I hate those auto emoji converters... give me the simple emoticons made of punctuation marks any day >.>
Posted 2015-02-11 17:22:26
I'm always up to do the topic again after I finish this debate ;)
Posted 2015-02-11 17:21:26
Stink, I would have welcomed the chance to do this one. Still, I was just complaining about how busy I am at the moment... I suppose it's for the best.
Posted 2015-02-11 15:58:30
Then let us commence
Posted 2015-02-11 12:33:44
lol sorry... I'm too used to having to deal with DDO's resolution-snipers.
Posted 2015-02-11 11:41:32
Romanii, your rules are already taken into account by the site members. Saying someone forfeits because they argue a certain way isn't necessary, and rules like that will probably just be ignored, especially by me.
Posted 2015-02-11 06:55:49
Uh, rules......... Admin should restrict that space solely for definitions
Posted 2015-02-11 06:54:08
What specifically are those "certain types of firearms" and "certain conditions"?
I'll decide if I would consider those restrictions overly strict before the debate starts and we can go from there, I guess?
When I say "allowing civilians to own guns", I do mean the *majority* of civilians and the *majority* of the types of guns that are out there.
Posted 2015-02-11 01:27:03
If it helps, my con position would be that allowing certain civilians to own certain types of firearms under certain conditions would be beneficial to society.
Or even, to restrict gun ownership to just military and police would be detrimental to society.
Posted 2015-02-10 20:25:45
I'm confused. If I argue con, you're saying I don't have to advocate unrestricted access to guns, but you're saying I'm not allowed to advocate a highly restricted system? One that, by your own admission, would be better than either extreme?

I'd like to argue that civilians being able to own guns can be a net beneficial thing, but I'm afraid that you will tell me off for describing a system of restriction which would work and force me to argue some weak half measure that has no hope.

Maybe for clarity's sake, you should prescribe the acceptable restrictions that con is allowed to use?
Posted 2015-02-10 20:19:40
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  • Time to vote: 2 weeks
  • Time to prepare: None
The resolution presumes a utilitarian framework, essentially stating that a world without civilian gun rights would be better off than a world with them. Burden of proof is on me to affirm this proposition. Aside from that, let’s note that 1) the resolution is *not* US-specific— it refers to society and the world at large, 2) since the resolution explicitly mentions “civilians”, local police forces and the military would still be allowed to utilize firearms, and 3) this should *not* devolve into a gun control vs. gun ban debate. I am well aware that there are some strict gun control policies that could potentially work more effectively than a complete ban on civilian gun ownership, but that is not the point of the debate; I do not expect Con to advocate unrestricted access to guns, but I have made it clear that they may not advocate civilian gun ownership + strict regulations (e.g. required training, gun registration, bans of semi-automatic firearms or handguns, etc.). If Con attempts to make this an issue, they forfeit the debate.