The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

A gun ban should be instituted in American law.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 674 times Debate No: 32125
Debate Rounds (3)
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I believe that a gun ban in the U.S.A. Is completely ridiculous.


To begin with, I would like to begin by defining the key terms present in Con's proposition.

Should - used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency.

Ban - to prohibit especially by legal means.

Institute - to establish in a position or office.

Firstly, Con has explicitly failed to state why he believes a gun ban in the U.S is ridiculous or provided any evidence as to why such a proposition is 'ridiculous'. Con has used low modality in his opening argument by stating he 'believes' a gun ban in the U.S.A is completely ridiculous. What Con does or does not believe is not topical and therefore irrelevant.

Today, I will be arguing that a gun ban should be instituted in the U.S.A. My first reason for this is that banning guns would significantly reduce the rate of murders in the country. Take for example, the UK, which has approx. 6.2 guns per 100 people, and the low firearm homicide rate of 0.07 murders per 100'000 people. In contrast, the US, with 88 guns per 100 people and the higher firearm homicide rate of 2.97 murders per 100'000 people. Here, it would appear that the relationship is simple; decrease the number of firearms, drastically decrease the number of firearm-related murders.
This trend continues in the corresponding total murder rates for the two countries: with the US having a murder rate of 4.8 per 100'000 people and the UK having a murder rate of 1.2 per 100'000 people.

Of course, many anti-firearm control lobbyists would repeat the tired cliche that; 'guns don't kill people, people kill people' - when in fact this is only partly true. The truth is that the guns themselves do not kill people, but rather make it much easier to kill people. Guns essentially make killing more accessible, lethal and potentially dangerous. The undeniable fact present in this argument is that guns are killing machines and the US government's failure to regulate firearms for so long has led to them being ingrained in US society. This 'gun culture' has brought about such tragedies as the Sandy Hook massacre, and it is only the NRA(National Rifle Association) and friends' defense of the Second Amendment that maintains firearm prevalence in the US. The principal defense of guns is constitutional. The Second Amendment ensures that "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." It's used as the final authority, to be deferred to even if not agreed with or understood. But the Constitution isn't the Bible. (The Second Amendment, being an amendment, is a testament to the Constitution's ability to correct itself.) The Founding Fathers were neither infallible nor divine. And times change.

And so I ask you, what is it about guns that you believe in? Do you believe in the Constitution itself, and the right to a free and well-regulated militia? Or is the guns themselves you believe in? Your, 'right to shoot bullets' per se. But on the subject of the Constitution, surely you would have supported amending the Constitution to abolish slavery, give women the vote, end Prohibition, etc?

The burden of proof lies with Con to determine why a gun ban should NOT be instituted in the U.S and in doing so, must explicitly state what is it that makes guns so constitutional? What makes guns necessary?

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 1


Pro, you have brought up good points. I wish to keep my argument short. The founding fathers were very smart men that lived through the tyranny of Great Britain. The right to bear arms was added into the constitution not only for self defense or for hunting, but was to ensure that if the government ever became to tyrannical then the citizens could overthrow the corrupted government. If you disarm citizens then the citizens have no defense from a corrupted government. And in the case of murders, if you ban guns the murderers can still obtain guns from the black market.


Thanks to Con for an interesting debate.

Now, as I have previously stated, the burden of proof to a large extent lies with Con to irrefutably prove that a gun ban should not be instituted in the United States. So far, Con has merely postulated on a case of would-be scenarios that are commonly cited by firearm enthusiasts if the government banned guns. Yet such hypothetical justification seems irrelevant in the face of the US' continued string of firearm-related murders and massacres. The founding fathers were all very intelligent men, certainly, but to assume that they had the precognition to determine gun rights and control for the better part of 250 years? Absurd.

The second amendment supposedly justifies your insurrectionist interpretation of the constitution. Disarming the citizens in other democratic countries such as Australia and the UK has not caused any tyrannical or totalitarian regimes, so why should we fear such an outcome here in the US? In the Land of the Free? Of course, you could mention Hitler's Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia, yet taking away the guns was not the first step they made. Rather, it came as a result of years of dictatorial leadership that was begun with democratic voting. Unless Obama declares himself to be Supreme Ruler of the United States and we democratically elect him as such, the chances of the US developing into a tyrannical regime are negligible.

Only madmen, one would think, can suppose that militias have a constitutional right to levy war against the United States, which, somewhat ironically, is treason by constitutional definition [1]. Yet now you interpret the Second Amendment as a well-regulated militia that is intended for action against the government. And how exactly, does this include an individual's right to bear arms? An amicus curiae submitted to the US Supreme Court in the case of District of Columbia vs. Heller, signed by fifteen eminent university professors of early American history, including Pauline Maier, Fred Anderson, and Pulitzer Prizes winners Jack Rakove and Alan Taylor concluded that:

Historians are often asked what the Founders would think about various aspects of contemporary life. Such questions can be tricky to answer. But as historians of the Revolutionary era we are confident at least of this: that the authors of the Second Amendment would be flabbergasted to learn that in endorsing the republican principle of a well-regulated militia, they were also precluding restrictions on such potentially dangerous property as firearms, which governments had always regulated when there was "real danger of public injury from individuals." [2]

Further expansion upon the Second Amendments legitimacy regarding individual right to bear arms is found in Justice John Paul Stevens dissenting opinion in the same case. Justice Stevens stated that "The Founders would have made the individual right aspect of the Second Amendment express if that was what was intended; that the "militia" preamble and exact phrase "to keep and bear arms" demands the conclusion that the Second Amendment touches on state militia service only. The dissent concludes, "The Court would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons.... I could not possibly conclude that the Framers made such a choice." [3]

From these statements we can conclude that the Second Amendment does not constitutionally protect the individual right to bear arms nor does it limit the ability of the government to regulate firearms. Hiding behind the Founding Fathers does not provide a rock-solid explanation of why a gun should not be instituted in the US.

My opponent makes reference to the black market, and the ease with which criminals would be able to obtain weapons to the detriment of a now unarmed society. Currently, it is much easier for a prospective criminal to obtain their weapons illegally and then use them for crime. However, if we were to ban guns outright, the criminal would be forced to 'chase' their guns on the black market and it would certainly much easier for a governing body to regulate and act against this illegal purchase of guns. Today, almost anyone can obtain a gun easily, primarily because guns are not only legal in the US, but commonplace. By instituting a federal, nation-wide ban on guns in the United States, we would greatly reduce the number of guns in the country, bring the ownership of guns down to a minimal rate, limit the ease with which criminals can obtain guns and crucially, lower overall gun crime. The very fact that a gun is illegal would deter many potential crooks from buying one in the first place. The fear that by taking away civilian use of guns we would be at the mercy of criminals is an irrational one, with no evidence being given by Con to support such a claim. So once again, I ask Con, why do we have guns? Because they're the ultimate self defense? While I'm sure some people believe that having a gun at their bedside will make them safer, they are wrong. This is not my opinion, and it's not a political or controversial statement. It is a fact. Guns kept in the home for self-protection are 43 times more likely to kill a family member, friend or acquaintance than to kill an intruder, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine [4]. Guns on the street make us less safe. For every justifiable handgun homicide, there are more than 50 handgun murders, according to the FBI [5]. The expanding right to carry concealed guns make us even less safe. So what right is being protected if it is not the right to be safe? The right to feel safe, at the expense of actual safety?


[1] -

[2] -

[3] -;

[4] - Arthur Kellermann et. al., "Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home," The New England Journal of Medicine, October 7, 1993, pp. 1084-1091.

[5] -

This last source was used in my previous argument, but I forgot to reference it. Sorry about that.
[6] -
Debate Round No. 2


Militaryharry forfeited this round.


Con has failed to refute any of my arguments presented in the previous rounds while also neglecting to defend his own position. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
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