The Instigator
rha819
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
BrownEyedAlto932
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points

Citizens ought to possess handguns.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,575 times Debate No: 297
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (11)

 

rha819

Con

It was difficult to choose a topic for this resolution, but out of the options, politics seemed best suited. Handguns increase risk-taking, thus decreasing safety and increasing the likelihood of someone getting hurt, be it the carrier, target, or anyone who comes across the gun. Despite advances in gun safety, there are still many deaths of innocent people, especially children, from hunting accidents and misfires (most commonly occurring when children discover the gun and play with it). The existence of handguns also introduces a weapon with which an individual can vent frustration in a possibly lethal manner. There are many other points to make, but they are easier to articulate as responses to "in favor" arguments.
BrownEyedAlto932

Pro

First of all, I have a question about the way you worded the resolution. The word "ought" means "to be under a moral obligation to do or be". So what the resolution says is that citizens are morally obligated to possess handguns. Did you mean it to be like "Citizens ought to be able to possess handguns" or was that intended? I was just wondering.
As to the debate itself, you make the assumption that just because someone has a gun, they, or someone close to them, will abuse it. Just because someone owns a gun does not necessarily mean that they will be prompted to take greater risks than they otherwise would. There are regulations that are preventative of the harms that you talk about. People who buy firearms are required to have a clean criminal record, as well as take a course in firearm safety. And if someone is bent upon causing another person harm or death, they do not need a gun to do so. There are other ways of hurting or killing people than with a handgun. If we were to apply your reasoning, owning household items such as electrical cord, cooking knives, and baseball bats are morally repugnant because they could be potential weapons.
Also, many people who own handguns do so only as a measure of self-defense, in case a situation would arise in which they would need to defend themselves or their family from attack. Is denying them that protection just?
Debate Round No. 1
rha819

Con

What one ought to do, in this context, is what would best be protecting that individual without harming society. On to your points: You bring up the preventative measures in place to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those who don't know how to use them. This says nothing of the risk of children coming across parents' guns. The point is that the person buying the gun is not always the exclusive user of it. Further, you contend that, applying my reason, all conceivable weapons are morally repugnant. Not so. If you will return to my original arguments, I qualify them by specifying that a gun is a lethal weapon, INTENDED to kill. And the fact that people own guns for self-defense doesn't at all weaken the argument that a gun is empowering, and statistically shown to raise people's willingness to enter risky situations where gun use would more likely be needed.
BrownEyedAlto932

Pro

Although I will admit that not everything is always used with its original intention, the purpose of citizens owning handguns is to protect them. As to harming society in general: Society is not hurt because individuals own handguns. Society is hurt by individuals. You cannot condemn the hammer because the wielder misuses it: in the same way, you cannot condemn a gun as "bad" because individuals choose to misuse it. You can't justify taking away a citizen's right to their own protection by saying that others will cause them harm with the same thing they use to protect themselves. Even if handguns were to be legalized, there are ways of getting around laws and regulations that people who intend to harm others will be able to access that regular citizens will not. Example: the black market.
Another point: we're arguing handguns specifically. However, there are many other different types of guns. Even if handguns were to become illegal, people who seriously intend to cause damage to others have easy access to OTHER types of guns, such as rifles. All you'd need to do is walk into a hunting/sports store. So arguing that guns are empowering, thus citizens ought not carry HANDGUNS won't benefit society either way: illegalizing handguns for that reason would be pointless.
Taking away a citizen's right to owning a handgun will not decrease the potential for crime - it will decrease the potential for defense against crime. Society will be harmed, not helped.
You argue that children could potentially get into the guns, or even other people. That is a nonunique arguement. That reasoning could be applicable to any dangerous item in a house, and is not proper justification for the illegalization of a handgun. Lighters were originally intended to do just that: to light. However, they were used as a means of torture by gangs, and the potential for danger when using a lighter is high. However, they are sold over-the-counter. Say a child finds a lighter on a table and accidentally severely burns himself. Should lighters then be illegalized?

I think there's another important point to bring up: When a government tells it's citizens that they have no right to carry arms, to protect themselves, and going against its own Constitution in doing so, what message does that send to the citizens? When a government does not adhere to its own laws then its citizens cannot be expected to do the same, which could potentially send us into a state of either anarchy or tyranny. From history we know that anarchy leads to violent revolution, and tyranny leads to death and governmental abuse, and as we're valuing societal welfare in this debate, we cannot take away that right to bear arms because the society will always be harmed.
Debate Round No. 2
rha819

Con

You wouldn't happen to be a (former) high school debater, would you? I recognize much of your rhetoric and language. Anyway, on to your points: FIRST AND FOREMOST, just because making something illegal creates the risk of black market sale of said item, doesn't mean we ought to keep the item legal. Further, just because I argue against the resolution, doesn't mean I argue that we should make handguns illegal. You bring up the hammer argument, but it doesn't address anything I said. I'm talking about whether people should have guns, not whether guns themselves have any inherent impact. I know that whole "guns don't kill people, other people do" thing, and I agree with it. And it doesn't at all weaken my case.
You also mention other types of guns. If guns are to be used as deterrents and/or just for self-defense, what reason is there to conceal them? And then, in response to my concern for child safety, you bring up lighters, saying they were originally intended to light. Guns, as I stated, are originally intended to kill. Not open cans, not power devices, not light a fire. To kill. So no, Ms. or Mr. Sarcasm, lighters should not be "illegalized," because first of all, there's no such word, and second, there's no reason to make them illegal. It is a non-sequitur.
And what has this to do with anarchy or tyranny? The right to bear arms says nothing about concealed firearms, and it was written at a time when firearms were weak, inaccurate, unwieldy, and, in short, good for nothing but hoping to deter an enemy identified from a distance. What kind of enemy can be so identified? A soldier in a bright red uniform. So the next time the United States of America is invaded by brightly dressed soldiers, I will be glad to reconsider my position.
BrownEyedAlto932

Pro

BrownEyedAlto932 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by rha819 9 years ago
rha819
im sorry, i was under the impression that one votes on who won the debate, not who one personally agrees with. my opponent forfeited the last round!
Posted by ceaser 9 years ago
ceaser
ok, heres my views. every law-abiding citizen should be allowed to own a handgun and carry it if its in plain view. if guns become illegal to have, who does that negatively affect, the law-abiding citizen with a clean record and permits for his guns, or the law-breaking "gangster" who bought the gun illegaly and does not have permits for his guns? taking the right to own a gun away affects the law-abiding citizen because the "gangster" will always find a way to get illegal things, just like drugs and other stuff.

you say that having a gun increases the risk of a minor accidentally getting his/her hands on it and hurting themselves. that is why companies make gun safes, and why a conciencious person would not leave in easy access to minors.

you talk about people getting hurt from hunting accidents. well, there are accidents all the time, there are car accidents, boating accidents, fire accidents (house burning), doctors have accidents in the ER, etc. should we make all these illegal and go back to the stone age? there are more vehicle related deaths/injuries per year than that caused by guns.
Posted by jathan 9 years ago
jathan
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
-Thomas Jefferson

I thought that this might help clarify the tyranny argument. The purpose of the second amendment should be clear.
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Vote Placed by kylevd 9 years ago
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