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

Citizens should be allowed to purchase and own firearms

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/25/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,445 times Debate No: 24447
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




My first gun rights debate, lets see how it goes.

A firearm is defined as: a weapon that launches one or more projectile(s) at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant.[1]

The resolution applies generally across all human societies, not US specific, however since most raw data available is from the United States it's likely that the debate will center mostly around this country.

The first round is for acceptance and clarification of terms only.

Advocating silly or semantic arguments like "there is no good way to measure "should"" or "the resolution means only citizens can own guns not the military..", makes you lose all 7 points automatically.



I accept the terms and present a definition for the word should.

should - indicating a desirable or expected state

Looking forward to a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Observe first:

1. The failed prohibition of drugs and alcohol tells us that when there is a demand for something that can easily be manufactured/grown, governments fail to keep those objects outside of their nations borders. From this it follows that since their is a vast demand for firearms, then gun control will generally fail.

2. Governments exist to protect rights. It's only a discussion of which rights exist and therefore need to be valued; in my case I will explain how the ownership of firearms is a right.



The non aggression principle (NAP) posits that aggression is inherently immoral. Aggression can be defined as the initiaion of coercion with force, threats, or lies. Essentially you have the right to do any action you wish that does not harm others. The NAP is self affirming because to attempt to logically disprove it uses it. That is, if my opponent comes to my house and shoots me, he hasn't rationally defeated my argument, he's just committed aggression. To rationally disprove anything requires the use of the non-aggression principle, so it is irrational to deny it.

The ownership of firearms is not inherently aggressive and is therefore morally justifiable under the NAP.

In fact, the FBI reports[1] that from 2005-2009, there were 72,828 murders using firearms, and during the same period there were 56,910,060 background checks for firearms purchased[2]. This means that EVEN IF we assumed that these were the only firearms in the United States during this time period (not at all) barely one in one thousand (.0013%) of firearms were used in homicides. Taking into account the greater number of firearms and the greater number of aggressive crimes unnaccounted for, we can assume that the percentage of weapons used for aggression is roughly the same if not lower. One in a thousand is not inherent aggression, it's an exception to a rule. Since firearm ownership is not an act of aggression, then ownership of them is justifiable and the resolution is affirmed.

II. Tyranny

An armed population has the ability to overwhelm their government with sheer numbers, and overthrow a tyrannical state. The threat of spilled blood is often enough to keep a leader in line--if they mistreat their people they will be over thrown and shot. For this reason, widespread gun ownership is the best way to ensure a peaceful and just regime.

The historical truth of this is widely observed, as virtually all major genocides had a restriction of weapon ownership preceding them. Zelman and Stevens, in their book "Death by "Gun Control"" report that in the 20th century, 89.8 MILLION individuals were murdered by their governments after being forced to disarm[3]. They explain the significance of this to the gun control debate:

"When the gun prohibitionists quote a statistic about how many people are killed by firearms misuse, the discussion sometimes bogs down into whose crime stats to believe and how to count crimes vs. the defensive firearm uses. Death by Gun Control works on a level that nobody can dispute: documented world history."

Disarming the population to be exterminated allows for governments to take them to their deaths with less resistance, which not only keeps the government from losing more soldiers and resources fighting them, but also allows for them to conduct their genocide in secret to the international community. While an essential civil war and uprising of a major minority population is a relatively easy thing for other countries to spot, secretly impounding defensless people who go quietly is not. So a decrease in gun ownership not only increases the probabality of a genocide, but it makes the genocide easier to carry out as well. Further, a governments legitimacy in the eyes of it's people is lowered if it's engaging in warfare with a segment of the population, even if that segment is considered to be subhuman.

III. Foreign invasion

There is a famous proverb/quote often attributed to Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of Japan, which is "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass."[4]. An armed occupied population can make serious havoc for an invader, even without an organized military. The U.S. failure to conquer Vietnam, and the failure of the British to hold their colonies during the revolutionary war are many of the historical examples of what happens when an armed population faces down a hostile occupying power. It may be objected that ordinary citizens with their weapons could not hope to over come a modern war machine with Tanks, Planes, ect. but the point is that the population does not need to win a conventional war, just make the occupation so bloody and expensive that it's not worth it. In WWII, the Germans lost a significant portion of their power to the actions of partisans in the occupied countries; historically and logically an armed population helps to deter invasion.

IV. Self defense and crime

Criminals by definition do not follow laws. This means that criminals will commit aggression against law abiding citizens, even if all firearms were eradicated (observation one disproves this anyway), as the old adage goes: "outlaw guns, and only outlaws will have them". The negative correlation between Gun ownership and crime is pretty firmly established, so much so that John Lott was able to write a 236 page book on the matter.

To give a few examples of firearms and their effect on crime, John Stossel writes[5]:

"... the United Kingdom passed one of the strictest gun-control laws in the world, banning its citizens from owning almost all types of handguns. Britain seemed to get safer by the minute, as 162,000 newly-illegal firearms were forked over to British officials by law-abiding citizens.

But this didn't decrease the amount of gun-related crime in the U.K. In fact, gun-related crime has nearly doubled in the U.K. since the ban was enacted."

Further, a survey indicated[6] that an incredible 95% of buglars would not break and enter a house if there was a chance the owner had a firearm.

Statistics are not even needed since common sense and logic overwhelmingly indicate that guns (and death) are a deterrent to crime. The arguments can thus be summed up in syllogistic form as follows:

1. Criminals do not follow laws
2. Gun bans are laws
3. Therefore, criminals will still obtain guns


1. Most criminals fear death
2. Firearms can cause death
3. Therefore, the possession of firearms will deter criminals.

The widespread use of fire arms in self defense led to Dr. Gary Kleck estimating that firearms, or the threaat of firearms, are used by law abiding citizens in the United States every 13 seconds[7]. He sums up the self defense argument nicely:

"If gun possession among prospective victims tends to reduce violence, then reducing such gun possession is not, in and of itself, a social good. To disarm noncriminals in the hope that this might indirectly help reduce access to guns among criminals is a very high-stakes gamble, and the risks will not be reduced by pretending that crime victims rarely use guns for self-defense."

When seconds count, the police are minutes away. Citizens need to be able to defend themselves from injustice and evil, or else they will perish.

It is for these reasons that you must affirm.





To clarify the context of my arguments, look to my opponents framework.

"The resolution applies generally across all human societies, not US specific, however since most raw data available is from the United States it's likely that the debate will center mostly around this country."

I take the position that the lack of specificity means that the debate doesn't take place in the status quo, rather, it uses "should" which would imply that there is a universal standard for human society to meet. This universal standard, which I shall clarify, is inherently exclusive towards guns and thus, citizens should not be allowed to purchase and own firearms.

Let's start with the neg case with only 1 Contention (it's short, I'mma go for a refutation of the pro)

Contention 1: Idealism

No ideal society would have or need firearms. The presence of a firearm is inherently dangerous. Children and teenagers who get a hold of their parents weapons can accidentally harm themselves and others sometimes ending in death. No ideal society can advocate for unsafe possessions such as guns.

Move to Pro Case

1. Non-Aggression Principle

"The ownership of firearms is not inherently aggressive and is therefore morally justifiable under the NAP."

A gun is aggressive because its only purpose is to be aggressive. A gun isn't like other tools/weapons, it's not a kitchen knife that you use for your steaks, it's a weapon designed to serve one purpose, to kill. Citizens may not use their guns to be aggressive, but the reason for owning a gun is to be able to become an aggressor. The same is true for possession of things such as bombs. There is no other use for it than to destroy something or someone and is therefore a tool of destruction.

2. Tyranny

Speaking of what should be in this debate brings me back to my 1 contention. My opponent applies the debate to all of human society and speaks of militant governments. Governments should not be militant, as is evident from my opponent's own argument. As his evidence states, "Disarming the population to be exterminated allows for governments to take them to their deaths with less resistance, which not only keeps the government from losing more soldiers and resources fighting them, but also allows for them to conduct their genocide in secret to the international community." Widespread gun ownership isn't a should because something else is wrong before firearm ownership is proposed as a solution, the people are being tyrannized.

3. Foreign invasion

My opponent would wish that the citizens of a country actually become combatants. An ideal society doesn't get into war. An ideal society is pacifistic and non-aggressive. A citizen should not own firearms because there should be no need for them. Any society that should be is a society that doesn't engage in harmful international diplomacy that could cause another society to attack and invade them.

4. Self Defense and Crime

My opponent uses a false syllogism here to justify the possession of firearms in the event that a criminal appears.

1. Most criminals fear death. (okay)
2. Firearms can cause death (sure thing)
3. Therefore, the possession of firearms will deter criminals (you've opened up a broad syllogism with this one)

Stairs can cause deaths, but that doesn't mean they deter crime.

Further, my opponent gives the example of burglars that would refuse to enter a house with a firearm. This brings into question the validity of make-my-day and stand-your-ground laws. Burglars, in this example, haven't committed an offense worthy of the death penalty, yet my opponent would have them killed for home invasion. Because it's not safe to assume that citizens using guns to deter crime are morally justified, it's not safe to affirm that citizens should own guns.
Debate Round No. 2


Thanks Con.


Cons position is invalid because he hasn't defended any theoretical ideal. There are literally dozens of political ideologies conservatives, liberals, communists, socialists, anarchists, objectivists, libertarians, anarchists, ect. that all have a competing vision of what an "ideal society" is. Apparently my opponent thinks that we can just accept his incredibly vague assertions about an ideal society at face value, as if enitre ideologies can be rejected as simply as that. His argument is abusive anyway, we can only talk about ideals compatible with human nature and society, an analysis lacking in his argument. You can compare his case to arguing against the death penalty by saying "well in an ideal world we would have no crime and therefore no penalties." We have to look to the status quo and recorded history to judge the merits of policy, since no future can be properly forseen.

Compare this position to the one outlined in my case, where gun ownership is a natural right as well as an intrisnic good.

Strangely, my opponent argues that "The presence of a firearm is inherently dangerous.", while dropping direct evidence that I gave to the contrary not only does his failure to dispute my conclusion affirm my case, but it also circumvents any negative ground he managed to outline. He ignorantly posits that the only reason to own a firearm is to be aggressive, and yet there are a comparative handful of aggressive firearm cases, and over 21.8 million hunters over the past five years[1]. The incidence of murder with a firearm compared with a firearm used for hunting (assuming that each hunter uses only one firearm...which is innacurate) is .0034%. So for every thousand incidences of hunting, there are less than four human slayings...and yet my opponent still wants you to believe that firearms are inherently aggressive. Don't buy this without serious justification that he hasn't offered.

Oddly, my opponent argues against my syllogism that "Stairs can cause deaths.." and yet his advocacy does not expand to ban stairs since in his world anything that can cause death is an inherently aggressive item.

==My Case==


My opponent drops all of my stats and analysis, extend them all.

He argues that a firearm is a tool used only for destruction. To reveal the weaknesses of his position, I'll accept this for a moment. What he is forgetting is that even if a firearm is a tool to destroy, it's quite likely that firearms often destroy those who deserve to be destroyed, such as criminals or unjust governments, both of whom will have numerous weapons to destroy the innocent.

Of course, he's dropped my entire argument anyway so firearms are not inherently aggressive tools. I already win the debat since firearm ownership counts as a right under a self affirming moral principle (which he did not dispute).

II. Tyranny

He drops this entire argument, invoking his mythological "ideal society" as having no governments that are militant. Unfortunately for my opponent, mankind does not, and likely never will live in a society that is his ideal. Instead we live in a world in which firearms are needed for defense. I guess he concedes that lack of gun ownership caused 89.9 million deaths, and that an armed population can overwhelm an unjust government. Vote neg for tryanny and genocide.

TURN: My opponent argues: "An ideal society is pacifistic and non-aggressive." this means that citizens HAVE TO own firearms to defend against criminals, who will always exist since the government is pacifistic and will not fight to defend its citizens.

His only argument is essentially a drop, because he misunderstands the point. He argues that in order for citizens to justifiably have firearms, tyranny needs to occur. No....the firearms are a defense AGAINST tyranny.

III. Foreign invasion

He again drops all evidence and analysis. He argues that a good society: " doesn't engage in harmful international diplomacy that could cause another society to attack and invade them." First, not all wars are provoked. Sometimes (especially against a "pacifistic and non-aggressive" society) a stronger society sees an easy overrun and a large pay off in resources and so attacks. Secondly, the lack of engagement in international diplomacy could still cause a nation to be aggressive towards it. For example, let's assume in a hypothetical world that the US is ideal society. Since the US is pacifistic and doesnt defend itself, other nations use its fishing grounds because they can. One day, Germany and France get in a war, so a French warship comes along and starts destroying German fishingboats, which is obviously against the rules of war since it's the intentional slaughter of innocent civilians. Germany asks the US government to take a position on the massacre, but since they are pscifistic and want to avoid anything to do with the war entirely, they remain silent. Germany is now mad at the US, continue ad infinitum. As long as there remain non "ideal" states, my opponents argument fails.

Recall also that his analysis doesn't apply in the status quo or recorded history...which is what we have to look to.

IV. Self defense

He drops everything except one syllogism. So you can extend the statistic showing that crime increased in Great Britian after a gun ban, the survey saying that robbers are less likely to invade a home with firearms, the stat that firearms are used in self defense every 13 seconds, and the syllogism showing why gun control wouldn't work.

His response to the crime deterence syllogism isn't very accurate. He tries to argue that stairs also cause death but don't deter criminals. The reason is that stairs can only be used as a weapon if you push someone down them, which the criminals would likely notice before it was attempted (and if someone had a reputation for popping out of nowhere and pushing robbers down stairs its unlikely that criminals would invade that persons home). Firearms conversly can be pointed and aimed everywhere, quickly, and without the criminals knowledge. So it's really a non sequitur to compare stairs to firearms.

Further note that he didnt invoke his "ideal society" on this one. Even if you buy his ridiculous argument, you still affirm because he concedes that criminals will still exist and guns deter crime.

Legitimacy of self defense

First, the VAST majority of cases where firearms are used DO NOT involve death or even injury, refer to the Kleck card that he conceded to.

My opponent tries to argue that a citizen shooting a robber in his own home may not be justified. The fact of the matter is that citizens dont know what a criminal wants when they break into their home. It is an act of proprtional self defense because when someone breaks their door down at 4 AM wearing a black mask, there's really no way to tell if they're robbing you, or there to kill and/or rape you. They are a threat to be neutralized.

The citizen has every right to kill or maim an aggressor who, if left alone, will steal their property. Individuals who feel entitled to take by force what other people have earned should be shot when they invade the property. If they dont like that, they shouldn't rob a house.

Resolution affirmed.




LaVeyan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down!


LaVeyan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by LaVeyan 5 years ago
I realize now how much I really don't like arguing this side of a gun control debate at 2 A.M. when the arguments I was thinking of the other day have slipped my mind and I realized that I'm pro guns anyway.
Posted by royalpaladin 5 years ago
REALLY good case :)
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago

And there is my opinion :)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by royalpaladin 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Kitty! :)
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FFs.