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

Conceal Carry Laws reduce violent crime

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/29/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,469 times Debate No: 23923
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




We all understand what the resolution means, no semantics on the "a law cannot physically do anything". No semantics period, actually. Any semantics with anything results in an auto FF. Asking for what and argument means (if you dont understand it) in the comments is ok.


Conceal carry - The Conceal carry law we will debate in this debate is shall issue or nondiscriminatory laws (same thing). The reason I chose this is because this is the only data I found studies on both sides. A shall issue law is one where if the person meets the well specified criteria (no criminal record, not crazy, 21 years of age etc) they are now eligible for a permit. Now here is where it diverges from "may issue". After you fit these criteria no discretion is involved in handing the permit to you -- it must be issued.

Violent crime - No one cares about auto theft as that is not life threatening, so I narrowed the debate to the violent crime spectrum. Violent crime is composed as: Murder, Rape, Robbery, and assault. [1] We are ignoring negligent manslaughter as I found no data on this from either side. So only those 4 named. I must prove that on balance 3/4 of those things reduce when these laws are passed.

Reduce - Lower the rate, or number of these instances.

Any semantics is an auto FF

1t round acceptance, clarifications, definition, or BOP discussion. (my opponent merely states I accept) If this is not followed its an auto FF. No semantics here either.

The BOP is even, I prove it lowers violent crime, my opponent argues IT RAISES IT.

@people in comments: Yes there are two studies showing the con side, so dont argue its impossible to win as con.

Also, one can have an external source page like this: ( That is not any conduct, source, or any vote violation in this debate.

I also ask my opponent to use good sources, as most (if not all) of my sources will come from refereed academic studies or they will come from books. I want my opponent to know what he/she is talking about, so before accepting I want my opponent to read this article: (study) I want my opponent to read this as it is a study for the con side, this is proof it is not impossible to win this debate btw.

remember, con just writes round one "I accept".


Debate Round No. 1


I hope for an enjoyable and civil debate.

The logic: deterrence

If violent acts occur due to emotional problems (very common), random emotions, this concludes stronger penalties would deter the amount of people who actually commit the act. The questions are: Do criminals respond to disincentives? Do emotions influence crime? The answer is likely yes, to an extent. General deterrence theory, this is more of the evolution of crime (evolution is a solid theory, so is deterrence theory), explains all of this. The theory claims increasing the possible punishment, or apprehension, makes it less likely for people to commit the crimes that have the increased punishment. Gary S. baker in his study shows that the data is on deterrence side, and that criminals often act as we do, and weigh cost and benefits. [1] The point being if we increase the possible problems a criminal will run into, they will likely think twice before committing this crime.

Now an example is Mr. White is assistant manager and his boss, Mr. Smith, was promoted so there was a vacant manager spot. Smith was in control of who took his place. He choose Mr. Otero instead, and left White in his same spot. White was angry, but did not show it. When he got home, in his anger, he kicked his dog across the room and then wept. (yes, I know poor dog.) But if he was angry at Smith, why did he not hit him? Or throw things at Otero for taking his spot. With this we may assume this was just an irrational act. But contrary, he responded to deterrence. If he hit Otero, he would likely not get promoted, and would likely be fired. If he hit Smith, he would get fired as well. He would also likely be arrested for assault, or they would fight back in defense. Point being if he kicked his dog it would be harder for people to have found out and there would be less consequences. As we can see deterrence works.

Now lets change the scenario. White is married, and his wife the head of PETA. His next door neighbor a cop, and his dog a bull Mastiff. If he truly wanted to hit something alive, he would likely find another victim. Even if we take out some of these factors, he would still be less likely to do it as this increases his chance of injury or being caught for animal abuse. Point being, deterrence works. Almost always.

Criminals weigh the pros and the cons. CCW (conceal carry) means they do not know who is armed. The fear of the possible injury to them, and the mystery of not knowing if old granny packs a .45 pistol will likely make him say "hey, that may not be beneficial".

Data: Just the boring data

Here is the debate, as without data mere deterrence theory objections are non conclusive. Now there are many data sets, graphs, and conclusions in the 16 studies that prove my point. I will first point out in Lotts book (first part his 1997-92 data) he finds Violent crime overall drops 4.9%. To break into sub sets:

Murder drops 7.7%
Rape drops 5.3%
Robbery drops 2.2%
Assault drops 7.01% [2]

As we can see, the large drops in crime after the laws (immediate effects lead to a strong correlation). Now one could argue this is just a result of a basic crime cycle, these laws are passed right when crime is barely decreasing from a high point or is still increasing. The average crime trends in the years before these laws where enacted was about minus 0.9% in violent crime. This means the other 4% can be made up of other factors. Using regressions and dummy variables Lott finds that the majority of the drop in crime is indeed linked to CCW laws. [2]

Now when Lott thought other gun policy might be occurring. Other laws may be enacted. After all of these variables where entered, he still got a 4.2% decrease in violent crime due to this CCW law, and the logic was still basic deterrence theory.

Now the last part was overall (rural and city) data. In his 5th chapter, he gives a run down of the data for counties with population of 100,000 or more. In these urban areas, he found even larger results. (with a more crowded area crime is more common, a drop in crime here means deterrence at its finest). He found even larger results here! Murder dropped 9.7%, arrest rates fell, Murders with guns, again murders with guns, dropped 9%, and murders without guns dropped 8.9%. [2]

So in his early data, 1977-1994 we saw huge beneficial results. In his 1977-2000 data he saw even larger decreases, as the trend continued, and he even saw increased issued permits corresponded with lower crime. In other words, more people with permits and guns less crime. With 1,000 more permit holders, there where 0.3 fewer murders, 2.4 fewer rapes, 21 fewer robberies, and 14.1 fewer aggravated assaults. Now, if there is a 1% change in the share of state population with permits violet crime drops 7%. [2] These percentages may seem confusing to less keen readers, so here is the actual amount of average lives saved when a 1% change occurs:

432 less murders
3,862 fewer rapes
35,014 fewer robberies
28,562 fewer assaults
144,227 fewer robberies[2]

Also note 5% of PA's population has a permit, so a CCW law with a 1% change like this is very realistic. And about 2.03% of the US population has these permits.

This indicates more permits (the law leads to more permits, hence this is relevant) less crime.

Now lets look into his 2010 data.

Simple before after averages: - 4.5% in murder, - 5.7% in rape, -1% in robbery, and - 5.9% in Assault.
Annual trend: -1.5% in Murder, - 1.2% in Rape, -0.6% in robbery, -0.7% in Assault [2]

**Note I know a few states may have more, less, or different results, but on average these are the results. My opponent will likely show a few states with small increases, but again this is refutable and does not refute this as it is an average

States that adopted these laws in the 80s saw the largest benefits, the ones in the 90s also had substantial ground, the ones in 2000 and after saw benefits but as the trend is not long enough it is non-conclusive.

---> Other studies?

Readers might ask is Lott the only one that found this hypothesis? Is he a loner and am I cherry picking data? No, I am not. A good/solid science is one that is replicable. 19 studies prove Lott's thesis, and 20 if you count his 2003 book. 11 studies show it has no effect, and 2 studies claim it raises crime (both of with NOT ACADEMICALLY REFEREED). Also note my opponent is arguing it raises crime, so he might have some trouble.

Plassman and Whitley study: "Analyzing county-level data for the entire United States from 1977 to 2000,
we find annual reductions in murder rates between 1.5% and 2.3% for each
additional year that a right-to-carry law is in effect."[3]

And the other I feel like citing (out of my other 18 options):

Moody And Marvel Study: "In Table 2 we list the key research items of the debate. In our judgment, the
weight of evidence—particularly that of peer-review—indicates that shall-issue
laws reduce crime."[4]


Using Lotts data, and proving his accuracy by showing other studies have similar results, I think we can conclude that PRO has proved CCW leads to less violent crime. VOTE PRO




MasturDbtor forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2



Do you masterdebate? LOLOLOL

Vote pro by the way.


Why shouldn't I get to know if someone is carrying?

If someone is acting like a lunatic I might tolerate that behavior if they are unarmed, but if they are armed I want to be able to get away.

Instead of allowing concealed carry, only open carry should be allowed. The individual is more advantaged by open carry than concealed anyways. If you are openly carrying the criminal will know and avoid you. With concealed carry since most citizens aren't carrying criminals are unlikely to suspect that you are carrying. You want to avoid trouble in the first place if you can. That's why open carry makes more sense than concealed carry in deterring crime.

Furthermore there is the risk of accidents and the right for citizens to know you are carrying so they can avoid you to avoid accidents.

Debate Round No. 3


My opponents points are this:

Why can't I know if he carries?
Open carry is better

Note the resolution states violent crime, and only his open carry (deterrence) applies. I will refute them all, though, as these gun myths annoy me.

--> why cant I know?

The question is why should you care, CCW permit holders are law abiding.

--> Open carry

He starts out with I do not want a phsyciatrist with a gun. Well first there are many requirements to obtain a gun. Most of which prevent this. Here they are:

21 years of age
Backround check
Mental check

This lowers the point largely. Meaning it is statistically impossible. Also, note his argumentation here is an appeal to probability fallacy. He takes a probability (which is very low, and of the millions of permit holders not one has done anything) he assumes it to be absolute. Therefore his argunment is null and void.

Now open carry would not deter. At all. They know whose armed and who to avoid. They will see the gun and waltz away. Now with concealed carry they don't know whose armed. In open carry the risk is seen and avoided, no risk. With concealed they can't avoid it. They can't say "look she's armed" and leave without a scratch. I'm conceal carry they have to guess. Guess where they are. If they mess up they get shot.
The logic is clear?

"The case for concealed handgun use is similar. The use of concealed handguns by some law-abiding citizens may create a positive externality for others. By the very nature of these guns being concealed, criminals are un- able to tell whether the victim is armed before they strike, thus raising crim- inals' expected costs for committing many types of crimes"(1)

Even if it deter it is a red herring as it does not prove CCW is bad.

--> Accidents

1. Irrelevant, this has nothing to do with violent crime.
2. Never has happened, I am not denying it won't happen, but it has never happened
3. Does not hurt anyone. Watch:

0 CCW accidents have occurred (that involve death). Pretend 100 have happened, 10 in death.

10 dead because of the law.

**also note (FYI) police accidentally kill 350 ppl every year. Wanna ban police?

The reduction in murders with CCW was 8 times higher then the accidental death rate. (1)

Let's make it into numbers you can understand.

Small city of 1000 people.
10 deaths via accident
80 lives saved (minus 10)
70 lives saved

7% decrease in murder with these fake numbers based on real ones.(1)

Meaning lives are saved.


1 First con arg irrelevant
2 fallictic and refuted
3 irrelevant and refuted

-my opponent dropped my argunments-


-> aka he dropped all of it

Args - pro his case is irrelevant and was refuted. He dropped all of my argunments too.
Sources - he had none, me. And all of mine where from academic journals.
Conduct - me for his FF
Spelling - tied


Kinda simple vote, pro.

(1) Lott, John R. Mustard, David B. "CRIME, DETERRENCE, AND RIGHT-TO-CARRY CONCEALED HANDGUNS" Journal of legal studies, 1997


You claim there have been zero accidents?

There were 6 confirmed mass shootings in 2009 by concealed carry permit holders.

Nice try.

Requiring people to openly carry for all we know may have saved those people's lives. They may not have associated with those people if they knew they had guns on them.

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Oh that last mass shooting was a cheap shot, CCW saves 1000s of lives that took away maybe 50 lost there.

--> net gain
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Posted by socialpinko 6 years ago
OMG! 16k is arguing that gun ownership reduces crime? How surprising!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 6 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were very very poor. Conduct for the forfeit.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 6 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro for Con's Round 2 forfeit. Pro also gets convincing arguments because of his in-depth argument, whereas Con basically dropped all of his arguments and gave inadequate refutation.