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

Gun Control: Should we do it?

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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: 5/6/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,549 times Debate No: 33351
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)




Should the US adopt better gun control and limit the expression of the right to bear arms?

I am on the side of yes! Gun control does in fact work and it only makes sense that we limit the use of them the same way we limit freedom of speech.

1. Acceptace and base argument
2. opening arguments
3. Rebuttals
4. Closing statements and final rebuttals.


Gun control should not be enacted because guns do not kill people, people kill people. We should not take away the right of a person to a weapon to protect themselves from a variety of threats.

So to answer the question: "Should the US adopt better gun control and limit the expression of the right to bear arms?", I say no.

I will make this question into a resolution in order to clarify the debate. You'll take pro and I'll take con, obviously.

Resolved: The US should adopt better gun control and limit the expression of the right to bear arms.

In order to win the debate: Pro must prove that current gun law is ineffective and the right to bear arms must be curbed. Con must prove that the benefits outweigh the harms.

I think this is a fair framework and a fair resolution to answer the question. I look forward to hearing your first argument.
Debate Round No. 1


I disagree regarding the burden of proof.

Pro must show how more innocent lives would be saved with stricter federal gun control laws thus placing more limitations on the expression of the 2nd amendment.

Con must show how the current federal gun control laws, already existing limitations on the expression of the 2nd amendment, are sufficient for saving innocent lives.

Gun control works:

To support my burden of proof I would like to take an example that exists today. Australia.

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard stood up for the safety of his citizens in 1996 when he proposed the ban on Automatic and Semi-automatic weapons. This speech was not long after one of the most devastating massacres in the history of the country where 35 people were shot dead. The laws put in place have significantly made the Australian society better going from 13 gun massacres in the 18 years before the 1996 gun reforms, but 0 since. That is, not a single mass shooting has happened in 17 years! Not to mention, in the last 10 years gun-related homicides have went down almost 60%. To sum up 0 mass shootings, ~60% drops in all gun-related deaths, 6 out of ten people that would have been killed by a gun are now alive thanks to these bans, at least 200 less coffins a year on a conservative estimate, that is gun control working plain and simple.

I am not proposing here that gun control laws alone will reduce crime in general, that is a debate for another time (and requires different laws and penalties), and this is a debate showing that country wide (federal) gun control reduces the amount of gun-related violence, thus saving more innocent lives.

What America must do: Make it illegal nationally to produce/ sell automatic and semi automatic weapons. Create a national Volunteer buyback program and the guns collected be destroyed and the materials sold to industrial manufacturers to help recoup some of the expended money.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

I agree with that statement entirely. It is only the laws of physics, a body at rest remains at rest. So why not keep the guns out of the hands of questionable people? The Brady Bill was a good attempt, and effectively gave a list of prohibited people from owning weapons. The only real problem with this law, as of right now, it is nearly un-enforceable. We have no way of really knowing, before the sale of the gun, if someone is a fugitive, a convict, uses narcotics, mentally ill or even if they are over 18/ 21(for hand guns). We do not even have a registry of who owns a gun. Yet we know who owns a car so if one is used in the committing of a crime we can find out who owns that car, a piece of property so if that house is a drug house we can hold the owner accountable, but with guns no one knows who has what.

What America must do: To know if someone is not legally permitted to own a weapon, we must at the very least have universal background checks on all gun sales with no loopholes. Next, if you buy a gun, and pass the background check, at that time simply have a name, date and contact info entered into a federal database.

The argument that this would cost too much money is absurd; we already have half the system built with Social security, property records, public record etc, we are simply adding to that collecting all of that into a single gun registry database.

The only argument I can foresee against a registry would be that it is infringing on someone’s privacy, but most of the information need is collected somewhere anyways, we need your name and SS# for the background checks, we already have the address for you in public record and even the purchase from say a gun show shows up on your credit card receipt. Or course you could pay cash for the gun, but the other info is still already collected.

Why would these measures make things safer? A background check would validate that you can legally own a gun, nipping an accidental illegal sale less likely. A gun registry, if a gun is used in a crime, like a car we can look towards the original owner. Or course the gun might have been stolen, which would prompt another investigation into that crime and may lead to the actual perpetrator, thus bringing them to justice.

Also, the argument that because gun ownership is a right, registration in infringing too far on that right. Voting is a right and so is protesting, a right under the 1st amendment, and both need registration. Registration for a right is not infringement.

What about the states’ rights?

We need a federal set of laws because with a state with relaxed gun laws bordering a tight gun law state, criminals can simply cross the border and get a gun easier than in their own state, this is what is wrong with current method of gun control, its mostly on a state level. We cannot use statistics from a tight on guns state, it its next to three other states that lets nearly anyone get a gun, and those stats would be inherently corrupted. Make a federal law, and have states build from there like every other federal law.

Criminals do not follow laws anyways, so gun laws won’t work.

This argument makes no sense. Why have any laws if criminals are just going to break them? Are people suggesting anarchy by saying this? You are right criminals do not follow laws, they rob, steal, murder etc… the purpose of a law is not to stop people, although it’s a decent deterrent in most cases, but it’s to allow for the judicial branch to put someone on trial for breaking a law. If there is no law against an automatic weapon, then we cannot try someone for possessing one. Just like if there is no law against murder, we cannot inflict justice. Gun laws are needed to have something to reference when we as a society claim a wrong has been committed we must bring the culprit to trial.

What America must do: We must pass laws that we can use to hold the law breaks accountable to. With these federal laws, have federal mandatory minimums placed on a convict to keep the perpetrators from going to back in society before justice is served. What could be wrong with reasonable restrictions on the expression of our rights, if those reasonable restrictions can in any way make it harder for bad buys to get their hands on guns?

I look forward to my opponents arguments.




I agree with the burden of proof:

"Pro must show how more innocent lives would be saved with stricter federal gun control laws thus placing more limitations on the expression of the 2nd amendment.

Con must show how the current federal gun control laws, already existing limitations on the expression of the 2nd amendment, are sufficient for saving innocent lives."

Basically, I need to show that the number of innocent lives saved under current gun control law is greater than those killed because of current gun control law.

Although my opponent gave you a long-winded argument, they didn't say how it would save a larger number of lives than the number of lives saved today. They presented the example of Australia, but they didn't show how this method would work in America. There is no correlation between gun control and homicide (or any gun related crime in general).

This quotation from the cato institute expands:

"In Israel and Switzerland, for example, a license to possess guns is available on demand to every law-abiding adult, and guns are easily obtainable in both nations. Both countries also allow widespread carrying of concealed firearms, and yet, admits Dr. Arthur Kellerman, one of the foremost medical advocates of gun control, Switzerland and Israel "have rates of homicide that are low despite rates of home firearm ownership that are at least as high as those in the United States." A comparison of crime rates within Europe reveals no correlation between access to guns and crimes"

Because their contention did not show how it would decrease crime in the United States, and rather just had anecdotal evidence from Australia, their point is moot. I, too, watch The Daily Show, and though it was entertaining to see an anti-gun control advocate get wrecked by John Oliver, there is no correlation between gun control and crime. There are so many countries where it is not the case, so I need some true argument that it would reduce crime in the United States.

That was literally their only point. So I will move to my argument.

I really only need one argument to fulfill my burden of proof, and that's that there are more people saved from guns than killed.

"The 31 states that have "shall issue" laws allowing private citizens to carry concealed weapons have, on average, a 24 percent lower violent crime rate, a 19 percent lower murder rate and a 39 percent lower robbery rate than states that forbid concealed weapons. In fact, the nine states with the lowest violent crime rates are all right-to-carry states. Remarkably, guns are used for self-defense more than 2 million times a year, three to five times the estimated number of violent crimes committed with guns." (

This fact is really all I need to win the debate. 3 to 5 times the amount of innocent lives are saved (maybe some lives are saved more than once) than violent crimes committed; therefore, gun control under the status quo is effective enough to saved innocent lives and does not need to be curbed.
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to thank my opponent for his argument. I have to show how the regulation would save more lives. You must show how the current gun control laws are sufficient for saving lives.

What does sufficient mean? Simply put, it means adequate, or enough. So you must show how the current gun control laws save enough innocent lives. In essence the main contention between us would be that I am saying not enough lives are being saved and more regulation would help save more, and you are saying that we are saving enough lives as it is.


The first major point against me was I “didn't say how it would save a larger number of lives than the number of lives saved today.” However, I gave an entire country of evidence, literally! More lives are in fact, by the numbers, being saved because of the gun laws passed in Australia. My opponent goes on to say this country of evidence is anecdotal, meaning that the Australian example is not necessarily true or reliable, because based its based on personal accounts rather than facts or research, the meaning of anecdotal. I ask you how an entire country, millions of people across an entire continent, is anecdotal.

The go on to say I “but they didn't show how this method would work in America.” I clearly labeled “What America must do:” and gave the measures America should take to accomplish similar results in Australia. What didn’t I do to tell you how to mimic the success in Australia?

“There is no correlation between gun control and homicide (or any gun related crime in general).” This is incorrect; I have not seen a study that says this is true. I have seen as gun ownership increases, murder and suicide decreases [5]. That says nothing about regulation; you can still have guns even with gun control measures. Legislation cannot prevent you from owning a gun, you have a right to own a gun and I am sure that makes people safer in a lot of ways, as a deterrent and as a practical method of self defense. The argument here is not “do guns make things safer” it’s “does gun control make things safer.” Australia clearly shows that things are safer with gun regulation; everyone can still have a gun, and most do! I 100% agree with the studies that guns do make people safer.

The only thing stopping a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun:

Next my opponent must have completely stopped reading at that point because they claim “That was literally their only point.” I would like to kindly correct you.

I mentioned:

  • Universal background checks to give the Brady law a chance to work and keep guns out of those who legally cannot have one. i.e not criminals, mentally ill, narcotic addicts, or even of age. Right now we don’t know for sure, or even reasonably sure, that the people buying a gun fit the already legal criteria.

  • A gun registry similar to what we have for SS, vehicles, property etc… this would help track the misuse of the gun in the event of a crime. This would help by bringing criminals to justice with federal mandatory minimums placed, making everyone safer.

  • I mentioned why we need a federal law rather than just individual states enforcing gun control alone. Crossing a border is too easy.

  • I gave reason for why we need the laws in the first place. So that we can actually put to trial people who break the laws and sells to someone who is not legal to have a gun, the person who illegally bought it or stole it 9a registry would help here).

Those points went completely uncontested. These measures would help keep the guns in the hands of the good people and out of the hands of the bad people. While I do not think that it’s the only way, but a good guy with a gun is better than a bad guy with a gun.

A great idea!

Regarding Dr. Arthur Kellerman, I think this is an excellent idea! Have a license to possess a gun for every law-abiding citizen. We make sure they are “law-abiding” via background checks and with the license we have a method to have a registry of gun owners and any weapons they might buy.

I said nothing about taking away peoples guns, and I will take the statistics as you say the homicide rate is low in those countries. I completely agree and would like to thank you for adding a point.

What America must do: Like Israel and Switzerland, make gun ownership/ possession an event that requires a federal license, not just for concealed, but all guns period. How will this protect more lives than no license (how things are currently), we could make it similar to driver’s licenses, different classes for different levels of guns and with it education on the handling, firing and general safety/ storage of the types of guns.

A class A, for example, would be for handguns, so it would be illegal to own a rifle or shotgun with just a class A. For the education, perhaps a basic class on how to fire the gun, store it properly, in case of emergency how to handle the weapon and maybe even some first aid if there is an accident involving the gun. So when you go to buy a weapon if you are not licensed, you would have to take a safety and handling course in rifles (or shot guns or whatever) to be eligible for the class B and so on.

This way everyone is specifically taught the best ways to fire, protect yourself and others if need be, clean the gun, keep it out of reach of children, and assure that the gun is safely stored. We obviously need to have better education and stricter standards to hold the adults who buy guns by. [1] 05/06/2013 , [2] 5/3/2013, [3] 05/08/2013 these are all just within the last few days. Had the adults, or parents of those kids, been properly trained and licensed they might not have been as careless with the weapons. Education and licensing to guns is a great idea! Just like educating people on safe sex, hazards of texting and driving, hygiene etc… makes people more aware or the risks. I wish I had posted that in my first argument. Thank you!

To be fair I have to point out one more case. Even with this training, accidents will happen. [4] That is 3 out of 4 in the last month that may have been saved with proper licensing, education and storage. Of course we will not know until we try it. A possible 75% reduction in negligent shootings is something worth looking into.

Right to have a gun:

I agree with your fact that carrying concealed weapons is a good thing. I never contested this or gave evidence to the contrary. It’s true, why would I prevent people from carrying a gun, they have a right to in the 2nd amendment. What I did say is more regulation is that is needed stricter federal gun control laws than what we have now. For example, with the concealed weapons, it is regulated with a stricter gun law you have to have a license to conceal and carry. That is exactly what I am talking about.

A point of contention:

I said explicitly gun control laws alone will not reduce crime in general. If we regulate, like with your examples from the Cato institute, things are better. Israel and Switzerland license people to have guns, and conceal and carry is also license, they are both example of stricter than we have in America current laws. That is suport for my BOP.

What America must do: Borrow from other countries that have regulations allow for law-abiding citizens to buy a gun, know how to use it and protect themselves. Keep the guns out of the hand of the people that should not have a gun though background checks and licenses/ registry. Right now, there aren’t any strongly enforceable Federal laws that can protect Americans from, well themselves. More lives would be saved with stricter gun laws, the examples you gave and the examples I gave both testify to that fact.

Citations in the comments as they do not find in the character limit. Forgive me for this inconvenience.



fish0fcook forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by jackintosh 5 years ago
Posted by fish0fcook 5 years ago
I don't think it matters. Since the instigator didn't do it I might as well. The instigator is free to contest it and provide an alternative one.
Posted by hereiam2005 5 years ago
Who should set the framework of the debate? The instigator or the contender?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Apeiron 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Citrakayah 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: l'll remove them when Ape posts his RFD.