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The Contender
Con (against)
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Gun Control

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/16/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,206 times Debate No: 70138
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




This debate is part of the February Beginner's Tournament.
8,000 character limit
72 hour argument time
2500 ELO minimum for voting

The topic is Gun Control.
Pro: For Gun Control
Con: Against Gun Control.

I am taking the Pro side of the topic.

Gun Control: Generally refers to laws or policies that regulate the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification, or use of firearms.

Round 1: Acceptance and Definitions
Round 2: Opening Statement and Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals and Arguments
Round 4: Final Rebuttals and Conclusion

Good luck!


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting. I hope this will be an interesting debate.

I believe that having stricter gun control would be beneficial to the U.S. I will supply arguments, evidence, and rebuttals to further reinforce my point. Let us begin.

1. Suicide
Guns are probably one of the most deadly handheld weapons. You don't have to get up close and you can fatally shoot someone with minimal training. [1] Gun suicides are not noticed by the American public as much ms other deaths. In 2006 and 2007 70% of gun deaths were suicides. Why is this relevant to this debate? According to the same source "Among 395 shooting deaths in Seattle during one year, 333 were by suicide, 41 were domestic violence incidents, 12 were accidents, and only nine involved an intruder. Women commit suicide three times as often when firearms are present in a home than in domiciles without them.". As you can see, [2]most of the gun deaths are suicides. People are much more likely to commit suicide with a firearm in possession.
You might be saying "So what? Their choice, not our problem." It may not be YOUR problem... For now. [3] Families that have had a family member commit suicide go through an extensive grief period. They may be angry, sad, or depressed. Studies show that families that have had a member commit suicide are at a higher risk of suicide themselves.

2. Aggression
Remember Trevor Martin? Remember how he was killed? A gun. The shooter, Zimmerman, thought the boy "Looked suspicious" and proceeded to pull out his gun and shoot him for "self defense". This is a display on how guns can affect our problem solving. Think of what would happen if Zimmerman didn't have a gun? He couldn't have easily killed Trevor. He may have called Trevor's attention or walked away. But with a gun in possession, just because he felt threatened, he pulled it out and shot him.
[4] A study conducted by Prof Charles Branas from the University of Pennsylvania Compared 677 cases in which people were injured in a shooting incident with 684 people living in the same area that had not suffered a gun injury. The researchers matched these "controls" for age, race and gender. He found that those with firearms were about 4.5 times more likely to be shot than those who did not carry". He says that people who are in possession of a gun tend to overreact to a problem, rather than trying to work it out. He also says that people who have a gun also tend to go into dangerous areas, where people normally have the common sense not to go. A study conducted by Prof Jessica Witt and Dr James Brockmole shows that people who have a gun are more likely to think that someone else is armed, when they really aren't. They showed this by giving subjects either a replica gun or neutral object. The subjects were to identify what the other person was holding. A lot of the people with the gun identified the neutral object as a firearm. If in a real situation, this could end horribly. Another study conducted by Dr Jennifer Klinesmith and her colleagues shows that people who are exposed to firearms had higher testosterone levels and they engaged in aggressive activity with non-armed people more.
All in all, you can see how guns can affect our aggression, and since guns are an easy killing tool, this leads to more deaths by fire-arm and more deaths in general.

3. Deadliness
Guns are without a doubt, the deadliest weapon. You don't need to get up close and stab someone, and you can shot once or twice and that can easily be fatal. Compare school stabbings to school shootings, and you can see where my point is. If you look at any school shooting, it's a tragedy. Lots of the students and staff are shot and killed, and many more are injured. If you look at a school stabbings, yes there are fatalities and injuries, but isn't as severe as school shootings. If someone to point a gun at you, what would you do? Sit there and pray that you go to heaven, or run and get shot. You can't do much. If someone with a knife is after you, you can run. They have to be close to stab you, so if you're quick enough, you can run away and call 911.
"This is what gun rights is for" you might be saying. Let me replay the scenario if you had a gun. The guy points the gun at you. You reach for your gun, however, since it takes a while to get a gun out and aim, he shoots you first because he's already primed. That is what would happen, the gun wouldn't help. The criminal would just see you trying to pull it out, and he'd shoot you.

In conclusion, we should have strict gun control or have no guns at the public at all. Guns can lead to more suicides, they make people more aggressive, they are an easy killing tool, and they don't help in self defense.

I await your response, Con.



As Con, I shall argue against gun control. Below I have laid out my argument against it.

= Case =

More Guns, Less Crime

In 1968, Britain put restrictions on possessing guns by requiring citizens to get a certificate from the police allowing them to obtain a shotgun. Following that law, the homicide rate average in England and Wales rose 52% higher since the law was put in place.[1] In 1997, Britain confiscated nearly all guns in England, Scotland, and Wales. Subsequent to the 1997 law, the homicide rate rose another 15%.[1]


Gun crimes have dropped dramatically over the last 20 years in America as gun sales have surged. From 1993 to 2011, homicides with firearms has dropped 39% and other crime with firearms has fallen 69%.[2][3] In that same time period, the amount of cumulative firearms has exploded.[2][3]

Where there’s gun control, there’s high crime rates. For example, “Norway has the highest rate of gun ownership in Western Europe, yet possesses the lowest murder rate. In contrast, Holland's murder rate is nearly the worst, despite having the lowest gun ownership rate in Western Europe.”[4] A study there also found that “the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population).[4]


What needs to be pointed out here is that guns can and are used to defend people from crime. Criminals can just obtain guns from the black market, so banning gun laws really isn't going to help. If anyone honestly thinks that criminals are going to follow the law, they are very wrong. In fact, it will paint civilians as targets since they won't be able to defend themselves. They will become more vulnerable to crime and assaults.

Guns can be used for bad, but they can also be used for good. Dr. Gary Kleck conducted a study that found that approximately two million defensive gun uses occur each year[5]. Prior to his study, thirteen other studies showed that between 800,000 and 2 million defensive gun uses are used per year[6], which show that guns save lives and protect against criminals.

Debate Round No. 2


Thanks for your arguments, Con.

1. More guns, less crime
This is the most common argument made by Pro-gun people.
Here's a phrase that might sound familiar "Correlation, not Causation". Here is a graph from Con's source #1 about Chicago and its gun control:
This is from the same source as Con, and it shows that AFTER a period of time, the murder rate went down. Also, the graphs fluctuate, and the murder rate goes down and up. Also, take a look at the name of the graph, it says "Homicides Reported By Police in England AND Wales". This is misleading information. The graph combines BOTH England and Wales together, and that's why the murder rate looks high.
If more guns=less crime why does the UK have a smaller murder rate than America? [1] UK's murder rate is 1.0 and the US' is 4.7. Also, Con's graph only goes to 2007 is severely outdated. Remember Chicago's graph? The crime rate died down after a couple years. Furthermore, we cannot say gun control is the sole reason why the crime rate is rising. Economy, Health care, Politics, etc. all play a role on the homicide rate. Remember, the population in the UK grows every year, which results in more homicide because there are more criminals and more people to kill.
And here's a question for Con: The black line on your graph represents "Homicides sans large anomalies unrelated to guns", what does that represent?

2. Self-Defense
Yes, criminals can obtain guns through the black market. However, take this into consideration. Having guns readily available to the public and without strict gun control laws that enhance the security of these sales give criminals an easy way to get guns. This gives criminal an easy way to kill someone, since a gun is a strong lethal weapon.
I also need to call attention to Con's source #6. The notes say that 0.9% of people fired the gun for self defense, and 7% used the gun to "scare someone". Let me ask a question, when you add those together you get 7.9%. How about the other 92.1%? What did they use the gun for? Also, 0.9% is a low percent for "self defense".
I also call attention to Con's source #5. In the source, it says that the data between different studies are vastly different and they disagree with each other. This says that the studies are not credible, as different studies disagree with each other.
Lastly, I need to say one last thing about sources 5 and 6. They are from a site called The site is obviously biased and should not be trusted. Oh, and the article is made in 2003, pretty outdated.

I would have more arguments, but I'm running low on time. Sorry about the small argument, I have a lot of things going on.

Your turn, Con.



In this round, I will be responding to my opponent's initial arguments.

= Rebuttals =


Guns are just one among numerous dangerous instruments used in committing suicide. There are many methods for one to kill themselves, such as drowning, hanging, suffocating, etc. Banning guns will not reduce suicide - the person will just find another way to carry out the deed. The suicide by firearm rate will decrease, but the overall rate will stay the same because suicides committed in other ways will increase to make up the difference. People don't kill themselves because there are firearms available, they do so because of their life circumstances that put them in that position.

I decided to research the issue myself and see if this claim was true. What I found was a Harvard study stating that there is no positive correlation between gun ownership and suicide rates[1]. The study focused on the countries of Europe and each with its different rate of gun ownership per 100,000 people. From page 691 comes the following quote: "Sweden, with over twice as much gun ownership as neighboring Germany and a third more gun suicide, nevertheless has the lower overall suicide rate. Greece has nearly three times more gun ownership than the Czech Republic and somewhat more gun suicide, yet the overall Czech suicide rate is over 175% higher than the Greek rate. Spain has over 12 times more gun ownership than Poland, yet the latter's overall suicide rate is more than double the former's." From this we can conclude that gun ownership does not increase overall suicide, thus rendering gun control ineffective.


Pro's explanation of George Zimmerman's account of the shooting of Trayvon Martin is false. According to Zimmerman, he had been walking at night toward his destination until Martin came out of the dark, confronted him, and punched him in the face, knocking him down and began beating his head against the sidewalk. Martin saw Zimmerman's gun and said something to the effect of "you're gonna die tonight mothef--". With Martin on top of him and Zimmerman beneath, the two struggled over the gun until Zimmerman managed to get ahold of it and shoot Martin. Zimmerman appeared to the police shortly after with a bloody face, saying he had shot Martin in "self-defense"[2][3]. According to his account, the possesion of a gun saved his life.

The validity of Zimmerman's account is another story, one that is irrelevant to this topic, so it is best that we prevent that branch from growing here.

Witt and Brockmole's study is not necessarily an argument for gun control, because the outcome can be spun from a different light. The fact that people who have a gun are more likely to identify someone else as armed is a good thing, because it helps civilians become more aware of criminals and the danger they present. A person's lack of a gun could be the factor that makes them ignorant toward a threat from someone else, potentially rendering them vulnerable to assault and homicide. Guns help people become self aware, as Pro proved, thus leading to more conscious thought.


I would like to point out that shootings tend to happen in gun-free zones. Schools are almost always gun-free. The Sandy Hook shooting occurred at a place where firearms were prohibited. Criminals don't go where the citizens are armed, they almost always occur where guns are not allowed. John R. Lott sums it up nicely: “Killers go where victims can't defend themselves. In the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting,out of the seven theaters the Batman movie premiere within 20 minutes of the suspect's apartment, only one banned permitted concealed handguns. The suspect didn't go to the closest nor the largest, but to the one that banned self-defense. Time after time the story is the same.”[4]

Pro's claim that civilians do not have enough time to get their gun out is false. Many people place their gun in a carryholder at the side of their waste, and can take it out within a few seconds. In scenarios such as school shootings, the criminal must aim at one person at a time, and will not be able to defend himself if one or more people are pointing guns at him and he is not noticing. Criminals do not always shoot immediately - sometimes they hesitate as they are unsure who to aim at first or think whether or not pulling the trigger will cost them their own lives.

My opponent also mentioned that stabbings can only occur at short range. This is true for criminals and law-abiding civilians. If a criminal is at one side of the house and you're at the other, you can't use knives, tasers, or karate moves to hit him all the way over there (unless you're really good at knife throwing, which only a few people are). Guns have the best aim and are the most efficient way of defense. Also, more civilians have experience with guns then with knives or tasers, so allowing them to arm themselves will be good in the angle that many won't have to receive extra training - not as much as they would need to with minor weapons.


Guns are the number one efficent means of self defense, and are necessary for shielding from harm. Prohibition of gun use will leave law-abiding citizens defenseless and vulnerable.



Debate Round No. 3


Here we go...

I would like to remind everyone that gun control DOES NOT mean prohibition or banning of guns. Rather, it makes it so it's harder for people to get a gun.

1. Suicide
Dropping this one as there isn't much more to say about this

2. Aggression
Yes, I agree, we shouldn't get into an argument about the validity of Zimmerman's account, but it's wrong just to have one side of the story. Here's the article (pretty old):

Having a gun CAN increase your aggression. [1] A man in Florida shot and killed another person watching the movie just because he was annoyed by his texting. His annoyance is understandable, but shooting someone? That's wrong. He wasn't a criminal either, in fact, he was an ex-police officer with an untouched record. He wouldn't go to the black market to get a gun, he got that gun via legal gun stores. He used it to kill someone for no good reason. There was also a 12 year old boy got hold of a shotgun and shot and injured some of his classmates. The kid wouldn't be getting that from the black market, would he? He got it from his parents or guardians (they didn't ACTUALLY give the gun to him, he found it). We need gun control, not to prevent criminals, but to prevent injuries and murders caused by NON-CRIMINAL INDIVIDUALS. Again, we're not banning guns, but we are making it so the right people get a gun, not the people who will kill someone because of texting.

3. Deadliness
Some criminals DON'T hesitate to pull the trigger. You hear countless accounts on the criminal "claiming their own life". If the civillians have guns, they won't hesitate because they were planning to end their own life anyway.
What Con is suggesting here is that we give gun rights to schools. What? That would be extremely unsafe. Some criminal posing to be a law-abiding citizen with a gun, could check into the school with the gun. Then later he could open fire INSIDE THE SCHOOL. Nobody would see it coming. At least, with gun prohibitions, anybody with a gun is not allowed in, so the school can plan an escape route.

In conclusion, we should have stricter gun laws so we can protect the people from un-necessary murders. Just like the guy who shot someone because he was texting, many people are killed out of aggression by a legal weapon. If we make it harder for people to get a gun, only the trusted individuals could get guns, and we know they won't pointlessly kill someone. Yes, there will still be criminals, but we could prevent countless murders as well.

Sorry about the sloppy and small argument, real life is starting to get to me now -_-.



For the final round, I will be rebutting my opponent's Round 3 responses to my initial arguments.

= Final Rebuttals =

More Guns, Less Crime

England and Wales' homicide rate jumped following both gun restrictions, showing that gun control does not work in eliminating crime. The graph doesn't "look high" because England and Wales' homicide rate per million people were together in one graph. Remember, we are measuring the murder rate over time and how the trend changes when gun control laws are implemented. I have clearly shown that the murder rate rose, and that gun control does not work, especially not in this instance.

Pro drops the facts I showed about how the crime rates in European countries with various gun laws were higher with more laws and lower with less.

Pro then goes on to examine my source and pulls out the Chicago graph that measured the murder rate in response to the strict gun bans. The graph did fluctuate a bit but was also cut off at 2007, so allow me to provide some missing info: An Illinois concealed carry law was enacted in July 2013. The Chicago homicide rate of the first quarter of 2014 saw the rate at its lowest since 1958[1]. This is a significant change that "coincidentally" happened right after the ban on carrying guns was lifted.

It is true that the UK's murder rate is slightly lower than America's, but it has been rising significantly ever since gun laws have been enacted. America has the highest ownership rate of guns in the world, with 90 guns per 100 people. If more guns means more crime, then that should mean that the United States has the highest crime rate in the world. However, the U.S.'s homicide rate is not in the top 10, or the top 50, or the top 100 - it's homicide rate per capita is #111, despite having so many guns[2]. Most of the countries above the U.S. are progressive countries with gun control laws, so the mantra that "more guns, more crime" is a very false one indeed. Indeed, the crime rate can be affected by different factors, but gun control ultimately has the largest effect since it directly targets the amount of guns used for crime.

The "homicides with large anomalies unrelated to guns" in the UK graph means that homicides were committed using knives and other non-firearm weapons. This shows that even if criminals don't have guns, they will still find ways to commit crime without them. The large spike was the result of the criminal response to the UK gun ban in 1997.

We must note that my opponent has not provided any counter evidence to suggest that gun control does reduce crime, he has just stated his issues with my evidence.


Theoretically a criminal may have a harder time finding a gun with gun control, but they will put more effort into to obtaining illegal guns and non-firearm weapons that will not make the homicide rate lower, as we have seen with several examples above.

As for the objections to my sources 5 and 6, the people who used guns for self protection were actually 9%, not .9%. This plus 7% makes 16%. We must remember that the study was focused on defensive gun uses, which is the polar opposite of offensive or criminal uses. The rest of the data is simply not noted, so it is wrong to jump to conclusions.

Pro looks at the introduction of my round 3 source 5 study instead of reading the rest of it. The last line of the introduction reads, "There is one study, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which in 1993, estimated 108,000 DGU's annually. Why the huge discrepancy between this survey and fourteen others?" The next section is titled "Dr. Kleck's Answer" where he uses multiple paragraphs to answer this question. Pro clearly has not read the rest of the study. is not at all biased. Just because the name includes the words "gun cite" does not mean it is anything seriously leaning toward one side. My opponent has attempted to dismiss the site because it's pro-gun, but that does not refute the numbers or data collection. In doing so he has committed the Genetic Fallacy[3]. Lastly, the article may be made in 2003, but the numbers and data are still as true today as they were then, so this is not even close to making the article wrong.

Thanks a bunch for the debate Pro! It's been a pleasure.

[2] Pro's source, Round 3
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Raisor 3 years ago
Pro has little to no offense and kicks his suicide argument. From a big picture standpoint there isn't a lot of reason to vote pro. Con is carrying the debate with gun crime statistics; I appreciate pros efforts to dig into the sources and contest cons numbers, that's a good technique and I'm glad to see evidence analysis, but his analysis leaves a lot to be desired (eg population growth leading to more murders doesn't explain the chart which is murder per million). Con give good evidence and examples of how lack of firearms makes it easier for criminals. Con also did a pretty graceful job with the trayvon Martin argument, making his case but not committing himself to a stance on a hot button issue not germane to the case. Clear con win.
Posted by TBR 3 years ago
Can pro or con drop me a message in a day or two on this for voting? I need to read it more completely and don't have time now.

That is if you are looking for voting in a day or two.
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 3 years ago
I would vote, but I can't.
Posted by tajshar2k 3 years ago
It works well in some states, in others... well not so much. I'm looking at you Michigan.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Raisor 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.