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

Guns Should Be Banned From Civilians

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,154 times Debate No: 66665
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)




1. First round is acceptance

2. Second and third round are the times to make arguments and rebuttals.

3. No new arguments shall be made in the final round.


I accept this debate.

Please note that the resolution is not specific to the United States.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting the debate. I look forward to a good one.

Let me begin;

1. The Second Amendment was added to our Constitution because the founders believed in private ownership of guns was necessary for protection of our liberties.

2. Taking guns away will not restrict criminals from receiving them.

Gun control does not address the issue of gun-related crimes. In 2010, gun sales in Chicago were verboten. There were 432 murders in 2010 and 500 in 2012. The FBI named Chicago the nation"s murder capital. If a criminal is going to break the law, they will find a way.

3. Local police force will not be able to protect a person in time if there is an emergency

4. There"s still murder in countries where handguns are banned. The United Kingdom banned handguns in 1997 after a man shot 16 elementary students and then shot himself.

Let"s look at the UK"s homicide rate before, during, and after the ban" In 1996, the murder rate was 1.12 per 100,000 people. In 1997, it rose to 1.24. In 1998, the rate rose even further to 1.43. And in 2002, it peaked at 2.1 homicides per 100,000. Just because you ban guns, doesn"t mean people won"t find other ways to massacre other human beings.

5. Armed civilians help take out the bad guys. I"m referring to the first modern mass shooting in Austin, Texas in 1966. A sniper in a tower shot at University of Austin students for 90 minutes. The police who reacted had help. Students went to their trucks and grabbed their rifles and shot along side of the police. It was enough to pin the shooter down and allow the police to take the shooter out. Police then thanked the civilians for helping them fire on the shooter.

6. Rampage shooters like soft targets. They"re targeting elementary schools, churches, and theaters" not places where you"d think guns are likely to be" Hell"s Angels" bars, Scarface"s house in Miami, or a police station.

7. The world isn"t perfect" and you can"t regulate it to perfection. There"s about one gun for every citizen inside the U.S. already. It would be impossible to collect this massive trove of guns. Even if the government wanted to, they could not control guns already present" or guns that would find their way into those hands who want them.


Thanks to Con for his argument.
I will be presenting my constructive case and as many rebuttals as I can fit in this round.

== AFF CASE ==

My case centers around one contention-- that rates of homicide would decrease with the implementation of a gun ban. This is prima facie obvious-- if we take away weapons which make committing murders easier, then murder rates will inevitably decrease. The presence of firearms does facilitate violent crime, and numerous studies conclusively prove so; there is a growing body of evidence indicating a clear upwards correlation between gun availability and homicide rates. From researchers at Harvard: "Using survey data on rates of household gun ownership, we examined the association between gun availability and homicide across states.. We found that states [in the United States] with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm homicide and overall homicide. This relationship held for both genders and all age groups, after accounting for rates of aggravated assault, robbery, unemployment, urbanization, alcohol consumption, and resource deprivation (e.g., poverty). There was no association between gun prevalence and non-firearm homicide," [1].

"[A] study [on gun violence], by Professor Michael Siegel at Boston University and two coauthors, has been peer-reviewed and is forthcoming in the American Journal of Public Health. Siegel and his colleagues compiled data on firearm homicides from all 50 states from 1981-2010, the longest stretch of time ever studied in this fashion, and set about seeing whether they could find any relationship between changes in gun ownership and murder using guns over time... Since we know that violent crime rates overall declined during that period of time, the authors used something called 'fixed effect regression' to account for any national trend other than changes in gun ownership. They also employed the largest-ever number of statistical controls for other variables in this kind of gun study: 'age, gender, race/ethnicity, urbanization, poverty, unemployment, income, education, income inequality, divorce rate, alcohol use, violent crime rate, nonviolent crime rate, hate crime rate, number of hunting licenses, age-adjusted nonfirearm homicide rate, incarceration rate,and suicide rate' were all accounted for... With all this preliminary work in hand, the authors ran a series of regressions to see what effect the overall national decline in firearm ownership from 1981 to 2010 had on gun homicides. The result was staggering: 'for each 1 percentage point increase in proportion of household gun ownership,' Siegel et al. found, 'firearm homicide rate increased by 0.943; percent. A one standard deviation change in firearm ownership shifted gun murders by a staggering 12.9 percent.'" [2].

Both of these studies go to show that, when we take into account the various causes of violent crime, we can see that the presence of guns itself is, indeed, a direct contributing cause of high homicide rates. A gun is specifically designed with features to cause fatal injuries; according to Professor Zimring from UC Berkeley, those features *do* serve to facilitate homicides: "Gun assaults are seven times as likely to kill as all other kinds of criminal assault, and about five times as likely to kill as are knives, the next most deadly weapon that is frequently used in criminal attacks. Firearms robbery is about four times as likely to produce a victim death as a non-firearms robbery," [3]. The mere presence of a gun in a tense situation allows for what normally would have been a heated argument or fist fight to result in murder: "Access to firearms yields a more than five-fold increase in risk of intimate partner homicide when considering other factors of abuse, according to a recent study, suggesting that abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners." [4].

In conclusion, the prevalence of guns has a proven link to higher rates of homicide; since a reduction of homicide rates would obviously be of substantial net benefit to society, and since governments have an obligation to pursue the general welfare of their people, it is only reasonable that guns be banned from civilians.

== NEG CASE ==

R1) Second Amendment

As I noted in my acceptance round, the resolution is not US-specific, and thus arguments from the constitutionality should be rejected. Anyhow, the US Constitution, like the constitutions of all legitimate democratic societies, is meant to be a living document, which "evolves, changes over time, and adapts to new circumstances, without being formally amended." [5]. Simply citing the status quo and saying guns are have always have been allowed does not serve as a reason for why they shouldn't be banned in modern society. I have demonstrated that gun bans result in substantial benefits, thus warranting their implementation.

R2) Criminals

Con claims that criminals can still illegally obtain guns to continue killing; I assume this observation is meant to somehow mitigate the reduction in homicides that would come from a gun ban. However, this observation really holds very little weight at all, as 79% of all murders are domestic in nature, being inflicted by friends and family [6]. In other words, the vast majority of homicides are committed by fellow civilians who would most likely not have the motivation to illegally obtain a gun for the purposes of their crimes. Thus, the observation that criminals in particular would still continue to illegally use guns does not even come close to mitigating the enormous benefit that would come from restricting guns from civilians as a whole.

Anyways, his observation is false. A ban on civilian gun ownership would also reduce criminal gun ownership. It is simply due to a matter of economics. The vast majority of guns owned by criminals originate from legal producers [7], so if a gun ban were to cause those legal producers to cease in their production of firearms, it would suddenly make it much more difficult for criminals to obtain guns. They would be forced to resort to illegal producers of guns, which would inevitably be *much* slower and more expensive because of the variety of economic disadvantages they have compared to legal producers (i.e. they can't operate large factories or have access to mass production technologies, thus being confined mostly to cottage industries). Furthermore, police forces would still possess guns, and would quite easily be able to handle the gun-deprived criminals.

R3) Self-Defense

It is true that the local police force cannot always successfully protect citizens from harm. However, in order for this observation to have any impact on the resolution, we must assume that having guns would enable citizens to successfully protect themselves from harm. There is no reason to accept this assumption, especially in face of evidence to the contrary showing that people are generally incapable of effectively using guns for self-defense. According to studies conducted by the Violence Policy Center, there are a number of practical issues that make it nearly impossible for a civilian to ever effectively use a gun for self-defense. The vast majority of civilians are not well-trained enough to safely handle a gun even in ideal conditions (i.e. an enclosed shooting range); in an actually-dangerous situation, there are "extreme physiological and psychological effects that the experts, many of whom have on-the-street law enforcement experience with firearms, agree inevitably occur in an armed life-or-death confrontation (the only situation in which lethal force is justified in self-defense)," [8].

To suggest that the average civilian could actually successfully utilize a firearm for self-defense where it actually counts is absurd. There is no way that whatever minimal 'benefits' that could come from the self-defense aspect of civilian firearm ownership actually outweigh the increased homicide rates caused by it. And it shows-- "in 1998, for every time that a civilian used a handgun to kill in self-defense, 51 people lost their lives in handgun homicides alone." [8]. Additionally, there are plenty of other viable means of self-defense, including a pocket knife or mace.

R4) Homicide Rates

Con claims that gun bans do not have any impact on homicide rates, but he backs this up with only a *single* piece of evidence: the fact that UK's homicide rates increased from 1996 to 2002 despite the gun control laws in 1996. However, this usage of statistics is blatantly unfair. It is well-known that there was a global increase in crime rates from 1980 to 2000 due to a variety of socioeconomic factors, so his statistic is really just an observation of a long-term trend and doesn't actually prove anything [9]. Moreover, it is clearly an example of correlation/causation fallacy; studying the relationship between two variables (gun ownership & homicide rates) simply doesn't hold any weight when it comes to an issue as complicated as what causes crime. There are *many* variables which Con is completely ignoring with his analysis, including income inequality [10], prison incarceration rates [11], drug use [12], and the efficacy of local police forces [13]. All of these factors play very important roles in the fluctuations of violent crime rates; to ignore all of them and just concentrate on the patterns of one of those factors is blatantly misleading. The evidence provided in my constructive case should be preferred because it takes these other variables into account, whereas Con's evidence does not. A prevalence of gun ownership *does* lead to an increase in homicide rates.

That's all I have space for this round.
I will address the rest of Con's contentions next round.

Back to my opponent!

Debate Round No. 2


Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it. In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some. When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunken guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender. There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat" it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly. Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force, watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable. When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.


Thanks for posting, Con.

== NEG CASE ==

R5) Armed Civilians

Con cites a single instance in which armed civilians may have helped reduced the number of fatalities during a mass-shooting. Firstly, whether or not the police actually needed the help is very questionable-- there was only one sniper, and there were already several police in the area, so having a couple more students along with them realistically couldn't have had that big of an impact. Secondly, citing this one incident doesn't even come close to mitigating the harm which I have shown guns cause.

R6) Mass-Shootings

Con claims that rampage shooters only target areas where there are not likely to be guns. I have no idea what he's trying to prove with this observation... it is obvious-- shooters are going to target those who are least likely to put up a fight (i.e elementary school kids, church-goers, movie-goers, etc). This would not change if all civilians had guns; we can cross-apply R3 to show that the average civilian would still be relatively defenseless (and thus still the easiest target) even when armed with a gun.

R7) Implementation

This contention fails because the resolution is not US-specific. I do not deny that it would be nearly impossible to implement a gun ban in the United States, due to the "gun culture" present there. However this is not the case in all countries-- all over the world, especially in Europe and East Asia, there are societies which, as a whole, could not care less about having gun rights. This contention would only work in Con's favor if the resolution was "A Gun Ban would work in the United States".

== AFF CASE ==

Con has not attacked *any* of my arguments. Instead, he has essentially just re-stated his contentions. I have already refuted them. My evidence shows that a prevalence of guns only *increases* the amount of violence crime (i.e. instances of "force" being used), and that they are rarely ever effectively used for self-defense. My case remains standing...

The resolution is affirmed.

Debate Round No. 3


AtheistPerson forfeited this round.


UchihaMadara forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
echida...... I said most. And the fort hood shooting was a gun free zone. An amy base. That is what liberalism has done. I remember thinking, " how did Hassan get off that many shots at an army base? Until I heard it was a gun-free zone. That is how creepy liberalism is.

I don't know for sure, but was the navy base a gun-free zone too?
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
just out of curiosity, have you ever tried reading past the title before commenting on a debate before?
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
lack of guns = poverty ???
that's a new one... *facepalm*

"The criminals know better than to venture into places where almost everyone owns a gun."

*cough* Washington Navy Yard Shooting *cough*
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
In America we herd most gun violence into gun free zones. The criminals know better than to venture into places where almost everyone owns a gun.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
uchi.......... What could go wrong in all areas is government having guns and not the folks. It is impoverished because they cannot protect themselves.

YOU said war-torn. So, the folks not being armed would change that for the worse, give me a break.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
oh yea, arm every single impoverished person in war-torn regions of Africa.... no way THAT could go wrong... >.>
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
My take on it is that if all people had the right to bear arms irt would get rid of a lot of tyrannical regimes. The only thing that keeps Obama in check is the secondamendment. He has 300,000,000 guns pointing at him, and he being the coward he is that is enough to keep him from a Hitler- Stalin approach to the American people.
Posted by dtaylor971 2 years ago
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago

Posted by dtaylor971 2 years ago
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: CON dropped all of PRO's arguments.