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

In the United States, private ownership of handguns ought to be banned.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 664 times Debate No: 87579
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




Hey. My name's Ben. If you're interested in this topic, please accept, I'd like some practice.

First round is for acceptance only, and here are a few other rules.

1. No forfeits
2. Sources may be provided in the comments
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. First round is for acceptance only
7. Violation of any rules is an automatic loss

Thank you.


Hi Ben, I am Edward. I am very interested in discussing this topic. I need a little practice too so I look forward to debating this with you. since this first round is only for acceptance I figured I would tell you a little bit about myself before we begin.
Debate Round No. 1


Hi Edward, thank you for your introduction. I am now going to lay out my points as the proposition side of this debate.

P1: The contradiction of handgun self-defense.
A study mentioned by Michael McLaughlin of The Huffington Post found that civilians rarely use guns to protect themselves, and that intended victims of property crimes engaged in self protective behavior with a firearm only 0.1% of the times they were targeted by a criminal.

Handguns are often thought of as the prime self-defense tool, offering a quick way to fend off a criminal. However, this is simply untrue, in fact, not owning a handgun is safer than owning one. "Gun safety studies have found that a gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a family homicide, suicide or accident than to be used in self-defense."
(NYT, 12/12/15)

Handgun self-defense has no basis in fact, and we will further explain these handgun deaths in our next contentions.

P2: Murder.
Handguns were used in 55.6% of the more than 110,000 homicides from 1990 to 1997, more than all other weapons combined in that period. If this seems outdated, look to 2012, where handguns in the United States assisted people in murdering about as many people as all of the other weapons combined, according to the FBI. On average, if someone is shot and killed, it will 4 out of 5 times be handguns. Other countries, because of their strict gun laws on handguns, have much, much less handgun death. The U.S. has over 10,000 gun homicides, compared to Canada"s less than 200, Germany, Italy, and France"s less than 100, and Japan"s less than 50. Judge, I don"t think we need to explain how homicide is bad, but we can tell you this: banning handguns will lower the homicide rate dramatically.

P3: Suicide.
Subpoint A - Handguns make suicide easy.
The deadly link between handgun ownership and suicide was decisively established in a 1999 study of California handgun purchasers showing that the suicide rate during the first week after the purchase of a handgun is 57 times higher than for the population as a whole. During the first year after purchase, suicide remained the leading cause of death among handgun purchasers. 6 out of 10 times suicides are committed with a handgun, and in fact, handguns are used twice as often as shotguns and rifles for suicide, according to the Violence Policy Center. People living in households containing handguns are nearly five times as likely to commit suicide compared to households not containing handguns.

This happens because guns make suicide too easy. Public health experts say ready access to firearms makes it easier for people to act on suicidal thoughts. And about 85 percent of suicide attempts that involve guns are successful, compared with less than 3 percent of those involving drug overdoses. Over all, guns were used in about half of the 41,000 suicides in 2013.
(New York Times, 12/14/15)

Subpoint B - Banning handguns won"t make people flock to other methods.
No, Judge, people won"t try to commit suicide in other ways and flock to other weapons. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that people who are determined to end their lives will find a way to do so, 90 percent of people who survive suicide attempts do not eventually die by suicide.
(NYT 12/14/15)

Judge, we can"t fix this suicide problem by simply restricting handgun use, putting background checks, or not doing anything at all - the only solution we have is to completely ban private handgun use.

P4: Accidental death.
Handgun accidental death is very common. There were 500 unintentional handgun deaths in 2013, according to the US Center for Disease Control. This happens very commonly in our society. Once a week, a toddler shoots another person with a handgun.
(NYT, 12/12/15)

There are many examples of this. A three-year-old boy in Cleveland, Ohio shot and killed a one-year-old boy after picking up a handgun that had been left unattended inside a home on April 12, 2015. The infant was rushed to hospital with a gunshot wound to the head but was later pronounced dead, reports the Associated Press. Investigators were trying to determine where the gun came from, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters. Williams said there was at least one adult home when the incident happened. "It"s a sad day for Cleveland," said Williams. "This fascination that we have with handguns, not just in this city but in this country, has to stop. This is a senseless loss of life, " he finishes.


(I would like to apologize now if it takes me a while to respond because I am currently taking classes). I do not believe that banning handguns would better America, make it safer, or reduce the violence that seems to dominate many American cities.

Point 1- In America, it is estimated that there are more than 200 million firearms owned by more than 80 million people. Many of these are hand guns. Which brings me to my first point. How are all of these handguns to be removed from the public? If the government attempted to get private handgun owners to turn in their handguns, I have no doubt that most law abiding citizens would do just that. What about criminals that use guns to commit their crimes? Would they be as willing to turn them in? Probably not. That would give the criminals even more opportunity to commit crimes since they know that the citizens are unarmed. The government could try to forcefully try to take the guns away from the citizens and criminals alike, but what stops the guns from being sold illegally. America has been battling with the illegal drug trade for many years yet drugs still pour over our borders. I have very little faith that the government could completely remove handguns successfully.

Point 2: I have heard stories of children accidentally shooting and killing a sibling or parent. This brings me to my second point. Accidental death. However tragic, easily preventable. The easiest way to prevent accidental shootings is to acquire a lock safe of some kind that is out of reach of children and has a combination. Parents that do not take the proper precautions to ensure that no harm can come to their children should be locked up and stripped of any right to buy a weapon in the future.

Point 3: Although handguns are used in many murders, banning them in the United States would not make the streets safer. If hand guns are outlawed, people with the intent to murder someone would resort to other alternative weapons such as knives, shotguns, rifles, and even blunt objects like baseball bats. Banning handguns will, no doubt, make the streets safer, but it will not completely rid the streets of violence.

Point 4: Handguns do make suicide easy, but would banning them really decrease the suicide rate? Many people that own a handgun own some kind of rifle, shotgun, etc. as well. Would it not be just as easy to shoot yourself with a shotgun as it would a handgun? As you said, people with a handgun that have suicidal thoughts are more likely to commit suicide. I, however, think that somebody intent on taking their life will use any firearm that is readily available.

Point 5: Some people think that handguns are to easy to conceal. There is a simple fix to that. Require open carry. If a person is carrying a handgun in public, make it a law for them to carry it openly where everyone can see it. That would decrease the amount of handgun murders because people will be more aware of who exactly has a gun. It will allow them to be more prepared if someone does try to attack them.

In conclusion, I do not believe that private ownership of handguns should be banned. There is a solution to every problem but the banning of handguns is not the correct solution to America's violence problem.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you to my opponent for their speech. I am now going to refute what my opponent has said.

For my opponent's point 1, this plan, people giving back their weapons to the government, works. Like in Australia, where they had this sort of system, total intentional gun deaths fell by half.

For my opponent's point 2, what would a lock safe do to self-defense? An attacker comes into the home to try and steal your things and/or hurt you, you can't take the time to open a safe and get your weapon. Limiting the reachability of the gun just makes it harder to get in times of need.

For my opponent's point 3, this may be true. However, it is not as easy to get other firearms, and they aren't allowed in more places, and melee weapons aren't nearly as effective. These other methods will not be as easy as the handgun, so murder would still be reduced.

For my opponent's point 4, first of all, they provide no source for their claim that "many people that own a handgun own some kind of rifle, shotgun, etc. as well". This makes it invaluable in this debate, as one can just make a claim without any evidence.

For my opponent's point 5, who would enforce this? How would they know when to enforce it if someone can just hide a handgun and not allow anyone to see it?

Since my opponent has not directly refuted any of my points, this is all I need to do in this speech. Thank you, and vote Pro.


randomman22 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I forfeit this round in order to give a fair debate to my opponent. I apologize about the problem, you can say your speech in this round.


randomman22 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Same as said before. Good luck to my opponent, and vote Pro.


randomman22 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by randomman22 2 years ago
I am sorry I missed that round. I was not aware of the time I had left.
Posted by BenJWasson 2 years ago
Having the gun wouldn't help with self-defense either. 90% of criminals get their guns legally. 90%. Many criminals aren't experienced, it's that simple. Only a few criminals commit horrendous crimes, like homicide. Only a few criminals are willing to go into the black market, a very hard and dangerous thing to do, to get a handgun to commit a crime. Sure, criminals are criminals, but that doesn't always mean they will take their time and money and possible risk of life to just get a handgun to commit a crime.
Posted by JaanVahl 2 years ago
Pro argues that putting a handgun in a locker will limit access to it and make it nigh-impossible to use one very fast in the case of a home invasion by a burglar or sinister individual. How then, would not having a gun at all help the victim in question, if limiting access to one is a problem?
Banning a certain weapon, in my opinion, solves nothing, as the bad people in question will either resort to illegal weapons trafficking, or find some other means. If a person is willing to break the law by killing another person, why would a weapons ban phase him or her? If you ban one weapon, you will vote to ban the next weapon, and on and on until there are no weapons available for the public. In such a case, the only people with weapons would be the military, law enforcement, and criminals. Criminals dont tackle with the military head-on, and neither do they with the police. It takes at least a minimum of 5 minutes for the police to arrive at your house, and at that point you might as well be dead already.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Shrekoning 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used the New York times, which is not the best source, but it is better than nothing I suppose. Con forfeited and Pro refuted some of his arguments. I personally think that Handguns should not be banned, but Con was unable to refute and forfeited.