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

March Beginners Tournament : The United States should place a ban on all semi-automatic weapons"

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 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 3/19/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,520 times Debate No: 88494
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (3)




This will be round 1 of the 'March Beginners Tournament', where I will take on OreosAreCool on the topic "The United States should place a ban on all semi-automatic weapons". I thank Bsh1 for hosting the tournament and I wish good luck to my opponent.

If there are any concerns with the rules and definitions put forward, please make sure they are brought forward before acceptance of the debate or the first round by con is posted. Con should not challenge the definitions or rules put forward by the time he posts his first round and upon posting the first round it should be assumed (if Con doesn't state it himself) that he accepts all definitions and rules presented.

Definitions -

Should - What the United States should enact based on the weight of the arguments brought forward rather than the obstructions or impediments that may be presented by it.

Ban - Officially or legally prohibit, a ban that would take effect in all 50 states of the United States of America.

Semi automatic weapon - Partially automatic, requires a squeeze of the trigger after each shot, which is more specifically referred but not limited to semi-automatic pistols and semi-automatic rifles.

Rules -

1) Con presents his opening argument in round one and waives his final round

2) Citations or footnotes may be provided in the comments section

3) No semantics allowed

4) Forfeiture is not allowed at any point of the debate

5) No new arguments in the final round (Round three for con and round four for pro)

6) The BoP is shared

Round structure -

Round one - Con presents opening arguments

Round two - Opening arguments and rebuttals

Round three - Rebuttals

Round four - Defense/Con waives final round



Burden of Proof

I accept that the burden of proof is shared between me and my opponent. In this debate, I must prove that all semi-automatic weapons should not be banned. My opponent must prove that all semi-automatic weapons should be banned.


In this debate I will be establishing a consequentialist framework. In short, this framework will evaluate and judge the resolution to “ban semi-automatic weapons” based on the consequences associated with it. This is the preferable framework, as it provides a realistic view of all the factors affected by the resolution, allowing both the pros and the cons to be weighed against each-other, to determine whether or not the resolution is “good” or not.

Contention 1 - Highly unpractical for the U.S

Regardless of the statistics shown from various other countries, the fact remains that the gun culture in the U.S is much different from that of other countries. [1] With semi-automatic guns being used for many different sporting events, hunting, self-defense, etc. [2][3] A ban on semi-automatic is highly unlikely to occur, given the strong defense for the 2nd amendment by guns-rights advocates.

Contention 2 - Criminals don’t listen to laws

It doesn’t matter if a ban is placed on guns in general, or just specific types of guns. The fact is that only around 3%-11% of criminals commit crimes using legally obtained weapons. [4] So, banning a specific type of gun does little to nothing to solve the problem, as the majority of criminals are in fact using illegally obtained guns.

Contention 3 - Black Markets

As more and more guns get banned, black markets begin to spawn. With semi-automatic guns such as the AR-15 or other semi-automatic pistols being one of the most popular types of guns in modern American society [5][6], a ban on such guns would only result in increased trafficking. As a result of this, the legal system becomes occupied in cases of illegal gun trades, while crime investigators run in circles trying to solve cases in which untraceable guns are used.

Increased trafficking is something I would like to place emphasis on, though. Mexico, a country that has extreme restrictions on guns, despite their gun rights [7], is known for the high number of guns smuggled through its border. Each day, around 2000 guns are illegally brought past the Mexican border per day. [8] This is a result of the extreme gun ban that exists in the country, and it is likely that the U.S would experience similar trafficking issues if certain popular gun types are banned.

Contention 4 - The Second Amendment

As gun control progresses in America, growing concern rises for the second amendment and its importance in modern society. To quickly explain the second amendment, it states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” [9]

District of Columbia v. Heller - a Supreme Court case which took place in 2008, deemed that portions of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 that required rifles and shotguns to be "unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock" [10], to be unconstitutional. [10]

There is an alarming relevance between this case, and the resolution of the debate, because both place restrictions on specific types of guns, except the resolution does this in a greater extent. The Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 (prior to the SCOTUS decision) demanded that rifles and shotguns be in a virtually unusable state (unloaded and disassembled/bound by trigger lock).

The resolution, in comparison, attempts to achieve similar results through different means, but they are still both in direct violation of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the second amendment. This is because the purpose of the second amendment is to prevent government from becoming tyrannical. [11] So I ask, what is the point of a gun, or a gun right, if legislation can be passed to render them useless, as the District of Columbia attempted to do by requiring rifles and shotguns to be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock? The Supreme Court understood that this was an issue, and thus, deemed the law unconstitutional. Similarly here, an attempt is being made to render a specific type of gun useless, except in this case, it’s being done by just outright banning those guns. It’s essentially the same issue as the SCOTUS case, and should be deemed unconstitutional for the same reasons.

Contention 5 - Self-Defense

The average person is generally untrained in the area of using guns, making them highly dependent on ammo capacity rather than accuracy. This is why semi-automatic weapons have gained popularity over the revolver over the past ~50 years. [5]

“Without a doubt, modern semi-auto pistols provide many mechanical advantages over revolvers. High ammo capacity in particular really does provide an edge that at least has the potential to increase your odds of coming out of a fight alive.” [12]

In fact, an article on the WashingtonPost rates the .45 ACP 1911 as one of the best guns for home defense. [13]

Contention 6 - Analysis of the Federal Assault Weapon Ban

I’ll just give a quick explanation of the Federal Assault Weapon ban (AWB for short):

          • The AWB prohibited the “manufacture, transfer, and possession of semi-automatic assault weapons except for those already in lawful possession at the time of the law's enactment.” [14]

          • It was theorized that over time, this ban would significantly decrease gun-related deaths. This turned out to be false, but I will get to that later.

The criteria for an ‘assault weapon’ can be found at [14], but the ban was largely centred around semi-automatic weapons, making it highly relevant to this debate.

A - Gun Crime

As I mentioned earlier, the theory that a ban on assault weapons would lower crime over time was largely untrue. The graph below demonstrates this well.


In fact, around the middle of the AWB (about 1999 it seems) the graph suddenly spikes up, illustrating a sudden increase in shootings, while during the other years of the AWB, the graph remains about the same as previous years, again, demonstrating the ineffectiveness of the ban.

What this proves, is that a ban on specific gun types is not the answer to gun-related problems, as proven by the AWB. This means that there are other factors involved, and the situation is not so straightforward.

B - Contradicts the “less guns, less crime” theory

Just prior to the beginning of the AWB’s effectiveness in U.S law, the production of many different assault weapons (most being semi-automatic), saw a dramatic increase in production, likely due to the sudden demand for such weapons following notice of the Assault Weapon Ban.


This sudden increase in production did counteract (to a significant degree), any declines in production that occurred during the period of the ban, averaging out the level of production to roughly the same as previous years. To further demonstrate this, here is a graph that displays the trend of gun ownership over the years.


Levels of gun ownership has remained relatively the same as the surrounding years of the AWB, therefore concluding that the AWB’s ban on assault weapons had little to no effect on gun ownership, or crime.

Finally, to tie this sub-contention back to the resolution: A ban does not necessarily lower average production rates. Rather, it causes spikes in production in years prior to the ban, making the claim that a ban would lower overall production, false.


The consequences related to banning semi-automatic weapons are significant, and they significantly outweigh any possible benefits of the policy.


[16] (pg. 42)

Debate Round No. 1


The term fighting ‘fire with fire’ has been seen as the best method for one’s self defense, of course in the US most victims of gun crime would love to be able to shoot bullets in the other direction and it’s quite obvious that a total gun ban would not resolve the violence that has plagued the US, but the choice of guns is a different story. Of course, the Founding Fathers would have never expected when they wrote the constitution in 1787 how guns would have evolved to what they are today, from single-shot flintlocks to pump-action shotguns to chamber fed revolvers. But evolution got far more dangerous with the birth of semi-automatic weaponry for civilian use, semi-automatics have been the reason for increasing homicide rates, gun modification and has paved way for the Black Market to flourish to a point where it almost cannot be stopped. Before I go into my argument I’ll clear anyone’s doubts that this proposed policy is not without its own loopholes, but if it is to improve the chaotic situation in the United States, then so be it.


My argument will focus on Deontological Ethics, which is basically defined as the belief that the morality of one’s actions is determined whether the action itself is right or wrong based on the rules that are put in place, for instance, if this resolution is affirmed and semi-automatics are ruled outright then it would be immoral for one to use semi-automatic weapons for any purpose as a civilian weapon despite the action that has taken place, as it is clear that any actions should be used by low powered firearms such as revolvers to fulfill any intentions the individual had, this framework is effective as the ‘rules’ are determined by the weight of the arguments brought forward and what is moral is deemed by if the pros of the resolution outweigh the cons.

Contention 1 – Homicide Increase

Let’s be quite frank, homicide was always a terrible thing in the US. Over 30,000 people die from gun-related deaths each year, mostly because of the fact that there are over 300 million firearms in the United States, 1% of that gun count comes from AR-15s, a semi-automatic rifle that has over 3 million copies around the States that are privately owned and despite them only numbering up to 1% they manage to kill nearly 500 people each year from homicides. The availability of higher powered weapons has given lunatics a better reason to commit murder and very few of these weapons are used in self-defense because of Right-to-carry gun laws which have been the reason for homicide increase in public places. [A] [B] [C] [D] [E]

Contention 2 – Illegal weapon modification

Semi-automatics have earned their place above other weapon types because of its ability to be modified by the owner which increases firepower, accuracy and magazine capacity usually through illegal means, the justification most owners give when they are caught making such modifications are that it makes it easier ‘to kill people’. But as a significant proportion of gun crime in domestic households ends badly for the victim, in the sources mentioned above, the weapons themselves without the modifications have failed to reduce crime and the guns with modifications pose a significant threat to society. [F]

Contention 3 - The outdated Second Amendment

‘The right to keep and bear arms’ was always a popular slogan in the United States to address the opposition to gun ownership, numerous acts have been presented addressing what was the best way forward for the US in terms of safety, and since it’s not got anything to do with total gun bans, it has a lot to do with semi-automatic weapons. But public opinions have changed since then, in fact, many believe, up to over 80% believe that semi-automatic rifles, dubbed ‘assault rifles’ should be restricted despite the right to keep and bear arms. (Source C)

But if so, what was the failure? Such as the failure in the acts of the Federal Assault Weapons ban of 1994? It’s because such bans were only put in place to restrict some semi-automatic weapons, not all. Semi-automatic handguns became a great factor in crime after the ban was enforced for a period of 10 years because of criminals falling through alternative means of weaponry. It’s almost as if we were arming the criminals themselves by allowing them to purchase such weapons legally, if a complete weapons ban on semi-automatic weapons that require trigger press after each shot was put into place, the removal of these guns would take place with every owner that purchased the weapons legally, which would include records on criminals that also purchased such guns legally, which would allow us to easily see which citizens are law-abiding and those that are not if certain people are dissatisfied if they felt that their Second Amendment rights were violated. Of course, there is the possibility of guns acquired through the black market, but I will touch on that later. Up till now, in short, the Federal Assault Weapons ban would have been far more effective if it had been regarding all semi-automatic guns, as most criminals turned to those weapons after the ban took place, but even then the ban did do a significant role in reducing gun crime in the US despite the Second Amendment being in place.

Contention 4 – Self Defense

Everyone wants protection, but what exactly does semi-automatics do in ensuring that? If protection was something that only the minority was benefiting from then perhaps self-defense was good with semi-automatics, but that is not the case.

The infamous Columbine High School massacre is an example of this, the use of semi-automatics such as the TEC-9 during the massacre accounted to over a hundred bullets fired in comparison to the shotguns they were carrying, which only counted up to a little less than 50 bullets fired. Because of the reload time required for a shotgun, it gave people valuable time to escape the two mass murderers, who were firing bullets in every direction with semi-automatics that serve perfectly in doing the exact opposite for self-defense. [G] In a house, the use of a shotgun against a lone attacker or a couple of attackers serves its purpose as it would’ve been all that’s required of a person with decent accuracy to defend himself, then again some might question about the scenario where a person’s accuracy isn’t that good with a pump-action shotgun or a single-shot pistol, it is quite clear that with effective training, at least to a moderate extent, the use of additional ammo or weaponry would be averted.

[A] -

[B] -

[C] -

[D] –

[E] -

[F] -

[G] -




My opponent’s framework is inconsistent with the resolution. His framework basically says that if an action is against the rules put in place, it is immoral. I reject this framework for two reasons. First, his explanation ambiguously uses the word ‘rules’, allowing him to shift the goalposts (no true scotsman fallacy), if I attempt to refute this framework. Second, I’m not sure what the ‘rules’ would have to do with the debate anyways, since this debate is about what the rules (laws) should be, not about what they are.

My framework, on the other hand, just directly compares the weight of the pros and cons in order to determine whether the resolution is affirmed or negated. Therefore, my framework is preferable over my opponent’s.


1) Homicide increase

First off, the author of the article (the one that estimates the number of AR-15’s in the US), admits that there could be a huge margin of error in the estimates. Also, the article is mostly about the implications of a government buyback for guns, something my opponent has not mentioned.

My opponent’s first source also recognizes that “In one year, at least 30,000 guns were “lost” out of gun dealers inventories”. What does that mean? Those 30,000 guns could have been sold illegally, further strengthening the point that most gun crimes involve guns which have been illegally obtained.

2) Illegal Gun Modifications

Here my opponent’s point seems to be, that since people feel the need to modify their guns, it means that the original gun itself is useless. This is misleading, because we cannot know whether or not the original gun itself would have been just useful in self-defense cases. My opponent then partially quotes a line from his source that says people use gun modifications “To make it easier to kill people.”, but let’s take a look at the context.

“Only the defendant can testify why he or she made those modifications. An argument will ensue between attorneys with the judge as referee. If the judge is sympathetic to the prosecution (most are, being former prosecutors themselves), the objection will be overruled and the examiner allowed to opine why those modifications may have been made. The questions might go something like this:”

The last part: “The questions might go something like this:”, implies that the quotation is placed in completely hypothetical context, rendering that point invalid.

Pro’s argument both lacks evidence for his claim (or the claim he is implicitly making) - that a significant portion of semi-automatic gun owners illegally modify their weapons, and fails to make a proper link to the resolution. He does not explain what this has to do with banning semi-automatic weapons. Rather, he somehow comes to the conclusion that they should be banned on the false premise that modifications made on them somehow proves their uselessness.

3) The “Outdated” Second Amendment

So my opponent starts off this argument by committing an ad populum fallacy. Even if what he claims is true (that 80% of people believe semi-autos should be restricted [*restricted - not banned]), it doesn’t make the decision any more “right”. If the majority of democrats believe Hillary Clinton is the best candidate for president, does that make her any better a candidate than she was before the majority supported her? My opponent’s argument here is pure fallacy, and is therefore, invalid.

Next, my opponent basically argues that the AWB was ineffective because it did not do enough. He makes several claims, such as semi-automatic handguns being used to create more crime, and that the ban was basically “arming the criminals themselves by allowing them to purchase such weapons legally”. The problem with my opponent's arguments, is that he is assuming that a complete ban on semi-automatic would have been the better decision. So basically, be assumed the conclusion in his premise, making this argument another fallacy. My point is, that just doing more of the same does not solve the issues. As I mentioned in my previous arguments, the issue with gun crime is not as straightforward, as if simply banning certain guns would solve crimes.

Later on, though, he claims that the ban did play a significant role in reducing crime (?). This is not only a bare assertion, but it also contradicts his previous claim that the ban was “arming criminals”.

4) Self-Defense

My opponent’s argument here seems to use one incident to justify a ban on semi-automatic weapons. It’s an anecdotal fallacy.

Furthermore, were the guns purchased legally or illegally? This is a question that is hardly ever answered when propositions are made to ban guns. As I mentioned in my arguments, only 3-11% of gun crimes happen with legally purchased guns. [1]

Lastly, he mentions that pump-action, or single-shot pistols would be enough for self-defense. If this was the case, semi-automatic pistols would not be so popular for this purpose, nor would they be ranked as one of the best weapons for self-defense. [2]. He also mentions that people should receive training to improve accuracy when using the pump-action or single-shot weapons for self-defense. Would this training be mandatory? What if the person is very busy and does not have time for this training? When there really is a crime being committed in one’s house, sometimes not even the highest level of training can overcome the feelings of panic and fear, so people need to rely on something else other than their accuracy for their self-defense, and that comes from semi-automatic weapons.



Debate Round No. 2


I will begin by addressing the argument made by my opponent in round one only, the issues that have been otherwise brought up regarding my framework and the defence to my own arguments will be presented in my final round.

Contention 1 - Highly impractical for the US

Granted, I came into this debate full aware of the fact that the history of gun ownership in the United States is a special case when compared to the rest of the world, except, this contention doesn’t do one basic thing that weakens it greatly being his first main argument, my opponent does not attempt to isolate semi-automatic weapons from other weapon types. Let me make this point clearer by quoting my opponent,

“With semi-automatic guns being used for many different sporting events, hunting, self-defense, etc”

For someone who has a framework that is supposed to weigh the pros and cons based on the consequences of semi-automatic weapons, he does a very weak job in researching this as he uses two wikipedia pages linking to the practices of sporting or hunting where a MAJORITY of which takes place with weapons other than semi-automatic weapons. So the necessity of having semi-automatic weapons for hunting is not proven, there is absolutely nothing that would prevent Americans from practicing these events without the ownership of these guns, furthermore, we would be throwing away hundreds of lives away because of the negative effect that semi-automatic weapons have presented to use these guns when they aren’t even necessarily required for the sport.

Contention 2/3 - Criminals don’t listen to laws/Black market

These contentions are practically the same, since law-breaking criminals head to the black market to purchase weapons, so I’m going to merge this rebuttals with contention 3.

Let me start with a simple question, if criminals don’t listen to laws, why do we bother having laws on gun control at all? My opponent probably supports the view that the only way to deal with a bad guy that has guns is a good guy that has guns to fire back at with. We could simply put the same example for murder or theft, why have laws on them at all if criminals don’t listen to laws? The reason is the presence of laws build up social norms, they allow families of deceased victims to get retribution through the criminal justice system as laws are in place against illegal weapons that criminals are using, because either way, 100% of criminals are not going to oblige to the change in gun laws, but some will be deterred from crime once the laws are put in place which once again build up our social norms and will contribute to reducing the suicide rate.[A]

Simply because criminals have ready access to the black market at any time means that they have the desire to use the weapons more, nor does it necessarily mean that most criminals will always have access to the black market. But yet, the black market has not seen drastic statistics of increased gun crime in states with more gun restrictions, we should not tell off anyone advocating the semi-automatic gun ban simply because there is this futility to perform the task because of the presence of the black market which hasn't helped law-abiding citizens either way if they had semi-automatics or not to defend against deadlier weaponry because the crime rate is as still high as ever, hence, the influence this ban will have will reduce crime, even in the black market to an extent where it will outweigh the benefits of keeping semi-automatics as it will significantly reduce the homicide rate.

Contention 4 - The Second Amendment

So my opponent attempts to defend the semi-automatic weapons bringing the one contention that DOES NOT even relate to his framework, apart from this being directly contradictory to what his stance was about evaluating the ‘consequences’ of semi-automatic weapons he also pushes it even further by stating that,

“what is the point of a gun, or a gun right, if legislation can be passed to render them useless?”

So, bringing forward the Heller case to strengthen the argument on the Second Amendment shows us that my opponent doesn’t like the idea of Congress or the Government as a whole rather to take away the rights citizens would have to their guns, in the bizarre case that they go rogue and an armed revolution is the correct measure in preparation for that if they do. Bonus points for bringing out some true American patriotism there, but to no avail. Why? Because if the presence of the Second Amendment was to ensure that Congress does not attempt to do something unconstitutional towards the ‘Right to Bear Arms’ this puts forward the question that what should prevent the average person from owning deadly weapons such as an RPG-7 or an anti-tank missile? The US is not moving towards totalitarianism simply because of this ban, it has never occurred in the United States, they are not becoming Nazi Germany simply because some of your guns are taken away and using the whole ‘tyranny’ case to justify a revolution doesn’t stand because it isn’t a democratic action given to the people, which I have stated if you’re going to cling onto the constitution so much. [B]

Contention 5 - Self Defense

I’ll be honest, naturally everyone feels better holding a Tec-9 for a defense weapon rather than a Winchester because of it’s fire rate and ammo capacity, but we can’t ignore some basic facts. If the average person does indeed feel better protected with these weapons, why is it that gun crime and gun violence is still as prominent as ever in the United States?


Let’s apply the logic my opponent has used, basically more guns = less crime. So this ideology should carry out throughtout the states proving that a state that has more freedoms on gun ownership should produce less homicide rates and domestic gun violence and yet this diagram proves the exact opposite, homicides are higher in states with more gun freedoms and it is lower in states that have taken more measures against it.

Contention 6 - Analysis of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban

So to get some vengeance against my opponent for calling me out on numerous fallacies in the second round, (which I will discuss in the 4th round) my opponent commits the “argumentum ex silentio” which is basically the ‘argument from silence’ as my opponent does not attempt to relate the semi-automatic assault rifle ban with increase in crime that all semi-automatic weapons have.

As there is very little to actually rebut in this contention, and since the rebuttal my opponent made will be addressed in round four, I will simply state that my graph above can be referred to answer this question. The presence of semi-automatic handguns has a huge factor on the homicide rate, when the Australians began extremely tight gun control regulations which resulted in numerous gun bans, people believed that this would empower criminals and leave citizens defenceless. But as I quote from Australian journalists who studied this issue,

“It is the ready availability of weapons, particularly those that are automatic or semiautomatic, that increases the likelihood that people in a moment of madness, or malice, or hatred, will kill a lot of people,” [D]

So the presence of semi-automatic handguns was the main factor that actually proved that stronger measures were needed since the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. My opponent brings up that the “less guns, less crime” theory is debunked because gun production was still high during these times because of the black market produce, but as I mentioned in an earlier rebuttal, the ban would enforce social norms which would protect law-abiding citizens and deter some criminals from committing wrongdoings because of the stronger role the Criminal Justice System can play, and even with all these sources my opponent DOES NOT PROVE how the presence of more guns has anyway reduced crime in the US, my source thoroughly debunks that and there is nothing more to add at this point.



[B] -

[C] -

[D] -



I’m not sure why my opponent did not attempt to rebut my framework this round, as he will be getting the last word in this debate either way. It just means that I am not able to defend my framework against my opponent’s rebuttal. Anyhow, I’ll continue, but that’s something that I wanted to point out.

Just one more thing: This debate has gone highly off-topic. In this round I will mostly be pointing out how my opponent’s points have missed the point of this debate, and why he has not sufficiently refuted my arguments.

Defense of my case

1 ) Highly impractical for the U.S

There were two main points in this contention, and although my opponent appears to have commented on it, his rebuttals are quite fallacious, and incomplete.

    1. - There is a strong gun culture in the U.S, making a permanent ban on semi-automatic weapons impractical, due to strong opposition from guns-rights advocates. This point was dropped by my opponent. What he basically said to address this point, was that he was aware of this fact, and because he was aware of it, it would not be an issue. That is effectively dropping the argument, as my opponent offers no sources or arguments to prove that this would not be an issue.

    1. - There are uses for Semi-automatic weapons in sporting. My opponent places a lot of emphasis on rebutting this argument. It was made to show that it does have at least some SIGNIFICANT uses in areas like sporting. He also says that those sports could use other types of weaponry instead of semi-automatic weapons, and while that’s true, such a change would require a change in the nature of the sport. My opponent may think that’s okay, because it would be worth it because a ban would ‘save lives’. However, that’s an unsubstantiated assumption. My opponent hasn’t given any reason to believe why that’s the case.

2/3) Criminals don’t listen to laws/Black Market

My opponent drops that only about 3-11% of crimes are committed with legally obtained weapons, as he has not refuted that point. So, in essence, he concedes that the effect of a ban on semi-automatic weapons on criminals would be negligible.

My opponent’s point about laws setting social norms is unclear. Criminals usually do not follow social norms. I suppose what my opponent means to say here is that over-time, the possession of semi-automatic weapons will be considered as something that does not follow the social norms (due to the ban), and thus resulting in less overall possession of semi-automatic weapons, leading to less crime. This may sound great in theory, but it’s quite unrealistic. First off, my opponent assumes that there is no limit to how much the law can influence ‘social norms’. Anti-drug laws are a great example of this, seeing as marijuana is a prohibited drug in many states, but many people today strongly believe that it should be legalized [1], thus disproving the myth that government has control over social norms. This is of course not to say that government has absolutely no control over social norms, but rather that its influence is very limited, and is only effective when the majority of people in society do not feel as if their rights are being infringed upon by this attempt to influence social norms.

To address Pro’s next rebuttal, I’ll remind the voters that this debate is not about restrictions, it’s about bans. The two are quite different. This is again analogous to the drug situation. Restrictions on drug use is quite different from a ban on drugs. This is especially true due to the fact that states that have legalized drugs are experiencing economic benefits and less crime compared to states that have not legalized certain drugs.[2] I won’t elaborate on this analogies because that would result in drifting from the point of the topic, but I think it’s safe to say that the analogy is fair, and applies well here.

Pro’s point about the black market is again not consistent with the resolution. He’s made a claim that black markets have not been much more of a problem since gun restrictions have been placed. This is both a bare assertion, and it has little to do with the resolution. As I said earlier, there is a clear difference between restrictions and bans. The fact remains that a ban on semi-automatic weapons would shift at least some business to the black market.

He also mentions that the ban would reduce suicide rates. That is not the only factor of the gun-ban topic. My opponent says that option A (banning semi-autos) is worth it because result B (it lowers suicide rates), but he ignores result C and D.. Some examples of those would be homicides (I notice he mentions homicide rates being reduced, but he actually meant suicide rates which he confirmed in the comments), or self-defense cases.

4) The Second Amendment

My point about the second amendment does not contradict or refute my framework in any way. The point was meant to tie back to the first contention, where I mentioned that there would be opposition towards a gun-ban from gun-rights advocates.

The next point my opponent makes appears to attack a more generalized position on gun-rights that my opponent assumes I am arguing for. This is irrelevant because that is not what the debate is about. This point was not about conspiracy theories about the Government becoming authoritarian, but rather about the fact that the average citizen should have protection to prevent coercive entities from overstepping their bounds. Again, to clarify, it is not a conspiracy theory that something will happen, but rather a precaution against something that may happen.

My opponent’s next question asks:

“Because if the presence of the Second Amendment was to ensure that Congress does not attempt to do something unconstitutional towards the ‘Right to Bear Arms’ this puts forward the question that what should prevent the average person from owning deadly weapons such as an RPG-7 or an anti-tank missile?”

The answer is actually that these weapons are/would not be very common, and would be very hard to get, as the average gun store would probably not be selling those anyways.

5) Self-Defense

The statistic my opponent used is cherry-picked evidence. Conveniently, the states he compares are basically Southern states vs. Northern states. Since Southern states are closer to the U.S - Mexico Border there will clearly be higher drug crime in those areas as well. This would obviously result in a greater use of guns. My opponent has not taken this into account. These criminals will likely not be affected by a semi-automatic weapon ban, as they are already criminals - they probably won’t have any problems getting a gun illegally. This would result in only the average citizen being defenseless, rendering the ban counter-productive.

6) Analysis of the Federal Assault Weapon Ban

The analysis of the ban wasn’t meant to show whether or not the ban resulted in an increase of crime. I just pointed out something that the graph showed, but I didn’t place much emphasis on that. The analysis showed that the ban was ineffective. It’s not an argument from silence, because what pro is calling ‘an argument from silence’ wasn’t the argument I was making anyways.

My opponent also makes a point about Australia’s gun restriction program. While I agree that gun crime has been going down after the ban took place in Australia, I think it would be more relevant and reliable to check out statistics of specific states in the U.S. States like New Hampshire, Maine, and Iowa, have relatively high gun ownership percentages, while also having very low gun murder rates per 100000 people. [3]. The source may be Wikipedia, however, the wikipedia article does compile its data from these two reliable sources: [4][5] It also refutes my opponent’s 5th rebuttal on Self Defense. This is not a new argument, rather it’s a new statistic, because, as my opponent is claiming, I have already made this argument, and I am simply defending it from my opponent’s rebuttals.

Anyways, my opponent again points out that government can set the social norms. What he’s not mentioning is that there is a limit to this ability, especially when it involves such a sensitive topic such as this. I also do not need to prove that more guns = less crime, so my opponent is attacking a strawman.

In Conclusion

My opponent has not met the BoP that a ban on semi-automatic weapons would indeed reduce overall crime in the U.S. Nor has he proved that there is any net benefit to the U.S in doing such a thing. My opponent has also dropped several key points in my arguments.

For those reasons, vote Con!







Debate Round No. 3


I accidently got my argument wiped in the process of writing it, unfortuantely with my commitments in RL I do not believe I will be able to continue in this tournament even if I emerged victorious. As such I give the win over to side con, apologize for the sad ending but I could maybe continue this debate some other time after the tournament ends.

Thanks and good game.


round waived.

Thanks for a good debate.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by OreosAreCool 2 years ago
you can switch it to 'homicide rate' if you want I guess.
Posted by OreosAreCool 2 years ago
oh lol I misread ur comment ._. sorry lmao I guess u could switch it I typed this up late at night :S
Posted by EverlastingMoment 2 years ago
Actually when I said that there was a typo what I was supposed to say was 'homicide rates'. It seems in your final rebuttal you counted it as suicide rates, but that's wrong on my part since I said the wrong thing so it's fine anyway.
Posted by OreosAreCool 2 years ago
alright, no problem.
Posted by EverlastingMoment 2 years ago
Also, if it's not too much of a bother, I'd just like to say that at the end of the second paragraph in my rebuttals for your second and third arguments I meant to say 'homicide rate' instead of 'suicide rate' which was a bit if a typo error. If you could go with that rather than what was written there that would be appreciated.
Posted by OreosAreCool 2 years ago
no worries
Posted by EverlastingMoment 2 years ago
I have absolutely no idea how the spacing messed up like that, I seem to have fallen under another site glitch of some sort. Oh god.
Posted by famousdebater 2 years ago
I'll give this a vote when it's over.
Posted by OreosAreCool 2 years ago
thanks, gl to ya as well
Posted by EverlastingMoment 2 years ago
Sorry, I had little time to work on my arguments and I can barely remember what I wrote since it was really late. Anyways, gl xP
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: concession
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by ColeTrain 2 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Concession. Hopefully someone can provide an RFD, regardless of the concession. Both debaters deserve that. I'm Oreo's mentor, so I am not able to do so.