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The Contender
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Private Firearms are Necessary for the People to Possess and Use

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/30/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,960 times Debate No: 7617
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (0)




For the purpose of this debate, I wish to defend the position that privately-owned firearms are a hugely beneficial tool for the private population to possess for this reason:

Private firearm ownership reduces crime

I do not include the 2nd Amendment as part of my argument as the question I wish to ask is not "Is gun control Constitutional?" or "What is the meaning of the Second Amendment?", but rather "If the Constitution never existed to protect private firearm ownership, would there still be a logical reason for or against gun control?"

* To defend my point: from a logical point of view, gun control does not make sense as way to reduce crime. If the extent of the gun control is to simply reduce or restrict private firearm ownership, not take it away completely, the measure remains ineffective. The very fact that a person is a criminal shows that they do not respect the law, and that a gun control law will not be respected. The Prohibition of the 1920's and the current war on drugs show that banning something by no means makes the possession of that item impossible or even difficult. The criminals the measure tries to stop are still able to get their hands on firearms, while those who are law-abiding and by definition will almost certainly obey said law are now unarmed.
If the extent of the gun control is to make it so only the police and military have weaponry, then logically the measure still remains ineffective. The logic set up above in the previous point would still hold, while the additional restrictions in this point would also force citizens to rely on government measures, which are often too slow or too ineffective (as evidenced by the fact that my mother was given a busy signal by 911 mere weeks ago).

Aside from logic, evidence also shows the falsehood of gun control being able to reduce crime.

The nation of Luxembourg has extremely strict gun control where handgun ownership is completely banned (1). However, Luxembourg's murder rate is one third higher than the United States' for the period of 1999-2003

England is commonly known for its stringent gun control and for its allegedly low crime rate. However, the idea of a low crime rate is downright false, as by the year 2000, England came to possess the highest violent crime rate in the developed world (2).

In the 1980's and 1990's, more than 25 states relaxed their gun control laws. As John Lott pointed out (3), the states that relaxed their gun control laws experienced significantly lower crime rates than those that did not.

(1) United Nations International Study on Firearms Regulation
(2) Criminal Victimization in 17 Industrialized [sic] Countries (2001)
(3) John Lott, MORE GUNS, LESS CRIME. 2nd Ed. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 2000

In light of the logic and the evidence, I believe it is quite obvious that gun control is utterly ineffective in controlling crime. The only thing that it does is either have an inconclusive effect or increase crime rates.

I welcome the opportunity to debate on this issue, and await a contender's response.


Thanks to my opponent for instigating this debate.

Just to let readers know, my opponent messaged me and explained that he had limited time to complete this debate and wanted to get it finished by Thursday (tomorrow) as he is going away and won't have internet access. Although it is a 3-round debate with a 72 hour response time, out of consideration for my opponent I will do my best to make time for this interesting debate and to post my arguments rapidly, although this may mean I cannot do as much research as I would have liked.

I am relieved that my opponent does not want to debate complex interpretations of US law, which I am not as knowledgeable about as I would like to be. There are already some interesting comments being posted about this but I am pleased to conduct this debate in terms of logic and evidence as my opponent seems to wish.

My opponent makes three basic, but separate, assertions regarding private firearms to outline his case:

1. "Private Firearms are Necessary for the People to Possess and Use."
2. "...privately-owned firearms are a hugely beneficial tool for the private population to possess..."
3. "Private firearm ownership reduces crime"

I believe that as my opponent instigated this debate as Pro he bears the burden of proving all of these three points and that if I can prove any of them incorrect I deserve to win, although this will of course be up to the voters to decide.

It is my contention that 1 and 2 are illogical which I will prove in subsequent rounds.
3 has lots of evidence both for and against and is difficult to prove either way, but I will attempt to disprove it nevertheless and will certainly prove that private firearm ownership increases the instance of the most serious crimes of homicide and other violent deaths.

My opponent makes his points robustly and in the interests of moving this debate along as quickly as possible, (as my opponent wishes), I will postpone my critique of his logical argument and the very specific examples he provides until subsequent rounds. Instead in this round I will briefly provide some evidence and examples of my own.

"Homicide rates tend to be related to firearm ownership levels. Everything else being equal, a reduction in the percentage of households owning firearms should occasion a drop in the homicide rate."

Evidence to the Cullen Inquiry 1996: Thomas Gabor, Professor of Criminology - University of Ottawa

The following Statistics have been extracted from GUN AVAILABILITY AND VIOLENT CRIME: RESEARCH EVIDENCE Note by the Crime and Criminal Justice Unit, Research and Statistics Directorate of the Home Office available online at

They are provided for informational purposes you are free to draw to draw your own conclusions.

.................... Gun ownership........ Homicide ......Gun homicide...... Suicide........ Gun suicide
......................rate per 100k....... rate per lm...... rate per lm..... rate per lm... rate per lm

USA.................... 85,000................ 9.3................... 6.40 .............12.0................. 7.1
Switzerland .........43,000 ................1.5 ...................1.40.............. 20.4................ 5.8
New Zealand........ 29,000................ 2.6................... 0.49............. 14.5................ 2.5
Canada................ 24,000................ 2.2................... 0.67............. 12.8................. 3.
Australia ..............19,000 ................1.8................... 0.36 ..............11.6................ 2.5
Britain.................. 3,000 .................1.3................... 0.14............... 8.6................. 0.4
Japan.................... 400 ...................1.2................... 0.06.............. 19.3............... 0.14
France............... (23,000)............... 4.9................... 2.32.............. 20.0................ 4.9


The above two examples demonstrate the correlation between gun ownership and violent death, also there is evidence that more guns in fact equal more crime contrary to the examples listed by my opponent.

"Measures that seek to reduce the number of firearms in our communities actually seem to be having a measurable impact on reducing gun crime. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that children ages five to 14 living in the five states with the highest gun ownership were 16 times more likely to die from unintentional firearm injuries, 7 times more likely to die from firearm suicide and 3 times more likely to die from firearm homicides compared to children of the same age living in the five states with the lowest gun ownership. This correlation suggests that lawmakers can indeed save the lives of children by limiting the number of firearms readily available in our homes and on our streets."

One of my opponent's sources is John Lott, who's sensationalist 'More Guns, Less Crime' is a favourite of Gun Rights lobbyists. But his use of statistics has been criticised by many.

"In the case of Lott's model we are in the fortunate position of being able to test its predictive power. Lott's original data set ended in 1992. Between 1992 and 1996, 14 more jurisdictions (13 states and Philadelphia) adopted carry laws. We can test the predictive power of Lott's model by seeing if it finds less crime in those jurisdictions. Ayres and Donahue [2] have done this test. They found that, using Lott's model, in those jurisdictions carry laws were associated with more crime in all crime categories . Lott's model fails the predictive test."

There is much more evidence but I will stop here for now and allow my opponent to respond. Hopefully there will be time to look at some of these issues in more detail in subsequent rounds.
Debate Round No. 1


constitution1110 forfeited this round.


As readers will be able to see from the comments pages, my worthy opponent has been forced to forfeit the debate he instigated.

I don't know what the protocol is in these situations. Would it be unfair of me to continue arguing my position?

For now I reaffirm the arguments I made in round one.
Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 2


constitution1110 forfeited this round.


Hopefully I will get the chance to debate my opponent properly on this topic when he gets back.

In the meantime, thanks for reading, feel free to vote if you want. And check out my other debates if you have time.

Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wonderwoman 7 years ago
wow, no votes at all.
Posted by wpfairbanks 8 years ago
Have a good trip pro! I won't even point out the irony of the dangers of mexico, and the ability to purchase firearms here. Again, best of luck
Posted by constitution1110 8 years ago
Hello, fellow debaters. I realize I shouldn't have started this debate as I am leaving for Mexico later today. In the interests of time, feverish and I have decided to stop the debate and continue it when I get back. Since I started the debate without realizing when I was going to leave, I will forfeit the remainder of my rounds and continue after I'm back from Mexico.
Posted by wpfairbanks 8 years ago
Sir, I am well aware of the Framers' intent, speaking specifically with Mr. Jefferson in mind, of how firearms were to be used. I would agree with your points, but Jefferson and the others in the framing of the Bill of Rights in 1791, specifically amended the 2nd amendment because of the value of the firearm in "keeping" the government honest. Moreover, the founders initially invisioned State Militias, until Jefferson created a national force with the founding of West Point at the beginning of his first term. This well explains the first clause of the amendment (well regulated militia). And pardon the generalization, but murder was practically non existent at the time of our country's founding.

So, I would consider myself a constitutionalist, and I do believe in regulated arms possession, but the 2nd amendment is about as obsolete as the third. Just as be don't argue about quartering soldiers, we shouldn't interpret the 2nd amendment as "pro-guns", for its manifest intent, was a well armed militia, something we no longer have.
Posted by colinc16 8 years ago
I respectfully have to disagree with you, wpfairbanks. back in the 1700's, weapons were not used only as a farm tool, but also as protection in the times of revolution. I believe you really need to look at the times these men lived in to see why they believed guns were important. they were dealing with creating a whole new nation, not quite for self defense.
Posted by wpfairbanks 8 years ago
Yeah I was making a point fellas. What I am saying is that 99% of weapons today are nowhere near what existed in 1787. Right? Like nukes, assult rifles, hand guns, etc were non-existent. The founders didn't want weapons in necessarily for protection, but rather because a rifle was more like a shovel than a weapon in those days. A farm tool. I don't think nukes should be legal, but under most arms advoates defintion, they are.

And Inquiretruth, have you ever read the Second Amendment, or Constitution for that matter? IT is NOT clear what the founders intended. This is why we have constitutional scholars and a Supreme Court. To counter the obvious fog of the constitution
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
"Get off my lawn kids or I'll destroy everything within a 10 mile radius of here."
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
You shouldn't be able to own a nuke because nukes create insanely harmful externalities, and are utterly useless for private defense or revolt. Their only use is for jurisdictional defense-- i.e., the government's defense of it's particular property rights.
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
Why shouldn't I be able to own a nuke? You guys make it sound like everyone and their brother would be able to buy the materials to create and launch/detonate a nuclear device. That is simply not true.
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
Nukes are "arms". "

I don't even care about this subject, but that is simply an amateurish understanding. The crafters of the constitution spoke with specific intent and purpose, taken within the context of its writing, we know that it is referring to firearms for the use of protection.
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