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

The USA should ban guns

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/30/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,397 times Debate No: 24922
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Guns - firearms

Banned - prohibited for legal ownership or use.

Should - Ought

Pro says we should ban guns, con says we shouldn't.

This was partially inspired from me hearing we need to restrict gubs because of the Aurora shooting.


Round 1 acceptance
Cite things that you quoted, aka no plagiarism.
No semantics with resolution or definitions

Good luck!


We never finished this debate the last time. I accept again.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Scarlet_Ghost for accepting this debate.


Instead of arguing the constitution, as debate could easily ensue on whether or not we should obey the second amendment, I have chosen three areas, which hugely support my case with large statistical evidence. 1) Guns used in self-defense (DGUs), 2) Guns make us safer, and 3) the ineffectiveness in gun bans. All of these obviously pertain to the gun debate. One clearly shows the gun ban would make it harder to defend yourself, and likely decrease the deterrent gun ownership has.

Guns used in Self-Defense

There is a lot of data backing up the point guns are used in self defense quite often – more then the amount of times they are used in crimes – which would create a net benefit of gun ownership as it would stop many crimes in the act (so they are only “attempted” crimes), and deter the criminal from future actions.

Now, there are 13 commonly cited and accepted surveys amongst the DGU (defensive gun usage) debate, most of which are commonly accepted. They found defensive usage is as common as 800,000 DGU usages or 2 million per year [1]. Studies conducted by Criminologist Gary Kleck yield similar results, he finds, “The best estimates of DGUs (first two columns), even if compared to the more generous estimates of gun crimes, are 4.6 times higher than the crime counts for all guns, and 4.2 times higher for handguns, or 3.9 and 3.4, respectively, if the more conservative B estimates of DGU are used. In sum, DGUs are about three to five times as common as criminal uses, even using generous estimates of gun crimes.”[2]

In other words, we see self-defense using guns are 3-4 times more common then gun crime. This is significant as it shows guns have a net benefit in saving peoples lives/saving people from an immediate threat. Using Klecks numbers (2.5 million instances of DGUs a year) that means a gun is used in defense every 13 seconds.

With over 13 surveys and studies concluding DGU’s are a common practice, I don’t see how a gun ban should be supported. Gun bans would eliminate this effective method of self-defense.

Guns make us safer

There is mounting scientific evidence, also, that gun ownership may decrease violence in the United States. Most of this research looks into right to carry laws. The large amount of research in the field began when John Lott and David Mustard published their famous (or infamous) paper in 1997, it became known as the Lott and Mustard paper (creative scientists…) Lott and mustard acknowledged the fact guns where used in crime bery often, they also noted that Gary Kleck proved DGU’s where a very common instance. So their question is do guns cost lives, or save them through deterrence. Their result where startling to say the least, but for many the logic was straightforward and should be expected. The famous words in their study read, “If those states which did not have right-to-carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders; 4,177 rapes; and over 60,000 aggravate assaults would have been avoided yearly.”[3] Those words right there caused an implosion of debate amongst scholars. So some scholars (Dungan, Black and Nagin, Donahue etc.) though the results where clearly false. Their studies concluded there was no effect on overall crime, Donahue, however, found an increase of crime using cherry picked data in 2008. Others, (Lott, Mustard, Plassman, Whitley, Moody, Benson, Mast, Tideman etc.) thought the results where also obvious, all of their results came close to copying the data that Lott obtained.

Overwhelming evidence shows the more guns less crime hypothesis prevails, and the gun control one is quite weak. For example, newer studies have confirmed the original Lott 1997 hypothesis. Obviously Lott was the most outspoken on the issue, but many of his colleges have joined his team mainly when he brawls with Donahue (they have a bit of a feud…) For example, some results have looked into police shootings. The police studies conclude, “After controlling for an array of factors, including trends before and after the law went into effect, I show that states that enact concealed carry laws are less likely to have a felonious police death and more likely to have lower rates of felonious police deaths after the law is passed. This result is statistically significant in seven of the nine specifications, and the difference between the before and after trends is significant in over half the specifications.”[4]

Further evidence concludes, “In this paper, we use a Poisson-lognormal model to analyze intertemporal and geographical variations in the effects of right-to-carry laws on murders, rapes, and robberies. For each of these crime categories, our estimates suggest the existence of statistically significant deterrent effects of right-to-carry laws for the majority of the 10 states that have adopted such laws between 1977 and 1992.”[5]

As we can see, there are large amounts of peer-reviewed data concluding RTC laws reduce crime. And banning guns reduces the overall deterrent effect and hinder the ability for citizens to defend themselves. A gun ban would end the RTC deterrent effect.

Gun bans ­– ineffective

Gun control has been shown not to decrease crime, but only exists as policy makers see rise in crime as a time to pass gun laws. Little do they know, gun bans either have no effect or have been demonstrated to increase crime. Most studies have been able to demonstrate gun control has either no effect on crime or actually increases the crime rate. The findings of many studies, notably one published in the CATO journal report gun control is “The findings of this study that gun control is ineffective in reducing crime rates are consistent with the vast majority of other studies that use state data.”[6]

In other words, their results are fairly the same as the majority of most research.

"As the graph shows, after the passage of Ireland’s firearm control laws, the murder rate rose from about 10 a year to 50 a year in the space of just three years."[7]



All these graphs tell the same story. Not only is there a rise in crime, there is an explosion in crime. Most gun bans have eben proven to have little effect on crime rate or increase the crime rate. Every study you look at gets these results.


Guns are....

  • Commonly used in defense – they are common crime stoppers and life savers
  • Helpful when conceal carry laws are passed, these laws based on the large amount of evidence published likely lower violent crime rates

Gun bans are...

  • Ineffective in reducing crime
  • Raise the crime rate, and therefore do the opposite of helping

Vote CON



[2] Gary Kleck and Maltz Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense With a Gun” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol 86, (Fall 1995), 150-187

[3] John R. Lott Jr., and David B. Mustard. "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns." The Journal of Legal Studies (1997)

[4] David B. Mustard, “The Impact of Gun Laws on Police Deaths” The Journal of Legal Studies (2001)

[5] Plassmann, Florenz, and T. Nicolaus Tideman. "Does the Right to Carry Concealed Handguns Deter Countable Crimes? Only a Count Analysis Can Say," The Journal of Law and Economics, (2001)

[6] John C. Moorhouse and Brent Wanner “DOES GUN CONTROL REDUCE CRIME OR DOES CRIME INCREASE GUN CONTROL?” Cato Journal, (2006)



ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Conduct con, though I am 100% sure my opponent will make a showing next round.


ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3



--Lotts data

John Lott is the founder of the more guns less crime debate in the modern era. His 1997 is the most comprehensive study on the issues on conceal carry. He found large decreases in violent crime with the passage of these laws. The study, however, didn't go without controversy. Many objections where raised about his results. He wrote extensive and comprehensive rebuttals to these points and to most scholars working on the issue is an acceptable reference. Every objection raised was either a lie, ad homeneim, false, or failed to depict a full picture. Many of the objections came from scholars, but the objections where purely political in many cases. The empirical questions where quickly dealt with. Both where refuted. And his overall thesis stands as the most authoritative data on the issue [1].

--Other studies

Others have attempted to say Lotts study is unreplicated. This claim is scientific illiteracy. 16 studies replicate his studies, 11 say concesl carry has no effect on crime, 2 show increases [1]| the amount of research is astonishing. Many of the 11 studies show error. When they are fixed they show decreases in crime. The two studies fall into s graphical problem. The graph shows a curve, but they put a straight line. If I make a C lay on its side so it looks like a flipped bowl, we see we can make a trend. It would look like thus /\. We see a correct trend but a spike. The paper focuses on that spike. That ruins the results. The spike is not the actual data. A study attempting to replicate it in 2008 failed to do so, and said it was seriously flawed [1].

Based on this there is conclusive evidence.

--Gun bans

No gun ban has been seen to be effective. Fewer guns mean more crime. In almost every country prohibiting guns, the crime soars as based on the graphs and numerous studies [1].

--Gun ownership

Lott has shown 1% changes in gun ownership can decrease the crime rate [1]. FBI stats show similar results. Gun ownership has been rising, and crime has also gone with it [2].

This is significant evidence.

A. Guns kill!
R. Guns are used in defense far more often therefore saving lives.

A. Conceal carry kills !
R. It has been proven to save lives.

A. Gun bans would serve the publics interest in safety
R. Gun bans are either inneffective or are counter-productive.

Vote Con

[1] Lott, John R. "More Guns Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws," 3rd edition, University of Chicago Press, 2010



ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
That was fast!
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
There we go
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfizzle by ScarletGizzle