The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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The United States has a moral obligation to ban guns.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/3/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 weeks ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 383 times Debate No: 95832
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)




This debate is an informal Lincoln Douglas debate. No framework or contentions. Just put out your main arguments and justification for this, no warrants, and if you deeply believe in one side or the other please do not accept this debate. I do not mean to offend anyone. You are allowed to put observations for the topic, then your arguments, with taglines first then justifications.
Order Goes: First off,
Round one, Pro puts down case, and Neg ) makes arguments against my case, and puts down their case.
Round two: Pro attacks neg case, while defending their case. Neg defends their case, while attacking pro.
Round three: Pro attacks neg, defends case, and gives reasons for why they should have won the round. Neg does the same as Pro does.


Pro- LincolnDouglasDebater
I affirm. Resolved: The United States has a moral obligation to ban guns.
Observation: The resolution (topic) is fundamentally asking us to weigh the moral reasons in favor of guns against the moral reasons counseling it. This means that simply providing one example or multiple examples of guns where guns would have been justified is not sufficient to weigh the round. Rather, both sides have a burden to prove their side as a general rule.

The only possible way to refute the Pro World, is to somehow prove domestic violence and gang violence are justifiable. This goes against the whole resolution (topic) however, because this goes against the idea of morals. Domestic Violence and Gang Violence are two very serious things that take away thousands, among thousands of lives, each year, traumatizing and separating families. This means by voting AGAINST you allow for people merely wishing to get out of domestic violence to get hurt.

Second off, Guns Assist Suicide.
One of the most common ways people commit suicide is through guns. Guns take away millions of lives each year, whether it is through someone else such a terrorist, shooting an innocent civilian or a person who should be seeking help, commit suicide. This means that you are justifying millions of deaths through suicide, instead of helping innocent people who are going through depression, and giving them some extra time to think about their decisions.

Thus, because the Negative world harms more people than the Pro world does, meaning I outweigh my opponent on how much harm guns bring (so do not let them try to bring this up) I stand in Pro, and hope you do to.


Apologies in advance; I am not well-versed with the structure and style of Lincoln-Douglas debates. Hopefully you will be fine with me simply responding to your arguments one by one.

Contrary to your statement, the people of the United States have a moral obligation to defend and uphold gun rights.

I will define moral as that which is conducive to the life of a rational, productive human being -- as such, that which is good, or moral, provides positive value to human life, and that which is evil threatens the basic requirements of human life. This is self-evident as morality provides a set of values necessary for life -- and living to the fullest extent is the ultimate purpose of morality.

Further, I will define rights as "freedoms protecting an individual's right to choose a given course of action." As such, the fundamental purpose of a right is to uphold the requirements of every individual's proper survival.

As such, individuals must have a right to uphold their life through the use of reason, as opposed to coercion and force. Put simply, coercion is based on the use of fear -- a coercer violently seizes property from another man if he fails to comply with the coercer.

A coercer exits the realm of reason and voluntary trade, threatening the lives of rational, law-abiding citizens. As such, others have a right to use force against this coercer in order to uphold their own lives -- every individual has a fundamental right to self-defense.

It follows that if an individual has the right to use retaliatory force to preserve his own life, he must have the right to choose the optimal means of doing so. By restricting gun ownership, the government essentially infringes upon individuals' right to choose the best means of defending their life -- and this is profoundly immoral.

Now that I have defined these fundamental terms, I will address your arguments.

First, you claim that guns promote domestic violence, and violence in general. This claim is based on a kernel of truth -- guns are a means to an end: the harm of another individual. But harming others is not inherently immoral; as I have shown above, harming others in retaliation is perfectly justifiable. Furthermore, the suppression of gun rights, beyond being fundamentally immoral, does nothing to inhibit violence in the long run. Violent criminals, by definition, abstain from following the law. As such, a ban on guns or any other restriction on gun rights will not be obeyed by criminals truly bent upon destruction -- as is easily shown by the rise of homemade weapons, the massive illegal arms trade, and the black market for weapons. For instance, after a 1996 ban on handguns in the UK, gun crime more than doubled ( A ban on guns does, however, violate the rights of law-abiding, innocent citizens. By stopping individuals from defending themselves to the fullest extent, we leave them completely vulnerable to the actions of violent, ruthless criminals. This is inexcusable and undoubtedly immoral.

Second, you claim that guns assist suicide. This relationship is not consistent and definite -- and there most certainly is not a causal relationship between gun ownership and suicide. A 2007 analysis ( of international evidence found that "there is simply no relationship evident between the extent of suicide and the extent of gun ownership." They provide ample evidence for this claim:

"Sweden, with over twice as much gun ownership as neighboring Germany and a third more gun suicide, nevertheless has the lower overall suicide rate. Greece has nearly three times more gun ownership than the Czech Republic and somewhat more gun suicide, yet the overall Czech suicide rate is over 175% higher than the Greek rate. Spain has over 12 times more gun ownership than Poland, yet the latter's overall suicide rate is more than double the former’s. Tragically, Finland has over 14 times more gun ownership than neighboring Estonia, and a great deal more gunR08;related suicide. Estonia, however, turns out to have a much higher suicide rate than Finland overall."

Furthremore, as Jacob Sullum writes,

"Japan, with a gun ownership rate of 0.6 per 100 people, compared to 88.8 in the United States, has a suicide rate nearly twice as high as high. China and South Korea likewise have much lower rates of civilian gun ownership but much higher rates of suicide. The relationship between gun ownership and suicide clearly is neither consistent nor straightforward."

Clearly, there is nearly no relationship between gun ownership and suicide -- and thus, this argument is no justification for the violation of gun rights.

Debate Round No. 1


Onto my opponents argument that we should be able to use guns as self defense, we wouldn't need guns as self defense if the attacker also didn't have gun. I agree people have the right to defend themselves, but that is why we have police.
OK onto my opponent's first argument. My opponent says guns are used for self defense and are used to harm people, to get revenge. My opponent then concedes guns are violent, and is OK with harming people domestically or with gangs. He also fails to address the issue that guns separate families, and is OK with this. Meaning by voting Negative, you are allowing for groups of people getting harmed, and families to separate. This goes against the whole idea of morality.

Second off, now onto my opponent's case. They try to bring up statistical data comparing Sweden to Germany. However, you can't compare Sweden as an analog to United States. They are in different continents, have different populations, economies, and different suicide rights in general. The resolution is fundamentally asking us to weigh the moral reasons and obligations in favor of guns against them, my opponent fails to do this, and provides an invalid argument, because you cannot compare Sweden to the USA or Germany.

Finally, my opponent fails to produce a negative case, meaning my opponent has no offense or defense going into or out of this case, besides the arguments into my points. Except their definitions and self defense argument.


The opponent has misrepresented my argument, claiming that I am "OK" with gang and domestic violence. I clearly stated that this is not the case -- and I provided evidence showing that infringing gun rights only helps the criminals my opponent condemns. Guns in and of themselves are not violent. They are inanimate objects. Their uses, and only their uses, can be judged in a moral context.

The primary (but certainly not the sole) purpose of a gun is to inflict harm upon another human being. As I clearly stated, not all violence is immoral -- but that which violates the rights of others most certainly is. The protection of gun rights does not "allow for groups of people" to be harmed, or cause "families to separate." On the contrary, defending gun rights to the fullest extent enables innocent families and individuals to defend themselves against criminals who fail to obey gun restrictions. As I have shown, those truly bent upon violent crime will circumvent regulations and restrictions of any kind -- the more severe gun restrictions become, the more vulnerable innocents become to thugs and coercers.

By voting positive, you are supporting a set of laws that would blatantly violate the rights of innocent human beings. In doing so, you would make civilians, who are otherwise capable of deterring and retaliating against criminals, completely vulnerable to violence and harm.

In response to your second argument:

Suicide rates can most certainly be compared amongst countries in the context of gun policy, since they account for differences in the things you listed. This is exactly what I have done. I have provided various examples of different countries with more gun restrictions having higher suicide and depression rates. You are right in saying that this problem extends beyond gun rights -- but coercive policies like the ones you advocate are undeniably the cause of this problem. The conditions of people in this countries clearly shows us what happens when the government infringes upon the rights of its citizens. Beyond statistical arguments, a single fact remains undoubtedly important: suicidal people will find other methods of ending their lives. This is easily explained; to them, the pain of living in the real world is immeasurably larger than any temporary pain suicide could cause them. As such, they are bent upon ending their lives to eradicate this pain.

Finally, you claim that I have failed to "produce a negative case." Assuming we are functioning on the same definition of a negative case, I have provided various rebuttals, both statistical and moral, to your arguments. On the other hand, you have failed to counter my statistics and my moral arguments. As such, you have no valid arguments at the moment.
Debate Round No. 2


I think my opponent is misinterpreting what an LD case is. My opponent only has attacks onto my case, but no actual properly warranted cards, with impacts. Meaning my opponent literally has no offense or defense into this case, and provides no counterplan to preventing the gun suicide, and gang violence. For these reasons I affirm, and urge an affirmative ballot. DO NOT LET MY OPPONENT TELL YOU HE HAS A NEGATIVE CASE BECAUSE HE DOES NOT. For these reasons, I also suggest for my opponent to concede the debate.


My opponent has slandered my argument as incomplete and fundamentally flawed. This is a misguided attack, and voting pro still means you support coercive laws that threaten the lives of ordinary citizens.

My alternate solution is simple: restore everyone's right to defend themselves to the fullest extent. As I showed, gun restrictions do not deter criminals -- but the threat of being shot in retaliation often does. Furthermore, guns do stop crime -- conservative estimates are in the tens of thousands, and generous estimates are in the millions ( By restricting gun ownership, you would condemn thousands, if not millions, of innocent people to death and violence.

Ultimately, the right to self-defense is a basic requirement of human flourishing. The right to self-defense reqiuires the right to choose the best means of defending onself. By violating this fundamental right, gun control measures threaten the lives and prosperity of millions of innocents -- and this is profoundly immoral. If you choose to vote con, you are choosing to oppose these coercive, anti-human measures.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Lacixodarap 2 weeks ago
One of the few things that grants people the confidence to attack others is the attacker's belief they will not be prevented. A rational attacker would not attack a police station, unless the police station is the reasoning behind the attack. A rational attacker wouldn't attack without them knowing they have a decent chance of defeating the opposition. Now a rational attacker will most likely avoid police and security, the reason is because they, the police, security have a weapon which can stop the attacker. An example of this is, "Ever wonder why there is no mass shootings at gun ranges?" The reason is because the attacker would rather attack an area with less or no defensibility. One may argue "That's what the police is for." The police is, unfortunately not omnipresent.
Posted by skipsaweirdo 2 weeks ago
Pro has finally won the complete moron of the year award....
"We wouldn't need guns if the person who attacks us or breaks into our house didn't have a gun" etc..paraphrase.
Completely right. You would need a sword. Oops gotta ban swords.
You would need a bat, oops gotta ban bats
You would need a 6ft 9in 290 pound 7th degree black belt in TaeKwonDo , wait gotta ban, via this reasoning, all people.....think about
Posted by taxidea 2 weeks ago
I am new here and do not yet have voting privileges but I think Con has presented better arguments even though I agreed with Con prior to the debate I was open to reading something new from the pro side which didn't occur. I have no problem voting for an opinion different from my own if the arguments are sound. Not the case here.
Posted by taxidea 2 weeks ago
The primary problem with gun control is having citizens entrusting others for their basic safety and well-being. The concept of policing is to follow up after the crime has been committed. The most common answer to the question of "where were the police?" is "they can"t be everywhere". If that is the case, why then should people rely on them for their most fundamental self-protection?
I believe there is an overly simplistic view of both suicide and domestic violence by the pro side. These are both complex issues and both existed before guns were even invented.
I also agree that pro is misrepresenting the con arguments. He is attempting to paint con as a pro-gang and pro-domestic violence advocate when he neither said nor implied either.
Posted by TheBenC 2 weeks ago
Police are not there to prevent crimes. They are not your personal bodyguards. Someone breaks into an old woman's house and attacks do the police prevent that? She will be found dead a few days later.

I have no clue why people think we are safe because of police that are 30 minutes away.
Posted by LincolnDouglasDebater 3 weeks ago
I understand you argument, but we have police for that reason. If the police are corrupt then we should implement guns back into the system, however for now, most police are not corrupt. I understand some police are racist but the way to protest this is through non-violence. And even then, the three black men had guns and same with the women, so why couldn't they both just give them up, allow for the women to hide, and then call the police. There was a need for the second amendment when there were not terrorists however, in today's world there are terrorists. We should expand education systems to end the three black men example. So ViceVersa9, the resolution is asking us if the US should ban guns, there are two things implied from this. First off, banning guns from a democracy and second off, in today's world. To end police corruption we should improve police systems. We aren't a democracy if the police were biased, rather a coercive government or a facism, and in today's world, United States cops aren't biased. That also goes to TheBenC's comment because when was that incident posted, this year or a year back, because even then that isn't recent.
Posted by ViceVersa9 3 weeks ago
I believe the founding fathers allowed America to have full gun use is because they believed one day that the government might be corrupt and the people would need to rebel like they once did. You say that we have police for a reason but what if the police were evil? Then who would you turn to, the answer your gun.
Posted by TheBenC 3 weeks ago
Estimates over the number of defensive gun uses vary wildly, depending on the study's definition of a defensive gun use, survey design, population, criteria, time-period studied, and other factors. Low-end estimates are in the range of 55,000 to 80,000 incidents per year, while high end estimates reach of 4.7 million incidents per year.

That is a quote from wiki. I recently saw a video of 3 black men breaking into a house. There was a lone asian woman in the house who lived there. They could have done anything to her, anything at all. They all had guns. She had a gun too. She called 911 and while on the phone they found her. She shot at them. They ran. Two ran through the door they broke into. One ran around the house with his hands up, into the kitchen and jumped through the window above the sink like a freaking movie! The cops arrive later and find one of the guys dead in the driveway.

Who thinks this woman is safe without her gun? Who thinks she should not have the right to defend herself? Who would prefer this woman to be beaten, raped or killed?

Ban all guns and you are for this woman being at least beaten.
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