The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
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There should be no controls on private trade and use of small arms

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/25/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 837 times Debate No: 18463
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
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I will be arguing that self-defense is a basic human right, and that government and other power structures have no place ordering everyone to limit use of guns in a free society. I would like to see no government-issued permits for concealed or open carry, and no state-imposed limit on private use of guns ( apart from criminal prosecution if you commit a crime with them. ) Governments should be subservient to their people, and people should be free to achieve their potential by their own means, as long as they don't interfere in other people's business. You will be arguing against this, go.
Bear in mind that government registration and confiscation of guns has preceded most mass slaughters in the last century.


I accept this debate but my opponent needs to agree to spend the next round confirming and establishing framework for the debate. We need to come to an agreement on a few key points.

1. Guns - are we referencing all guns or just hand guns, and all ammunition or just basic.

2. "as long as they don't interfere in other peoples business" - what does this imply? No one would be against guns if individuals never used them to "interfere" as in killings,shootings, intimidation, war, or ect that involves others.

3.human right - we all know it to be an implied constitutional right but is pro going to defend self defense as inherent or univesal? or is he going to defend guns as a right?

4. power structure - please define, some hold corporations and institutions to be power structures,

Finally, please state if the people you are referencing are All U.S. citizens, or an outside nation, or just adults in the U.S.

If Pro can clear all these things up in round 2. I will simply state my agreement and we can start core arguments and the refutation in round 3
Debate Round No. 1


1: all "small arms", anything an average adult male can carry on his person. The description is usually limited to revolvers, pistols, submachine guns, carbines, assault rifles, battle rifles, multiple barrel firearms, sniper rifles, squad automatic weapons, light machine guns, and sometimes hand grenades. Shotguns, general purpose machine guns, medium machine guns, and grenade launchers may be considered small arms or as support weapons, depending on the particular armed forces.

2: this implies there should be no controls on guns unless said guns / arms are used to harm people criminally.

3: I will defend self defense as inherent and universal and the right to bear arms as part of our inherent right to defense.

4: The BATFE in u.s., the senate, any group that makes or enforces laws regarding firearms.

And I am referring for the purposes of this debate to u.s. adults, even tho i live in Canada.

Also, less technicality, more debatey. ....


My opponent invited me to debate and I am more than ready. So I will more than gladly lay down my case and ultimately prove the Con today through showing the need of regulation and limitation.

I agree to the small arms definition, I agree to the controlling forces examples, and I will take on the inherent right to self defense.

I reject that we can only reference adults for the reason that it is laws and regulations that deem only adults can purchase weapons.

Finally Pro's point 2 claim is ridiculous. I would never debate this topic with the specification that we can't reference events where guns were used criminally. No person would oppose guns if they were only used for defense in morally justified scenarios at all times and never for committing crime.This would dwindle the Con argument to metaphysics or resource management.

The Case. - my points are going to be short and simple with sources upon request. for citizens
2.dangers of gun use
3.dangers without regulation
4.human rights

Contention 1 - security for citizens
Pro attempts to argue that guns are needed for civilian safety but this proves largely untrue. An array of non lethal defenses such a tazers and mace are carried by millions of individuals. The argument may persist, what if that in not enough? The simple answer is that such an issue falls to the state or government. A state has a monopoly on violence and it is their job to provide law enforcement such as police officers and a military force. Also, under a society with no limitations on guns you assume citizenry would be safer but many are morally opposed to killing and furthermore you are assuming every man, and especially woman would want to get practice and training on accuracy and usage of guns. This is fairly implausible that most humans would be willing to do such. What we would see is a rise of vigilantes corrupting the rule of law as they try to provide street justice with their legal weapons.

Contention 2 - dangers of gun use
Gun use and ownership may be used for security in a minute number of cases but in the majority we see school shootings, mass killings,civil wars, revolutions, and other bloody conflicts. Within the past two decades a number of the worst school shootings have occurred including columbine and Virginia tech. In addition countless suicide were expedited by guns and thousands of children and youth have accidentally shot themselves of friends. Another point to look at is what could happen with gun limitation. My opponent argues government abuse but his point is null in a democracy. In scenarios with guns we either see rebellions slaughtered or the reigning power annihilated. Both are violent and terrible ends. Now let us look to gun free (or limited) scenarios such as ghandi, or mlk jr. , or the egyptian overthrow in which peaceful protest was able to create change.

Contention 3 - dangers without regulation

Without regulation on guns, society would begin to crumble as crime and drug syndicates amassed. Link this to my comments in my first argument, where we now see all criminals can aquire guns making the task near impossible for the police to manage. I suppose my opponents answer to this, is to place the entire justice system in the public's hands and allow them to use guns to manage it. This would surely end with disastrous results.

Contention 4 - human rights

The concept of self-defense as a right (inherent/universal) is false in nature. I would agree under a constitution we could acquire this right as part of a contractual agreement but outside of that it is nonexistent. the only way we achieve self defense as a inherent right is by twisting the value of life into the protection of my life. If we are to accept self defense then all people are justified in firing upon police officers that have guns drawn. That is a threat on your life. Now I know that pro will want to throw out any examples where someone has committed a crime but if we hold the principle as an inherent right the circumstance does not matter. Even the rapist is justified in counter defense if his/her victim utilizes their right to self defense. To make a final note, since self defense requires infringements and action against others I would argue it is inherent as it does protect the individual, but at the cost of the self defense of others. So essential every attack is leading to infringement on both persons right but we as society are then subjectively deciding the just by claiming the first attack was at fault. but what if the first attack was to prevent attack? Such a belief opens a can of worms, with endless uses and abuses of the idealized view.

Good luck to my opponent.
Con case is finished for now.
Debate Round No. 2


On the preamble : I'm not even going to address that.

Contention 1 : what has proved this untrue ? The average response time as reported by the city of mineapolis is over 8 minutes. This shows that the government cannot adequately protect average people. In the span of eight minutes, a criminal can easily choke you to death, douse you in gasoline, set you on fire, run 12 city blocks away, and secure a hiding place. Most violent crimes occur between the time the victim becomes aware of them and the time the police arrive ( if they do. ) The products you mention like tazers and pepper spray are not adequate to diffuse most serious criminal situations. In the most recent L.A. riots, the vietnamese neighbourhood was the only neighborhood untouched by mob violence. Why ? Because the Vietnamese people all had people who stood on the roof with a shotguns. Non-lethal or less-than-lethal weapons are not enough to deter or stop determined criminals, guns are often not enough to stop criminals, especially people hopped up on mind-altering drugs. The common man ( who is law-abiding ) must have equal defense to the criminal class and / or the government so the criminal class / government cannot take advantage of them thru force.
Government has never had a monopoly on force, it does not have a monopoly on force, and furthermore it shouldn't ever have a monopoly on force. Guns are one of the great equalizers and for a society to recognize equality it must recognize everyone has equal rights to protect their person. Law enforcement cannot and often will not protect everyone. Look at the aftermath of hurricane katrina, where FEMA not only failed to protect the people of new orleans, but actively blocked existing local emergency response and mowed down crowds of people with machineguns who were attempting to leave the area.
Also, I never assumed every man or woman would want to carry a firearm or use or own or train with one. Never.
Your assertion that we would see a rise of vigilantism is absurd. Most people who want to own a firearm in the u.s. today already own one, or several. Rule of law means equality under the law and that means everyone has the same right to bear arms.
The u.s. justice department's statistics show that guns are used to prevent more violent crimes in america than they are used to commit.
from :
* Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 5,340,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States during 2008. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders.[13] [14] [15] Of these, about 436,000 or 8% were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun.[16]

* Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology,[17] U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.[18]

In switzerland, where the gun ownership rate per household is higher than any other country in the world, incidence of violent crime is lower than any other developed country, excluding smaller countries populated by less than 100,00 people.
from :
Gun politics in Switzerland are unique in Europe. The personal weapon of militia is kept at home as part of the military obligations. Switzerland has one of the highest militia gun ownership rates in the world.[1] In recent times political opposition has expressed a desire for tighter gun regulations.[2] A referendum in February 2011 rejected stricter gun control.[3]

the city of kennesaw, georgia passed a law mandating firearm ownership by all eligible households, and their rate of violent crime is lower than surrounding counties, and well below the national average
from :
In 1982 the city passed an ordinance [Sec 34-21][13]
(a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.

(b) Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.

unt from ziss vee can conclude that gun culture, citizen ownership of firearms, and free access to guns does not necessarily result in increased crime, and serves to protect the rule of law.

Contention 2 : Domestically, guns are used to prevent more crime than commit it, as demonstrated in my rebuttal to contention 1. It is true that the numbers for gun killing go up if you factor in war, but factoring in war is intellectually dishonest because we aren't talking about military defence. Guns are often the only thing that prevents mass slaughter using guns from occuring, just as civillians can defend themselves from aggressors on the street, and well-armed militia can defend themselves from governments and other groups seeking to kill large numbers of people. " Gun control ", gun control, and confiscation of arms have immediately preceded most of the mass killing of the last five centuries. Ex. : Soviet Russia, Maoist China, Nazi Germany passing gun control laws nearly identical to modern American gun control laws, etc. To quote thomas jefferson : "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government"

-- Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334
"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"

-- George Washington
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
-- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

-- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.
"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficient... The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding."

-- Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue."

-- Barry Goldwater
"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

-- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

woops, looks like some other great quotes about guns sneaked in there.
He also said that government should fear their people and that it signifies Liberty, the reverse being Tyranny.

If the V - tech, columbine, or countless self-shooters could not have used guns, they would have used other weapons. All banning guns does is put them exclusively in the hands of criminals. You cannot eliminate arms by banning them.

The only reason the gun-free scenarios ( barring government enforcers ) you mentioned did not involve violence was that it did not come to the point where one group was willing to fight the other.
con 3 : No guns as punishment for crime is acceptable. I should have been more clear.
aaand con 4 : Your argument is false in unnature, ppl have a right to defense, not to violent crime. :)


AgencyOfMan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


hmm, looks like someone forfeited.
also, some things left out from my last rebuttal : The first part of your rebuttal makes me wonder if u really believe what you are saying.
You seem to have a fixation with not interrupting any program of the state and not challenging it, as if might makes right.
FINALLY : Your rights are inherent, and like matter, they can neither be destroyed nor created, and you cannot acquire them from a government.


AgencyOfMan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


as you have supplied me no new ammo, i must resort
to gloating with this : .
... hope y'all like gwen stefani.
. . .


AgencyOfMan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Tailypoe 5 years ago
wild neo-liberal appeared !
Tailypoe used LOGIC ... It's super effective ! wild neo-liberal forfeited.

vote for freedom, folks.
Posted by Danielle 5 years ago
To the instigator, will you clarify in the debate whether or not you support a central government? If the answer is that you do, I might accept this.
No votes have been placed for this debate.