The Instigator
Con (against)
6 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
1 Points

We should have a ban on CCW

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/9/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,967 times Debate No: 24659
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)




CCW -- Conceal carry [handgun], in this debate we are arguing shall issue laws.
Ban -- Prohibit
Should -- A desirable state

No semantics or trolling.

1st round acceptance for contender, instigator (me) does the usual thing. BOP on PRO for being PRO and against the status quo (most states have CCW).

Characters -- Maximum, 8000
Time to argue -- Maximum, 3 days
Voting period -- Mid, 2 weeks


I accept my opponent's challenge. For simplicity's sake, are we debating about gun control in America at a Federal Level?

Also, I agree with no semantics, but that does not allow for sloppy or careless wording, but, judging from your record, I don't think this will be a problem.

Furthermore, I will be arguing a "No-Issue" policy at a federal level (this is the policy Washington, DC has), meaning that extreme exceptions will allow for concealed weapons, but as a whole, weapons will be nearly impossible to obtain for the general public, as there are some extenuating situations which may require the use of CCW.

Also, I would argue a shared burden of proof, since this is a hot topic for debate and there are several states which have a "No-Issue" policy, effectively a ban, in place.

For now, though, I will simply wish my opponent good luck.
Debate Round No. 1



Carrying a conceal handgun is permitted in 49/50 states, Illinois and DC are the only remainders banning the law. 35 states have shall issue laws, too. I think my opponent still is against the status quo overall, especially with a political and scientific consensus swaying towards my position. The BOP an be negotiated later in a private message, lets not waste a debate on it ;)

Deterrence (use with argument below)

A common misconception throughout Europe is less guns equal less crime, and the same argument applies in current US media, all claiming guns and conceal carry are evil.

Now before we claim criminals can be deterred, we must first ask can they be deterred? The answer is yes, as many economic studies (studies done by economists) find when increased punishments or possible problems occur when doing the crime the negative outweigh the positives of committing the crime, and then they are less likely to commit the crime. Now we must ask why are they deterred by this? The answer is self explanatory, but I shall point out the obvious: They want self preservation, they want to be able to get away with their deeds. Also many surveys conducted show that criminals are more scared of people with guns then police officers, as if the gun is hidden they may be attacked back without warning (polices warning is the uniform).

Now, lets look at a thing Lott calls a "hot burglary." This is when a criminal strikes when a person is already at home. In Canada and England, where gun control is very strict, almost half of the burglaries where hot. In contrast, 13% in america where hot. Now what is the reason? Because they think they may get shot, they say robbing at night when people are home is the best way to get shot, they would rather case a house. This proves they fear guns.

Now, lets use some examples of deterrence. Lott uses the literal example of apples and oranges. He says if the price of apples increases while the price of oranges decreases apples sales will decrease, while orange sales will stay the same or increase. This shows the human oh it has consequences effect.

Is open carry and conceal carry different, when it comes to deterrence? When a concealed carry permit holder has a gun, it is harder to actually tell if they have a gun. Criminals wont know if they are attacking an old lady, or an old lady packing a .45 Springfield in her purse. This raises the risk to criminals, hence also their preservation. Whereas open carry is much less scary, as you know who not to annoy, and not to annoy anyone around him (as he may help the other person). The conceal carry laws threaten the criminals more.

The empirical data

Law Passed Murder fell 7.7%, Rape fell 5.3%, Aggravated assault by 7.01%, robbery 2.2%, Burglary .5%, Larceny 3.3%, Auto 7.1%. [1] (1977-1997 data)

Other data, his 1999 data, shows a better outcome of a 10% decrease in murder, and the other categories too had a larger decrease in crime, hence CCW in hi later data was slightly revised in new data sets. Lotts early data can be found in #2.

Now lets look at PA. They had a drop in murder of about 26%, and overall violent crime drop of 5.3%. Now, one of the criticisms of this basic trend is just because the drop happened after the law, we can also look at other variables, the most common one is arrest rates. Lott makes many dummy variables, tables, and to the best of his ability shows CCW laws where a significant portion of the decrease. [1] Another reasons he concludes the drop is because when there is a spike in people who have permits there is a decrease in violent crimes.

To get more local statistics, lets look at his findings in some states. In Oregon, for example, murder dropped 37% after the law was passed. Now, there are other variables he accounted for in the third addition making his data superior to the first. He did other dummy data sets, and still finds CCW had a large portion of the deterrence an drop in crimes. [1]

Now, it is logical to assume they actually decrease crime due to my deterrent argument above. The CATO study also finds similar reasons why it would actually decrease crime. They also fund similar accounts of data, and they conclude the Florida CCW law was positive and the other states that passed these laws also had a positive showing.

Another question that must be answered: would it increase or decrease mass public crimes? Now, as this is a valid fear, see the recent shootings in Chicago I believe, or Virginia tech. But to define shootings/killings, we must look into what is defined by. It is defined as a public shooting in a place where 2 or more people are killed or injured. Now based n his data in figure 5.1, he found the likelihood of a state to have this happen was about 60%, a little more. After the conceal carry law was passed, data and trends suggests the state now has only a 1% chance of these types of shootings in areas where conceal carry holders are allowed. [1] I may have misphrased the argument here: the likelihood of deaths or injuries when the crime occurs. Essentially saying conceal carry laws make it harder for the psycho to kill when in the area where a conceal carry permit holder resides.

Now, another question would be does it lower crime committed with guns? This argument used is common amongst people trying to go against conceal carry laws. But this is not the case. In the new 2010 edition of source 1, it finds a 9% decrease in murders with guns after non-discretionary laws are passed. Murders with non handguns dropped at a similar rate, 8.9%.

"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." [1] [2] (1997 study)

Summary --

This was found in one of Lotts rebuttal paper defending his origional 1997 paper.

*The majority of my sources can be found online, and source 1 can be gogled on google books and you can look into the specific data I cited*


I have failed to see any good statistical analysis showing the opposite of my data. I am aware of two studies arguing the opposite, but both involve the same author and are not acedemically refered. The other data I saw was created by bias gun control organizations. For my opponent to win the debate, he actually must argue it increases crime. If it has no effect then there is no other reason against it.

I urge a CON vote.

[1] Lott, John R. "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-control Laws." 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2010.

[2] Lott, Jr., John R., and David B. Mustard. "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns." The Journal of Legal Studies 26.1 (1997)

[3] Snyder, Jeffery R. "Fighting Back: Crime, Self-Defense, and the Right ToCarry a Handgun." CATO, 22 Oct. 1997



First, I would like to apologize for myself taking so long to respond to this debate; I’m flying out to an internship at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, so the last few days have been unbelievably hectic. Also, how do I put images into my debate?

===Burden of Proof===

To begin with, I will accept the burden of proof, by my opponent has made an incorrect assertion. I must not argue that banning CCW increases crime (though sources I will cite show that it does), rather, I must meet a lesser burden: that banning CCW plays a beneficial aspect to society. For example, hypothetically, if banning CCW causes a 10% increase in armed robberies, which are, say, 10 times as prevalent as murder, but a 90% drop in homicides, there is still a 10% increase in overall crime, but I would argue that the 90% drop in homicides outweighs the overall 10% increase in crime, thereby making a ban on CCW beneficial to society. This, therefore, is the point I shall argue, and I shall focus on homicide rates as my main point of contention, as homicides are the “worst” type of crime. As it was not set out in the original round, I shall argue not that banning CCW decreases the overall number of crimes, but rather that banning CCW plays a beneficial role in society.

===Rebuttal and Main Arguments===

Contention 1: Showing a short correlation over time with a sample of one country does not indicate proof that general gun control is harmful to society. My opponent has based a majority of his argument on a single study showing a downwards correlation between crime rate and gun control. However, many possible factors can contribute to this downward trend, especially given that the data in my opponent’s sample size of one country is subject to fluctuation.

My opponent cited Canada and the UK as having strict gun control laws. Indeed, he is correct: Canada and, in fact, the entire European Union have much stricter gun control laws than the US, with the European Union having particularly strict laws enacted in recent years. [1] Consequently, the US has by far the highest homicide rate, at 4.8 murders per 100,000 people annually, compared to Canada at 1.62, the UK at 1.23, Ireland at 0.96, Italy at 0.87, the Netherlands at 0.86, Denmark at 0.85, Germany at 0.81, Norway at 0.68, and Austria at 0.56. [2] (Note the sample size here to be 10 countries, not one, as my opponent used.) Furthermore, Japan, where firearms are almost completely outlawed, has the lowest homicide rate of any country in the data set, at 0.34 murders per 100,000 people annually, only 7% of the US’s murder rate per capita. [2] So while gun control may be effective at deterring armed robbery in countries (studies I have cited show, however, that it is not), it is clearly ineffective at reducing homicide rate. As in my prior statement, I would submit that such a drastic drop in homicide rates (for example, Japan’s apparent 93% reduction in homicide compared to the US) would outweigh an apparent increase in a less violent and far more prevalent crime such as armed robbery. (Also to be taken into consideration when considering the facts my opponent cited about Canadian robbery is the far lower general robbery rate per capita in Canada, at 94.2 robberies per 100,000 people, compared to the US at 146.4. [3])

Contention 2: The allowance of Carrying Concealed Weapons (CCW) only happened to coincide with multiple other factors to explain the drop in crime. It is not responsible for it.

To quote a famous study by Levitt, et al,

“The highly publicized work of Lott and Mustard (1997) claimed enormous

reductions in violent crime due to concealed weapons laws. The theory behind this

claim is straightforward: armed victims raise the costs faced by a potential offender.

The empirical work in support of this hypothesis, however, has proven to be

fragile along a number of dimensions. First, allowing concealed weapons

should have the greatest impact on crimes that involve face-to-face contact and

occur outside the home where the law might affect gun carrying. Robbery is the

crime category that most clearly fits this description, yet Ayres and Donohue (2003)

demonstrate that empirically the passage of these [CCW-allowing] laws is, if anything, positively

related to the robbery rate.” [4]

Levitt concludes,

“Crime fell sharply and unexpectedly in the 1990s. Four factors appear to

explain the drop in crime: increased incarceration, more police, the decline of

crack and legalized abortion. Other factors often cited as important factors driving

the decline do not appear to have played an important role: the strong economy,

changing demographics, innovative policing strategies, gun laws and increased use

of capital punishment.”[4]

Essentially, Levitt found in this study that allowing a wider use of CCW had little appreciable effect on causing the drop in crime in the 1990’s that my opponent has cited. In fact, in table 5 of the included citation [4], Levitt cites with a high degree of certainty that CCW played absolutely no role in decreasing crime in the aforementioned period. Rather, the passage of the CCW laws simply coincided with a much more unexpected cause: with the advent of legalized abortion some 20-or-so years earlier, the poorest children who were most likely to grow up to commit violent crimes had actually, to be frank, never been born. Hence, fewer criminals were populating the street and less violent crimes were being committed. Furthermore, studies by Ares and Donohue found that CCW has actually played a detrimental role in stopping crime. [4]

Contention 3: Counterstudy: Lenient Shall-Issue CCW policies INCREASE crime rates.

According to a Yale study by Donohue, et al, after analyzing crime rates in relevant periods of time relating to the adoption of gun-allowing lenient shall-issue CCW policies in the US,

“We ran just such a regression model [on crime statistics] that controlled

only for the average crime rate in the state and the common national influence

each year and found that adoption of a shall-issue law was associated with an

almost sixteen percent increase in robbery.

…[this regression yielded results that are] uniformly statistically significant and positive, suggesting

that shall-issue laws increase crime.” [5]

This study, unlike the ones cited by my opponent, includes detailed regression analysis to accurately reflect the decline in crime in the 1990s, allowing for the isolation of the effect gun control has on crime rates rather that analyzing a conglomeration of effects. In short, the study concluded that allowing the use of CCW increased crime rates by almost 16% and is harmful to society.


Though, in principle, the “more guns, less crime” hypothesis makes sense, statistics are against it. The only statistics my opponent have been able to provide have not been normalized to take other variables into account, as the implementation of CCW simply happens to coincide with a number of other factors, such as the 20th year mark of the legalization of abortion, among other factors. In short, CCW is ineffective at stopping or preventing crime, and has been showed in studies to actually increase crime significantly instead of reducing it. Furthermore, as to the argument about general gun control, countries with stricter gun control almost universally have lower crime rates than countries with less or no gun control. In short, CCW increases crime, increases murder rate, and poses a danger and detriment to society. I ask, therefore, that you render a decision in favor of Pro, that the ability to carry concealed weapons should be banned.







Debate Round No. 2



I agree with my opponents analysis on what he needs to prove.

C1: Gun control

My opponents main response to my empirical data is crime rate comparisons amongst countries. This is actually laughable in the world of statistics. This comparison of countries falls into the endogenity problem. This occurs, in this case, when there is a correlation amongst error terms.1 An error term is when some hidden variable is likely to be controlling the correlation, and not the other substance/action the statistic claims. This happens especially when comparing basic crime rates amongst countries, like my opponent did, which shows a correlation in favor of gun control. This also occurs when a regression fails. But due to the fact this comparison ignores basic other factors (population, economy, previous crime rates etc.) it falls under this statistical problem.

Now the countries in which my opponent compared have always enjoyed low crime rates, meaning societal differences keep the crime rate lower then other countries without this societal effect. The only way to measure the effectiveness of gun control is looking into the rates. Although before and after averages are very important factors, one must look into the rates as well as before after averages can be misleading. For example, before a gun law crimes could be raising at 5%, and after the law the rate of increase could be the same. Crime would be 5% higher, but not due to the law. If it was rising 30% after the law it is likely the law did have some effect. Many of the countries my opponent cited play in favor of my case. For example, when the UK banned handguns in 1997 handgun crime increased 340%, higher then the previous increases in crime. Jamaica banned firearms, and their murder rates increased by large margins and are now one of the murder capitals of the world.2


As we can see the rate of murder increases with the passage of these laws.

C2: Other reasons

This argument shows my opponent has not read the Lott study. Lott has many regressions, he has crack prices (price usually is a good starting point to indicate usage), arrest rates, conviction rates, etc. Later when economists wanted him to take away his regressions to see if the results changed, he did so and showed them the results sayed the same.2 Regressions are ways to control other variables btw. it avoids the endohenity problems my opponents C1 ran into.

Further, Lotts findings where replicated by 16 other acedemicly reffered studies, and 3 other non-acedemically refered ones. The most solid study done on the subjecct was that of Vanderbuilt economists, they had 15,000 regressions. In other words all thinkable factors, obviously the ones my opponent listed, where accounted for. The results? Almost the exact same ones Lott found.2

In counter to robbery, 3 economists, one of them Lott, notes:

“But putting that debate aside, the robbery results presented by Ayres and Donohue present a very clear, consistent story (Figure 1a). The state level analysis shows that robbery rates continued rising, though at a slower rate, for the first two years after the law was passed. However, after that, robbery rates in right-to-carry states fell relative to non-right-to-carry states for the next 9 years, and then remained fairly constant through year 17. The two sets of county level estimates are even more dramatic. Robbery rates in right-to-carry states were rising until the laws were passed and then fell continually after that point. The pattern is very similar to that shown earlier by Lott in examining county level data from 1977 to 1996.” Now I would like to note Donahue was using before and after averages. I showed how this is faulty above. As the economists further note, “While Ayres and Donohue acknowledge the problems in using simple before-and-after average in evaluating the impact of the law, yet they do not consistently apply that insight when discussing the evidence.” As we can see my opponents argunment is highly faulty.3

I would again like to recap on why the regressions Lott used looked into all of the factors my opponent argued, therefore he is falsely throwing opinions. My opponent then cites Donahue (different study) which shows an increase in crime. Note this position has not been replicated by any other authors then himself. Aryes is the only other, but he was the co-writer to one of them. Also note there are only 2 studies arguing this position, none of them acedemically reffered, there are 16 studies, 19 if you count the non-acedemic ones, that show decreases in crime.2

Now where do you think the balance of evidence lays?

C3: Increases crime

Other then the fact this claim is simily statistically impossible with no replication of ths data outside of two authors and studies, one must ask does this stance make sense? As Morgan Reynolds and H. Sterling Burnett note, “In choosing their crimes, criminals weigh the prospective costs against the benefits. If criminals suspect that the costs will be too high, they are less likely to commit a crime. The possibility of a concealed weapon tilts the odds against the criminal and in favor of the victim. A survey of 1,847 felons in 10 states found them more concerned about meeting an armed victim than running into the police. [...] For example, FBI statistics showed that in counties with populations of more than 200,000 (typically the counties with the highest rates of violent crime), laws allowing concealed carry produced a 13 percent drop in the murder rate and a 7 percent decline in rapes.” 4

After seeing this position makes no sense under criminal deterence theory, we also see the FBI statistics disagree. I would also like to note the robbery statistic my opponent cited was still using faulty data (as cited in C2).

Let me show you how unreplicated my opponents study is:

A picture from my book, can you see it. I cant tell. Look at the number of studies, 16. 3 others at the bottom. All say it lers crime. Lets see how many say it increases:

Yes thats it, two. So whose statisics are more replicated and therefore more likely to be statistially accurate? Also where's the logic? How would letting law abiding citizens defend themselves increase crime? Its illogical, and false. two studies, both having the same author[s] is not credible enough to draw any valid scientific conclusions.


Here are the cons of CCW:

  • Not having it means you feel safer
  • and thats it...

Here are the pros:

  • Comparing countries like my opponent did falls into statistical pitfalls and inconsistancies
  • Only two studies say it increases crime, both have the same author. Neither are acedemically refered. Therefore its not as scholarly
  • There are no good reasons not to have CCW laws

As we can see my opponents case is riddles with flaws, statistical failures, or flawed studies. My opponents statistics are nt high enough quality to get any real scientific conclusions, mine are and are widley accepted by scholars. My opponent has the BOP to show CCW, on balance, is negative to society. My opponents attempts have failed to meet his BOP. Vote CON.

[2] Lott, John R. "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-control Laws." 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2010
[3] Lott, Jr., John R., Florenz Plassmann, and John Whitley. "Confirming More Guns, Less Crime." (2003): 1-48.


I am sorry to have to do this, but I'm going to have to bow out of this debate. I stupidly chose to start this only a few days before leaving for the Perimeter Institute, and now that I'm here, I have incredibly little time to devote to this. It's definitely been a good debate so far though, and I'd like to start this up again; perhaps we can even copy and paste the original debates into the rounds. Again, I'm sorry for having to do this, but I have no time to devote to this right now.
Debate Round No. 3


Alright. Voters, argunments con BUT give my opponent conduct for the humble concession.


bencbartlett forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 6 years ago
Good debate so far.
Posted by bencbartlett 6 years ago
Hey, sorry for taking so long to get back to you.

I actually had a bit of a poor planning with this debate, in that I accepted it too soon before leaving for PI... Is there any way we can just put this on hold until I get back on the 30th? We can start a new argument and copy and paste the old arguments in, continuing where we left off. I do want to continue the debate, I just have incredibly little time to devote to it. Just respond in here if you'll agree to that and I'll clarify that by actually posting it in the debate round.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
I always like debating con gun rights people
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Ah I like this
Posted by bencbartlett 6 years ago
I'll write a response to this in the morning, but how do you embed pictures into the response?
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
kk, remember r1 is acceptance
Posted by bencbartlett 6 years ago
Okay, that was weird. Well good luck to you sir! I'm working on a response to another debate, but I will get on this as soon as I can. :)
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Its already accepted
Posted by bencbartlett 6 years ago
I tried to accept the challenge, but the website returned the following exception:

"The following exception(s) occurred:

You cannot accept this debate challenge because it is no longer in the Challenge Period."
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Contra 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro basically conceded at the end.
Vote Placed by yoda878 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: FF