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Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Gun Control In America

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/11/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 957 times Debate No: 106597
Debate Rounds (5)
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I am a gun owner in America that is looking for a intellectual debate on whether or not gun control is needed to become more strict or loose.

My stance subject at the moment is to repeal the National Firearms Act of 1934, to make gun laws the same on a nation/federal level instead of state laws. The NFA is a direct infringement on the Second Amendment but is one of the most obvious and highlighted ones to take down. While shootings are almost a common occurrence, I believe gun control is not the answer.

You start with your claim first. Accept only if you're very knowledgeable about the topic


I am also a gun owner, but am in favor of stricter gun control.

My two main claims are:

The 2nd Amendment is no longer relevant in the way the Founders intended, and as such it should be re-interpreted to fit the modern realities that men in the 18th Century could not possibly have anticipated. Specifically, the 2nd Amendment is NOT intended to allow people to resist a tyrannical government (trust me, the US government is not intimidated by your AR-15...), and the concept of a militia being needed to preserve a free state is no longer necessary now that the Regular Army has become so powerful. Citizens should not be allowed to accumulate a virtual arsenal of firepower just because they like guns.

Second, a gun is simply a tool, no different from a car or crane or jackhammer. Therefore, just like cars and cranes and jackhammers, one should have to go through realistic licensure requirements before being able to operate a gun. The fact that you can buy a gun in many states without having to go through marksmanship training or safety class is ludicrous. People should have to actually prove competence and maturity before obtaining a gun, just like they have to before driving a car.

Looking forward to a throughtful debate. If my opponent could refrain from posting their response until Sunday or Monday it would be appreciated - I can't respond until Tuesday :)
Debate Round No. 1


For your first claim:

I believe the 2nd Amendment is still relevant in today's society for more than what the founding fathers intended now than ever back then. Though I like to know what these modern realities that men in the 18th century has never anticipated are even though I might have a clue what you mean but just to be on the safe side. I believe the 2nd Amendment was intended for more than just resist a tyrannical government (self-defense, hunting, foreign invaders) though today's militia's aren't as relevant in really anything (Or at all), it is still there for the purpose in case of such scenario where it is needed. The "Regular Army" I'm guessing must be the National Guard? Military branches are forbidden from being deployed on US soil, but for this case let's just say it's the entire military. If the military were to deploy on US soil for some tyrannical reason/disarmament/etc of the US population, it will result in a failure. Last thing enlistees signed up for is to shoot at their own people, this can result in massive desertion and moral issues within the military. No matter which way the people look at it, it will be tyrannical if the first shots are fired by any government branch. There will be a massive crowd probably bigger than the US military (1.8 million, including reserves, not including potential desertions in massive numbers) in a population of 323.1 million. People willing to fight back against it, people don't bow down and accept to oppression so easily, many are willing to put blood on their hands for what they believe, and to die for it. Especially in this country. For you last sentence, are you propose a number limit of firearms a individual can have? If so, what is the difference in... perceived threat of owning multiple firearms? If not, please explain in much more detail. I see it as it's the right of the individual to own multiple firearms as he pleases. I don't see one person with one rifle more of a threat to one person with multiple rifles. A person can only operate one rifle practically with their hands.

For your second claim:

A firearm yes is indeed a tool, but it is also a right unlike cars, cranes, or jackhammers. The whole statement of license just like a car is comparing a right to a privilege. Should people be taught proper marksmanship and safety classes? Maybe. A gun store can make it mandatory to take the classes in order to purchase a firearm from their stores but to implement it as law is something that is a grey area. Do you have to register to the state to have a license proving you are certified?

Understandable good sir, if you can answer this question for me to understand more of your views, that would be much appreciated.

What gun control do you want to implement more of/add?


Modern realities the Founders could not anticipate:

1) The firepower and speed of modern weapons. Firearms in the 18th Century could barely fire 3 rounds a minute and were accurate to less than 100m. Modern weapons can fire hundreds of rounds per minute and are accurate to 500m or more. This is a huge jump in technology that requires modern regulation. Such weapons go well beyond the realms of self defense or hunting. Anyone who needs 100's of rounds to defend themselves at 500m has much bigger problems going on.... There is no need for anyone to own an AR-15 type rifle. It's not used for hunting, and it's impractical for civilian self defense.

2) The strength of the modern Regular Army has rendered the need for militias obsolete. The opening of the 2nd Amendment, "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state..." suggests that the amendment was written in order to allow militias to form in the event of a foreign invasion. This was necessary in 1787, because the Regular Army was very small, weak, and poorly organized. This is no longer the case today. America now has the strongest Army, Navy, and Air Force in the world equipped with jets, tanks, and missiles (not to mention a nuclear arsenal). A bunch of civilians with AR-15s and pistols are not going to make a huge impact on national defense.

So as for self defense, hunting, and foreign invasion, the 2nd Amendment no longer realistically addresses these concerns.

As for resisting a tyrannical government/military takeover, the 2nd Amendment is not meant to stop that. The checks and balances system is. The idea that an armed citizenry can stop the government is a joke. Your AR-15 isn't going to do a thing against a Predator drone, or Abrams tank, or Apache helicopter. A coalition of 11 states armed with a professional army, artillery, and even a navy tried to resist the Federal government in 1861, and they failed. What makes you think you and your band of freedom fighters will succeed?

Furthermore, do we really want citizens to have this power? If so, what is the definition of "tyranny" and who gets to decide when the government has violated it? David Koresh thought the government was tyrannical. Timothy McVeigh thought so too. Do we really want people like that to have the right to decide when it's time to overthrow the government? Of course not. That's why saying the 2nd Amendment was designed to resist tyranny makes no sense.

Cars, cranes, and jackhammers are not privileges. They are necessities. We need them to transport things, build buildings and fix roads. Our whole economy would fall apart without them. Yes, the 2A does give people the right to bear arms, but they are only allowed to do so under sensible controls and regulations. I'm not arguing to take guns away, I'm saying they need to be more tightly regulated. After all, it is the "well-regulated militia" that shall not be infringed, not the un-regulated one.
Debate Round No. 2


For your first counter
You're saying due to advance technological firearms from then to now, we must regulate these firearms since the founding fathers never anticipated advancements in technology of firearms? As if they think there will never be advancements? I believe that's nonsense, even before their time weapons have evolved to become more effective and change outcome of battles. When flint locks were invented, that was a great technological advancement in weapons that changed how we fought war. To further prove my point that the founding fathers did anticipate advance technologies of firearms. During the time and before or right after the Constitution was written when the founding fathers were still alive, weapon technology was still advancing with flint locks. Take a look at these firearms back then that I'll provide you with stats and you can look up the pictures:

Belton Flintlock: Created during the Revolutionary War that can fire 20 or so rounds in a pull of 1 trigger in about 5 seconds.
Girandoni Air Rifle: Where it can take a 22 round capacity magazine that can all be fired in about 30 seconds. Created during the time of the Revolutionary War and was later used by Thomas Jefferson to outfit the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Puckle Gun

The founding fathers was completely aware of these firearms and were fascinated by them, there's more but I think you can look them up yourself. Back in their days, these were their assault rifles, their AR-15's, their mini-guns, etc. They knew about technological advancements, to think they did not is ignorance. Also the AR-15 is the most practical self-defense rifle in America due to it's modularity and adjustment to the user unlike any shotguns/handguns. This is for the average American. Also the 2nd Amendment isn't for hunting.

For the rest of your counters
- The need for the militia is still relevant because they are the people, with special organizations to further coordinate as said from George Mason, the father of the Bill of Rights. Also you keep talking about the military power of the US as if civilians will go head-on with the US military, it won't be. Insurgencies and guerrilla warfare seems to be our military's kryptonite. it shows in history and it shows in the middle-east.
- You mention checks and balances as the first front line and only front line we should have against tyranny. It's not. Prevention and deterrance
- US first standing military was on 1784, keep in mind of that.

"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1787

- Timothy Mcveigh and David Koresh are individuals not the people.
- "well-regulated militia" doesn't mean imposed federal regulation. It meant properly working or functioning back in 1776.
- The civil war wasn't against tyranny, it wasn't even the people versus the government.


I think Con misses the point of a number of my arguments.

I'm not saying we need to regulate modern arms simply because they weren't anticipated by the Founders. Sure , there were new guns coming out like the Girandoni Air Rifle that gave the Founders an idea of where weapon technology was headed. (Although, these guns were more likely viewed as mere oddities - the Belton flintlock was never actually produced, none survive to this day, and historians don't actually know how they were intended to work. The Girandoni Air Rifle was impractical and quickly removed from military service and extremely weak, with a muzzle velocity of only 500fps compared with traditional flintlocks that boast up to 1600fps). What I am saying is weapon technology should be regulated based on its destructive potential. I think we can both agree that the Founders probably never fathomed a nuclear device, or a tomahawk missile. Civilians are obviously not allowed to own nukes or missiles, and this is never seen as a violation of the 2nd Amendment. Why? Because we all intuitively know that access to disproportionate firepower is not the intention behind the 2nd Amendment. Self defense and national defense is (although, I have argued that I believe the latter is no longer relevant). So my argument here is that the Founders could not have anticipated the advancement in destructive power of weaponry, and would certainly favor limiting access to firepower that is unreasonable for the average citizen to possess.

An AR-15 is absolutely not the most practical civilian self-defense weapon. Can we agree that most civilian self defense situations occur at close range and in close quarters (a home, store, car, etc...)? AR-15s are completely unnecessary for these situations. They're long (clumsy to maneuver in tight space), difficult to conceal/store (hard to quickly access), and are designed to suppress targets at ranges upwards of 300m (completely unnecessary in a face to face encounter). I think any reasonable person would agree that a hand gun is far more practical for the VAST majority of self defense situations.

You say the 2nd Amendment is for deterrence, but I've argued that it deters nothing. The US government is not scared of your AR-15. One SWAT team will take care of that no problem. Even if lots of people get guns, like the Branch Dividians at Waco, just wait for the tanks to roll in and that handles that.

You say McVeigh and Koresh were just individuals, not the people. But that's what "the people" are! - a collection of individuals. You have no good answer here - once again I will ask, do we really want individual citizens to have the authority to decide when to overthrow the government? That's anarchy!

You say the Civil War wasn't against tyranny. I think "the people" of the South at the time would beg to differ [1]. Once again, what is the criteria for tyranny and who decides?

Debate Round No. 3


"the Founders could not have anticipated the advancement in destructive power of weaponry, and would certainly favor limiting access to firepower that is unreasonable for the average citizen to possess."

Of course they would've, though the weapons I did mention (But there's many more) are lacking in performance, it showed there were still on going research, inventions, and efforts to advance in technology. What you stated on the failures of these rifles are trial and error. You don't get it right on the first try. So you improve and improve. Also, comparing nukes and missiles to a rifle is over-exaggeration. Nukes and missiles I agree wouldn't be anticipated.

"An AR-15 is absolutely not the most practical civilian self-defense weapon. "

Not the most practical but really practical. Different situation means different applications. Not all are CQC

Here are some articles talking about where an AR-15 was used in self-defense in many environments and applications from armed criminals, robbers, etc. Stores and homes:

" They're long (clumsy to maneuver in tight space), difficult to conceal/store (hard to quickly access), and are designed to suppress targets at ranges upwards of 300m (completely unnecessary in a face to face encounter)."

Well if it wasn't for the National Firearms Act of 1934, we would have AR-15's that are way shorter and not restricted behind a $200 tax stamp and be even more effective in CQC. Although, a non-NFA AR-15 is restricted to a barrel length of 16" or longer, it's still effective if you know how to apply it. The range effectiveness does not matter if you don't know how to use it right, even then it's good to have it just for any application, the AR-15 is adaptable if let to be. The AR-15 has more controllable recoil stability than a handgun due to a stock, more capacity, easier to aim, etc. This article explains it more:

You seem to think I own a AR-15... Your assumption is wrong. Also my band of freedom fighters don't exist. That's too much Red Dawn you're watching. Your claim is a matter of opinion on whether or not the government is afraid or not. SWAT teams and tanks can easily be avoidable with guerrilla warfare tactics. The people at Waco was strategically at a disadvantage. Not to mention the scale it was on. A small group of cultists.

McVeigh and Koresh didn't have the support of the people of the United States. Any that do is a very very small minority.
It's not individual citizens, it will be a cause/movement of citizens. Anarchism is not what neither anyone intend. Anarchy is a stateless society. A resistance/cause against a tyrannical government is to reform it, not make it stateless.

Criteria: Unjustifiable/illegal violation of rights or laws
Who: The people, not a individual or few.


Why are nukes and missiles an over-exaggeration? The Amendment phrase "right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" at face value should mean any arms - because to limit access to certain arms would be an infringement. But of course we don't think that in the case of very powerful weapons. Why? Because of their destructive potential and impracticality for personal self defense. Since we both agree this is a valid reason to control guns, I contend that this reason extends to other arms that have destructive potential disproportionate to self defense needs, like military style rifles.

Now Con is backtracking. In Round 3 Con said authoritatively, "the AR-15 is the most practical self-defense rifle in America." Now in Round 4 they admit it is "not the most practical but really practical." Sure, sometime people have used an AR-15 successfully, but these examples are rare and anecdotal. I still think an AR is woefully overkill for the vast majority of civilian self-defense needs. As proof - why do beat cops wear pistols rather than ARs at all times during daily patrols? Because ARs are almost always unwieldy and unnecessary. (not to mention their extended range make them dangerous in populated areas, aka, rounds flying farther than intended and hitting bystanders).

I am not assuming you own an AR, and when I said "your" band I was using it in a general sense, not literally "you." As for our debate about who "the people" are, can't you see my point about the subjectivity involved? You seem to assume when legitimate tyranny occurs, the majority of people will stand together and resist. We can't even get a majority of Americans to vote! How on earth can we expect a majority consensus on government tyranny? That's my whole point - at what point do a group of individuals become "the people" - the citizens of a church, a state, a group of states, an ethnicity, the entire nation? This makes no sense, to which I submit as evidence that the Founders never intended to mean the Second Amendment to give "the people" the power to armed rebellion, because it is impossible to define who the people are.
Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
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