The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Guns DO kill people, as do knives, bombs and hands

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 542 times Debate No: 109952
Debate Rounds (3)
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The adage is "Guns do not kill people, people with guns kill people." Although the previously mentioned is a true statement, guns do indeed kill people, as do all other weapons, including hands.

In fact there have been cases of people dropping guns and them killing someone, in this instance, even if someone originally was holding the gun, there was no intention nor malice in the dropping of the gun, and the person did not pull the trigger, therefore the gun killed someone. The person may be found culpable, but the gun itself is responsible for the death.


The question here is where the intent lies. We must find where the intent to kill lies: in an object or the person using that object?

Allow me to ask you this, Pro. Let's say I were to cook you a wonderful meal, some delicious steamed hams (or hamburgers, if you will). Suppose I forgot to cook the meat all the way through. We could agree that my failure to cook the meat properly was the cause of your food poisoning. Would you say that I intended to poison you? Of course not, as it was an accident. Would you say that the hamburger intended to poison you? Of course not. The hamburger cannot make choices, it cannot have intent, it is an object. Intent cannot be intrinsic to an object, rather, intent must be conveyed by the person using the object.

In the same way, intent to kill cannot be conveyed by an object. In the case Pro cites, no intent to harm existed. While the cause of death is physical, the person who killed the individual was the person who accidentally dropped the firearm.
Debate Round No. 1


Intent is indeed a matter to address, but the logistics of this statement is guns kill people, as a weapon that a person with intent uses.

Guns kill. Should we pull out statistics on all wars, let alone mass or school shootings? I think that would be an unneeded smattering of articles on the present life we live. The majority of gun deaths (as well as knives, bombs, etc) all have intent as precursor, that is not being argued, but intent does not change the fact that the "tool" used is the what killed you.

In your example you stated, that it was you who gave me food poisoning, which would be true since you were the wielder of the "tool", but it would also be a true statement to say that hamburger I ate gave me food poisoning. Was it the hamburger's intent - of course not, it is non-sentient, but at the end of the say it is what made me ill. Much like the weapon of choice was what ultimately killed me, because intent alone cannot cause someone's death, thank the maker.


Intent is the largest factor when it comes to killing, and here is why.

Can a gun kill something on its own? Without being held by, or its trigger pulled by, a human? We would agree that guns are useless unless used by someone. Whether it is the tool used is irrelevant. This is seen because the same intent can be accomplished by the use of any other tool, such as a baseball bat. Would we then claim that the baseball bat killed the person? No, the person holding the baseball bat killed the person, as the baseball bat was not required in order for that intent to kill to be demonstrated.

Pro's argument is semantics. Whether or not guns are the tool used does not invalidate the argument above. As a matter of fact, it confirms it. Guns are not necessary in the killing of another, thereby meaning they cannot be held responsible for that killing. When answering the question of what kills people, it is far more accurate to state that people kill people, as guns cannot communicate intent.
Debate Round No. 2


The problem that you are having is the not understanding the argument. Weapons do kill people, they are indeed an extension of the person, whether with intent or on accident, but a tool the DOES kill none-the-less. Is this it's intended purpose to kill people, i would say that is another conversation altogether, as many guns in the past have been created for the absolute purpose to mow down as many people as possible (ie. Gatling Gun).

Let us close up this argument from the Pro end stating the following. When a Medical Examiner gives the cause of death, the answer is very seldom death by person, more likely it is loss of blood from GSW, loss of blood due to deep lacerations caused by a blade, etc.

I understand your thought on if there was not a person controlling said weapon, it could not strike on its own, but the comment was guns do kill people, not Guns on their own with no assistance from people controlling them kill people.

Simply stated, Guns cause deaths, therefore they kill
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Debate Round No. 3
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