Debate Info

I support! I object!
Debate Score:87
Total Votes:135
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Argument Ratio

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 I support! (28)
 I object! (14)

Debate Creator

AngeloDeOrva(298) pic

Do you support the recent Supreme Court decision on gun bans?

Constitional,logical, judicial activism?

I support!

Side Score: 58

I object!

Side Score: 29
10 points

The argument that is generally advanced for blanket gun bans is that the framers of the Second Amendment intended the liberty to bear arms in order to form a pool for the state militia. While a narrow reading of the exact language of the Second Amendment would seem to support that view, the historical setting in which the Second Amendment came into being disproves this. The British had attempted to disarm all colonists, even those engaged in militia duties, as a means of controlling the colonies and preventing them from rebelling. Combined with the lack of effective protection against French and native attacks, the prohibition on weapons was of major concern to many of the Founding Fathers.

For Jefferson, the appeal of this amendment goes far beyond the simple need to arm and staff militias. His notes include a statement that is especially apt for today: "I see this [amendment] as being truly necessary to impede the growth of crime. Even a madman must think twice ere he confronts an armed and trained citizen."

It is an axiom that criminals will have access to weaponry, and that guns form the primary source of such weapons. Blanket gun bans do nothing to stop the criminals from obtaining the guns; they succeed only in removing the guns from the hands of law-abiding citizens. And the state protection (i.e. the police) is not sufficient to compensate for the loss of the protection afforded by the possession and training in the use of the gun.

That said, I take no issue with banning certain types of weapons on the grounds that such weapons are not, in fact, suitable for personal protection or for hunting/recreation. Assault rifles, submachine guns, fully automatic weapons and miniguns are paramilitary-class weapons at the minimum; the average civilian has no more need of these weapons than he/she has need of hand grenades or rocket launchers. I also have no problem with requiring licensure and background checks for gun ownership. The vast majority of gun accidents occur in households where the people have little or no training in the care, use and safety of the weapons stored therein. Licensure requirements could include training in the care, cleaning, storage, safety and use of the weapon (including a minimum of 5 hours on the range), which would reduce the number of deaths from ignorance, as well as increasing the deterrent effect of the gun ownership.

As a final note, researchers have repeatedly attempted to determine what makes one target more likely than another for attack by career criminals (here, we are looking specifically at personal crimes, not corporate or societal). Criminals interviewed by these researchers have overwhelmingly stated that the knowledge that the potential victim is armed and trained in self/property-defense is the single most effective deterrent to the criminal selecting that victim as a target.

As one memorable interviewee stated to a researcher: "Lady, I don't care 'bout no dog, I don't care 'bout no alarm. But the guy that lives there [in the house this burglar was considering] has a gun? I ain't going in there."

Side: I support!
3 points

This argument is among the best worded and well thought out arguments in support of the second amendment I have read in a long time. I'm not sure that there's much to add after this.

Side: I support!
1 point

Great job, I agree with you fully. I've got another quote to add, also by Jefferson, "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

Side: I support!
0 points

I agree with your argument. In addition, I'd like to point out that while the wording of the Second Amendment does support the idea that its intent was to form a pool for state militias, it does not support the limiting of the right to bear arms to said militia. The first part of the sentence regarding the militia is a nominative absolute, a construction introduced from Latin which was far more familiar to our founders than it is to modern-day readers. Its wording, if updated to modern-day language, might run something like: "Because a militia is necessary to secure a free state, people have the right to keep and bear arms". "People" is not qualified or restricted here; the first part of the sentence merely designates the reason why the second part should be so.

Side: I support!
0 points

I support the Supreme Court's decision and I have never nor do I ever plan on wielding or owning a gun. My reasoning is a bit different from what I've been reading below and I would like to point this out.

For people that think owning a gun is going to protect them from criminals you are sorely mistaken. It may protect you from petty thieves and part time crooks but full time crooks are not scared of guns. As the public holds more and more weapons, criminals will be pushed to become more and more dangerous as a means of survival. You'll be treated as if you were a drug dealer. They'll kill you first and then take your stuff and your gun.

So why do I support the decision? Because I believe that the founders included this provision as a means for us to protect ourselves from a government that was becoming more and more tyrannical. When citizens are armed with weapons, the possibility of a revolution is very real. People aren't going to pay taxes for crappy schools and if they try to collect from then they'll meet a neighborhood armed and ready to protect themselves. Sending the police to war against a neighborhood is a hard, unpopular decision to make, and most likely the police will not side with the government. It is a measure to hold the government accountable.

Side: check and balance
ttwait(2) Disputed
-5 points

Constitutional and logical. Violent crime increased 100% following the ban and murder increased slightly as well. Gun bans don't do anything but take the guns out of the lawful person's hands.

Side: I support!
0 points

Never thought about it that way really. Lawful people wouldn't be lawful if they would go around the law to have something that is not allowed by law... those people are probably the ones that would have the weapons if there were a ban. Would you only want unlawful people having weapons? No, I wouldn't.


Side: I support!
2 points

I wish that Mr. Heston was here for this one...He would have had a lot to say on this subject!


What ever freedom that you have and you give away, it will NOT be given back to you. This is how the government works, especially the one that we have now.

Wake up people! If you don't want to carry a gun or have a gun...FINE...don't...but do not try to take mine away!

Some say that the Declaration of Independence was written for then, not now...I disagree. Our liberty and the pursuit of happiness is still an every day issue.

I have a gun...I will use it if I am forced to...I am a single woman and if anyone was standing over my bed or caught by me in my house...that person is up to no good and I have a right to protect my self. I have the right to protect my self anywhere.

Any one in my house will be shot and killed...they will not testify against me. They will not come back and try to get even with me...they will be dead.

Now, some of you out there extreme...well wait until you have been in an issue the way that I was and lets see how you feel when your face is broken, your ribs are broken and worse! Lets see how you feel about this law then.

Ask all of the victims out there if they wish they had a gun when something hideous happened to them!

Gun bans will not stop criminals from getting guns.

Hello, they have them already...most did not go to the local pawn shop, gun show or Walmart to buy them!

Guns will stop criminals from getting you!

I see it very simple and anyone wanting to discuss this with me...well feel free...I promise not to shot you if we disagree.

As Mr Heston said..."The only way you will take this gun from me, will be from my cold dead hands!"

And the rest of you social deviants and criminals out there...beware if you come in my house with out my will think that you have entered a roach hotel...because you will NOT leave alive!

Southern smiles and world peace,


~The Baby Boomer Queen~

...for more of my rants...

Side: pro gun rights
0 points

"What ever freedom that you have and you give away, it will NOT be given back to you. This is how the government works, especially the one that we have now."

The Supreme Court, a part of the government, did indeed give the right back to us.

Side: I support!
0 points

How ture as for assault rifles wel lcars didn't exsist then or tv's but under the consitution we still have those rights with free sppech on tv and the internet. guns are the same way

Side: pro gun rights
geoff(738) Disputed
-1 points

If you caught a complete stranger in your living room holding your television in their arms, would you shoot them to death?

Side: I object!

I support this judgment, not only because I believe the founding fathers intended such policies from the get-go but also because I do believe people should have the in-alienable right to self-protection.

I believe that handguns, shotguns, and perhaps even some forms of assault weaponry are necessary in the event of government tyranny or foreign invasion. God knows, what if some terrible national or global environmental, economic, nuclear, plague, or other disaster tumbled our government to the ground.

In the case of paramilitary weaponry I would favor restrictions that place it strictly inside the home at all times (probably requiring its assembly in the home, actually. Meaning the manufacturer would need to send the parts to you and you put it together on your own).

Handguns shouldn't be restricted to the home; we should be allowed to protect ourselves on the streets (private businesses and government buildings should be free of them, of course).

Most of the hub-bub on the left (which I am a member of) seems, in part, due to the sensationalism of the late 80s and early 90s. Gun crime was the "Islamic Extremism" of that time period. A universal scare-all that frightened the pants of anyone daring enough to watch the nightly news.

The problem is, at the height of gun deaths in the United States, when the furor against guns reached a fever pitch, the problem was, at worst, smaller than the threat of soot, that's right, soot.

Lemme' give you some numbers:

Gun deaths in 1993: 39,595

Soot deaths in 1993: 50,000

Here's a list of things that killed more people than firearms in that year:

Smoking-related (includes non-smokers)

Diet/Activity patterns

Non-compliance, prescription medicines


Preventable infectious disease

Hospital deaths due to negligence

Adverse drug events in hospitals (non-negligent)

Toxic Agents

Particle Pollution (soot)

Non-automobile accidents

To recap, your hospital is way more likely to kill you than an armed robber.

Here's another fun fact: half of those gun-deaths are NOT homicide. In fact, in almost every year a little over half of all gun deaths are suicide. The rest are homicide, death by police action, or accident.

That means death by gun by murder is even further down the list of things that might kill you in a given year. If it is taken as just murders you have 18,571 deaths which will put you under AIDS and car accidents.

This pretty much indicates the danger isn't there for most people to require a blanket ban on guns; most of it is media hype and propaganda.

Also, even if half the hype were true I would have to throw my lot in with those that take freedom over safety. Liberals love to quote Benjamin Franklin on this; that sacrificing a little liberty for a little safety will secure neither. That, of course, only seems to apply to war and peace not personal gun ownership and crime.

Remember, this is coming from a die-hard, Republican hating leftist of the far-far-far order. A Communist. I really think the left needs to reconsider its stance on this issue; I don't think it makes much sense.

Side: I support!
1 point

Of course I do. It's bullshit when people say it isn't necessary to carry guns anymore... hmm, in a perfect world, of course not, but in this dark, fucked up world, yes, it very much is.

Gun bans only do one thing, allow only criminals to get guns. What happens when criminals get guns and innocent americans don't? Innocent Americans are shot dead while the criminal leaves with his possessions.

In Virginia Tech the campus didn't allow students or teachers to bring guns onto the campus grounds. so what happens? a guy who's batshit insane kills 33 unarmed people with guns that he brings onto campus. but how could this happen? i mean, guns were banned.

Side: I support!
0 points

The second amendment gives us the right to arm bears... er, the right to bare arms. There is nothing that can change that, except for a repeal through a constitutional amendment...

Side: I support!
0 points

It was inevitable, the constitution does seem to imply a clear right to bear arms. But I do have some faint hope that something reasonable can be reached. The right to free speech is certainly limited - remember the crowded theater clause and yelling 'fire!' - so should the right to own a gun. A rifle for hunting? OK. A God-given right to a .50 machine gun and a anti-tank missile launcher? Probably not. Of course the NRA will certainly argue that right, but still.

Side: I support!
0 points

If you allow a dog to put his nose on your bed, he will soon put a paw on the bed. And if you allow him to put his paw on the bed, he will soon have two paws on the bed. And if you allow this to happen, he will soon have his torso on the bed, and not too long after, the dog will be in the bed.

I know, this argument is actually a fallacy (it was reworded during the Viet Nam War and called the "Domino Theory", which turned out NOT TO BE TRUE).

BUT, as an analogy for laws banning gun ownership, the dog's desire to get into the bed mirrors a societal power structure desire to control the population - "give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile."

If we allow our government to ban gun ownership in some certain jurisdiction, it will indeed be just the first step toward a more encompassing ban, and then an even larger ban. And at some point, we will have lost our legal right to own guns altogether.

Our government was designed with a system of checks and balances - 3 branches of government each designed to keep the other two from abusing power to the detriment of the people. I believe that our founding fathers instituted one additional check and balance - our right to bear arms.

Side: check and balance
0 points

I support the gun ban. Its has taken a long time coming, but atleast it has come. I just hope it is taken seriously by teh authorities and we do not have people taking lives, their own or others just at a whim or fancy.

Side: Its taken a long time coming
0 points

I works for me. Thank God that Kennedy got his head screwed on right about this one... This whole thing about "gun control" in DC, I mean is that an oxymoron or what??? I hardly think that the supreme court's decision will change much of the carnage that haunts DC everyday. They had "gun control" for 30 years and look what an example was set. The most important thing about the coming election is not "how much is gas going to cost" or "getting our troops out of the middle east" but who is going to be put on the Supreme Court. This is one big worry. We need a few more solid "Constitutionalist" up there. Ah, but I ramble....too much time on my hands tonight...

Side: just lock and load
-1 points

We have the right tho have guns for self defense as long as we don't us them to commet a violent crime and we use them only when needed. If we sue them jsut to kill someone or rob tem then yes we have no right to own a gun even for defense.

Side: pro gun rights
1 point

You fail to see the intense irony created by your argument. What about the crazy people in our world that will go shoot someone? It would be like giving poison to a baby and saying 'don't drink this!' Obviously you can't just trust people to do what they say.

Side: I object!
-1 points

When you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have them.

Side: gun rights with enforced restrictions

I agree that American citizens have the right to bear arms, but that does not mean they can have unlimited access to them. It's the same reason our freedom of speech is limited from slander, treason, or when we're in school.

Furthermore, in the times that the constitution were written, you were considered a great rifleman if you can get off TWO shots in a MINUTE. War back in those times meant lining up without shooting and then shooting all at the same time. Nowadays, we have guns like this ( which can kill off dozens of people with one clip. In other words, times have changed since 1776 (232 years ago).

I believe that U.S. citizens have the right to own handguns for 'home protection' and rifles/shotguns for hunting, but assault rifles do nothing for society. Plus, the only reason people even want them is to have fun with them, and that can only lead to accidents.

Finally, the two (three?) week waiting period is a great idea. People can get really mad and adrenaline takes over. It is best to make people wait for a while and think about what they're doing before we have another Columbine.

Side: I object!
3 points

I agree with those statements. While i do not like the idea of people being able to get hand guns i understand that it is an American citizens right as defined by the constitution. If we go against the constitution by banning handguns we are setting up a situation where we can(with a "legal" bases) start going against the constitution for far more important matters such as freedom of speech. However, the constitution did not say that we can own hand guns without restrictions and waiting periods. I think there should certainly be an enforced three week waiting period for any gun type and other restrictions to owning a handgun including permits that must be renewed every year or so per weapon(and these actually be enforced). I think it should be public knowledge that one owns a handgun(maybe something on a drivers license), no one but law enforcement can legally carry concealed guns. If you are a responsible gun owner you would not object to such restrictions because you would understand the risks that guns have, no matter how responsible you are.

Also i want to stress what PolicyDebate said that when the constitution was written they did not have the weapons we have today so the "founding fathers" probably didn't think that the second amendment would give the right to own assault rifles as some seem to believe(or wish).

Guns always pose a risk, and owning a gun does not mean you will be safe, but it is the culture and education of those owning guns that compound that risk and it is these two facets of American society that need to be improved.

Side: gun rights with enforced restrictions
BMud(73) Disputed
2 points

"Also i want to stress what PolicyDebate said that when the constitution was written they did not have the weapons we have today so the "founding fathers" probably didn't think that the second amendment would give the right to own assault rifles as some seem to believe(or wish)."

So, is it your argument that we should only have the right to own guns that were being used at the time the constitution was written? (And just where can I get a front-loading flint-lock anyway? [grin])

Side: I support!
Bender226(6) Disputed
1 point

Don't even lie and say you agree americans have the right to bear arms, you are fooling nobody. The right to bear arms over the course of history has intended to imply that people had the right to own the weapons that were available at the time, in roman times it was the sword, during colonial times it was the musket, not it is the modern firearms we have today, including the M4 carbine in which you think nobody has ever heard of it. M4 carbines also do not use "clips", they use a magazine, get the terminology correct before you talk about something you clearly know nothing about. The only case I can think of in which a mass murderer used an M4 style weapon was the DC area snipers, which for them a 1 round magazine would have done the job just the same as a 30, and just about any given hunting rifle would have been a much more effective than the .223 round used by the M4.

Your so called "assault weapons" do nothing for society you say, well looking at why the framers wrote and ratified the second amendment they seem to fit that purpose rather nicely: to deter undemocratic government, suppressing insurrection, repelling invasion, facilitating the natural right of self defense and participating in law enforcement.

Yes a 3 week wait is a brilliant idea! Why not triple the time of an already proven worthless policy on gun sales, and further infringe on peoples right to bear arms. Hell lets make them wait 100 years, that will truly solve our problems. I bet Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold would have just given up after planning the attack for over a year, and already have built a propane bomb if they were forced to wait 3 weeks to get their guns. Oh wait, they got their illegal guns in an illegal manner, so it would have made no difference how long the waiting period was.

By the way, in the time when the constitution was written, there were no riflemen, but musketeers since the rifle was not in widespread use until the civil war. Also during these times 2 shots a minute was good enough, especially when your enemy could only get 2 shots a minute. In these times when the police and criminals can get off 30 rounds on one magazine, why shouldn't the law abiding citizens. Just for the record assault rifles have been generally illegal since 1934.

Finally, it is not up to ignorant people like you what they deem "good" for society, mind your own god damn business and ill mind mine, if I commit a crime with my firearms I will be subject to criminal prosecution just like you would be if you intentionally ran someone over with your car. You do not agree to the rights of the people to bear arms, and your views are the seeds of fascism and totalitarianism.

Side: I support!
1 point

It's not that I support guns. I object to our government trying to control every facet of our lives. Stripping away freedom is a gradual process and it happens right under our noses.

Side: I object!
3 points


The court affirmed an individual's right to own handguns. They just gave you MORE freedom.

Side: I support!
2 points

Isn't their like some law or section in the constitution that says ammendments cannot be gone against? So like isn't the title of this thread misleading?

Side: I support!
1 point

I support law abiding gun owners. However, I think that the constitution allows for the registration, licensing, and in some cases, an outright ban on firearms, so long as it is "reasonable".

I hope that the Supreme Court hasn't gone so far as to make reasonable controls illegal.

Side: gun rights with enforced restrictions
1 point

The whole point of the second ammendment is that in the event of an over powerful government the citizens could revolt. Just like right now, the government is becoming too controlling and, in my own opinion, I think that in a few years the reason that the second ammendment was put into place will finally be realized with this next president. Now I'm not saying that we should abandon this type of government, only tear it down and rebuild it so that its new officials realize that they have crossed the line and need to give us, the citizens, our power back!

Side: I object!

I just have one last thing to say before I'm done with this never-ending debate: to the people claiming liberty, do you also believe we should have murder laws? You claim people should be able to get a tool to kill, but they can't kill. It's a plain contradiction.

Again, I think a handgun for home protection is okay, as long as you obtain it legally, but what use besides killing someone would an assault rifle do?

Thanks for making this debate BTW. Like I said, I think I'll be done unless someone makes an argument against me AHEM ;)

Side: I object!
0 points

What I don't understand is why we feel the neccesity to split hairs over a few phrases that were apparently written with express intent of being ambiguous. You can argue forever what the framers intended - but they are dead and gone. Was not the Constitution intended also to be a living organism that can be amended in order to address issues that they were either unable to - or were unaware aware of at the time?

I don't feel the need to go over the litany of violent crimes that have been committed with legally purchased guns, look up accident statistics or cite the laws of other developed countries that seem to manage just fine without being able to run out to walmart and buy a semi automatic pistol - but it seems to me a civilized society that values human life would not be so incredibly antagonistic towards at limiting gun ownership and the ability to carry concealed weapons.

Side: I object!