In the United States, the private ownership of handguns ought to be banned



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In the United States, the private ownership of handguns ought to be banned.


Compiled and Edited by Kyle Cheesewright

In the United States, the private ownership of handguns ought to be banned. 1

Topic Analysis 2

Affirmative 3

Contention One: Guns promote a culture of violence 4

Contention Two: Easily Available Handguns result in death. 6

Contention Three: Relaxed Gun Control Laws Waterfall Internationally 8

Affirmative Extensions 9

Negative 20

Contention One: Access to Guns prevents crime. 21

Contention Two: Gun laws won’t solve all of our problems 22

Negative Extensions 23




Topic Analysis


This topic calls on debaters to analyze and discuss the importance of gun control legislation in the United States. It takes a pretty radical position, forcing the affirmative to argue in favor of the complete elimination of handguns throughout the United States.

Most affirmative positions will probably want to focus on why HANDGUNS, specifically, are particularly problematic. Potential approaches include arguing that the relative ease of use make handguns deadly to their owners, as well as promoting a culture of fear in the police which might be responsible for some of the quickness that police often display when dealing with folks who are potentially armed.

Many folks are likely to object that the elimination of handguns violates the constitution. If you want this to be a viable argument on the Negative, it is important to connect the constitution to larger philosophical concerns, like the social contract, in order to ensure that you have clear links to impacts coming from a violation of the constitution. Affirmatives have a few options to respond to this argument: first, using the word “ought” in the resolution can be a nice way to decouple the concern of constitutionality from this debate. Secondly, isolating handguns in particular can easily be understood as a reasonable regulation under the constitution. Even the First Amendment, which has much harsher language “NO LAW,” is bound by a series of reasonable restriction. These claims can make it possible to avoid some of the most obvious constitutionally based objections to this topic. Debaters might also be interested in examining the doctrine of selective incorporation, and its relation to the second amendment, which languished outside of the doctrine of selective incorporation for quite some time.

This debate can easily turn almost entirely to matters of practicality. It is important for Affirmatives to remember the long range implications of a ban on handguns—particularly given the fact that it often takes years, if not decades, to fully implement legislation like the legislation that would be required by the affirmative.

From a critical perspective, Affirmatives might be interested in pursuing discussions of threat construction. Additional options include the parametrizing of the resolution to particular instances. On the negative side, positions might want to explore the importance of armed resistance to systems of oppression, or consider using different parametricized examples as alternatives for regulation.

From a more policy based perspective, Negatives have the option of solidly defending the use of guns in terms of self-defense and deterrence.


Affirmative



Contention One: Guns promote a culture of violence

A. Injuries to children from firearms is largely a problem of the proliferation of handguns and the acceptance of handgun violence in our culture


Phyllis F. Agran 1987 Public Health Reports “Injuries to Children: The Relationship of Child Development to Prevention Strategies” (1974-) Vol. 102, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1987), pp. 609-610

Injuries to children from firearms is largely a problem of the proliferation of handguns and the acceptance of handgun violence in our culture. The young child is introduced to the handgun as a toy; violence with handguns is a mainstay of television drama. Moreover, there are an estimated 50 million guns in America, including tens of millions kept in households in which there are children. The young child does not understand the danger of the real object or the difference between it and a toy gun. While "playing" with the family gun, one child somehow kills another child. As for the adolescent who has grown up in our "gun culture," the handgun is all too often seen as the quick solution to conflict, and there has been increased incidence of handgun suicide and homi? cide among adolescents, ages 15-24


B. Gun ownership proves to be associated with a culture of gun violence


Edward L. Glaeser and Spencer Glendon 1998 “Who Owns Guns? Criminals, Victims, and the Culture of Violence” The American Economic Review, Vol. 88, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Hundred and Tenth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1998), pp. 458-462

We have four tests of the view that guns are a symptom of a "culture of private justice." First, we predict that gun ownership is higher for individuals whose peers own guns. This strategic complementarity occurs because in a fight the benefit of having a gun rises if your opponent has a gun and because the likelihood of being punished for using or having a gun declines if everyone is a gun user. Second, gun ownership should decline with police availability and confidence in the legal system. Third, following Nisbett and Cohen (1996), we expect to find a connection between a general tendency toward violent retribution and gun ownership. Fourth, since handguns provide a less visible signal, we expect to see that the three effects just described are stronger for guns generally than for handguns … The next row in the table shows that individuals who answer yes to the question "Would you approve of hitting someone who hit your child?" are more likely to own guns. Gun ownership appears to be associated with a general taste for violent retribution. The next row shows that gun ownership is negatively correlated with confidence in the Supreme Court. Gun ownership is also negatively correlated with the number of police per square mile in the state, holding overall population density constant. In the fourth row from the bottom, we see that gun-owners are less likely to believe that public officials care about them, suggesting that private and public justice appear to be substitutes


C. The Weapons Effect


Craig A. Anderson, Arlin J. Benjamin, Jr., and Bruce D. Bartholow 1998 “Does the Gun Pull the Trigger? Automatic Priming Effects of Weapon Pictures and Weapon Names” Psychological Science July 1998 9: 308-314, doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00061

In 1967, Berkowitz and LePage demonstrated that the presence of weapons (a rifle and a revolver) produced more retaliative aggression against an antagonist than did the presence of badminton rackets. These results, and several failures to replicate them (e.g., Page & Scheidt, 1971), led to considerable debate about the validity of the effect. But now, more than three decades later, it is clear that this “weapons effect” is real. It has been observed with knives as well as guns, with weapon pictures as well as real weapons, in field settings as well as the psychological laboratory. Early concerns that the weapons effect might be an artifact of participants’ suspicion or experimenter demand have been met by studies revealing the opposite: The weapons effect occurs only when participants are not suspicious or under heavy experimenter demand (Carlson, Marcus-Newhall, & Miller, 1990; Turner, Simons, Berkowitz, & Frodi, 1977). It is clear that the presence of a weapon—or even a picture of a weapon—can make people behave more aggressively. In essence, the gun helps pull the trigger. How might this occur?


Contention Two: Easily Available Handguns result in death.

A. Availability of more guns mean more crime


Ingraham, 2014 (Christopher, Pew Research Center. More guns, more crime: New Research Debunks a Central Thesis of the Gun Rights Movement, Washington D.C.:Washington Post)

Stanford law professor John Donohue and his colleagues have added another full decade to the analysis, extending it through 2010 , and have concluded that the opposite of Lott and Mustard's original conclusion is true: more guns equal more crime . "The totality of the evidence based on educated judgments about the best statistical models suggests that righttocarry laws are associated with substantially higher rates" of aggravated assault, robbery, rape and murder , Donohue said in an interview with the Stanford Report. The evidence suggests that righttocarry laws are associated with an 8 percent increase in the incidence of aggravated assault , according to Donohue. He says this number is likely a floor, and that some statistical methods show an increase of 33 percent in aggravated assaults involving a firearm after the passage of righttocarry laws . These findings build on and strengthen the conclusions of Donohue's earlier research , which only used data through 2006. In addition to having nearly two decades' worth of additional data to work with, Donohue's findings also improve upon Lott and Mustard's research by using a variety of different statistical models, as well as controlling for a number of confounding factors, like the crack epidemic of the early 1990s. These new findings are strong. But there's rarely such a thing as a slamdunk in social science research. Donohue notes that "different statistical models can yield different estimated effects, and our ability to ascertain the best model is imperfect."


B. Availability of guns in an house leads to an increase in suicide.


Ingraham, 2014 (Christopher, Pew Research Center. More guns, more crime: New Research Debunks a Central Thesis of the Gun Rights Movement, Washington D.C.:Washington Post)

A primary “self harm” contributor for all deaths by suicide is a personal firearm, particularly a handgun. With a positive screening result for depression, and even with no risk to a low risk of suicide, an appropriate step for the ED practitioner is to assess for the presence of guns in the home and or access to firearms, especially in the elderly population. More than 80% of suicides among elderly persons are completed with a firearm . Regarding current availability of a handgun, 20% of elders in primary care practices report having a handgun available to them, and the presence of a handgun in the home increases suicide risk two fold . In one of the few studies of gun possession and cognition, researchers conducting a Veterans Health Administration study found that 40% of veterans who were mildly cognitively impaired had a gun in the home . Findings from other studies in which persons were not cognitively impaired show that within the first year after purchase, for persons older than 75 years, selfinflicted gunshots were the leading cause of death among this group. The association between firearm availability and potential for suicide mediated by depression is high; the presence of one or more guns in a home increases the risk of suicide nearly 5 times . Many of these guns, kept for protection by older adults, are stored unloaded and unlocked, but ammunition is readily available. Because depression and cognitive changes in elders are correlated, the presence of firearms in the home can be a public health safety issue for more than just the elder . For example, the homicide suicide rate among elders is twice as high as the homicide suicide rate among young adults. Homicide suicide by elders constitutes 5% of all homicides in the US. According to police reports with information obtained from interviews with decedents’ family members after a homicide suicide, the elderly homicide victim (often the wife) was totally unaware of the spouse’s intention.


Contention Three: Relaxed Gun Control Laws Waterfall Internationally

Relaxed gun regulations in the United States lead to more guns in other countries


Eby, 2014, (Jessica A. Eby, UCLA/RAND Empirical Legal Studies program, Fast and Furious, or Slow and Steady? The Flow of Guns From the United States to Mexico, 61 UCLA L. Rev. 1082, May 24, 2014, Issue #1, Pg # 1085)

In Mexico, strict gun control laws make it difficult for anyone but the police or the military to legally obtain most firearms, particularly the high-powered [*1085] long guns that are popular with drug trafficking organizations. n5 In contrast, in the United States, not only are firearms available for legal sale in every state, but three out of four of the states that border Mexico have some of the most lax gun regulations in the country. In Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, there is no limit to the number of guns that a single buyer can purchase at a time from a dealer; there is no requirement for background checks to be conducted at gun shows; there are no restrictions on the sale of assault weapons; and straw purchasers (those who buy a gun with the intention of transferring it to a person who is prohibited from legally owning a gun) cannot be prosecuted as such. n6 California, which has three out of four of these gun control measures in place, n7 sources significantly fewer crime guns to Mexico per capita.


Affirmative Extensions

Gun demographics show how many people currently own a gun, and less people are choosing to own guns


Eby, 2014, (Jessica A. Eby, UCLA/RAND Empirical Legal Studies program, Fast and Furious, or Slow and Steady? The Flow of Guns From the United States to Mexico, 61 UCLA L. Rev. 1082, May 24, 2014, Issue #1, Pg # 1090)

Estimates place the number of privately owned firearms in 2007 in the United States at 294 million, and the total number of firearms available to civilians in 2009 at 310 million. The number of individual gun owners in the United States has remained largely steady from the 1980s to the present, but because of shifting demographic patterns, the percentage of households with guns has decreased: In 1980, 48 percent of American households had at least one gun, but by 1999, that had dropped to 36 percent. Guns are also distributed unequally geographically: Rural residents are far more likely than urban residents to own guns (including handguns), and rates of gun ownership are lower in the Northeast than in the Southern, Rocky Mountain, Midwest, and Pacific regions.


A minimal reduction in firearm ownership can have a large impact on multiple lives


Moeller, 2014 (Nicholas Moeller, University of Illinois Law Review, THE SECOND AMENDMENT BEYOND THE DOORSTEP: CONCEALED CARRY POST-HELLER 2014 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1401)

Some critics posit that the proliferation of concealed carry laws allows more guns to be on hand for individuals. The increased availability of guns may lead to an increase in cases of suicide, as "suicide rates are ... largely a function of the availability of firearms." Gun ownership, some studies show, is not just the "strongest correlate" for homicides, but also suicide levels. One estimate is that a ten percent reduction in firearm ownership in the United States would translate to 800 fewer suicides per year. Since handguns are typically the firearm discussed in matters of concealed carry, it is interesting to look at the effects of Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban. In the decade following the D.C. ban, the district saw a twenty-three percent decrease in suicides. A study in California showed that purchasers of a handgun were four times more likely to commit suicide during the first year following their purchase. In Michigan, concealed carry permit holders have been shown to have a higher rate of suicide than those without permits.


The limitation on handguns make the successful of suicide an unfathomable statistic


Miller, 2011, (Joan H. Miller, The Second Amendment Goes to College, The Seattle University Law Review, Seattle University Law Review, 35 Seattle U. L. Rev. 235, Fall, 2011)

Many of the same reasons for a total prohibition of guns on campuses carry over to residence halls. Once again, it would be hard to argue that a college or university does not have a compelling interest in ensuring and maintaining public safety on its campus. College students, especially those living together in large groups, are an at-risk group who engage in particularly risky behaviors such as binge drinking and drug use. They have higher suicide rates than the rest of the population, and 94% of suicide attempts with a firearm are successful. If a college seeks to protect its students from the dangers of guns, which are exacerbated by alcohol and depression, the only way to achieve that interest is by prohibiting guns.


Story of Child killed


Regan, Helen. "Three-year-Old Boy Shoots and Kills One-Year-Old in Ohio." Time. Time, 2015. April, 12. 2015. Web. 14 July 2015.

A three-year-old boy in Cleveland, Ohio shot and killed a one-year-old boy after picking up a handgun that had been left unattended inside a home on [April 12, 2015] Sunday. The infant was rushed to hospital with a gunshot wound to the head but was later pronounced dead, reports the Associated Press. Investigators were trying to determine where the gun came from, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters. Though full details behind the shooting have not been released, Williams said there was at least one adult home when the incident happened. “It’s a sad day for Cleveland,” said Williams. “This fascination that we have with handguns, not just in this city but in this country, has to stop. This is a senseless loss of life.”


Suicide Occurs more often in homes with guns available


("Firearm Access Is a Risk Factor for Suicide." Means Matter. Harvard University School of Public Health, 11 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 July 2015.)

Twelve or more U.S. case control studies have compared individuals who died by suicide with those who did not and found those dying by suicide were more likely to live in homes with guns. For example, Brent and colleagues studied three groups of adolescents: 47 suicide decedents, 47 inpatient attempters, and 47 psychiatric inpatients who had never attempted suicide. Those who died by suicide were twice as likely to have a gun at home than either of the other two groups:

                                    Adolescent                 Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatients

                                    Suicides                    Attempters            Non-attempters

Firearm in home:            72%                              37%                        38%

States with heavier gun prevalence have much higher rates of suicide


("Firearm Access Is a Risk Factor for Suicide." Means Matter. Harvard University School of Public Health, 11 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 July 2015.)

Ecologic studies that compare states with high gun ownership levels to those with low gun ownership levels find that in the U.S., where there are more guns, there are more suicides. The higher suicide rates result from higher firearm suicides; the non-firearm suicide rate is about equal across states. For example, one study (Miller 2007) used survey-based measures of state household firearm ownership (from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System) while controlling for state-level measures of mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, and other factors associated with suicide. The study found that males and females and people of all age groups were at higher risk for suicide if they lived in a state with high firearm prevalence. This is perhaps most concrete when looking not at rates or regression results but at raw numbers. The authors compared the 40 million people who live in the states with the lowest firearm prevalence (HI, MA, RI, NJ, CT, NY) to about the same number living in the states with the highest firearm prevalence (WY, SD, AK, WV, MT, AR, MS, ID, ND, AL, KY, WI, LA, TN, UT). Overall suicides were almost twice as high in the high-gun states, even though non-firearm suicides were about equal.

Suicides in the 15 U.S. States with the Highest vs. the 6 U.S. States with the Lowest Average Household Gun Ownership (2000-2002)

High-Gun States        Low-Gun States

Population                                  39 million                   40 million

Household Gun Ownership          47%                           15%

Firearm Suicide                           9,749                          2,606

Non-Firearm Suicide                   5,060                          5,446

Total Suicide                             14,809                          8,052

Guns are extremely fatal especially at suicide attempts


("Firearm Access Is a Risk Factor for Suicide." Means Matter. Harvard University School of Public Health, 11 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 July 2015.)

Guns are more lethal than other suicide means. They’re quick. And they’re irreversible. About 85% of attempts with a firearm are fatal: that’s a much higher case fatality rate than for nearly every other method. Many of the most widely used suicide attempt methods have case fatality rates below 5%. (See Case Fatality Ratio by Method of Self-Harm.) Attempters who take pills or inhale car exhaust or use razors have some time to reconsider mid-attempt and summon help or be rescued. The method itself often fails, even in the absence of a rescue. Even many of those who use hanging can stop mid-attempt as about half of hanging suicides are partial-suspension (meaning the person can release the pressure if they change their mind) (Bennewith 2005).With a firearm, once the trigger is pulled, there’s no turning back.


History of Gun Control


Harcourt, 2001 (Bernard E. [Associate professor of law and director of the Rogers Program on Law, Philosophy and Social Inquiry, University of Arizona..] "Gun Control and the Regulation of Fundamental Rights. "Criminal Justice Ethics (2006): 28-33. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 13 July 2015.)

Guns, violent crime, and punishment: these are pressing issues in the United States. They reflect a certain kind of American exceptionalism. The relationship between these three issues is especially controversial, and has triggered a reexamination of the proper role of guns, particularly handguns, in American society. Despite falling crime rates in the 1990s, Fox Butterfield reports for the New York Times, "the police, mayors and criminologists are turning their sights as never before on handguns as a way to further reduce violent crime." Today, a record number of firearm-related policies are under review. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has promoted gun tracing as a way to learn more about illicit gun markets and trafficking, and to address the gun issue [*262] from the "supply side.' Gun control advocates and legislators have proposed, and in some states passed, legislation extending Brady-type background checks to secondary markets such as gun shows. Federal law enforcement officials are encouraging federal prosecutions of state and local gun offenders on the model of "Project Exile" in Richmond, Virginia. Urban police departments are pursuing gun-oriented policing strategies focused on increased stop-and-frisk encounters and misdemeanor arrests as a way to get guns off the streets. A number of counties, as well as cities such as Chicago, Boston, Newark, Atlanta, St. Louis, and San Francisco, have filed civil suits against gun manufacturers challenging their marketing and distribution practices. Numerous other gun control and safety measures are being debated or implemented, including bans on particular weapons, licensing, gun registries, limits on handgun purchases, straw purchaser laws, safe or negligent storage laws, nondiscretionary concealed weapons laws, and smart gun technology.


Definition and types of handguns


Stell, 2006 (Lance K [Professor and Director of Medical Humanities at Davidson College], “Self-Defense and Handgun Rights” 2 J.L. Econ. & Pol'y 265. (Fall, 2006 ): LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2015/07/1e3.)

Handgun" refers to a firearm designed to be operated with one or both hands, but otherwise unsupported. They vary in size. At one extreme are match-box size handguns that weigh but a few ounces. On the other extreme are handguns that weigh over four pounds and have considerable bulk. This paper focuses on handguns that are not only useful for personal defense but also convenient to carry routinely. The selection of a handgun involves tradeoffs. Very small ones are convenient to carry. They enable projection of lethal force, but their toy-like appearance reduces their value for intimidation. Larger, big-bore handguns have greater intimidation value, but are difficult to conceal and less convenient to carry.

Gun ownership statistics


Harcourt, 2001 (Bernard E. [Associate professor of law and director of the Rogers Program on Law, Philosophy and Social Inquiry, University of Arizona..] "Gun Control and the Regulation of Fundamental Rights. "Criminal Justice Ethics (2006): 28-33. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 13 July 2015.)

Let's start with guns. The total number of privately owned firearms in the United States stands roughly at 200 to 250 million, with about 65 million, or one third, being handguns. n3 Approximately eighty percent of these privately owned [*264] firearms were acquired since 1974. n4 A large number of new firearms, [with] approximately 4.5 to 5 million, are purchased every year. n5 Y2K fears helped make 1999 a banner year for gun sales: Smith & Wesson, the world's biggest manufacturer of handguns, saw its U.S. sales increase by about 15 percent in 1999. n6 Estimates for the percentage of households that have at least one firearm range from about 35 to 50 percent. n7 The personal gun ownership rate is around 25 percent. n8 Of particular concern, gun possession among adjudicated male youths is extremely high. Criminologists Joseph Sheley and James Wright conducted a study in 1991 of 835 confined juvenile inmates in six correctional facilities in four different states and found that 86 percent of the inmates had owned at least one firearm at some time in their lives. [and]Seventy-three percent had owned three or more types of guns. n9 Another recent study, involving 63 interviews of incarcerated juvenile offenders at five detention facilities in metropolitan Atlanta in 1995 found that 53 (approximately 84 percent) of the youths had owned handguns. Eighty-four percent of these 53 youths who had carried guns had done so before they were fifteen years old. n10 One result is that juveniles represent an increasing proportion of arrests for weapon offenses: whereas youths accounted for 16 [*265] percent of such arrests in 1974, they represented 23 percent of arrests for weapons offenses in 1993. n11


Gun ownership is often correlated with masculinity


Harcourt, 2001 (Bernard E. [Associate professor of law and director of the Rogers Program on Law, Philosophy and Social Inquiry, University of Arizona..] "Gun Control and the Regulation of Fundamental Rights. "Criminal Justice Ethics (2006): 28-33. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 13 July 2015.)

These statistics, however, are just part of the story. Behind the numbers, there is in the United States a unique and remarkable gun culture. It is a culture that reveres the gun as a liberator, a guarantor of freedom, and, as Richard Slotkin observes, an "equalizer." At its heart lies a uniquely American belief. "I call it [is] the "Cowboy Corollary' to the Declaration of Independence," Slotkin writes. "It's a folk-saying, dating from before the Civil War, which has many variations, all of which add up to this: "God may have made men, but Samuel Colt made them equal.'" n12 For many Americans, guns are an integral and essential part of their identity. Among many young men, the gun is a symbol of masculinity, status, aggressiveness, danger and arousal. "Guns can perpetuate and refine the aesthetic of toughness, create an imminent threat of harm, help their users claim the identity of being amongst the "toughest,' and act as an ultimate source of power in resolving disputes," Jeffrey Fagan explains. n13 There is in this country a "Cult of the Colt" n14 that has important implications for the gundebates


America has more lethal killing rates due to gun rates


Stell, 2006 (Lance K [Professor and Director of Medical Humanities at Davidson College], “Self-Defense and Handgun Rights” 2 J.L. Econ. & Pol'y 265. (Fall, 2006 ): LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2015/07/1e3.)

America's crime rate and its assault rate are roughly comparable to that of the G7 countries. However, America's homicide rate is much higher. How to explain the difference? Professor Franklin Zimring has claimed that a single FBI statistic tells the tale. n67 In America, guns are used in approximately 70% of all criminal killings. He claims, "This tells us immediately what the special problem of gun use is in violent crime -- an increase in the death rate." Zimring subscribes to (and can fairly claim to be have originated) the "instrumentality hypothesis," according to which the (supposed) greater inherent lethality of guns makes assaults committed with them 5-7 times more deadly, independent of perpetrator-factors. Therefore, not only should we anticipate that supply-side restrictions on handguns hold promise for a large reduction in the homicide rate, we should not expect such any significant reduction without it. n68 In 1989, Zimring and his co-author [*290] Gordon Hawkins claimed that "The circumstantial indications that implicate gun use as a contributing cause to American lethal violence are overwhelming." n69 And they made a very dark prediction. "The most marked reduction in firearms violence cannot be expected until well past the introduction of legislation designed to achieve handgun scarcity."


Having access to a gun escalates violent thoughts


Stell, 2006 (Lance K [Professor and Director of Medical Humanities at Davidson College], “Self-Defense and Handgun Rights” 2 J.L. Econ. & Pol'y 265. (Fall, 2006 ): LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2015/07/1e3.)

A more commonly encountered theory of mental causation avoids abnormal psychology and makes lethal violence the straightforward upshot of desire strength. On this account, handgun possession may (1) seed the agent's motivational structure with a new desire to inflict lethal injury by gunshot, (2) strengthen an already-present desire to inflict injury sufficiently to overcome the agent's formerly-effective inhibitory desires or it may weaken his otherwise effective inhibitory desires or both or some further combination. n90 Many of life's provocations stimulate an impulsive, transitory desire to inflict bodily harm. Because these desires are short-lived albeit intense, most-often they abate before causing an agent to inflict injury. However, when common provocation and gun access coincide, the results will tend to be dramatically deadly. Causation might proceed as follows. For some reason, Joe acquires a handgun. Merely holding the gun (intentionally) may render a provoked Joe unable to weaken his already-existing (or new-onset) lethal desire sufficiently to prevent his acting on it. The resulting motivational state may be such that Joe is unable to divert his attention from violence, say, by intentionally thinking of something else, e.g. by vividly representing to himself the revolting physiological effects of gunshot on flesh, or the irreversible loss of his current way of life that reasonably would result from his pulling the trigger, etc. Instead, he focuses exclusively on the favorable aspects of [*305] destroying what angers him. His will is overwhelmed. Without deliberation, he fires the gun.

Relaxed gun regulations in the United States lead to more guns in other countries


Eby, 2014, (Jessica A. Eby, UCLA/RAND Empirical Legal Studies program, Fast and Furious, or Slow and Steady? The Flow of Guns From the United States to Mexico, 61 UCLA L. Rev. 1082, May 24, 2014, Issue #1, Pg # 1085)

In Mexico, strict gun control laws make it difficult for anyone but the police or the military to legally obtain most firearms, particularly the high-powered [*1085] long guns that are popular with drug trafficking organizations. n5 In contrast, in the United States, not only are firearms available for legal sale in every state, but three out of four of the states that border Mexico have some of the most lax gun regulations in the country. In Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, there is no limit to the number of guns that a single buyer can purchase at a time from a dealer; there is no requirement for background checks to be conducted at gun shows; there are no restrictions on the sale of assault weapons; and straw purchasers (those who buy a gun with the intention of transferring it to a person who is prohibited from legally owning a gun) cannot be prosecuted as such. n6 California, which has three out of four of these gun control measures in place, n7 sources significantly fewer crime guns to Mexico per capita.



Harms of handguns are due to bad laws

Wheeler III, 1997 (Samuel, Professor of Philosophy of Department of Philosophy at University of Connecticut, “Self-Defense: Rights and Coerced Risk-Acceptance.” Public Affairs Quarterly 11.4 (October, 1997): 441).

The answer depends, as I have argued, on the details. If we imagine a situation such as Florida, where anyone with the proper training and a clean record can get a permit to carry a concealed firearm, we get one kind of answer [to the question of if someone has the right to carry a concealed firearm]. Based on Florida’s experience, the answer seems to be “Yes”. If we imagine a situation where, because concealed carry-permits are nearly unobtainable, most of those otherwise law-abiding citizens are carrying guns they do not know how and when to use, the answer might be “No,” since such gun- carriers are dangerous to themselves and others. But a more plausible answer is that the laws imposing risks or movement restrictions on people by restricting their right to prepare for assaults are unjust. The high risks and accident-rates that unlicensed concealed carriers expose us to are the result of bad laws, not a natural incapacity of law-abiding normal citizens to handle firearms responsibly.


Owning handguns causes terror among citizens


Kahan, Braman, 2003 (Dan [Professor of Law at Yale Law School], Donald [Associate Professor of Law at George Washington School], “More Statistics, Less Persuasion: A Cultural Theory of Gun-Risk Perceptions.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 151 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1291 (April, 2003): 1301-1302).

But inverting these meanings, other individuals find guns repugnant. Just as they signify traditionally masculine virtues to some citizens, so too guns signify patriarchy and homophobia to others. While some see the decision to own a gun as expressing an attitude of self-reliance, others see it as expressing distrust of and indifference toward others: "Every handgun owned in America is an implicit declaration of war on one's neighbor.” For those who fear guns, the historical reference points are not the American Revolution or the settling of the frontier, but the post-bellum period, in which the privilege of owning guns in the South was reserved to whites, and the 1960s, when gun-wielding assassins killed Medgar Evans, John and Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. To these citizens, guns are emblems not of legitimate state authority, but of racism and reaction.


Women are more afraid of being injured by a handgun then being without a weapon


Kahan, Braman, 2003 (Dan [Professor of Law at Yale Law School], Donald [Associate Professor of Law at George Washington School], “More Statistics, Less Persuasion: A Cultural Theory of Gun-Risk Perceptions.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 151 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1291 (April, 2003): 1309-1310).

Our results complicate this account. In the case of the gun control debate, the issue is not whether to accept a particular risk but rather which of two risks - that of firearm casualties in a world with insufficient gun control or that of personal defenselessness in a world with excessive control - should be deemed more alarming. It is thus inaccurate to characterize women as "more concerned with risk" in the gun control setting than are men; rather, they are more concerned than are men with the risk of being victimized by a violent or careless gun wielder, but less concerned with the risk of being deprived of the power to repel a violent attack.


Handguns are too dangerous to be handled by the public, specifically because of children.


Popp, 2015 (Gary Popp, Public Safety and Courts Reporter, “Jeffersonville toddler shoots himself in leg, mom's boyfriend jailed.” Tribune Content Agency (June 12, 2015 Friday):

A Jeffersonville toddler was hospitalized this week after shooting himself in the leg with a handgun belonging to a man charged earlier in the year with two felony handgun-related charges. Dimitri Miles, 22, the owner of the handgun and the boyfriend of the 2-year-old child's mother appeared in a Clark County circuit court Friday afternoon, but he has only been preliminarily charged with child neglect. Miles is now in the Clark County jail under a $15,000 cash-only bond. The Jeffersonville Police Department was dispatched to Clark Memorial Hospital about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday and made contact with the child, his mother and Miles. Miles was taken from the hospital to the Jeffersonville Police Department for questioning. He confirmed to police that he resided in a Middle Road home with the mom and child. Miles reported during the interview that, "Among his belongings on the floor next to the bed, he keeps a 9-millimeter handgun usually stored in a gym bag or a shoe box. He normally keeps the gun fully loaded without a gun lock or any other safety device," according the probable-cause affidavit. He told police that he and the child and the child's mother had been together in the home earlier and discovered [the toddler] crying and his handgun was close to the child." Miles further told police that upon realizing the toddler had been shot, the couple took the boy to a relative's home before going to the hospital. He was placed under arrest following the questioning and later booked in the Clark County jail.


A ban on handguns. They tried it and they liked it.


Christoffel, 1986 (Tom, lawyer, educator, twenty years on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. “A Ban on Handguns, They tried it and They Liked it” Journal of Public Health Policy Vol. 7, No. 3 (Autumn, 1986), pp. 296-299

HE case for handgun control is compelling. i) In I982 b the firearm death toll in the United States was close to 3 3, 000, with older boys and young men disproportionately involved (i). FBI statistics indicate that 74 percent of all firearm homicides involve handguns (2), and there is good evidence that recent increases in suicide rates have largely involved handguns (3). This U. S. epidemic of handgun violence contrasts sharply with the experience in most other Western countries (4). 2) Handgun death rates correlate with availability. In those parts of the U.S. with the most handguns per capita, the handgun death rate is highest (5). As Susan Baker has noted: "People without guns injure people; guns kill them" (i). 3) Handguns aren't needed. Rather than providing protection, handguns endanger those who own them. Studies have shown that a handgun is much more likely to harm its owner or his family and friends than to be used in fending off a criminal attack (6). 4) The public supports controls on handgun availability. Poll data consistently show strong support for handgun controls more effective than those currently in existence (7). 5) Handgun control is legally feasible. Numerous federal and state court decisions have laid to rest the recurrent claim that the Second Amendment guarantees a "'right" to handgun possession (8). So why isn't more done to control the epidemic of handgun violence? The standard wisdom is that public support for stronger handgun controls has been stymied by the political power of pro-gun groups, most notably the National Rifle Association. With a sizable membership and support from the firearm industry, the NRA has been adept at influencing Congress. It recently succeeded in getting the Congress to vote to weaken current minimal federal gun control laws and it has successfully blocked attempts to ban armor-piercing, "cop killer" bullets. The bad news is that the pro-gun lobby has been powerful and effective. The good news is that, despite their Examples of it being enacted same source And in recent years three Illinois communities Morton Grove, Evanston, and Oak Park -have passed ordinances which ban the private possession of handguns. These bans have been upheld by both state and federal courts (io). In themselves these ordinances would have a trivial impact on handgun violence; their significance lies in the possibility that they represent the beginnings of a national trend

Handguns, Philosophers, and the Right to Self-Defense


Dixon, Nicholas(Ph.D., Philosophy, Michigan State UniversityM.A., Philosophy, Michigan State University B.A., Philosophy, University of Leeds 25.20International Journal of Applied Philosophy. (Fall 2011): 151-17

Within the last decade or so several philosophers have argued against handgun prohibition on the ground that it violates the right to self-defense. However, even these philosophers grant that the right to own handguns is not absolute and could be over-ridden if doing so would bring about an enormous social good. Analysis of intra-United States empirical data cited by gun rights advocates indicates that guns do not make us safer, while international data lends powerful support to the thesis that guns do indeed increase homicide. If handguns do not make us safer, then appealing to the right to self-defense as an objection to prohibition is moot. Prohibition neither violates theright to self-defense nor sacrifices anyone's interests for the common good, since it makes each person less likely to be murdered than the current permissive handgun laws. Moreover, we also must take into account the right to life of victims of handgun crimes made possible by liberal handgun laws. Consequently, invoking the right to self-defense does not provide any sound reason against handgun prohibition over and above familiar utilitarian objections, which are themselves refuted by the empirical evidence.

Gun Are not Banned Completely, there are still some Restrictions.


S h u p a k , 2 0 1 5 ( B r i a n , [ J . D ] . A N N U A L N E W Y O R K S T A T E C O N S T I T U T I O N A L I S S U E : S E C O N D AMENDMENT: Supreme Court of New York Appellate Division, Third Department, N ew York: Touro Law Review, Issue 26, pp. 787­802)

On August 17, 2007, a jury convicted Shawn Perkins "of criminal possession of a weapon in the second ... and ... third degrees." He received concurrent sentences of eight and one-half years in prison with three and one-half years post-release supervision on the second-degree charge, and six and one-half years in prison with three years of post-release supervision on the third degree charge. Perkins appealed this decision, but the Appellate Division, Third Department, unanimously affirmed . In September 2006, Perkins "was involved in a verbal confrontation" that intensified into gunfire. Perkins pulled a handgun and fired twice at the victim. He then fled the scene, leaving the victim uninjured. Perkins was subsequently indicted on various charges, including "possession of a weapon in the second ... and ... third degrees." A fter a jury trial , Perkins was convicted on the two criminal possession charges. On the third appeal, Perkins argued that this conviction pursuant to article 265 of the New York Penal Law ( "Article 265") v iolated his rights under the United States Constitution, and section four of the New York Civil Rights L a w ( " C R L " ) . M o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y , P e r k i n s a r g u e d t h a t i n l i g h t o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s S u p r e m e Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller he had a constitutionally protected right to bear arms in his home for self-defense purposes, and t hat Article 265 created a total ban on handgun possession; therefore, h e argued h is conviction violated his constitutional rights. T he court disagreed and acknowledged that although the Heller Court concluded t hat the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to bear arms in the home for self-defense, it is not an absolute right, but one that may be limited by reasonable governmental restrictions." The Appellate Division, Third Department, distinguished the challenged statutes in Heller from Article 265, which, the court said, i s not a total ban on the right to possess handguns, and therefore does not constitute a "severe restriction" on Perkins' Second Amendment right. The court also reaffirmed New York's firearm licensing requirement as an acceptable regulation of handgun possession and stated that it "will not contravene Heller so long as it is not enforced in an arbitrary and capricious manner."

Handguns play a major role in crime and death.


S h u p a k , 2 0 1 5 ( B r i a n , [ J . D ] . A N N U A L N E W Y O R K S T A T E C O N S T I T U T I O N A L I S S U E : S E C O N D AMENDMENT: Supreme Court of New York Appellate Division, Third Department, N ew York: Touro Law Review, Issue 26, pp. 787­802)

The life-threatening problem referred to by the dissent is well documented. A discussion of handgun violence statistics reveals that handguns play a major role in crime and death. "From 1993 to 1997, there were 180,533 firearm-related deaths in the United States." Approximately 50% were suicides, while "44% were homicides." More troubling is that one out of every eight firearm related deaths were persons "under the age of [twenty;]" further "firearm-related deaths account for 22.5% of all injury deaths" of individuals nineteen years old or younger. The Court recognized that these statistics represent a disturbing problem in America, which requires reasonable restrictions on the possession of handguns in order to curtail the unfortunate number of handgun related deaths.



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