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Introduction

Hi all,
This is Premiers third brief of the 2015-2016 season on the topic Resolved: In the United
States, private ownership of handguns ought to be banned. Weve gotten a lot of great
feedback over the past year and a half on our free briefs, and while we cant make them any
freer, we can make them better. Please, let us know what you think! And send them around.
Not everyone has the resources to pay for briefs and this is one important way to level the
playing field. If you use these briefs please help us and direct other debaters to
PremierDebate.com/Briefs. The more people that are aware of the service, the more likely it
gets to those who need it most.
We want to remind the readers about standard brief practice to get the most out of this file.
Best practice for brief use is to use it as a guide for further research. Find the articles and
citations and cut them for your own personal knowledge. Youll find even better cards that way.
If you want to use the evidence in here in a pinch, at the very least, you should re-tag and
highlight the evidence yourself so you know exactly what it says and how youre going to use it.
Remember, briefs can be a tremendous resource but you need to familiarize yourself with the
underlying material first.
Lastly, we want to thank our several writers for compiling the bulk of the topic analysis and
brief: Jack Ave, Preetham Chippada, and Adam Tomasi. Jack wrote most of the framework and
kritik sections of the topic analysis, and Adam wrote most of the introduction and policy
sections. If you like what you see, make sure to thank them as well!
Good luck everyone in 2016. See you round!
Bob Overing & John Scoggin
Directors | Premier Debate

Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 1
Table of Contents .................................................................................................................... 2
Topic Analysis ........................................................................................................................ 6
Affirmative .................................................................................................................................... 15
Solvency.................................................................................................................................... 16
Empirics Homicides ........................................................................................................... 17
Err Aff--Homicides ............................................................................................................... 23
AT Alt Causes--Homicide .................................................................................................... 24
AT Bans Dont SolveStates Prove .................................................................................... 25
AT Concealed Carry ............................................................................................................. 26
AT Correlation, Not Causation ............................................................................................. 27
AT Kates ............................................................................................................................... 28
AT Kleck ............................................................................................................................... 29
AT Switzerland ..................................................................................................................... 30
AT Wright and Rossi ............................................................................................................ 31
AT WrightSeattle-Vancouver Indicts ............................................................................... 32
Mechanisms .............................................................................................................................. 34
Ban Private Ownership, Not Police ...................................................................................... 35
Possession Ban ...................................................................................................................... 36
Advantage Areas ....................................................................................................................... 37
Elephants ............................................................................................................................... 38
Kids ....................................................................................................................................... 39
Soft Power............................................................................................................................. 42
Suicides ................................................................................................................................. 43
Critical Aff Capitalism / Neoliberalism ................................................................................. 46
1AC Basic Argument ............................................................................................................ 47
Masculinity Too .................................................................................................................... 50
Mental Illness ........................................................................................................................ 51
Critical Aff Feminism ............................................................................................................ 52
Laundry List .......................................................................................................................... 53
Domestic Violence ................................................................................................................ 54

History................................................................................................................................... 55
Home Safety.......................................................................................................................... 56
Private Ownership = Privilege .............................................................................................. 57
Empirics ................................................................................................................................ 59
Evidence Comparison ........................................................................................................... 61
AT Self-Defense ................................................................................................................... 63
AT 2nd Amendment ............................................................................................................... 64
Critical Aff Vulnerability....................................................................................................... 65
1AC Basic Argument ............................................................................................................ 66
Empirics ................................................................................................................................ 70
Evidence Comparison ........................................................................................................... 71
AT Domestic Violence ......................................................................................................... 72
AT Freedom .......................................................................................................................... 73
AT Self-Defense ................................................................................................................... 75
AT 2nd Amendment ............................................................................................................... 76
Critical Affs Misc .................................................................................................................. 79
Fear of Death......................................................................................................................... 80
Tribal Inherency .................................................................................................................... 81
Symbolic Racism .................................................................................................................. 82
Morals Aff Freedom .............................................................................................................. 83
Intrinsic > Preference Satisfaction ........................................................................................ 84
AT CPs ...................................................................................................................................... 87
AT Criminal Records PIC ..................................................................................................... 88
AT Women PIC .................................................................................................................... 90
AT DAs / Solvency DAs........................................................................................................... 91
AT Domestic Violence ......................................................................................................... 92
AT Self-Defense / Stand-Your-Ground ................................................................................ 94
AT Shift / Substitution .......................................................................................................... 96
AT Politics ............................................................................................................................ 98
AT Recreation/Gun Collectors ........................................................................................... 100
AT Ks ...................................................................................................................................... 101
AT Root Cause.................................................................................................................... 102
AT NCs ................................................................................................................................... 103
AT Constitution .................................................................................................................. 104

Negative ...................................................................................................................................... 106


Solvency.................................................................................................................................. 107
AT Gun Buy-Back Programs .............................................................................................. 108
AT Public Health Model ..................................................................................................... 109
AT Reduce Crime ............................................................................................................... 113
Deterrence ........................................................................................................................... 114
Deterrence/Economy........................................................................................................... 115
Deterrence/Sexual Assault/Rape ......................................................................................... 116
Enforcement Problems ........................................................................................................ 117
Murders ............................................................................................................................... 119
Shift DA / Black Market / Underground Economy ............................................................ 120
AT Advantages ....................................................................................................................... 122
Tribal ................................................................................................................................... 123
CPs .......................................................................................................................................... 124
Advantage CP Background Checks ................................................................................. 125
Advantage CP Kids .......................................................................................................... 126
Advantage CP Regulations .............................................................................................. 127
Process CP - Manufacturing Ban ........................................................................................ 129
Process CP - Sale Ban ......................................................................................................... 130
DA Politics ........................................................................................................................... 131
Handgun Ban Kills Obamas PC ........................................................................................ 132
Gun Rights Movement ........................................................................................................ 133
Popularity ............................................................................................................................ 134
Aside: Republican Downfall ............................................................................................... 135
Morals Neg Rights ............................................................................................................... 136
Basic 1NC Argument .......................................................................................................... 137
Gun Ban Violates Right Of Self-Defense ........................................................................... 139
Handguns Key..................................................................................................................... 141
Guns Key Empirics .......................................................................................................... 142
Err Neg ................................................................................................................................ 144
AT NCVS............................................................................................................................ 146
AT Rights of Homicide Victims ......................................................................................... 147
AT Justifies Possessing Nukes ........................................................................................... 148
AT Violent Crime Overrides Prima Facie Right ................................................................ 149

Morals Neg Constitution ...................................................................................................... 150


Aff Will Be Struck Down ................................................................................................... 151
Heller Summary .................................................................................................................. 153
Critical Neg Ableism ........................................................................................................... 155
Link ..................................................................................................................................... 156
Critical Neg Black Americans ............................................................................................. 157
Black Self-Defense ............................................................................................................. 158
Symbolic Racism ................................................................................................................ 160
Critical Neg Feminism ......................................................................................................... 163
Link Gender Norms ......................................................................................................... 164
Self-Defense and Autonomy ............................................................................................... 165
Sexual Assault / Rape ......................................................................................................... 168
Concealed Carry Good ........................................................................................................ 169
Evidence Comparison ......................................................................................................... 170
Safety / AT Accidents ......................................................................................................... 171
Critical Neg Statism K ......................................................................................................... 173
Handguns GoodTransition to Anarchy ........................................................................... 174
Self-Defense vs. Oppressive State ...................................................................................... 175
Police Protection Bad .......................................................................................................... 176
Free Market Law Alt ........................................................................................................... 178
Critical Neg Trans People of Color ..................................................................................... 179
Links ................................................................................................................................... 180
Impacts ................................................................................................................................ 182
Topicality and Definitions .......................................................................................................... 184
Handguns ............................................................................................................................ 185
Ban ...................................................................................................................................... 186

Topic Analysis
1 Introduction Core Controversies
The January-February 2016 resolution reads, Resolved: In the United States, private ownership
of handguns ought to be banned. This topic is a question of gun control, which comes in many
degrees, but the ultimate question is should the government deny possession of a weapon
which is highly lethal yet highly esteemed by many Americans? The subject of handgun rights is
very contemporary in the midst of recent tragedies like shootings in San Bernardino, Sandy
Hook, and Aurora. A pistol of some kind was used in all three of those shootings, among other
firearms that were even deadlier. One may believe that the solution to these shootings is
stricter gun laws; others, however, believe that these shootings may have been prevented if
gun ownership were more widespread. That is the first central controversy of this topic;
handguns are lethal, but does handgun violence decrease or increase following a ban?
What makes this topic interesting is that there are so many additional angles from which it can
be debated. Not only is there the question, Do handgun bans reduce handgun homicides? but
also the question of constitutionality. The 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia
v. Heller ruled on a 5-4 decision against Washington D.C.s handgun ban, affirming that the
Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms. Anyone debating this topic
should educate themselves on the constitutional arguments made in that cases majority and
minority opinions. Another central controversy of this topic is precisely what this decision, and
scholars before and after the decision, addressed: does the Second Amendment truly protect
an individual right to possess a handgun? Does the Amendment permit any type of gun control?
And aside from the constitutional question, is there a basic right to handgun ownership? Is it a
part of the right to self-defense?
This introduction is hardly exhaustive of all possible approaches to the topic, but a final area
worth emphasizing is the question of whether handgun possession hurts or empowers
oppressed groups. Does widespread handgun possession empower women in the face of
aggressors, or does it only empower their aggressors? Does gun control have racist historical
origins and, if so, does that past influence present efforts at reform? Can oppressed groups
trust the police as their protectors and, if not, are handguns the best way that they can achieve
self-defense for themselves and their communities? What does widespread handgun
possession truly give people, domination or freedom?
This topic will stay with the LD community for five months until the Tournament of Champions.
Its our hope, as contributors to this brief, that the topic analyses and evidence here help you
make the best of it!

2 Debating Policy
This topic is great for in-depth empirical debates, counterplans, and the politics disad. The
empirical debates will primarily focus on the extent that widespread handgun possession
heightens or discourages the risk of violent crime. These arguments could be made in an
advantage or disad about crime. Counterplans will primarily focus on regulations for handguns
that mitigate their risks while harnessing their benefits. The link cards for the politics DA are
excellent because the GOP (and most Americans) would totally hate a handgun ban. The best
legislation to write your politics DA about is determined by whats most significant in the
news/Congresss agenda. The last section of this analysis will discuss potential plans the aff can
read, whether they narrow the debate to a type of handgun or choose to specify a solvency
mechanism.
A major aff argument, made by aff experts like Nicholas Dixon (Why We Should Ban Handguns
in the United States) found in this brief, is that widespread prevalence of handgun possession
by civilians in the United States exacerbates the risk of violent crime. A handgun ban would
address these homicides at their source, reducing the prevalence of firearm homicides since
fewer Americans would possess handguns. Dixon emphasizes that handguns are the weapon
of choice for criminals since they are cheap, concealable, easy to use, and deadly. Because
other guns, like rifles and shotguns, are more expensive, less concealable, and harder to use,
criminals will be meaningfully affected by a handgun ban. Additionally, part of the reason
private handgun ownership increases violent crime is because handguns are stolen from
owners and then used to commit crimes. This is worth noting because it implicates black
market shift disads less legal guns to steal means more people forced to buy on the black
market, which means higher prices on the black market. (As an aside, debaters should note
that a large portion of the violence caused by private handgun ownership is due to suicide, not
homicide, which mitigates aff impacts relating to homicides alone but grants another potential
impact. The stats are staggering about when suicide is attempted with a handgun versus other
methods. Suicide with a handgun is much more effective than suicide by jumping or overdose.
This does not relate to murders but is another way to access a similar impact on utilitarian
standards.)
A major neg argument on the crime debate is that widespread handgun ownership reduces the
occurrence of violent crime because it has significant deterrent value. Experts like John Lott
(More Guns, Less Crime) argue that criminals do not want to run the risk of facing an armed
victim who, with a handgun, has a much easier chance of defending themselves. A handgun ban
would leave more Americans defenseless in the face of home invasions, muggings, or even
murder. Other neg authors, like Michael Huemer (Is There a Right to Own a Gun?) emphasize
the potential for criminals to access illegal handguns on the black market following a ban. Its
imperative that debaters are well-frontlined on all facets of this empirical debate.
In thinking about impacts to gun violence, your best bet is to defend that systemic impacts
(impacts, like crime, which are far smaller yet ongoing and everyday problems) should come
first rather than try to contrive an extinction scenario. Ongoing systemic impacts will be

particularly effective against disads like politics that are not really true. That said, if you do want
to reach extinction through a crime scenario (which is totally legitimate, because extinction
scenarios rock), you could pursue a soft power impact. Soft power is the United States ability
to influence other countries through persuasion and image, with Joseph Nye being its strongest
proponent. Jonathan Freedland in an article for The Guardian called Americas gun disease
diminishes its soft power, he argues that the prevalence of gun violence in the United States
makes the United States look less legitimate to other countries. According to authors Joseph
Nye and Richard Armitage (CSIS Commission on Smart Power, smart power being the name
they give for essentially the same idea) risks undermining the United States ability to
spearhead international efforts to cooperate on global challenges like climate change,
terrorism, and nuclear proliferation.
The best counterplans on this topic will regulate handgun possession to minimize possessions
harms, and harness its benefits. A potential counterplan of this sort is defended by Hugh
LaFollette (Gun Control) who argues that handgun owners should be required to be strictly
liable for any harm caused by their guns. Other neg authors, like Timothy Hsiao (Against Gun
Bans and Restrictive Licensing), argue that we should prefer a less restrictive solution that
minimizes the harms of gun possession while preserving the self-defense value of gun
ownership. There are tons of potential regulations you could write a counterplan about.
Examples include expanded/improved background checks, mandatory waiting periods to
purchase a handgun, licensing/safety certification, clip size limits, and regulating handgun
vendors.
The net benefits for these counterplans are ultimately up to you. They could be anything from a
crime DA to the self-defense NC. Pretty much any offense predicated on handgun ownership in
and of itself will be a net benefit to regulating handguns. Another net benefit is the politics DA.
LaFollette, in the aforementioned article Gun Control, argues that his proposal of strict
liability is more politically palatable than an outright handgun ban. Others, too, may argue that
certain regulations have bipartisan support, where an outright ban would face considerable
backlash. That said, no matter what DA you read with the counterplan, you need an excellent
explanation of why the counterplan avoids the link to it.
A counterplan of special importance for debate is the states counterplan. The premise is that all
50 states and relevant territories of the United States should decide in unison to ban the
private ownership of handguns. The three arguments you should consider preparing for this
strategy to be effective are:
(1) State-led bans are more effective. Evidence that the federal government would be
an ineffective enforcer of a nationwide handgun ban would prove that only the CP can solve the
aff.
(2) The federalism net benefit. State-led solutions encourage federalism, or a system
where federal and state power is shared in a balanced manner. There are a litany of reasons
why federalism would be most desirable, which have been brought into Policy debate where
the states counterplan has been frequented.

(3) Avoids politics. Obama wont get blamed for what the states decide to do. Its only
when Congress passes the aff and Obama signs it into law that he has to burn political capital.
The politics disad is an excellent net benefit because its by far your easiest way of getting to
extinction on the negative; the links are amazing, and stuff like violent crime rates realistically
wont risk apocalypse (failure to pass some landmark legislation that would seriously address
climate change, on the other hand, might risk it). The particular piece of legislation which this
DA should address is unclear at the moment, simply because its dependent on your
tournament schedule (the DA scenario will probably be different now than in February). That
said, the general outline is as follows:
A.
X will pass both houses of Congress, and Obama will sign it into law. Obama, however,
needs political capital (influence/legitimacy/ability to arm-twist) to get this done.
B.
A handgun ban is hugely unpopular with Congress, particularly the GOP (you want the
link evidence to be tailored to which party/group Obama needs to appeal to for the bill to pass,
whether the GOP, Democrats, the NRA, etc.)
C.
X bill is key to Y impact
D.
Y=extinction
A variation on this disad is the elections DA, which has a similar format:
A.
X party will make it to the White House in 2016, but its close
B.
Handgun ban is unpopular and makes X party look bad
C.
Y party winning instead leads to Z impact
D.
Z=extinction
While both disads address political issues, the crucial difference is that the elections DA is not
about Obamas political capital. Either disad would be effective when the link evidence is pretty
good; the politics/elections DA sometimes takes a huge card war to win, so its up to you to find
decent evidence for the rest of the debate.
The aff has a variety of options for potential plans/further specification. The aff could defend 50
state fiat, since the topic only says In the United States. The aff can specify a type of handgun,
such as a glock (a semi-automatic pistol in a plastic casing, or the cliche black pistol) or a
derringer (a two-shot pistol that fits in the palm of your hand, which was also used to
assassinate Abraham Lincoln). In addition, the aff can specify the type of handgun ban! For
example, in Great Britain, as per the Firearms Act of 1997 (including a later amendment),
handguns are prohibited and require special permission for their possession. According to the
Library of Congress (Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: Great Britain), to receive a
certificate from the police for special ownership, you must demonstrate a sufficient reason for
handgun possession, self-defense being an inadmissible reason. When youre negative, you
want to claim that this aff literally gives you the link to the self-defense NC. When youre
affirmative, you want to claim that handguns have little unique self-defense value: self-defense
can easily be accomplished using non-handgun firearms like shotguns (The aff should be able to
leverage that other options for home-defense purposes remain legal). Besides Great Britain,
theres also the blueprint for Washington, D.C.s handgun ban which was overruled by the

Supreme Court 5-4 decision in the 2008 D.C. v Heller case. Washington, D.C. prohibited private
handgun possession, including possession in the home, unless the handgun was registered
before 1976. When youre aff, you should argue that since your aff has a grandfather clause, it
solves certain neg offense. When youre neg, you should read the constitution NC and point out
that a Supreme Court case deemed this plan specifically to be unconstitutional. Of course,
when youre aff, you want to then read cards from the minority opinion in D.C. v Heller (written
by Justice Stevens) that argues that the 2nd Amendment does not prohibit a handgun ban.
The Policy arguments on this topic are strategic because this resolution is about a super
contemporary issue that has lots of empirical literature behind it. There are great plans and
great counterplans that are very debatable on both sides. This topic analysis is not meant to be
an exhaustive list of every plan, counterplan, and disad that could be read. This is a starting
point which is core to the literature, a jumping-off point from which you can then devise really
creative disad scenarios and super-intricate counterplans. The road to the Tournament of
Champions is 5 months, and its a marathon, not a sprint. Those who can innovate with the best
Policy arguments (or any arguments) the topic has to offer will be the ones winning over the
long-term.

3 Debating Framework
The crux of the framework debate, in my opinion, revolves around the justifiability of rights.
Debaters should be asking themselves, What determines a right? and Does the private
ownership of a handgun qualify under that criteria? This demands that debaters examine the
intricacies of private ownership and the moral (and legal) ramifications of that phrase.
Many affirmatives will likely defend a utilitarian approach. Much of the evidence in this brief is
indicative of this way of thinking. Simply put, most core authors on this topic like Dixon believe
that banning handguns promote the safety and security of the greater good. This is supported
by the many studies arguing that a ban on handguns reduces risk of accidents, death from
violent crime, and death from suicide. There are a couple of ways to read a more nuanced
framework than act-consequentialism to combat negative strategies. For example, focusing on
the structural impacts can allow affs to maneuver around pesky politics DAs by embedding
framework weighing. For example, an aff debater might argue that gun violence is a systematic
problem, killing thousands of people a year. This could matter more on a rule-consequentialist
framework that bars policies that disenfranchise the poor and marginalized in our communities.
A less framework-based approach would be to prioritize a probability standard when evaluating
impacts.
Another common affirmative framework will defend some form of Kantianism. I expect to see
some Ripstein cases where the aff advocates that handguns hinder the freedom of citizens
disproportionately. Therefore, under a system of equal freedom, a handgun ban would restrict
everyones freedom equally. This would also get out of a lot of counterplans PICing out of
specific groups who would be exempt from the ban because then the hindrance on freedom

wouldnt be universal. This framework might also be strategic to interact with negatives talking
about a right to self-defense.
A third framework-based approach for the affirmative is a contract-based framework.
Employing literature on the classic social contract authors such as Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau
would be a good start. For a more advanced contract-based framework, debaters can turn to
Gauthier, Rawls, and Scanlon. The gist of this affirmative would be to argue that the right to
private ownership of handguns would be one right that hypothetical social contractors would
give up in order to form a civil society. Of course, each of these theorists has their own gloss on
that basic argument, but they will all share similar strategic virtues. Contracts frameworks are
less common than consequentialist and (non-contract-based) Kantian approaches, and they
might favorably handle negatives about rights to self-defense and to resist the government.
On the negative side, the most predictable framework strategy is a Constitution NC. This case
argues that the constitution establishes the moral duties of the United States and that affirming
is prohibited by the constitution. The most popular ways to defend the Constitution in circuit LD
have been constitutivism/function arguments and contracts. The function argument says that
what something ought to do is determined by its function, and the United States function, at its
core, is to follow the Constitution. The contract-based justification would stress the importance
of following a constitution as a part of a hypothetical social contract or the need for the U.S. to
follow the Constitution once its committed itself to it. Strategically, this NC is fairly strong
because it could be very short and is nearly impossible to turn given the Heller decision. That
also makes it susceptible to theoretical objections, unfortunately. Finally, the NC can interact
well with policy-style or consequentialist affs. If the aff is overturned by the Supreme Court due
to its unconstitutionality, it doesnt have any impacts!
Another framework-based negative strategy will involve self-defense. We saw a lot of strategic
self-defense cases on the 2012 Jan-Feb topic about domestic violence. This NC may be the best
option against framework-based or tricky affirmatives because it establishes a right to
ownership that can be explained as offense under many aff frameworks as well. Its also a fairly
intuitive argument: self-defense is important (or a right) and handguns are needed for selfdefense. There are a number of ways to justify the right to self-defense: intuitions, Kantianism,
naturalism, and maybe even ought-implies-can.
A third NC for this topic is property rights. This case would argue that property rights are key to
a legitimate society or individual liberty and banning private ownership of handguns would
violate those rights. Similar to the self-defense NC, this would be a strategic option against
framework-heavy affs to leverage negative offense from rights violations. Especially when
debating Kantian affs, the negative could weigh the rights claims individuals can make about
property and how that weighs against the collective freedom of others. There are a couple
obvious objections to the NC most people dont think that there should be an unlimited right
to own anything! So, the neg must defend that handguns are legitimate forms of property and
that the government does not have claim on that property (as long as you dont harm others).

4 Debating Kritikal
Especially on a hot topic like gun control, debaters should be capitalizing on the increasing
trend to engage in kritikal argumentation in rounds on both sides. As youll see, the wording of
this particular resolution is also very conducive to these strategies. While the list of arguments I
present is not exhaustive, it is a good starting point for researching this resolution. It is essential
that debaters prepare for critical engagement in order to question the traditional modes of
knowledge production surrounding this resolution.
A material Marxist affirmative was one of the first strategies that came to mind to critically
affirm. Private ownership as a concept is widely criticized by Marxist authors because
ownership necessitates property. Property possessed by individual actors furthers the capitalist
notion of ownership and greed, benefiting those who own the means of production while
exploiting those who dont. In terms of handguns specifically, many scholars argue that owning
a firearm is a sign of class privilege. Because of the cost of owning and maintaining a weapon is
high, many working class folks wouldnt have access to private ownership. This is uniquely
problematic because handguns can be used to exert power over another person by threatening
their life or wellbeing. Therefore, an aff of this nature would argue that public ownership of
guns (where all would have access to handguns) would break down the system of private
property that always prioritizes and benefits the wealthy. While this approach is novel, I think it
is susceptible to stronger Marxist or Neo-Marxist critics (especially ones that move further left).
While this aff may specifically deal with a material condition, it fails to account for the influence
capitalism has on desire and knowledge production. Therefore, it would be advantageous for
affs to flesh out their position and really dig in with the literature.
Another common kritikal strategy on this topic will be a feminism aff. This argument stems
from the assumption that handguns or even the broader group of firearms are extensions of
masculinity. There are a number of nuanced ways to develop this aff (depending on the which
literature you read) but for the sake of space, I will explain two versions of this argument: First,
women are often victims of gun violence so banning handguns is a womens issue. Second, guns
allow citizens to exert power over one another creating a hierarchy, which oppresses groups
who are less powerful. The need for handguns replicates the protector-protected dichotomy,
entrenching the need for masculine forces such as guns to protect weaker groups (usually
deemed to be women). While the former is an important question the latter can be developed
into a fairly strong argument in the round. Lots of feminist authors would advocate against
militarization so the aff can make a strong case for banning private ownership as a means of demilitarizing the public. This collective view is highly contested publically. Many NRA supporters
believe that handguns can empower women and act as an equalizer between genders
(assuming the gender binary is good in the first place). Some evidence suggests that handgun
possession might decrease violent attacks on women and force politicians to focus on a specific
solution in order to prevent anarchy.
The last kritikal approach I found in the gun rights literature surrounds vulnerability. Judith
Butler wrote extensively in her book Precarious Life on the politics of vulnerability. Several

authors presented in the brief tie Bulters work with Second Amendment discourse. The need
for handguns exposes a vulnerability or fear that citizens feel (scholarship notes that this fear is
felt predominately by white, middle/upper class citizens). This fear makes the right to bear
arms a right as an end. Support for an unbridled Second Amendment tie these citizens right
to their identity, mirroring discourse of oppressed groups, believing that any attack on the
amendment is an attack on their identity. This phenomenon is coded in whiteness and
privilege. Therefore, this aff would advocate for a ban on private ownership to embrace a
collective vulnerability, breaking down power hierarchies.
On the negative, a strong strategy is an Agamben-style biopolitics argument about the state of
the exception. The thesis of this argument is that when violence or another impact presents
itself to the sovereign (in the case, the U.S.), a state of exception is created so that rights can be
removed for the greater good. This leads to a harmful degradation of rights that are only
temporary until the sovereign deems them unnecessary. Recent U.S. history points us to the
gun confiscation immediately after Katrina. The Second Amendment was waved in order to
prevent violence and anarchy. This preemptive measure targeted poor and black families,
disproportionately disrupting their right to bear arms compared to their white counterparts.
Therefore, the affs ban on handguns creates a state of exception that violates the rights of the
people, giving more power to the state. Agamben is one author among many who might reject
this resolution on the grounds that it increases state biopower.
Katrina is also helpful when thinking about another aspect of the resolution: when gun laws are
put into place, Black Americans are the ones who have to deal with the consequences. Some
literature suggests that people of color are targeted when laws are put into place so handguns
out to be banned from everyone except Black Americans. This position argues that police
cannot protect minorities groups so people of color have to possess guns in order to take
justice into their own hands. It could be read as a counterplan or as an alternative to a race or
antiblackness K.

5 Debating T and Theory


Luckily, this topic contains a specified location In the United States. This will prevent many of
the most tired theory debates weve seen over the past few years: Can the aff run a plan with
just any country as an actor? Can the aff run a plan with a group of countries as the actor? Can
the aff fiat that every country acts in the same way? What do we do when some of the aff
actors have already implemented the plan and others havent? All of these seem to be obviated
by four simple words at the beginning of the resolution.
Unfortunately, In the United States raises topicality and theory concerns of its own. First,
does the aff defend the United States Federal Government or all fifty states as its actor?
Second, does the aff get to specify one of fifty states as its actor? Third, can the aff specify a
group of states as its actor? Granted, there are only fifty states, but these corollaries of the
questions above will lead to many T and theory debates regarding aff advocacies. Theyll also

affect what the negative can do. Can the negative PIC out of one or more states? Can the
negative choose the opposite of the Federal Government vs. 50 States choice the aff made? If
the aff has a stance on any of the questions above, that changes the legitimacy of each of the
negatives options substantially. For instance, a PIC out of one of the fifty states is much more
reasonable against an aff that defends all fifty states uniformly acting than an aff that defends
the USFG. The way to handle these debates is to consider what a good debate on the topic
should look like: If good debates should be sensitive to these questions, then maybe some of
these different aff advocacies and counterplans should be allowable.
The second major T and theory debate I foresee is a debate about what sorts of mechanisms
fall under a ban. Some of the relevant questions include the following: Is the ban criminal or
civil penalties for possession? Does the ban have to apply to everyone? Can the ban take the
form of prohibitions on manufacturing or sale rather than penalties on prohibition? Some of
these questions may be more salient than others, but what mechanisms aff plans take and
what counterplans are available hinge on the answers to these questions.

Affirmative

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Solvency

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Empirics Homicides
Best empirics provereducing handgun possession reduces total homicide rateshandguns
are the firearm of choice for violent crime
Dixon 11
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Handguns, Philosophers, and the Right to Self-Defense. International
Journal of Applied Philosophy, vol. 25, no. 2. 2011.

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Before turning to nonconsequentialist defenses of handguns based on the right to self-defense, a brief sketch of my original utilitarian

The United States far outstrips


five other developed countries (Australia, Canada, Israel, Sweden, and the United Kingdom)
in both handgun ownership and handgun homicide rates per 100,000 people. The United
States' handgun homicide rate is over twenty times greater than that in these other
countries, and its handgun ownership rate is over nine times as high. 4 My reason for singling
out handguns for prohibition in the United States is that they are, in this country, the firearm
argument for prohibition is in order. Its starting point is a striking set of international data.

of choice of criminals , being used in at least 72.2 percent of firearms homicides in the years
20062010.5 Substantially reducing the number of handguns in the U.S. will very likely
substantially reduce the rate of total homicide.

This prediction is based not only on the noted statistics, but also on

the following considerations, which constitute a rudimentary causal theory. First, a large proportion of these crimes is currently committed with
handguns. Since 1970, approximately one-half of the homicides in the U.S. have been committed with handguns. In 2006-2010, an average of

Second, because of their


cheapness, concealability, ease of use, and lethality, handguns are ideally suited to the
commission of crimes and criminals are highly unlikely to be able to commit as many violent
6,909 homicides (48.7 percent of all homicides) was committed per year With handguns.6

crimes by switching to alternative weapons . Third, other weapons that assailants might
substitute for firearms are far less lethal than handguns, and in the case of firearms other
than handguns, although the wounds that they inflict are more serious, their lower
concealability makes it harder to inflict wounds in the first place.' Since the appearance of my
first articles, social scientists have performed far more sophisticated statistical analyses of
much more comprehensive comparative data , and they provide strong support for my
causal hypothesis that prohibition would reduce homicide in the U S. In three separate
studies of fourteen, eighteen, and twenty-one countries, Martin Killias has found that the
prevalence of firearms is strongly correlated with the firearms homicide rate. The first study
indicated a correlation of .746 (where 1 is a perfect correlation ), with a probability of less
than 0.01 that this would happen by chance , the second produced a correlation of .476
.610 (p<0.031) and the third indicated a correlation of .54 (p<0.05) when the countries with
extreme scores are excluded.10 More important, both Killias's and other studies have shown a correlation between gun
ownership and total (gun plus non-gun) homicide rates. Most notably, in a 2000 study of twenty-six high-income
countries, David Hemenway and Matthew Miller found a correlation of .69 (p<0.00). This study is
of special interest because it investigated twenty-six of the twenty-seven countries with a population of over one million defined by the World
Bank as high income or highly industrialized. Focusing on a more homogenous group of countries helps to narrow attention to the variable in
questionfirearmsand minimizes the confounding effect of other causes of homicide. Hemenway and Miller's study found that the overall
homicide rate in the U.S. was 5.98 times higher than in the other twenty-five countries, thus obvi- ating the objection that the total homicide
rate in these other countries could be just as high as in the U.S., due 'to non-handgun homicides.

Finally, in a study of twelve

countries using some of Killias's data, Gregg Lee Carter concludes that total homicide is
correlated with gun ownership at a rate of .67 and with handgun ownership at a rate of .84."
In its review of the literature on the connection between firearms and violence, the National
Academy of Science concludes that "in comparisons among countries, there is a substantial
association between gun ownership and homicide." 14 To complete the argument that these correlations indicate
that handguns cause murder, we need to rule out alternative explanations of the data. First, causation may operate in reverse, in that handgun
ownership may be a response to high homicide rates, not a cause, because some people buy firearms to protect them- selves against crime.
Second, both handgun ownership and homicide rates may be a function of a third factor, while not affecting each other. In this vein, some
proponents of gun rights argue that the United States' very high handgun owner- ship and overall homicide rates are both caused by some third
factor unrelated to guns. The second hypothesis is hard to reconcile with the data. Any causes that lead Americans to buy more guns and
commit more homicides than inhabitants of other affluent societiesfor example, a greater propensity to violenceshould equally affect
homicide in general and not just homicides committed with firearms. What we find, in contrast, is a far greater disparity between the United
States and Western European countries in firearms homicide than in non-gun homicide. The American firearm homicide rate is 4.96 times
higher than the average rate in eighteen Western European countries, but its non-gun homicide rate is only 1.96 times higher than the
European rate.15 While

this data lends some support for the existence of a greater propensity to
violence in the United States independent of firearms, the only plausible explanation of the
far greater disparity in firearms homicide is that the prevalence of guns is itself a significant
causal factor.
Thats key to maximizing utilitythe pain and death caused from handgun homicides far
outweighs any pleasure from gun ownership
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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In 1990 there were 23,438 homicides in the United States, 9,923 of which are known to have been committed with handguns.2 Of the 639,271
robberies in the United States in 1990, 36.6% involved firearms,3 while 23.1% of the 1,054,863 aggravated assaults were made with guns. 4
THESIS There

are strong reasons for believing that one of the major causes of these 9,923

murders is the extremely high rate of private ownership of handguns in the United States.
Similarly, this high rate is also a major cause of the 233,973 firearms robberies and 243,673
firearms assaults . Reducing the handgun ownership rate will reduce handgun violence, and
hence the overall number of violent crimes. The most effective way to achieve such a
reduction is a ban on the private ownership of handguns , with exceptions narrowly confined
to the armed forces, the police, private security guards, and licensed gun collectors . A ban on the
private ownership of handguns will restrict the freedom of United States citizens and require an adjustment in the way that some of them
spend their leisure time. I accept that the burden of proof is on me to demonstrate that the benefits of my proposal outweigh its costs. I
discharge this burden in the rest of section I and reinforce my response throughout section II. Having shifted the burden of proof to opponents
of gun control, in section II I discuss responses that have been given to arguments for a handgun ban. My

argument is primarily a
utilitarian discussion of the beneficial consequences of a handgun ban (a reduction in the
murder rate and a general decrease in violent crime, especially robbery and aggravated
assault). The pleasure and additional self-defense which is alleged to result from owning and
using handguns is trivial compared to the death and misery that is caused by their misuse.
However, my thesis could be equally well expressed in terms of rights (the right to life,
freedom from assault, and property of victims of handgun crimes). The restriction of the
alleged right to bear arms is minor compared to the violations of the rights of the victims of

handgun crimes that occur every day. I have focused on a handgun ban primarily because
handguns are the weapon of choice of violent criminals . In 1990 handguns were used in
77.2% of murders involving firearms and 49.5% of all murders in the United States. More
recent figures are not available, but in 1967 96% of firearms used in robberies and 86% of
those used in aggravated assaults were handguns.5 These numbers are almost certainly
attributable to their relative cheapness, their small size (and hence greater concealability),
and the fact that they are easy to use. At the same time, long guns (shot guns and rifles) are used more than handguns in
recreational pursuits, which, ceteris paribus, it would be desirable to allow to go unhindered. Consequently, and in view of their minimal
criminal use, I see no pressing need for a ban on long guns. Because of the high percentage of violent crimes that are committed with
handguns, and because they are uniquely suited to such use, a handgun ban will result in a reduction in overall rates of violent crime.6

A handgun ban is the best way to reduce handgun homicidesit solves the problem at its
source by reducing demand
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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I am assuming that the number of handguns in a country depends on (1) the permissiveness
of its handgun laws, and (2) the demand for handguns. Handgun laws in the United States are
far more permissive than in any of the comparison countries.' Since the law is much more easily controlled
than the people's wishes, by far the easiest way to reduce handgun ownership is to pass more restrictive laws. My proposal, then,
is that the best way to reduce handgun homicides is to pass maximally restrictive laws - a
handgun ban . Two interesting points concerning the demand for handguns are worth noting. First, it is probable that,
doubtless due in part to the long history of private gun ownership in this country, there is
more demand for them in the United States than in the other countries.' In order to achieve
the same levels of gun ownership in the United States as in other countries, therefore, it is
likely that even more restrictive handgun laws will be required. Second, a reduction in the
number of handguns in this country (by means of a handgun ban) can reasonably be expected
to result in a reduction in demand , which will in turn cause a further reduction in ownership
levels. This result is because a major reason for handgun ownership at present is to defend
oneself against the huge number of people who already have handguns. (See infra section II.E
for a discussion of the defensive efficacy of handguns.) I propose stemming this spiral of gun
ownership at its source rather than simply acquiescing in the unlimited proliferation of
handguns.
More homicides per 100,000 people occur in the United States because Americans have more
handguns
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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In 1988 Interpol reported homicides for these countries: the following number of handgun Handgun Population 6 Rate per Homicides 100,000 Australia 13
16,538,000 0.07 (1988) Canada 8 25,857,000 0.031 (1987) Great Britain 7 57,376,000 0.012 (1990) Israel 25 4,614,000 0.542 (1990) Sweden 19 8,332,000 0.228
(1984) Switzerland 53 6,473,000 0.819 (1985) United States 8,915 250,410,000 3.560 (1990)

It was this astounding disparity

between the United States and other developed countries which first drew my attention to
the issue of hand gun control. My contention is that a major cause of this disparity is the
much higher rate of handgun ownership among private citizens in the United States
compared to other countries. More generally, I argue that any country's handgun ownership
rate is a major determinant of its handgun homicide rate. The following table is based on information from government
agencies, including police departments, in the respective countries. Any systematic bias, which may result from a government agency's desire to minimize or
exaggerate gun ownership levels, can reasonably be assumed to apply equally to all of the countries studied. Since my interest is in comparative ownership rates
rather than the absolute numbers, any such bias is irrelevant. The numbers refer to estimates of the total number of handguns owned by civilians in each

Handguns Handguns per Handgun 100,000 Homicides per 100,000 United


States 56,833,00017 22,696 3.56 Israel 171,44818 3,716 0.542 Sweden 308,26119 3,700 0.228
country, both legally and illegally.

Canada 595,00020 2,301 0.031

Firearm ownership is highest in the US, that leads to more suicide and homicides.
Anglemyer et al 14
Anglemyer A, Horvath T, Rutherford G. [The Accessibility of Firearms and Risk for Suicide and
Homicide Victimization Among Household Members: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
Ann Intern Med. 2014;160:101-110. doi:10.7326/M13-1301 [Premier, Premier Debate Today,
Sign-Up Now]
Firearm ownership is more prevalent in the U nited S tates than in any other country ; approximately
35% to 39% of households have firearms (3, 4), and 22% of persons report owning firearms.

firearms

(6.3 suicides per 100 000 residents)

The annual rate of suicide by

is higher in the U nited S tates than in any other country

with

reported data,

and the annual rate of firearm-related homicide in the U nited S tates (7.1 homicides per 100

000 residents)

is the highest among high-income countries

(4). Results from ecological studies suggest that

state

restrictions on firearm ownership are associated with decreases in firearm-related suicides


and homicides.

Availability of guns leads to more suicide and domestic homicide.


Anglemyer et al 14
Anglemyer A, Horvath T, Rutherford G. [The Accessibility of Firearms and Risk for Suicide and
Homicide Victimization Among Household Members: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
Ann Intern Med. 2014;160:101-110. doi:10.7326/M13-1301 [Premier, Premier Debate Today,
Sign-Up Now]
Impulsiveness may be a catalyst in using a firearm to commit suicide and
firearm-related

may also play a role in

homicide . Researchers have estimated higher odds of homicide victimization

among women

than men (9, 10).

Because most homicide victims know their perpe trators (9), this finding

may indicate an impulsive reaction to domestic disputes.

Meta-analysis of studies shows a nearly universal result of increased violence.


Anglemyer et al 14
Anglemyer A, Horvath T, Rutherford G. [The Accessibility of Firearms and Risk for Suicide and
Homicide Victimization Among Household Members: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
Ann Intern Med. 2014;160:101-110. doi:10.7326/M13-1301 [Premier, Premier Debate Today,
Sign-Up Now]
We performed a systematic review and

meta-analysis of all studies that compared the odds of suicide or

homicide victimization between persons

with and without reported firearm access.

All but 1 of the 16

studies identified in this review reported significantly increased odds of death associated
with firearm access . We found

strong evidence for

increased odds of suicide

firearms compared with those without access (OR, 3.24 [CI, 2.41 to 4.40])

and

among persons with access to

moderate evidence for an attenuated

increased

odds of homicide victimization when persons with and without access to firearms were
compared

(OR, 2.00 [CI, 1.56 to 3.02]).

An empirical comparison of Seattle and Vancouver provegun control reduces homicide


rates
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Scepticism as to the value of international comparisons concerning gun control and gun related crime is even less plausible in light of a study
done in 1988.' 5 In

order to isolate the key variable-the impact of gun control on violent crime in
general and on firearm violence in particular-the authors studied two cities that are very
similar in most other respects: Seattle and Vancouver, Canada.36 The two cities have a
similar population, geography, climate, level of schooling, unemployment rate, median
annual household income, and cultural values.37 Of particular interest, however, is the great
similarity in their overall crime statistics. Vancouver had a very slightly higher burglary rate,
and in other types of crime, Seattle had a slightly higher relative risk: robbery (1.09:1), simple
assault (1.18:1), and aggravated assault (1.16:1)." With regard to the weapons used in aggravated assaults, both
cities reported almost identical rates of assaults with knives, other dangerous weapons, and hands and feet." These similarities are in precisely
the same factors to which gun control opponents usually appeal in order to account for the higher rate of gun violence in the United States. At

In the period studied, Seattle had 11.3 homicides per 100,000


person-years, whereas Vancouver had 6.9 per 100,000 person-years.4 Consequently, the
relative risk of being murdered in Seattle as compared to Vancouver was 1.63:1. 4 ' The
relative risk of homicide excluding those committed with firearms was very similar (1.08:1),
but the risk of being murdered with a firearm in Seattle as compared to Vancouver was
4.8:1.42 Eightyfive percent of the firearms homicides in both cities were committed with
this point the similarities in crime patterns end.

handguns .43 It will be difficult to deny that the almost fivefold difference in the frequency of
homicides committed with firearms is responsible for the substantially higher homicide rate
in Seattle.' One marked difference between the two cities is that Vancouver, like all of
Canada, has significantly stricter gun control laws.45 The most important difference is that Vancouver does not allow

concealed weapons and grants handgun permits for sporting and collecting purposes only.' Handguns may be transported by car only if they
are stored in the trunk in a locked box.47 In Seattle, concealed weapons are allowed with a permit." This has resulted in a disparity in the rates
of gun ownership in the two cities. In the 1984-88 period, the total number of handgun permits issued in Vancouver was 4137.' 9 In the same
time span, Seattle issued 15,289 concealed weapons permits; in addition, no permit at all was needed for handguns kept at home.' An
independent measure of gun ownership is provided by "Cook's gun prevalence index," which is based on surveys and the number of suicides,
assaults, and homicides involving firearms in forty-nine cities in the United States. The index assigns a 41% gun ownership rate to Seattle, and

To summarize, we have two cities which closely resemble each other in


terms of sociology, population, economics, culture, and overall crime patterns, including
nonhomicidal violent crime. However, there is a noticeable disparity in their rates of
homicide and a huge difference in their rates of gun-related homicide. The city with the
only 12% to Vancouver.51

lower homicide rates has far stricter gun control laws (especially for handguns, which were
responsible for 85% of the firearms-related murders in both cities), and, not surprisingly, a far
lower rate of gun ownership. The burden is on opponents of gun control to show why this
study does not demonstrate the rink between rates of gun ownership and homicide rates.

Err Aff--Homicides
If theres even a 50% chance my studies are right, vote aff because the expected utility of a
handgun ban outweighs
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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After a detailed analysis of the literature that opposes a handgun ban, I have shown that
none of these arguments seriously respond to the "burden of proof' challenge which I present in
section IC. I have established a strong prima facie case for my hypothesis, justifying at least an experimental handgun ban, for, say, twenty-five
years. 136 If

my hypothesis is wrong, a minor restriction on people's behavior will have been


needlessly imposed, and whatever self-defense handguns may have provided will have been
lost. This loss is minimal in comparison with the many harmful uses of handguns which, if I
am correct, would be prevented by a handgun ban. Consequently, even assuming that there
is only a 50% chance that my hypothesis is true (though I have argued that the probability is
far higher), a handgun ban is justified on the ground of its greater expected utility . I have not
addressed what may be considered the strongest objection to a handgun ban: the Second Amendment, and its guarantee of the right to bear
arms. What I have shown is that there is a strong utilitarian case for banning handguns, and that the constitutionality of such a ban therefore
merits careful consideration.'37

AT Alt Causes--Homicide
Alt causes are irrelevanthandgun bans are key to reduce homicide rates
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Two important clarifications need to be made at this point. First, it is not being claimed that
the high rate of gun ownership in the United States is the only, or even the main, cause of its
excep tionally high handgun homicide rate. What is being claimed is that its handgun
ownership rate is one of the causes. Furthermore, it is the easiest to control of all of the
probable causes. Consequently, reducing ownership of handguns is the most realistic way to
start reducing murder and handgun-related crime in the United States. Second, I am fully cognizant of the
error of assuming that a correlation implies a causal connection. In order to avoid this error, anyone who posits a causal connection based on a
correlation must do at least two things. One must first show that there are no other variables which correlate better with the effect, and which
would account for the effect better than, or in place of, the posited cause. Take, for instance, the view that AIDS was a punishment for
homosexuality, which, in the early 1980s, did seem to correlate very closely with the syndrome of diseases. As heterosexual AIDS cases
emerged, the "punishment" hypothesis lost credibility. What finally destroyed the credibility of that hypothesis was the discovery of a 100%
correlation between AIDS symptoms and the presence of HIV, along with the emergence of an increasing number of heterosexuals with AIDS.
The second requirement is the provision of a probable theoretical explanation of how the causation occurred. The second requirement is also
illustrated by the case of AIDS. What made the HIV hypothesis increasingly convincing was the development of a detailed biochemical
explanation of exactly how the virus attacks the immune system and leads to the symptoms of AIDS. Both the 100% correlation and the
detailed theoretical account make the HIV hypothesis practically certain. In the case of causal hypotheses in the social sciences, where the web
of causation is much more complex and causes much harder to distinguish, a more modest correlation and a less rigorous theoretical
explanation are sufficient to establish the plausibility of a causal connection. Since

I do not claim that handguns are the


only cause of murder, I do not need to rule out the existence of other causes. Consequently,
to try to refute my position by pointing out these other causes is to commit a straw [person]
man fallacy . All I need to show is that there is no other cause that correlates so well with
handgun murder as to rule out my own causal hypothesis. I undertake this task in the next
subsection and on various occasions throughout this paper. While the evidence does indeed
suggest a prima facie case for several other causal factors, none of them is nearly strong
enough to be considered as the only cause, and hence, to disprove my hypothesis . As for a
theoretical explanation of why high rates of handgun ownership correlate with high rates of handgun related murder, one need not go beyond
common sense. Assuming human nature to be relatively similar in different developed democratic countries (i.e. those represented in the
Interpol statistics quoted above), one would expect people to be subject to roughly similar amounts of stress, provocation, jealousy, anger,
desperation, resentment of other people's affluence, and whatever other factors are liable to lead some people to violence. If one of these
nations has a vastly higher rate of private ownership of handguns, one would expect that the similar provocations to violence would spill over
into handgun murder far more often than in the other nations. This low-level theoretical explanation is sufficient to show that my handgun
hypothesis is more than an accidental coincidence and, unlike the "AIDS as punishment" hypothesis, is not based on prejudice and superstition.

AT Bans Dont SolveStates Prove


Guns imported from adjacent states mask the deterrent effect in individual statesnational
policy solves
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Further support for gun control would be provided by statistics demonstrating higher gun-related homicides and other violent crime rates in
those states with more permissive gun laws. However, it is widely agreed in the anti-control literature that the evidence fails to provide any
such support.' In

response, advocates of gun control suggest that the genuine deterrent effect of a
state's strict gun control laws may be "masked" by the easy availability of guns in other states
(especially adjacent ones) that have permissive gun laws, or none at all. Such guns can be
easily "imported" from one state to another. What is called for, then, is a national gun
control policy, not the abandonment of all gun control. Indeed, a plausible causal story would
see it as no coincidence that states with 'strict gun control have high crime rates, since it is
precisely in response to these high crime rates that gun control is more likely to be
introduced in the first place. It is perverse to assume the contrary-namely, that gun control is
itself the cause of increased crime.

AT Concealed Carry
Laundry list explanations for increased crime with allowing concealed-carry permits
Ayres 03
[Ian Ayres, William K. Townsend Professor of Law, Yale Law School. John J. Donohue III, William
H. Neukom Professor of Law, Stanford Law School. Shooting Down the More Guns, Less
Crime Hypothesis 4/16/2003 Stanford Law Review] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up
Now]
But even if no one securing a concealed-carry permit ever used it to commit a crime, there are still a number of avenues by which the passage
of a concealed-carry

law could stimulate crime. First, even if the adoption of a shall-issue law
increased the riskiness of criminal activity and thereby dampened the number of criminals, it
might also increase the number of criminals who decided to carry weapons themselves (by hypothesis,
illegally) and also might increase the speed at which a criminal decides to shoot or disable potential
victims (as the presence of armed victims increases the cost of hesitation once a criminal engagement has been launched). Therefore, the
number of murders and aggravated assaults can rise if criminals respond to shall-issue laws by packing more heat and
shooting quicker. Arming the citizenry can encourage an arms race, leading more criminals to carry even higher-powered weapons and to
discharge them more quickly when threatened.18 Second,

even when no criminal act is initially contemplated,


the injection of a gun into an angry dispute , perhaps in lawful defense, might escalate a minor dispute
into a criminal homicide or a serious wounding.19 As an earlier president of the Connecticut Chiefs of Police Association stated,
iWe are concerned about the increasing availability of handguns and the ease with which a person can get a pistol permit. . . . [A] permit is
dangerous in the hands of a neophyte who goes to a bar and shows off his phallic symbol to the boys.i20 Indeed, there was a bit of a scandal in
Connecticut in 1977 when it was revealed that Michael OiBrienodeemed by the federal organized crime strike force special prosecutor as one
of the itwo most important criminals in the Hartford areai and convicted for racketeering, extortion, and gamblingo had obtained a right to
carry a concealed weapon with the support of letters of recommendation from certain major political figures in the state.21 This suggests that

those who are able to secure handgun permits are not always model citizens , and that at least some
criminals find it useful to have the legal right to carry weapons. Third, with some estimates suggesting that as many
as one million or more guns are stolen each year, we know that putting more guns in the hands of
the law-abiding population necessarily means that more guns will end up in the hands of
criminals.22 In fact, with guns being a product that can be easily carried away and quickly sold at a relatively high fraction of the initial
cost, the presence of more guns can actually serve as a stimulus to burglary and theft.23 Even if the gun owner had a permit to carry a
concealed weapon and would never use it in furtherance of a crime, is it likely that the same can be said for the burglar who steals the gun?

Fourth, allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons imposes burdens on police in that they
must ascertain whether the gun is being carried legally. Officers of the Illinois State Police have indicated that their
job would be complicated if private citizens were permitted to carry guns as they would need to spend time confirming whether the guns were
being legally carried.24 As

it stands now in Illinois, anyone caught with a gun in public is violating


state law and can be immediately brought into custody without the need for further
investigation, which the state police believe has been a powerful tool for taking criminals off
the streets.25 According to James Jacobs, i[t]he possibility of ratcheting up street-level policing to seize more unlawful guns [perhaps
through new technologies that can allow police to detect guns from somedistance away] is complicated by the passage of state eshall-issuei
laws . . . .i26 Finally, accidental deaths and suicides are obviously aided by the presence of guns ,
and these costs could conceivably outweigh any benefits of shall-issue laws in reducing crime.27 Extensive empirical study is needed to assess
the relative magnitudes of the likely conflicting effects of a stateis decision to permit citizens to carry concealed weapons.

AT Correlation, Not Causation


This isnt mere correlationhigh rates of handgun ownership do cause higher homicide
ratesuse common sense
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]

Two important clarifications need to be made at this point. First, it is not being claimed that the high rate of gun ownership in the United States
is the only, or even the main, cause of its excep tionally high handgun homicide rate. What is being claimed is that its handgun ownership rate is
one of the causes. Furthermore, it is the easiest to control of all of the probable causes. Consequently, reducing ownership of handguns is the
most realistic way to start reducing murder and handgun-related crime in the United States. Second,

the error of assuming that a correlation implies a causal connection.

I am fully cognizant of
In order to avoid this error, anyone who posits a causal connection based on

a correlation must do at least two things. One must first show that there are no other variables which correlate better with the effect, and which would account for the effect better than, or in place of, the posited cause. Take, for instance, the view that AIDS was a punishment for
homosexuality, which, in the early 1980s, did seem to correlate very closely with the syndrome of diseases. As heterosexual AIDS cases emerged, the "punishment" hypothesis lost credibility. What finally destroyed the credibility of that hypothesis was the discovery of a 100% correlation
between AIDS symptoms and the presence of HIV, along with the emergence of an increasing number of heterosexuals with AIDS. The second requirement is the provision of a probable theoretical explanation of how the causation occurred. The second requirement is also illustrated by
the case of AIDS. What made the HIV hypothesis increasingly convincing was the development of a detailed biochemical explanation of exactly how the virus attacks the immune system and leads to the symptoms of AIDS. Both the 100% correlation and the detailed theoretical account
make the HIV hypothesis practically certain. In the case of causal hypotheses in the social sciences, where the web of causation is much more complex and causes much harder to distinguish, a more modest correlation and a less rigorous theoretical explanation are sufficient to establish
the plausibility of a causal connection. Since I do not claim that handguns are the only cause of murder, I do not need to rule out the existence of other causes. Consequently, to try to refute my position by pointing out these other causes is to commit a straw [person] man fallacy. All I
need to show is that there is no other cause that correlates so well with handgun murder as to rule out my own causal hypothesis. I undertake this task in the next subsection and on various occasions throughout this paper. While the evidence does indeed suggest a prima facie case for

As for a theoretical explanation of why high


rates of handgun ownership correlate with high rates of handgun related murder, one need
several other causal factors, none of them is nearly strong enough to be considered as the only cause, and hence, to disprove my hypothesis.

not go beyond common sense. Assuming human nature to be relatively similar in different
developed democratic countries (i.e. those represented in the Interpol statistics quoted
above), one would expect people to be subject to roughly similar amounts of stress,
provocation, jealousy, anger, desperation, resentment of other people's affluence, and
whatever other factors are liable to lead some people to violence. If one of these nations has
a vastly higher rate of private ownership of handguns, one would expect that the similar
provocations to violence would spill over into handgun murder far more often than in the
other nations. This low-level theoretical explanation is sufficient to show that my handgun
hypothesis is more than an accidental coincidence and, unlike the "AIDS as punishment"
hypothesis, is not based on prejudice and superstition.

AT Kates
Katess conclusions are shoddy scholarship
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Since comparisons with the far lower murder rates in countries that have stricter handgun control were the main impetus for gun control, it is
wise to start with this issue. The overall strategy of handgun supporters is to argue that the higher murder rate in the United States compared
to other developed countries is attributable to factors other than the higher prevalence of handguns in the United States." For

example,
Don Kates, one of the most prolific and articulate opponents of banning handguns, argues:
"The determinants of violence are ... fundamental economic, sociocultural, and institutional
differences .... Since gun laws, by definition, do not focus on these kinds of fundamental
determinants, their potential benefits can be no more than marginal."'29 Disappointingly,
neither Kates nor any of the other contributors to his volume give any analysis of what
exactly these "deeper" causes are and how one might hope to remedy them . Such vague
hypotheses fail to meet the evidentiary burden of proof that I have placed on opponents of
gun control.3

AT Kleck
Klecks survey data is flawed
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Kleck's estimate of the number of self-defensive uses of guns is a projection based on


surveys, and is subject to a serious criticism . The respondents were gun owners who have a
vested interest in exaggerating both the need for self-defense, and the effectiveness of their
guns in providing it. What gun owner, for instance, is going to admit that he fired his gun at a
false alarm, or that he used more force than necessary in repelling an intruder who turned
out to be harmless? Such nuances are likely to be left out of responses to surveys, and the
incidents in question will be recorded as successful defenses of self and property. Even more
likely than deliberate dishonesty among respondents to surveys is self-deception and
outright error concerning the need to use a gun in self-defense. A chilling example of this trigger-happy
attitude is provided by an incident involving Bernard Goetz before he achieved notoriety as the "subway vigilante." At 8pm. one evening he was
asked for money by "a crazy kid on drugs" who was walking behind him on Sixth Avenue. Even though he admits that there were many other
ways to deal with the situation, Goetz pulled his gun on the youth."7 In apparent support of his advocacy of the defensive efficacy of
handguns, Kleck cites the infamous subway shootings of 1984, by referring to the sharp decrease in subway crime which followed them."'8

Not only must unjustifiable uses of firearms, when less force would have been sufficient to
escape the real or perceived danger, be subtracted from the benefits that Kleck claims for the
defensive use of guns; they must be added to the long list of bad consequences of handgun
ownership around which this paper is based.

AT Switzerland
Switzerland cant be compared to the US on guns
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Other opponents of gun control try to show that international comparisons actually weaken the case for gun control. Though I could not obtain
any handgun ownership statistics from the Swiss government, it is often claimed that the rate of gun ownership in Switzerland is higher than

However,
there are two crucial differences between this country and the United States. First, the guns
owned in Switzerland are primarily long guns. 2 Long guns are not the issue in this paper,
which advocates a ban on handguns only. Second, all male citizens in Switzerland are
required to retain the gun that they were given during their military service.33 The context of
their gun ownership is, then, mandatory service in a citizens' militia, with its attendant
that in the United States.3' This is alleged to disprove any causal connection between firearm ownership and homicide rates.

training and discipline , which bears no comparison with the minimally controlled private
handgun ownership in the United States . In fact, this comparison was most ill-advised on the part of handgun
supporters. The handgun homicide rate in Switzerland, though less than that in the United States,
is almost four times higher than that in Sweden and is on average over ten times higher than
that in other countries with restrictive handgun laws (Australia, Canada, and Britain). The factors
to which opponents of gun control appeal in order to explain the high rate of handgun homicide in the United States-e.g. extensive poverty,

The United States'


alleged high rate of firearms ownership remains the most plausible explanation of its
comparatively high handgun homicide rate.
high unemployment, a minimal welfare system, and racial tension-cannot plausibly be asserted of Switzerland. 4

AT Wright and Rossi


Wright and Rossi surveyed felonsthats a dubious method
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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An often-quoted study intended to establish this deterrent effect was done by Wright and
Rossi. 1 They interviewed over 1800 prisoners in ten States concerning their attitude toward
the possibility of armed victims. 34% said that they had been "scared off, shot at, wounded,
or captured by an armed victim"; another 34% said that they were concerned that they might
be shot by their victim (interestingly, the same percentage feared being shot by the police);
57% said that "most criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are
about running into the police"; and 59% agreed that "a store owner who is known to keep a
gun on the premises is not going to get robbed very often."'" While no one would deny that
firearms do have a deterrent effect on potential felons, the reliability of a survey conducted
among felons is very dubious. Referring to a similar survey done by Wright and Rossi, a
supporter of the defensive use of firearms pointed out the difficulties in relying on surveys of
convicted criminals (who, as a group, are remarkable neither for honesty nor acute
introspection). Then there are the difficulties in extrapolating from their answers to the
attitudes of fellow criminals who, perhaps because of distinguishing characteristics such as
greater shrewdness, have not been caught. 3

AT WrightSeattle-Vancouver Indicts
Wright underestimates the number of handguns in Seattle
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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It is to the credit of opponents of gun control that they have taken on the challenge
presented by the Seattle-Vancouver study. James Wright has criticized it on two main
grounds. First, it fails to prove that guns are more widely available in Seattle than in
Vancouver. Second, the difference in murder rate is attibutable to racial factors, not to
differences in gun laws.52 To establish the first criticism, Wright points out that the study's
reason for believing that there are more guns in Seattle than in Vancouver is based on the
number of gun permits handed out in the two cities. He discounts these numbers on the
ground that the cities have different permit regulations." However, the very difference
between permit regulations indicates that the figures vastly under-estimate the number of
handguns in Seattle , since Seattle, unlike Vancouver, requires neither permits nor
registration for handguns kept at home.
Wrights wrongracial variations dont invalidate the study
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Wright's second main line of objection is based on a comparison of the homicide rates of
Seattle and Vancouver by ethnic groups. While they have similar percentages of white
residents (Seattle:79.2%, and Vancouver:75.6%), the makeup of their non-white populations
is very different. Vancouver is dominated by Asians (22.1%), whereas Seattle has a higher percentage of blacks (9.5- 0.3%) and
Hispanics (2.6-0.5%).' Revealingly, despite its overall substantially lower murder rate, Vancouver's annual homicide rate for its white nonhispanic population is slightly higher than Seattle's (6.4 to 6.2 per 100,000.) 5 If the alleged difference in gun ownership were the cause of the
difference in overall murder rate, one would expect this effect to be reflected among all racial groups, whites included. Since the difference
appears only among racial minorities, the evidence indicates racial differences, not differences in gun laws, as the cause of the difference in
murder rates.

However, the existence of these racial variations does not invalidate the Seattle-

Vancouver study . Its authors are perfectly well aware of these differences and suggest that
the usual socio-economic disadvantages of these groups are part of the cause.56 These
disadvantages make members of racial minorities more likely to commit murders, and the vast majority of murders are committed by someone
of the same ethnic group as the victim.57 Their own statistics show that, with the exception of Asians in Vancouver, all non-white groups in

No one in the gun control movement ever claims that


the availability of guns is the only cause of murder. The point is that it is one of the causes
that exacerbates the other causes such as socio-economic deprivation. In support of this hypothesis is the
both cities suffer from a higher murder rate than whites.58

fact that the nonwhite/white disparity in murder rate is much more pronounced in Seattle (5.78:1) than in Vancouver (3.63:1)."9 The difference

It is among those
elements of the population who, by virtue of disadvantages linked to race (discrimination,
in the white/non-white disparity is plausibly explained by the far greater prevalence of handguns in Seattle.

lack of economic opportunity, poverty, unemployment, and so forth), are more likely to kill
that we should expect the homicide-increasing influence of handguns to be most
pronounced. It is, as it were, "the straw that breaks the camel's back" in the case of
violence-prone sectors of society.' It is less surprising that there is no perceptible influence of guns on white people who,
statistically, are less prone to be murdered in the first place.61 Moreover, Seattle and Vancouver are anomalous in this regard. Nationwide,
"the homicide rate among whites alone is almost three times higher in the U.S. than in Canada."'62 The "racial differences" hypothesis is of no
use in explaining this disparity.

Mechanisms

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Ban Private Ownership, Not Police


The police should have handguns, but not the general population
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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My strategy in responding to Jacobs' slippery slope argument is to show that there are relevant differences between those people whom I
would allow to use handguns and the rest of the population. I consider first the police. Like Jacobs, I would welcome the day when the United
States police, like the British police, do not need to routinely carry guns. I also appreciate his efforts to explore ways that police could protect

However, because long guns will still be legal


and widely owned, and some criminals can be expected to keep their handguns until caught
even if my ban is enacted, police will have to remain armed for the foreseeable future in
order to adequately enforce the law. It will take many generations, maybe centuries, before
we achieve the same situation as in countries like England, which do not have a tradition of
private handgun ownership. The moral legitimacy of allowing the police a deadly force which
is denied to the general population is easily established by reference to the special role of
the police. Since the police are entrusted with the protection of society and the prevention
and deterrence of crime, it is only to be expected and indeed encouraged that they be given
force superior to the rest of society. Since they are subject to extensive training and strict
themselves, carry out arrests, and deter crime without carrying guns.14

discipline, police are less likely to abuse handguns than the private citizen , including both
criminals and law-abiding citizens who own guns for self-defense.

Possession Ban
Ban of possession mechanism:
Jacobs 02
[James B. Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts
Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice @ NYU Law, Can Gun Control Work? 2002.
Can Gun Control Work?James B. Jacobs OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS] [Premier, Premier Debate
Today, Sign-Up Now]
Proponents of handgun prohibition ought to see little point in banning the manufacture and
sale of handguns without also banning possession. Fail- ure to ban possession would leave the existing private sector
stock of handguns intact. Moreover, if handgun possession was undisturbed, fol- lowing the model of National Alcohol Prohibition, there would
be a tre- mendous opportunity for blackmarketeers to meet the demand for hand- guns with weapons imported from abroad or produced in
clandestine workshops. The new handguns and handgun possessors would blend in with the existing handguns and their possessors. The moral
coherence of this form of prohibition would be weak; tens of millions of owners would be allowed lawfully to possess guns, while younger
people would be treated as criminals for doing the same thing. Criminalizing the possession of handguns, along with the manufacture and sale,
would conform the gun prohibition paradigm to the regime that currently covers illicit mind- and mood-altering drugs. Prohibition

that
includes a ban on possession would commit the country to disarming the citizenry. The
Dellums and Bingham bills say that 180 days after the law becomes effective, it would be a
crime to possess a handgun. In one fell swoop, tens of millions of Americans would be prosecutable, unless they surrendered or
destroyed their arms.

Advantage Areas

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Elephants
One of the primary reasons elephants are killed is that ivory is used in handgun grips
and cleaning tools. Aff decreases gun sales, decreasing the demand for ivory
Sesana 15
Laura is a writer and DC, Maryland attorney, Is It Too Late To Save Elephants From Extinction?
5-11-15 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
China and the U.S. make up the worlds two largest ivory markets. China recently implemented a one-year moratorium on imports of ivory
carvings to study the effects of the ban on poaching. Many, however are skeptical of Chinas motivations. Several elephant and wildlife
advocates have voiced their concern. They fear that the Chinese government, which has openly called for relaxing international ivory trade
limits, will use the yearlong moratorium as an excuse to say a ban failed to stop poaching and then call for the reopening of the international
trade in ivory at the next major Cites conference, to be held in 2016, said Dan Levin in a recent New York Times article. The

U.S. is

second only to China in terms of the size of its ivory market. In 2014, President Obama introduced the National
Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking and announced a commercial ban on ivory trade in the U.S. The proposal
does not ban trophy hunters from killing elephants in Africa, but aims to set limits on the number of trophies they are allowed to bring back. It
also contains several exceptions, including for items over 100 years old, and other pre-CITES items. The ban was

immediately
opposed by the National Rifle Association, (NRA) which stated on its website, the effects of
the ivory ban would be disastrous for American gun owners and sportsmen. The NRA
opposes the limit on how many trophies sport hunters may bring back to the U.S., as well as
the ban on the sale of items made with ivory, including rifle and shotgun sights and sight
inserts, ornamental inlays in rifle and shotgun stocks, grips on custom handguns, as well as
ivory used in related accessories such as knife and gun cleaning equipment and tools .

Kids
Guns in the home are unsafe for children if they find a gun, they will often play with
it or shoot it
Jackman et al 01
Geoffrey A. Jackman, MD*; Mirna M. Farah, MD; Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH; and
Harold K. Simon, MD* Seeing Is Believing: What Do Boys Do When They Find a Real Gun?
Pediatrics 107:6, June 2001 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Methods. A convenience sample of 8- to 12-year-old boys was recruited from families that completed a survey on firearm ownership, storage
practices, and parental perceptions. Parents were asked to rate their childs interest in real guns on a scale from 1 to 5: 12 5 low interest, 3 5
moderate interest, and 45 5 high interest. Parents of an eligible child were asked to bring to the exercise 1 of their sons playmates and/or a
sibling in the same age range. After informed parental consent was obtained, each

pair or trio of boys was placed in a


room with a 1-way mirror and observed for up to 15 minutes. Two water pistols and an actual
.380 caliber handgun were concealed in separate drawers. The handgun contained a radio transmitter that
activated a light whenever the trigger was depressed with sufficient force to discharge the firearm. After the exercise, each boy was asked
whether he thought that the pistol was real or a toy. Before leaving, each child was counseled about safe behavior around guns.
Results. Twenty-nine

groups of boys (n 5 64) took part in the study. The mean age of participants was 9.8
handled [the gun] it (n 5 30 boys).
One or more members in 10 of the groups (48%) pulled the trigger (n 5 16 boys). Approximately half
years. Twenty-one of the groups (72%) discovered the handgun (n 5 48 boys); 16 groups (76%)

of the 48 boys who found the gun thought that it was a toy or were unsure whether it was real. Parental estimates of their childs interest in
guns did not predict actual behavior on finding the handgun. Boys who were believed to have a low interest in real guns were as likely to handle
the handgun or pull the trigger as boys who were perceived to have a moderate or high interest in guns. More than 90% of the boys who
handled the gun or pulled the trigger reported that they had previously received some sort of gun safety instruction.

Conclusion. Many 8- to 12-year-old boys will handle a handgun if they find one. Guns that
are kept in homes should be stored in a manner that renders them inaccessible to children. Pediatrics 2001;107:12471250; guns, weapons,
firearms, children, childhood behavior, injury prevention.

Hundreds of children die every year from unsafe guns, yet many American homes
have guns loaded and unlocked
Jackman et al 01
Geoffrey A. Jackman, MD*; Mirna M. Farah, MD; Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH; and
Harold K. Simon, MD* Seeing Is Believing: What Do Boys Do When They Find a Real Gun?
Pediatrics 107:6, June 2001 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Unintentional firearm injuries kill ;400 children (019 years old) each year, and .3000 children
sustain nonfatal injuries.13 Eighty percent of these shootings involve males, and many incidents occur when a child discovers a
gun in the home while playing with a friend or a sibling.49 Approximately 40% of American households contain 1
or more firearms.1012 Despite the risk of unintentional discharge and other adverse incidents,
as many as 13% of gun-owning families keep at least 1 gun loaded and unlocked.11,13 This is
especially true when the weapon is kept for protection.1420

Parents are irrationally dangerous when it comes to assessing their childrens safety
around a gun
Jackman et al 01

Geoffrey A. Jackman, MD*; Mirna M. Farah, MD; Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH; and
Harold K. Simon, MD* Seeing Is Believing: What Do Boys Do When They Find a Real Gun?
Pediatrics 107:6, June 2001 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Many parents may have unrealistic expectations of their childrens behavior around guns .13,25
In a survey of ;400 parents in metropolitan Atlanta, 28% of parents who had children between 4 and 12 years of age reported owning at least
one firearm. Three

fourths (74%) of gun-owning parents believed that their 4- to 12-year-old child


could tell the difference between a toy and a real gun, and approximately 1 in 4 (23%) stated
that their child (median 5 9 years old) could be trusted with a loaded gun. Of all parents surveyed,
74% believed that their child would either leave a gun alone or go tell an adult if they found a
gun.13 To determine whether this degree of confidence was justified, we conducted a study to determine how children behave when they
discover a real handgun while playing.

Talking to kids about gun safety doesnt solve bans do


Jackman et al 01
Geoffrey A. Jackman, MD*; Mirna M. Farah, MD; Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH; and
Harold K. Simon, MD* Seeing Is Believing: What Do Boys Do When They Find a Real Gun?
Pediatrics 107:6, June 2001 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
We
also found that parents perception of their sons interest in real guns did not predict the
childs behavior on finding a handgun. Remarkably, >90% of the boys who handled the gun or
pulled the trigger reported having previously received some sort of gun safety instruction,
ranging from an informal talk with their parents to formal instruction from a teacher or a
police officer at school. These findings contradict the beliefs and practices of many gunowning parents.13,25 Surveys suggest that as many as 61% of gun-owning households with children
store at least 1 firearm unlocked and/or loaded.19,25,26 In an earlier study by our group, 23% of a sample of
gun-owning parents reported that they would trust their 4- to 12-year-old child with a loaded
firearm.13 Our study suggests that most 8- to 12-year-old boys will not refrain from handling a
handgun if they encounter one outside the immediate supervision of an adult. Such settings
could include a parents bedroom, the home of a playmate, or even under a bush in a
neighborhood. Strategies to reduce the risk of unintentional gunshot firearm injuries of children can be grouped under the 3 Es of injury control:
Children from gun-owning families were no more or less likely to handle the weapon or to pull the trigger than children from nongun-owning families.

education, enforcement of safety regulations, and engineering.3,27 First, parents should be educated about the hazards of keeping firearms in the home, especially
those that are stored improperly. In an educational brochure for parents entitled Keep Your Family Safe From Firearm Injury, the American Academy of Pediatrics
offers parents the following advice: Because even the most well-behaved children are curious by nature and will eagerly explore their environment, the safest thing

The most effective measure


to prevent firearm-related injuries to children and adolescents is the absence of guns from
homes and communities. Firearm regulation, to include bans on handguns and assault weapons, is the
most effective way to reduce firearm-related injuries.21 Parents who are unwilling or unable to remove guns from their
to do is not keep a gun at home. In a more recent policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated,

home should be urged to secure their firearms in a manner that renders the weapons inaccessible to children (ie, locked and unloaded).21,22,28

AT Gun Safety CP gun safety is not empirically tested, and it may foster complacency
so parents are less careful
Jackman et al 01
Geoffrey A. Jackman, MD*; Mirna M. Farah, MD; Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH; and

Harold K. Simon, MD* Seeing Is Believing: What Do Boys Do When They Find a Real Gun?
Pediatrics 107:6, June 2001 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Second, efforts should be made to teach children never to touch a real gun without adult supervision and to tell an adult if they find one. The

National Rifle Associations Eddie Eagle gun accident prevention program contains the commonsense message, STOP! Dont touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult. Although this program has been promoted heavily, it
never has been evaluated formally to prove that it works . If gun safety education gives
parents a sense of complacency without fundamentally altering child behavior, then it might
do more harm than good . That many of our 8- to 12-year-old boys could not distinguish a
real gun from a toy suggests that the goal of teaching young children to behave safely around
real guns may be difficult to achieve.24

Soft Power
US lags behind globally in gun control. Obamas inability to pass a gun law makes
America look weak; every additional massacre decreases US soft power
Freedland 13
Jonathan Freedland is the Guardian's executive editor, Washington DC shootings: America's gun
disease diminishes its soft power, The Guardian, 9-17-13
theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/17/washington-dc-shootings-america-gun-disease
[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
If this isn't a matter of national security, what is? When 13 people end up dead at a US military base, that
surely crosses the threshold putting America's problem with guns into the category reserved for threat[en]s to the
mortal safety of the nation. At its narrowest, Monday's massacre at the Washington navy yard is a national security issue because
it involved hostile entry into what was meant to be a secure military facility. Plenty will now focus on how a man twice arrested in gun-related
incidents was able to gain such easy access to the nerve centre of the US navy. There will be inquiries into the entry-pass system, use of
contractors and the like.
But that would be to miss the wider point. America's

gun sickness which has turned massacres of this

kind into a fairly regular, rather than exceptionally rare occurrence endangers the US not solely because it can lead
military personnel to lose their lives, nor even because it can lead to the murder of schoolchildren, as it did at Sandy Hook elementary school
last year, or the death of young movie-goers, as it did in Aurora, Colorado, also last year dreadful though those losses are.
The foreign

policy experts who gather in the thinktanks and congressional offices not far from the
national security to encompass anything that touches on America's standing
in the world. That ranges from its ability to project military force across the globe to its
attractiveness, its "soft power". For decades, this latter quality has been seen as one of the
US's primary assets, central to its ability to lead and persuade other nations.
But America's gun disease diminishes its soft power. It makes the country seem less like
a model and more like a basket case, afflicted by a pathology other nations strive to avoid .
navy yard often define

When similar gun massacres have struck elsewhere including in Britain lawmakers have acted swiftly to tighten controls, watching as the
gun crime statistics then fell. In the decade after the rules were toughened in Australia in 1996, for example, firearm-related homicides fell by
59%, while suicides involving guns fell by 65%.
But the US stays stubbornly where it is, refusing to act. When President Obama last tried, following the deaths of 20 children
and six staff at Sandy Hook at the end of 2012, his bill

fell at the first senate hurdle. He had not proposed


banning a single weapon or bullet merely expanding the background checks required of someone
wanting to buy a gun. But even that was too much. The national security pundits who worry how a US
president is perceived when he is incapable of protecting the lives of innocent Syrians abroad
should think how it looks when he is incapable of protecting the lives of innocent Americans
at home.
On guns, the US so often the world leader in innovation and endeavour is the laggard, stuck at the
bottom of the global class. Bill Clinton perfectly distilled the essence of soft power when he said in 2008, "People
the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the
example of our power." He was right. But every time a disturbed or angry individual is able to vent
his rage with an assault weapon, killing innocents with ease, the power of America's example
fades a little more.

Suicides
Firearm ownership results in more suicides controlling for suicidal behavior.
Miller et. al 15
[Matthew Miller; Catherine Barber; Richard A. White; Deborah Azrael 'Firearms And Suicide In
The United States'. Accessed December 9 2015.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811501.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up
Now]
On an average day in the U nited S tates, more than 100 Americans die by suicide ; half
suicides

involve

the use of

of these

firearms . In this ecological study, we used linear regression techniques and recently available state-level

measures of suicide attempt rates to assess whether, and if so, to what extent, the well-established relationship between household firearm
ownership rates and suicide mortality persists after accounting for rates of underlying suicidal behavior. After controlling for state-level suicide
attempt rates (20082009),

higher rates of firearm ownership

with higher rates of overall suicide


suicide attempt rates were not

(assessed in 2004)

were strongly associated

and firearm suicide, but not with nonfirearm suicide (20082009). Furthermore,

significantly

related to gun ownership levels . These findings suggest that

firearm ownership rates, independent of underlying rates of suicidal behavior, largely


determine variations in suicide mortality across the 50 states . Our results support the hypothesis that
firearms in the home impose suicide risk above and beyond the baseline risk and help explain why, year after year, several thousand more
Americans die by suicide in states with higher than average household firearm ownership compared with states with lower than average
firearm ownership.

Handgun ownership is specifically correlated with suicide empirical consensus


among studies.
Miller et. al 15
[Matthew Miller; Catherine Barber; Richard A. White; Deborah Azrael 'Firearms And Suicide In
The United States'. Accessed December 9 2015.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811501.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up
Now]
Household firearm ownership has
suicide risk

also

in studies that use individual-level data.

consistently been found to be a strong predictor of


Every US case-control study , for example, has found that

the presence of a gun in the home is a risk factor for suicide . In addition, the only large US cohort study to
examine the firearm-suicide connection found that

handguns
matched

from licensed dealers

suicide rates among California residents who purchased

were more than twice as likely to die by suicide as were

age- and sex-

members of the general population , not only immediately after the purchase , but

throughout the 6-year study period . Here too, the increase in suicide risk was attributable
entirely to an excess risk of suicide with firearms .

The risk applies to all household members not just the individual that purchased the
gun.
Miller et. al 15
[Matthew Miller; Catherine Barber; Richard A. White; Deborah Azrael 'Firearms And Suicide In
The United States'. Accessed December 9 2015.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811501.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up
Now]
The following observations further support the plausibility that the association between firearms and suicide is real: 1) the association
is robust to adjustment for measures of psychopathology , 2) the risk extends beyond the gun
owner to all household members, and persists for years after firearms are purchased , 3) the
rates of psychiatric illness and psychosocial distress are similar among households with
firearms versus those without firearm, and 4) ecological studies of the firearm-suicide
relationship , which are not subject to recall bias or to reverse causation, yield associations similar to

those observed in

individual-level studies . Nevertheless, the idea that the availability of firearms plays an important role in determining a person's
suicide risk and a population's suicide rate continues to meet with skepticism, the most decisive objection being that empirical studies to date
have not adequately controlled for the possibility that members of households with firearms are inherently more suicidal than members of
households without firearms.

Presence of a firearm accounts for nearly all of the difference in suicide rates across
states including variation in attempts.
Miller et. al 15
[Matthew Miller; Catherine Barber; Richard A. White; Deborah Azrael 'Firearms And Suicide In
The United States'. Accessed December 9 2015.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811501.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up
Now]
Higher rates of firearm ownership are strongly associated with higher rates of overall suicide and firearm suicide, but not with nonfirearm
suicide (Table 1).

Suicide attempt rates are not significantly associated with suicide mortality rates

in unadjusted models (correlation coefficient = 0.08, P = 0.60) (data not shown)

ownership

or in models that control for firearm

(partial correlation coefficient = 0.02, P = 0.89) (Table 1). Suicide attempt rates are also not significantly associated with rates

of household gun ownership (data not shown).


10% to 66% across the 50 states,

explains

The prevalence of household firearm ownership , which ranges from


67% of the variation in firearm suicide,

42% of the variation in overall

suicide , and less than 2% of the variation in nonfirearm suicide . By contrast, suicide attempt
rates , which range from 0.1% to 1.5%, explain less than 1% of the variation

in rates of overall suicide, firearm suicide,

and nonfirearm suicide. Indeed, suicide attempt rates are not significantly related to suicide mortality rates overall or by method, even in crude
comparisons. Adjustment for suicide attempt data in regressions, therefore, has little influence on the magnitude of the associations between
rates of firearm ownership and suicide mortality. For example, the partial correlation coefficient relating rates of household firearm ownership
and suicide mortality in our primary analysis is 0.6 whether or not suicide attempts are included in the regression (data not shown). Likewise,
regardless of whether suicide attempt rates are included in regressions, the partial correlation coefficient relating household firearm ownership
and firearm suicide is 0.8 (data not shown).

Gun ownership is pouring gasoline on a fire for those with major mental illnesses, it
magnifies self-harming behavior that could otherwise be handled into irreversible,
deadly situations.
Miller et. al 15
[Matthew Miller; Catherine Barber; Richard A. White; Deborah Azrael 'Firearms And Suicide In
The United States'. Accessed December 9 2015.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811501.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up
Now]
In the U nited S tates, where firearms are
where
suicide acts

roughly

the method

used in more than 50% of all suicides and

1 in 3 homes contains firearms , even small

relative

declines in the use of firearms

in

could result in large reductions in the number of suicides , depending on what, if any, method would

be substituted for firearms. Consider, for example, the fact that

more than 90% of all suicidal acts with firearms are

fatal, but suicidal acts with firearms constitute only 5% of all deliberate self-harm episodes.
In contrast,

fewer than 3% of all suicidal acts with drugs or cutting are fatal

constitute approximately 90% of all attempts.

If even 1 in 10 of the approximately 22,000 persons who

attempted suicide with firearms in 2010

(the 19,932 who died and the approximately 2,000 who survived)

substituted drugs or cutting, there would have been


potential for

substantial

but, as a group, such acts

approximately

reduction in suicide rates is apparent

1,900 fewer suicide deaths . The

in our comparison of suicides in high versus low

gun ownership states, where suicide attempt rates are similar, but the rate of suicide is twice as high in highgun ownership states (with
differences in mortality attributable entirely to differences in suicide by firearms),

with a net excess of approximately

6,000 suicides in highgun ownership states over a 2-year period .

Critical Aff Capitalism / Neoliberalism

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1AC Basic Argument


Opposition to gun control is tied to the neoliberal viewpoint that the government
cannot be trusted.
Esposito 14
[Luigi Esposito, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Barry University in
Miami Shores, FL & Laura Finley, Ph.D. is Assistant professor of Sociology and Criminology at
Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. Beyond Gun Control: Examining Neoliberalism, Pro-gun
Politics and Gun Violence in the United States April 2014. Theory in Action] [Premier, Premier
Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Consistent with Kahans analysis, one might also argue that both sides of the gun control debate have very different understandings about the
role of government in a free and democratic society. Among

those who support gun control, a majority tends to


embrace a progressive understanding of government. Stated simply, they believe that people through activism and direct
participationcan harness the power of government to advance human freedom, challenge
societal injustices, and protect the common good (Esposito and Finley 2012). Government, in this sense, can be a
potentially benevolent mechanism that works to create a better society for all. This position stands in
sharp contrast to the vision espoused by a majority who oppose gun control. Among many of those in this latter
camp, government is invariably the enemy and can therefore never be trusted to promote the well-being of the populace.
Self-reliant individuals competing in a free market, as opposed to a central authority, is what
promotes an optimal society. According to this viewpoint, hierarchy is simply a natural product of
freedom and it is really up to individuals to look after their own interestsincluding their personal safety. Having unrestricted (or
minimally restricted) access to firearms as a way to protect oneself and ones family should thus be a fundamental right. For over three
decades, this latter positionwhich has dominated social, political, and cultural discourse in the United Stateshas

been

bolstered and reinforced by the market ideology often referred to as neoliberalism. At its most basic,
neoliberalism is typically associated with pro-market policies such as de-regulation,
privatization, and liberalization. Neoliberalism, however, is far more than simply a body of policy prescriptions. Developed in
opposition to Keynesianism and similar theories calling for a regulated economy and a strong welfare state, the architects of neoliberalism,
which include economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, understand the free market as a quasi-infallible mechanism for
organizing social life (e.g., Harvey 2005; Klein 2007; Giroux 2008; Esposito 2011). Centralized state planning, according to neoliberals, is
burdened by a series of bureaucratic restraints that compromise efficiency, particularly within the social and economic realms (Harvey 2005) .
Therefore, rather than relying on the state, most social or economic objectives are best achieved by individuals operating within the private
realm (e.g., Friedman and Friedman 1980; Friedman 1982). It is within the private realm that persons have the freedom to act in their selfinterest as they see fit. Neoliberalism, in this respect, draws from classical liberal principles and emphasizes that, under conditions of
freedom, individuals are rational actors who constantly makes calculations of what will serve them best. Minimizing government and handing
over as much of the economy and society in general to the private sector is thus a central objective in the neoliberal agenda. This shift
presumably promotes an efficient order of autonomous individuals who, by freely pursuing their preferences, are able to meet their own needs
and control their own destinies.

Focus on personal liberty is at the core of neoliberalism.


Esposito 14
[Luigi Esposito, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Barry University in
Miami Shores, FL & Laura Finley, Ph.D. is Assistant professor of Sociology and Criminology at
Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. Beyond Gun Control: Examining Neoliberalism, Pro-gun
Politics and Gun Violence in the United States April 2014. Theory in Action] [Premier, Premier
Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]

Although neoliberalism draws from classical liberalism and neoclassical economics, what makes this
perspective unique (and particularly radical) is its effort to extend the logic of the market to virtually
every sphere of social life (Esposito 2011). This includes the state itself. As discussed by Soss, Fording and Schram (2009, p. 2),
neoliberalism constitutes a movement to integrate state and market operations, mobilize the state on behalf of market agendas, and
reconfigure the state on market terms. In effect, rather than the guardian of the public interest, the

state under

neoliberalism is transformed into a servant of the market (e.g., Giroux 2008). To use gendered imagery first
employed by Pierre Bourdieu and further developed by Loic Waquant (2010), under neoliberalism the left hand or feminine side of the
state (i.e., the side of government in charge of securing social needs and the public good ) is downplayed in favor of the right hand or
masculine side of the state (i.e., the side that neglects social welfare and focuses on issues like penal policy and national security). By
emphasizing this so-called masculine side of the state, any

efforts by the government to reduce inequalities or to


advance objectives related to social or economic justice are regarded by neoliberals as incompatible with a free
society. The neoliberal emphasis on personal liberty is at the heart of this tendency. In a neoliberal universe,
personal responsibility and self-reliance are the sine qua non of liberty (Soss, Fording and Schram, 2009). Whatever troubles
individuals might face are regarded as direct results of bad personal choices, poor moral judgment,
weakness of character, or some other type of personal deficiency. Solutions to virtually all problems thus involve making the
proper personal adjustments that will produce better results. On the other hand, any attempt by the state to
intervene in the interest of resolving specific social problems is viewed as suspect. Friedrich Hayek, for example, emphasized
that concepts such as social or economic justice are empty abstractions that justify government tyranny and violate personal autonomy. In fact,
any project that intrudes on the private/personal realm in the interest of achieving a social objective is assumed by neoliberals to be an

a perceived attack on gun rights by the


federal government has, in recent decades, been understood as a clear sign that people in this
country are facing the threat of tyranny. This perceived threat is at the heart of the so-called
Second Amendment Movement (e.g., Burbick, 2006).
artificial imposition that threatens a free society. Among millions of Americans,

Justifying gun possession by framing the government as inept reinforces the neoliberal
ideology of rugged individualism.
Esposito 14
[Luigi Esposito, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Barry University in
Miami Shores, FL & Laura Finley, Ph.D. is Assistant professor of Sociology and Criminology at
Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. Beyond Gun Control: Examining Neoliberalism, Pro-gun
Politics and Gun Violence in the United States April 2014. Theory in Action] [Premier, Premier
Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Another related narrative used among gun supporters to oppose gun controls is that such measures leave
responsible, law abiding citizens without any viable means of protecting themselves against criminals and/or
violent predators. Consistent with the neoliberal claim that government is inept, this common argument is
predicated on the idea that the state (this includes the police and other law enforcement agencies) is inefficient and
thus largely incapable of protecting citizens (see Carlson 2012). Disarming the public is thus akin to a proverbial throwing the
lambs to the wolves scenario. This distrust of government, along with the fact that fear of crime in the U.S. is out of
proportion to actual crime rates (e.g., Shelden, 2010), encourages an insistence among millions of Americans to want easy
access to guns as a way to protect themselves, their families, and their property. This logic fits perfectly with (and is reinforced
by) neoliberal ideology and its emphasis on private solutions to all problems. This same ideology is also what has
encouraged and glamorized the sort of rugged individualism that is at the heart of pro-gun politics.

Justifications through personal liberty and property overlook the sense of individuals
existing within a community and as such support neoliberalism.
Esposito 14
[Luigi Esposito, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Barry University in
Miami Shores, FL & Laura Finley, Ph.D. is Assistant professor of Sociology and Criminology at
Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. Beyond Gun Control: Examining Neoliberalism, Pro-gun
Politics and Gun Violence in the United States April 2014. Theory in Action] [Premier, Premier
Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
The parallel

between Neoliberal ideology and what Melzer described as the do-it-yourself philosophy
embraced by members of the NRA cannot be clearer. Not only freedom but democracy is assumed to be
synonymous with self-reliance. Both neoliberal and pro-gun philosophy reinforce one another
in that both presuppose an atomistic view of the world in which people are not understood
as part of an interconnected community. Instead, all individuals are assumed to be autarkic subjects
concerned almost exclusively with their own private lives . Far from supporting freedom and democracy,
therefore, critics argue that what easily results from this social imagery is a depoliticized citizenry that is anathema
to an effective democracy (e.g., McChesney 1999). As is well known, a viable democracy requires that people have a strong sense
of connection to their fellow citizens. Yet because of the emphasis on self-interest/self-reliance, neoliberalism attenuates
democracy by giving individuals a green light to prioritize their self-serving interest over those
of a community (e.g., Giroux 2008). The fanatical-like zeal with which many gun supporters prioritize Second Amendment
rights over all other rights is consistent with this tendency. While those who support the Second Amendment emphasize the
individuals right to own firearms in order to protect his/her personal liberty, safety, or property, this right ignores the fact that
individuals are also members of a community. More specifically, an emphasis on the individuals right to own firearms
[and] overlooks how that right might infringe on other peoples right to live without fear of
unprovoked gun violence or unintended gun-related tragedies. And while ardent Second Amendment
supporters might argue that guns are a tool to protect human life, there should be little doubt that the logic behind pro-gun/ anti-gun control
politicsmuch like the logic advanced by neoliberal ideology presupposes an every person to him/herself type of order as normal and even
virtuous. At most, armed individuals might decide to take heroic action and come to the rescue of others during incidents such as mass
shootings (much like neoliberals suggest that private charity should replace the welfare state as the primary mechanism for dealing with people
in need), but the individuals right to own firearms supersedes any communal/societal concern associated with gun violence.

Masculinity Too
Neoliberalism is intertwined with male gender norms of masculinity and exercising
domination over things.
Esposito 14
[Luigi Esposito, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Barry University in
Miami Shores, FL & Laura Finley, Ph.D. is Assistant professor of Sociology and Criminology at
Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. Beyond Gun Control: Examining Neoliberalism, Pro-gun
Politics and Gun Violence in the United States April 2014. Theory in Action] [Premier, Premier
Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
As Messerschmidt (1993), Messerschmidt and Connell (2005), Katz (2006), and others have noted, men

learn that to do

masculinity means to act aggressively. That is, gender is not innate but instead something that is nurtured throughout the
life course and via numerous institutions. Male gender norms generally promote risk-taking, aggression, and
encourage men to exert dominance, both over other men as well as over women (Katz, 2006). This behavior parallels
the sort of agency encouraged in a neoliberal market society. Consistent with C.B. Mcphersons (1962) notion of
possessive individualism, subjects under neoliberalism are encouraged to exercise their domination
over things in the form of ownership or possession. Because a neoliberal market society is
structured around relations of ultra-competition, this also suggests that individuals must constantly
protectthrough virtually any means necessary their possessions from others. In this context, possessions might refer not
only to material goods but also to ones family, ego, and sense of self-worth.

Mental Illness
Attributions gun violence solely to mental illness disregards how society produces
harmful tendencies. By framing society as a meaningless abstraction, this discourse
promotes a classic neoliberal worldview.
Esposito 14
[Luigi Esposito, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Barry University in
Miami Shores, FL & Laura Finley, Ph.D. is Assistant professor of Sociology and Criminology at
Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. Beyond Gun Control: Examining Neoliberalism, Pro-gun
Politics and Gun Violence in the United States April 2014. Theory in Action] [Premier, Premier
Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
While a scarcity of mental

health services is certainly a pertinent issue and has, for the past several years, been part of
the neoliberal agenda to defund government programs, attributing gun violence, particularly mass
shootings, to sick individuals (e.g., psychopaths) also falls into the trap of personalizing a much wider
social problem that transcends mental health. Like the idea of evil, the notion that random gun violence
is the product of an untreated sick mind is also a dead-end explanation that discourages meaningful questions and
dialogue (Roche, 2013). And while there should be little doubt that some individuals, and the public at large, might indeed benefit from
treatment, associating the problem of gun violence exclusively to psychopaths and other pathological
individuals exonerates the type of society that produces such individuals in the first place. Indeed, explaining gun
violence solely in terms of abnormal individuals [and] dismisses how all people develop their desires,
frustrations, habits, flaws, and tendencies in relation to the wider society in which they live.
Here again, this position ignores society and conforms to Margaret Thatchers now famous quote that has become
emblematic of the neoliberal worldviewi.e., that society is a meaningless abstraction and that
only individuals matter. Also consistent with the demands of a neoliberal market society, explaining such violence by invoking
terms such as psychopaths (or evil) ensures the type of sensationalism that generates high ratingsa primary objective among profitdriven news corporations that are in constant competition for viewers.

Critical Aff Feminism

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Laundry List
Put away your security turns. Handguns are patriarchal 4 reasons
Bassin 97
Alana Bassin,Why Packing a Pistol Perpetuates Patriarchy, 8 HastingsWomen's L. R. 351 (1997). Available at:

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]


the handgun is not a source of empowerment. Instead, the handgun
is a serious detriment to women and our communal interest in safety. Specifically, this essay demonstrates that:
(1) Guns are a source of male domination; (2) Guns foster violence in society and against
women; (3) Women who endorse the theory that the gun is an equalizer are victims of the
NRA 6 and gun industry marketing campaigns exploiting our nation's violence; and (4) Women advocating gun use have
misdiagnosed societal violence and ignored the communal interest in gun control as a result.
http://repository.uchastings.edu/hwlj/vol8/iss2/5.
This essay argues the contrary. It argues that for women,

In conclusion, this essay examines gun control laws today and what women can do for the future to unpack the pistol and curb the perpetuation of patriarchy.7

Domestic Violence
Banning private ownership of handguns key to protecting women in violent households
Bassin 97
Alana Bassin,Why Packing a Pistol Perpetuates Patriarchy, 8 HastingsWomen's L. R. 351 (1997). Available at:

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]


For victims of domestic violence, the freedom to purchase a gun also can be lethal. In the United States,
domestic violence is the leading cause of injury for women between the ages of 15_44.49
Between 2-4 million incidents of domestic violence occur each year. 50 Of those, an estimated
150,000 are gun-related.51 Where there is a gun at home, women subjected to one incident of
physical abuse at home are almost five times more likely to be murdered or fatally shot in a later instance of
physical abuse. 52 An Atlanta study about domestic violence involving guns found that death was twelve times as likely to occur. Overwhelmingly, it was women who
died.53 Therefore, although the option to buy a gun exists in society, buying guns is not an answer
to violence in the United States, nor is it the answer to women's safety concerns. On the
contrary, fewer guns and stronger gun control laws statistically have proven to be more
effective.
http://repository.uchastings.edu/hwlj/vol8/iss2/5.

History
Male domination and handguns cannot be separated the history of firearms is entwined
with male domination
Bassin 97
Alana Bassin,Why Packing a Pistol Perpetuates Patriarchy, 8 HastingsWomen's L. R. 351 (1997). Available at:

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]


Firearms are a source of male domination-a symbol of male power and aggression.s First, the gun is phallic.9
Just as sex is the ultimate weapon of patriarchy used to penetrate and possess women,1O the gun's
sole purpose is to intrude and wound its victim. Historically, men have used guns to conquer
and dominate other peo- ples. European men first developed small arms between the Fourteenth and Sixteenth centuries for
http://repository.uchastings.edu/hwlj/vol8/iss2/5.

use in warfare. By the 16600s, guns were a common weapon of war for soldiers in Europe. In Colonial America, every male serving in the militia
was required to carry a gun. Today, firearms

and missiles are the backbone of the modem military,


arguably Amer- ica's most patriarchal institution. Beyond war, guns also have played a significant
role in perpetuating patriarchy. During the slave trade, men traded frrearms in Africa for slaves. At common law,
guns were used to protect a man's home and all his possessions, including his wife.18 In the private
sphere, the gun is passed down from father to son for hunting , a sport that continues to be a "rite of 19
passage" for many young males. Even in today's media, movies and television glorify "guns and guys, 20
often employing gun showdowns between the "good guys" and the "bad guys " as their focal point.
The Second Amendment itself disregards women. Most notably, the language legitimizing the right to bear
arms refers specifically to a "well 21 regulated militia," an institution that did not include women .
Additionally, the Second Amendment was ratified by men 22 at a time when women had no
legitimate voice in society.23 In interpreting the Constitution, schol- ars and judges often rely on the framers' intent.24 Because
none of the framers were women, women's views and voices were never heard. As a result, the absence of a
female view during the creation of the right to bear arms critically impacts society.

Home Safety
Women possessing handguns for protection decrease safety in the home
Bassin 97
Alana Bassin,Why Packing a Pistol Perpetuates Patriarchy, 8 HastingsWomen's L. R. 351 (1997). Available at:
http://repository.uchastings.edu/hwlj/vol8/iss2/5. [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
In 1994, 38,505 Americans were killed by fIrearms, resulting in 105 l deaths each day.30 Of those deaths, 1,356 were unintentionae and 18,765
were suicide-related.32 This statistic is signifIcant when compared to the Vietnam War; more

Americans were murdered


with firearms in 1993-1994 than were killed in 8.5 years of combat.33 In 1992, handguns caused 13,220
deaths in the United States.34 The United States total exceeds the combined total of Great Britain, Sweden, 35 These countries have stricter
gun restrictions. In Great Britain, where peo- 36 ple generally only use firearms at gun clubs, 33 people died. In Sweden, where a person must
be licensed to carry a handgun, only 36 people died.37 In Switzerland, where a background check is performed, a permit is re- quired, and a
handgun must be registered, 97 people died. 38 In Japan, where private ownership is prohibited except for gun collectors or licensed shooting
teams, 60 people were killed.39 In Australia, where a background check is performed and a license is required (usually only granted for business
secu- 40 rity reasons or target shooting), 13 people died. In Canada, where a 28 day cooling-off period is imposed, a background check is
performed, a permit is required, a photo is needed to buy a gun, and a special permit is needed to 41 possess it, 128 people died. Critics argue
that these statistics do not accurately represent the possible effects gun control laws would have on the United States, which has a unique
culture. A comparison of North American cities, however, reflects the same results. For example, Vancouver and Seattle have comparable
histories, socio-economic strata, media exposure, and burglary, robbery and assault rates. Yet Seattle's homicide rate is sixty percent higher
than Van- 42 couver's homicide rate. gun control laws in the mid-Eighties which reduced homicides by 25% and suicides by 23%:43 "Criminals
didn't, in other words, kill with a knife if they couldn't find a gun.,,44 Gun control laws also advance safety in the home. When

women
pur- chase guns for self-protection and keep them loaded in their purses or bed- side tables,
women allow accessibility to children and others--one trigger pull away from deadly
accidents. Consequently, gun-related accidents 45 plague homes. Statistics show that the presence of a gun in the home
nearly triples the chance of a homicide occurring there. 46 Furthermore, guns kept in the home for self-protection
are 43 times more likely to kill a family member or a friend than an intruder.47 Other statistics show that suicidal adolescents are
twice as likely to kill themselves if they have access to a gun 48 at hom e. For victims of
domestic violence, the freedom to purchase a gun also can be lethal. In the United States, domestic
violence is the leading cause of injury for women between the ages of 15-44. Between 2-4
million inci- dents of domestic violence occur each year.50 Of those, an estimated 51 150,000 are
gun-related. Where there is a gun at home, women subjected to one incident of physical abuse at home are
almost five times more likely to be murdered or fatally shot in a later instance of physical
abuse.52 An Atlanta study about domestic violence involving guns found that death was 53 twelve times as likely to
occur. Overwhelmingly, it was women who died.

Private Ownership = Privilege


Private ownership benefits privileged women and ignores the struggles of other women
Bassin 97
Alana Bassin,Why Packing a Pistol Perpetuates Patriarchy, 8 HastingsWomen's L. R. 351 (1997). Available at:

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]


, women often perceive[d] the norm in society according to [as] "white, middle class, heterosexual, ablebodied, and otherwise privileged" standards and ignore realities concerning other women.88 Not surprisingly,
women who are most interested in gun ownership are privileged women and not subject to inner city gun
violence.89 Women, however, who pack pistols have more to consider than personal empowerment. Guns in
society are taking a heavy toll on lower-income, often non-white, communities. Packing a
pistol may promote personal safety, but it does not end the violence in these areas.90 Women
who have fought to have a voice in society have a responsibility to address gun oppression on
women and people of all races and incomes. Ignoring the impact of gun violence in the inner
cities affronts the entire premise of liberty for which women have been fighting.91 Nevertheless, even if the
impact of guns on inner city communities does not trouble gun-toting women, endorsing broad individual gun ownership is detrimental to society as a whole. A gun is only an
effective self-defense tool if the attacker is not armed. If society accepts that gun ownership
is necessary for survival, eventually everyone will possess a gun. The gun will no longer be an
equalizer. It will be a lethal weapon accessible to any frustrated person.92
http://repository.uchastings.edu/hwlj/vol8/iss2/5.
Unfortunately

Gun ownership is a form of hegemonic masculinity.


Esposito 14
[Luigi Esposito, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Barry University in
Miami Shores, FL & Laura Finley, Ph.D. is Assistant professor of Sociology and Criminology at
Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. Beyond Gun Control: Examining Neoliberalism, Pro-gun
Politics and Gun Violence in the United States April 2014. Theory in Action] [Premier, Premier
Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
McPhersons notion of possessive individualism is consistent with what Messerschmidt and Connell (2005) call
hegemonic masculinity, and it remains the dominant form of masculinity in the United States.
Hegemonic masculinity tells men that they are of most value when they stand up for
themselves and those they care for against either physical or verbal attacks. Far from simply self-defense or coming to the aid of others,
however, this sort of response is often motivated by a sense of entitlement. For example, in his interviews with more than 400 young men for
his book Guyland, Kimmel (2009 ) described a strong sense of entitlement among his respondents. Because

they were entitled


to feel like real men, fighting back against anyone who challenges them was deemed to be
normal and appropriate. This idea also receives support from a Mother Jones study which found that of the
62 mass shootings that occurred in the U.S since 1982, 61 have been perpetrated by (mostly
White) men. According to Tim Wise (2012), the fact that the overwhelming majority of these mass shootings have been carried out by
White men might have something to do with what he calls the pathology of privilege (2012). Namely, many of these men have,
in one way or another through having experienced being bullied, marginalized, made to feel as if they did not belong,
etc.decided to strike back against a society that they, as men , believe has not only
emasculated them but deprived them of the privileges they feel are rightfully theirs (particularly as
White men). Similarly, Pinkers (1997) anthropological work expresses the connections between mass violence and masculinity. He and Kellner
(2008) referred to the perpetrators as men amok. These men feel as though they have lost their dignity and masculinity, and the only way to

respondand

therefore restore their masculine prideis to act out in a violent and spectacular

fashion. Examinations of the actions of mass shooters provide support for Pinkers work. Kellner (2008) discusses the dossier that Virginia
Tech shoot Seung-Hui Cho sent to media outlets in advance of the shooting, noting that guns were a central tool in his hyper- masculine
posturing. Documents show that Cho had felt emasculated and had thus become infatuated with guns right before the shooting, having
purchased one from a local store and another on the internet. Cho bought ammunition on the Internet, practiced at a shooting range, and went
to the gym to immerse himself in ultramasculinist gun culture (Kellner, 2008, p. 49). Although Cho was Asian and therefore removed from the
sense of entitlement associated with White privilege, it is obvious his actions were, to a large extent, inspired by a perceived attack on his
manhood. Similarly, Columbine shooter Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were, according to some reports, bullied by hyper-masculine jocks and
therefore sought to recuperate their manly images through ultra- violenceamassing an arsenal of weapons, and attacking those who had
slighted them (Kellner, 2008). New York Times columnist Bob Herbert (2007), in explaining the actions of several mass shooters, wrote: The
killers have been shown to be young men riddled with shame and humiliation, often bitterly misogynistic and homophobic, who have decided
that the way to assert their faltering sense of manhood and get the respect they have been denied is to go out and shoot somebody.

Empirics
The availability of firearms leads to increased victimization of women.
DeFilippis 14
[DeFilippis, Evan. 2014. 'Having A Gun In The House Doesn't Make A Woman Safer'. Citylab.
Accessed December 9 2015. http://www.citylab.com/politics/2014/02/having-gun-housedoesnt-make-woman-safer/8474/.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
A recent meta-analysis concluded what many people already knew: the availability of firearms is a strong risk factor for both homicide and
suicide. But the study came to another conclusion that is rarely mentioned in the gun control debate:

females are uniquely

impacted by the availability of a firearm . Indeed, the study found that women with access to firearms
become homicide victims at significantly higher rates than men . It has long been recognized that higher
rates of gun availability correlate with higher rates of female homicide.

Women in the United States account for 84

percent of all female firearm victims in the developed world , even though they make up
only a third of the developed worlds female population . And within American borders, women die at
higher rates from suicide, homicide, and accidental firearm deaths in states where guns are
more widely available . This is true even after controlling for factors such as urbanization, alcohol use, education, poverty, and
divorce rates.

Most of these gun deaths occur within the home


DeFilippis 14
[DeFilippis, Evan. 2014. 'Having A Gun In The House Doesn't Make A Woman Safer'. Citylab.
Accessed December 9 2015. http://www.citylab.com/politics/2014/02/having-gun-housedoesnt-make-woman-safer/8474/.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Whats more surprising is how many of these deaths occur in the home, at the hands of a male partner. In a study in the Journal of Trauma, A.L.
Kellermann, director of the RAND Institute of health, and his coauthor J.A. Mercy concluded: More

women are killed with a gun used by their husbands

than twice as many

or intimate acquaintances

than are murdered by

strangers using guns, knives, or any other means.


In

another study , published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers interviewed 417 women across

battered womens shelters . Nearly a third

of these women

67

had lived in a household with a

firearm . In two-thirds of the homes, their intimate partners had used the gun against them ,
usually threatening to kill (71.4 percent) them . A very small percentage of these women
percent)
Indeed,

(7

had used a gun successfully in self-defense , and primarily just to scare the attacking male partner away.
gun threats in the home against women by their intimate partners appear to be more

common across the United States than self-defense uses of guns by women .

Having a gun in the home doesnt deter any crime, but makes women far more likely
to be murdered.
DeFilippis 14
[DeFilippis, Evan. 2014. 'Having A Gun In The House Doesn't Make A Woman Safer'. Citylab.
Accessed December 9 2015. http://www.citylab.com/politics/2014/02/having-gun-housedoesnt-make-woman-safer/8474/.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Another large case-control study compared women who were murdered by their intimate
partner with a control group

of battered women.

Only 16 percent of the women who had been

abused, but not murdered, had guns in their homes, whereas 51 percent of the murder
victims did . In fact, not a single study to date has shown that the risk of any crime
robbery, home invasion, or spousal abuse

including burglary,

against a female is decreased through gun ownership . Though there are

examples of women using a gun to defend themselves, they are few and far between, and not statistically significant.

Evidence Comparison
Discount negative evidence -- NRA and Gun Industry has been manipulating data for years,
changing public perception
Bassin 97
Alana Bassin,Why Packing a Pistol Perpetuates Patriarchy, 8 HastingsWomen's L. R. 351 (1997). Available at:

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, the NRA and the gun industry have misled the general public in the statistics they cite
concerning the increase in women gun owners over the past decade. During the 1980s, Smith and Wesson hired the
Gallup organization to determine[d] the potential number of women gun buyers for a study which
was never intended to be published.7o At the end of the study, Gallup identified approximately 15.6
million women who could buy guns, but only 900,000 women who were likely buyers.71 In 1989,
http://repository.uchastings.edu/hwlj/vol8/iss2/5.
In addition

Smith and Wesson reported that 15.6 million women were potential buyers.72 Within only a few years, the media turned potential buyers into actual owners, quoting the number of actual

statistics quoted by the media and the NRA state that 1720% of women own guns, and these statistics soar to as high as 43.5% .74 However, the General Social Surveys,
women gun owners in the United States to be 15-20 million.73 Typically,

conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, indicate that during 1980-94, the number of women gun owners has remained static at about 11.6%.75 Yet

Smith and Wesson, the NRA, and other gun manufacturers continue to misquote the number
of women gun owners in the United States and continue to let the media mislead the public.76
They have effectively created a perception of "everybody is doing it-you should too." The
only problem, however, is that not everybody is doing it.

Female support for guns stems from a misunderstanding of the nature of violence
against women promoted by the NRA.
Bassin 97
[Alana Bassin is a law clerk for the Honorable William A. Neumann, North Dakota Su- preme
Court. Why Packing A Pistol Perpetuates Patriarchy 1997. HASTINGS WOMEN'S LAW
JOURNAL.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
The NRA and gun manufacturers have capitalized on the violence in the United States, and although

some women perceive


buying guns as empower- ing, these women have actually become victims of marketing
campaigns and fear tactics. First, in the late 1980s, the gun industry, realizing the male gun market
was saturated, focused on women as a new focus groUp.54 In the name of feminism and motherhood, the
gun industry and the NRA aggres- sively pursued their new consumers: women, aged 25-40, mostly profes- sionals, with a
median income of $55,000.55 Then, in February 1989, Smith and Wesson produced the Lady Smith,TM a handgun designed for women.
According to them, it is elegant yet practical.56 Soon after, a large number of gun advertisements focused on societal violence toward women,
most often "stranger danger.,,57 Adver-

tisements headlined phrases such as: "Things that go bump in


the night aren't always your imagination ....,,;58 "You thought no one could fit in your back seat .
. . . ,,;59 and "Self-protection is more than your right . . . it's your responsibility," with a picture of a mother tucking her child into bed.60 The

NRA's advertisements were similar, with headlines such as: "Should you shoot a rapist before he cuts your throat?," and
"He's followed you for two weeks. He'll rape you in two minutes. Who Cares?,,61 The gun indus- try capitalized on
women's fears by stressing the danger of rapists, stalkers, and burglars . Yet violence against
women is generally not committed by "strangers in the night" but by known acquaintances.62
More than twice as many women are shot and killed by their husbands or lovers than by strang- ers,63 leaving only a small

percentage of violent crime victims who success- 64 fully use a gun to defend themselves against
strangers.

AT Self-Defense
Self defense claims are empty women can fight back against patriarchy to forge a radical
solution
Bassin 97
Alana Bassin,Why Packing a Pistol Perpetuates Patriarchy, 8 HastingsWomen's L. R. 351 (1997). Available at:

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, the doctrine supporting gun ownership for survival is,
supporting vigilantism

http://repository.uchastings.edu/hwlj/vol8/iss2/5.

Moreover
in essence,
. Should
women encourage people to take the law into their own hands? In the case of domestic violence, some women are forced to take the law into their own hands to survive (and their actions are

Advocating gun use as selfdefense, however, creates an opportunity for


unjustifiable aggression without preventing violence in the rust instance. Women do not have
to surrender to the existing societal structure where the white male norm is status qu093 and
violence against women is not a serious concern. Instead, women have a choice: they can support
individual gun ownership like many of their male counterparts do and give in to the patriarchal world, or they can
seek radical changes to end the violence. Glenda Simms, President of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, suggests: I reject the
not being judged by this author's remarks).

view that we have been bogged down by "victim feminism." To my mind, this way of seeing feminist differences-and we do have them-individualizes what is a systematic problem. And the

solutions, too, must be systematic. Arming individual women is the wrong solution to the
wrong problem .... [The solution] must involve women and men and children, as well as the institutions which recreate our society from generation to generation.94
Long term impact of handguns outweighs short term security
Bassin 97
Alana Bassin,Why Packing a Pistol Perpetuates Patriarchy, 8 HastingsWomen's L. R. 351 (1997). Available at:

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]


while gun ownership
may provide some protection in the short term, it fails to address the deep-rooted problems
of gun violence in society and will only perpetuate violence in the long term. Women who are buying into the
patriarchy77 [we] need to examine the impact of guns on all levels of society. Individual gun
ownership has increased the violence in inner city communities.78 For example, there have been approximately 1,000
http://repository.uchastings.edu/hwlj/vol8/iss2/5.

Most people would agree that a handgun often provides a person with a sense of security. Unarmed, anyone could fall victim to an assault. But,

murders in Los Angeles per year.79 Approximately 70% of the murders can be attributed to fIrearms. 80 There are 125 youth gangs in Chicago alone, some with up to 20,000 members.81 In

there is a disproportionate impact


of gun violence in lower income communities and African-American communities.83 For example, the
leading cause of death for African-American males aged 15-34 is gunshot wounds.84 The age adjusted
death rate for fIrearm injuries on the African- American population is three times that of the white population.85 Three out of five young people
murdered are killed with guns, wherein a significant portion of the murders occur in the inner
cities where poverty is the greatest: 86 "As one Los Angeles gang member told Ted Koppel of Nightline, the difference between the Watts 25 years ago
one year, these gangs accounted for 924 homicide victims, 70% of whom died from gunshot wounds.82 Furthermore,

and the most recent turbulence was the prevalence of Uzis and assault weapons .... ,,87

AT 2nd Amendment
2nd Amendment has always been a tool to exclude women their voices have
constantly been excludes.
Bassin 97
Alana Bassin,Why Packing a Pistol Perpetuates Patriarchy, 8 HastingsWomen's L. R. 351 (1997). Available at:

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]


The Second Amendment itself disregards women. Most notably, the language legitimizing the right to
bear arms refers specifically to a "well regulated militia," an institution that did not include
women.21 Additionally, the Second Amendment was ratified by men22 at a time when women had no
legitimate voice in society.23 In interpreting the Constitution, scholars and judges often rely on
the framers' intent. 24 Because none of the framers were women, women's views and voices
were never heard. As a result, the absence of a female view during the creation of the right to
bear arms critically impacts society. Although feminist theory was not as developed two hundred years ago as it is today, much of the philosophy behind
http://repository.uchastings.edu/hwlj/vol8/iss2/5.

modern feminist thinking was in the making during the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and may have been available to lend theoretical commentary. Akin to modern formal

colonial women may have questioned whether the right to bear arms applied to men and
women equally. 25 Also, corresponding to women's different voice theory, many colonial women may have been concerned with the
impact of individual gun ownership on the community's safety.26 Or other colonial women, viewing female
oppression to be analogous to racial oppression,27 may have protested the use of individual
gun ownership to suppress race and slave riots. ~ Nonetheless, the impact of the woman's voice on the right to bear arms will remain a
mystery. Consequently, the Second Amendment will remain a male-imposed law in a society where
generally men own guns, use guns to commit violent crimes, and oppose gun contro1.29
equalists, many

Critical Aff Vulnerability

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1AC Basic Argument


Vulnerability without guns is constructed by hegemonic groups, further marginalizing
poor people of color as criminals
Carlson 13
Carlson, J. "The Equalizer? Crime, Vulnerability, and Gender in Pro-Gun Discourse." Feminist Criminology 9.1 (2013): 59-83. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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Vulnerability
politics is a particular kind of political frame for making universalistic claims based on embodied
vulnerability. By centering political claims on vulnerability, claims-makers can universalize
particular standpoints under the politically appealing guise of vulnerability and victimhood. I show that gun carriers embrace a
universal vulnerability that is, in fact, constructed from the perspective of men. Specifically, they emphasize warlike
criminal encountersfast, violent, and perpetrated by irrationally aggressive strangers who are almost always gendered as men (and often racialized as Black). This articulation of crime
reflects the vulnerabilities that men, as opposed to women, face; according to FBI crime statistics, men are significantly
more likely to be victims of shootings that are perpetrated by strangers, while women, particularly poor women of color, are more likely to be victimized by family members. In line
with a masculine understanding of crime, gun carriers articulate guns as the preferable
solution to all problems of crime, and they actively support the arming of women under the
assumption that women are even more vulnerable to this sort of crime than men. Drawing on interviews
To this end, this study proposes a framework of vulnerability politics to understand how inclusive discourses, politics, and programs reproduce privilege.

with 71 gun carriers, I show that this construction of crime shapes and limits gun politics by promoting guns as a universal solution to a gendered rendition of crime. The proposed framework

the social construction of crime helps to reproduce[s] privilege along gender, as well as
racial, lines. Alongside a large body of literature on the racialization of crime, relatively less attention has been paid to how the social construction of crime reproduces masculine
privilege. Scholars have tended to focus on the relationship between the social construction of crime and the
perpetuation of White privilege, linking the War on Crime (Tonry, 1995, 2011; Wacquant, 2001, 2009) with the
marginalization of poor men of color as criminals. Previous studies have analyzed the racial politics of gun carry, arguing that gun owners
clarifies how

and carriers arm themselves against the imagined threat of Black men (Stroud, 2012; Young, 1986). This study complicates the literature on the racialized construction of crime by integrating
the gendered construction of crime and thus further unpacking the race/gender nexus in crime control (Chesney-Lind, 2006; Stabile, 2006).

Vulnerability is a tool to further political agendas favoring gun activists and privileged
groups
Carlson 13
Carlson, J. "The Equalizer? Crime, Vulnerability, and Gender in Pro-Gun Discourse." Feminist Criminology 9.1 (2013): 59-83. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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This article takes a sociological approach to the notion of vulnerability: Drawing on interdisciplinary scholarship on vulnerability, I develop a framework of vulnerability politics and apply it to

scholars, and political scientists have recently turned to vulnerability, theorized as the risk of
exposure and loss of control, as a construct through which to understand peoples feelings of insecurity and
unsafety (Killias, 1990). Among criminologists, vulnerability has been used to emphasize that fear of crime is
embedded in classed, raced, and gendered inequalities as well as embodied insecurities (Pantazis,
the empirical case of gun politics. Criminologists, legal

2000), although some scholars disagree on the extent to which vulnerability explains the fear of crime (see Franklin & Franklin, 2009; Killias & Clerici, 2000). Taking a different line of inquiry,
sociolegal scholars and philosophers have interrogated the social construction of vulnerability from a range of legal, social, and philosophical perspectives (Fineman, 2008; Gilson, 2011;

While sociologists have found that vulnerability is


traditionally associated with femininity, marginalization, and subordination (Hollander, 2001), one
group of vulnerability scholars (Butler, 2004; Fineman, 2008; Oliviero, 2011) have interrogated how vulnerability can be
embraced by political projects that reproduce social privilege. Here, vulnerability is not the
attribute of marginalized femininity but rather the rallying cry for privileged interests to
wedge political claims (contra Hollander, 2001). In addition, vulnerability is deployed by dominant interests not
as an attribute of damaged victims but rather an inherent aspect of human life (contra Dragiewicz, 2008;
Hollander, 2001; Madriz, 1997b; Oliviero, 2011; Walklate, 2011).

, vulnerability can be deployed as a universal human attribute that


justifies certain rights and protections to the elision of other rights and protections.
Durfee, 2011; Gavanas, 2004). As such

Politics of vulnerability in the gun rights movement mirrors civil rights discourse,
mobilizing political action in defense of the Second Amendment
Carlson 13
Carlson, J. "The Equalizer? Crime, Vulnerability, and Gender in Pro-Gun Discourse." Feminist Criminology 9.1 (2013): 59-83. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]


civil rights
discourse, and the rights revolution it has inspired, places victims at the center of American politics (W. Brown, 1993; Bumiller,
1992; Skrentny, 2002). As analyzed by Polletta (2006), the political emphasis on victims has shaped the types of stories
that claims-makers can tell about the sources of victimhood and its redress, resulting in the
reification of social marginality as well as the reassertion of individualism. Legal analysts and political theorists
(Butler, 2004; Fineman, 2008; Oliviero, 2011; Turner, 2006) have developed the construct of vulnerability to extend these critiques in two ways. On one hand, they [scholars] call
attention to vulnerability as an inherent aspect to human life, and they suggest that politics
and policies should be aimed at addressing vulnerability as an inherent, if singular, human
condition rather treating victimization as a temporary status. On the other hand, these studies also call attention to the pitfalls
This framework draws on vulnerability scholarship that has emerged amid mounting critiques of rights discourse. A number of scholars have argued that

of politics that universalize particular vulnerabilities as the vulnerabilities of all. Fineman (2008) interrogates this sameness-of-treatment approach to vulnerability. According to her, laws or
policies that are often crafted by claims-makers and policy makers to address universal vulnerability obliterate the ways in which class, race, and gender shape the human condition of
vulnerability. Applying a one-size-fits-all solution to a falsely universalized vulnerability, such policies obscure other forms of vulnerability, rendering them unintelligible and, therefore,

ignorance sustains invulnerability, Fineman suggests that dominant understandings of vulnerability also
these largely legal analyses suggest how discourses surrounding
victimization are powerful and problematic precisely because of their ability to present
particular interests and/or perspectives in universal terms. This is a strategy often used by the American Right, as Oliviero (2011)
invisible. So while Gilson (2011) argues that

sustain ignoranceabout other vulnerabilities. Thus,

and Polletta note.

Crime because a racialized and gendered fear handguns operate as tools of


protection, furthering harmful political discourse
Carlson 13
Carlson, J. "The Equalizer? Crime, Vulnerability, and Gender in Pro-Gun Discourse." Feminist Criminology 9.1 (2013): 59-83. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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Emphasizing the social construction of crime in reproducing masculine privilege, this article
treats gun politics as a case of vulnerability politics. Because gun carriers inclusively promote
guns while overemphasizing the construction of crime in warlike, masculine terms, they
promulgate a narrow vision of vulnerability to crime that assumes a particular subject of selfdefense. In this article, I showed how pro-gun ideologies sustain gendered narratives through vulnerability.
First, I focused on articulations of universal vulnerability, that is, how claims of vulnerability (i.e., vulnerability to crime) are presented in universal terms rather than shaped by race, class, or

The imagined solution (i.e., guns) to this problem is also couched in


universal language (i.e., guns are the great equalizer for everyone, even though the need
for an equalizer implies an initial inequality that guns in turn fix). Third, I turned to the narrow construction of the
social problem: The social problem (i.e., crime) alleged to cause this universal vulnerability is constructed in
narrow terms reflecting a particular social position. Finally, I emphasized the misrecognition of vulnerability at the heart of vulnerability
politics: Because of the narrow terms in which the social problem is defined, these same terms
are inappropriately used to misrecognize other, alternative forms of vulnerability (e.g., domestic
violence), with politically significant consequences (e.g., defunding of programs for domestic violence victims). The ability to
gender. Then, I examined the construction of universal solutions:

reframe, reimagine, and remake vulnerability creates opportunities to universalize particular


experiences, standpoints, and interests. Vulnerability politics extend the so-called rights
revolution, particularly regarding victim rights politics, by further entrenching vulnerability as justification for political claims. But vulnerability politics is
distinct from rights discourse in that it reconstructs and standardizes vulnerability in universal
terms, obscuring difference under the banner of inclusivity. As overt displays of sexism and
racism become increasingly taboo in American society, vulnerability politicsas a form of politics that
recuperates and reproduces privilege and inequality through universalistic discoursesmay prove to be an increasingly pertinent form of
political discourse as well.

Vulnerability is racialized and gendered further stigmatizing oppressed groups,


perceiving them as a threat
Carlson 13
Carlson, J. "The Equalizer? Crime, Vulnerability, and Gender in Pro-Gun Discourse." Feminist Criminology 9.1 (2013): 59-83. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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Integrating the racialized and gendered social construction of crime, this article interrogates the
counterintuitive ramifications of vulnerability by analyzing gun politics as a case of
vulnerability politics. This article develops an intersectional contribution to the literature on race,
gender, and crime by showing how the racialized construction of crime reflects the perspective of men
and thus is deployed along gendered lines (in this case, obscuring domestic violence). It also adds to vulnerability scholarship by explicitly detailing
the discursive mechanisms of vulnerability politics in the social construction of crime along the lines of gender as well as race. By developing a theoretical
framework for the vulnerability politics and applying it to the case of gun advocacy, I show
how the social construction of crime not only stigmatizes Black men (Tonry, 2011; Wacquant, 2001, 2009) but
also marginalizes women. I demonstrate that gun proponents justify their right to carry a gun by
emphasizing a universal vulnerability to a particular threat: fast, lethal threats perpetuated by strangers who are often Black
and always men. This construction reflects the perspective of men: Men are more than 4 times as likely to be killed with a firearm than
women, and men are more than 5 times as likely to be the target of multiple criminals. This reproduces gender bias through the
misrecognition of the specific crimes that women, especially poor women of color, are liable
to facenamely, domestic violence.

Arming women echo the protector/protected dichotomy


Carlson 13
Carlson, J. "The Equalizer? Crime, Vulnerability, and Gender in Pro-Gun Discourse." Feminist Criminology 9.1 (2013): 59-83. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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Here, self-defense through guns is seen as an equalizer against the backdrop of inherent
inequality across gender. Paul suggests that any differences in physical strength implied by genderhe
contrasts his wife to Hulk Hogandisappear once his wife is armed, while Nancy reduces self-defense to a simple, physically easy action that is independent of
ones gender: pulling the trigger. Similarly, Ron described concealed guns as a threat to criminals, regardless of the carriers gender; criminals will presumably
be less likely to target peopleespecially womenif only they know that people are carrying guns
now. Echoing this belief that guns are gender equalizers, male gun carriers often told stories about how they
encouraged women in their lives to carry guns or how they were disappointed that these
women chose not to carry. Some men emphasized their own roles as protectors as they
encouraged women to be armed. The gun carried by Pauls wife serves as a way for Paul to fulfill his role as protector in absentia. As he described, I would

hate to think that right now, while Im sitting here at work, my wife is absolutely defenseless at home . . . The only thing that is going to protect my wife and my children from whatever he has
in mind is a gun that she keeps next to the bed.

Empirics
Women victim statistics
Carlson 13
Carlson, J. "The Equalizer? Crime, Vulnerability, and Gender in Pro-Gun Discourse." Feminist Criminology 9.1 (2013): 59-83. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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On the other hand, women are both less likely to commit crime and more likely to be victimized by intimate partners. According to the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence
Survey (NISVS), roughly one in three women, as compared with one in four men, report being raped, assaulted, or stalked by an intimate partner in their lifetimes (Black et al., 2011), while FBI

women are the victims in 85% incidents of intimate violence reported to the
police, a statistic that has remained relatively stable since 1994 (Catalano, 2012). Among victims of both nonfatal violent crime and
fatal violence, women (21.5%) are almost 6 times more likely to be victimized by intimates as
compared with men (3.6%; Catalano, 2007; Cooper & Smith, 2011; see also Catalano, 2012). In addition, women are 3 times more likely
than men to report that violence by intimate partners has had negative impacts on their lives
more broadly, such a decline in their overall physical and/or mental health or their ability to
work or attend school (Black et al., 2011). According to the 2010 NISVS, women are more likely than men to report experiencing the most severe forms of intimate
crime statistics show that

partner violence: among victims, women (1 in 4) as compared with men (1 in 7) are almost twice as likely to experience severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner (Black et
al., 2011). According to the National Organization for Women, there are 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes every year, which disproportionately affect poor
women of color.7 Between 2001 and 2005, one in three murdered women was killed by an intimate partner; this figure is 1 in 20 for men (Catalano, 2007). From 1980 to 2008, women were

these statistics expose significant gendered


differences in crime and victimization: Men do not experience intimate violence at the same
rates, nor do they experience the lasting feelings of victimization, fear of bodily injury, and
impaired employment opportunities that female victims of domestic violence report (J. Brown, 1997;
Browne, Salomon, & Bassuk, 1999; Tjaden & Theonnes, 2000). Reflecting the intersectional effects of class, race, and gender,
low-income women of color experience the most severe forms of domestic violence (Sokoloff &
the majority of victims in intimate partner killings (63.7%; Cooper & Smith, 2011). Overall,

Dupont, 2005).

Evidence Comparison
Gender scholarship on guns is flaws fails to account for fluidity of guns as a tool of
vulnerability to crime
Carlson 13
Carlson, J. "The Equalizer? Crime, Vulnerability, and Gender in Pro-Gun Discourse." Feminist Criminology 9.1 (2013): 59-83. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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While previous studies on the racialization of crime (Tonry, 2011; Wacquant, 2001, 2009) shed light on gun politics, scholars have paid less attention to the relationship between the social

Gender scholars who have interrogated gun politics tend to rely on longassociations between masculine domination, raw patriarchy, and guns (Burbick, 2006; Connell,
2005; Melzer, 2009; ONeill, 2007; Stroud, 2012). However, this argument overlooks the fact that gun proponents may
actively promote guns to women as tools of universal self-defense while situating
themselves as vulnerable. By assuming that the cultural associations between masculinity and guns tell the full story about gender and gun politics, these
scholars miss the important function served by the social construction of crime in reproducing
masculine privilege. If gender scholars have documented that hegemonic masculinity has
undergone crisis as race- and class-privileged men struggle to reestablish their positions of
authority (Heath, 2003) due to the erosion of the male breadwinner model (Cha & Thebaud, 2009; Legerski & Cornwall, 2010; Wilkie,
1993) and the proliferation of feminist critiques of traditional gender norms (E. Anderson, 2009; Durfee, 2011; Heath, 2003; Messner, 2007; Schrock & Padavic, 2007; Stein, 2005), then we
should also remain attentive to how the masculine ideals associated with guns are contingent
and dynamic, even among White, conservative men. Indeed, given the shifts in masculinity documented by scholars in other
realms, it would be surprising if American gun culture has not also been refashioned in
contemporary ways.5 To this end, I consider gun politics as a case of vulnerability politics.
construction of crime with respect to gender.
standing cultural

AT Domestic Violence
Rhetoric of self-defense against domestic violence marginalizes the experience of
domestic violence as something that only happens to others; that discourse privileges
masculine perspectives
Carlson 13
Carlson, J. "The Equalizer? Crime, Vulnerability, and Gender in Pro-Gun Discourse." Feminist Criminology 9.1 (2013): 59-83. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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Gun carriers promotion of guns to women to defend themselves against domestic abusers, no
doubt, breaks with social barriers to womens ability to engage in selfdefense: As Stange and Oyster (2000) note,
the woman who seeks to use forceful self-defense at home generally fails to garner the
public approbation that would come her way if she had exerted the same level of resistance
against a stranger (p. 47) .Indeed, gun carriers are able to treat domestic violence as a crime worthy
of armed self-defense precisely because they imagine it as an example of stranger crime. In doing
so, they risk misrecognizing domestic, rendering invisible the female victim of domestic violenceespecially the poor female victim of coloralong with alternative tactics, strategies, and

the social construction of crime provides a vehicle


through which womens experiences of domestic violence are marginalized. The misrecognition of domestic
solutions that would address domestic violence. Rather than overt sexism,

violence reflects a masculine, even patriarchal, view of domestic space, which has historically served a space of danger for women who, while enjoying protection from stranger men, also have

Recognizing domestic violence


would require acknowledging that the home is not simply vulnerable to external threats (recall
Paul, who imagines Hulk Hogan entering his house to assault his wife) but also the site of internal threats perpetrated not by
stranger men but by intimates. By misrecognizing domestic violence while emphasizing guns
as the great equalizer, gun carriers privilege mens perspectives even as they embrace
gender inclusivity.
been violated, abused, and harassed by intimate men within the sanctuary of the home, as Stange and Oyster suggest.

AT Freedom
The obsession with freedom as the ultimate end of rights creates a never-ending
demand that cannot be fulfilled making the percieved for freedom empty.
Collins 14 Collins, Laura J. "The Second Amendment as Demanding Subject: Figuring the Marginalized Subject in Demands for an Unbridled Second Amendment." Rhetoric and
Public Affairs 17.4 (2014): 737-56. Project MUSE [Johns Hopkins UP]. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.

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political movements have the tendency to become mired in demand politics, failing to move into
politics as freedom, because subjects are formed by and enjoy the formation effected by their
demands.28 Thus, we can see political movements based on subjects making demands to a larger
institution as a practice rooted in identity work. The reiterated demand serves as a site of enjoyment, where a subject identifes with an
Lundberg says

external image of itself [the demanding subject in solidarity with other demanding subjects and in opposition to the imposing institution] for the sake of providing its practices of subjectivity

the reiterative practice of demand helps to form a demanding


subject in opposition to the institution of which it makes the demands. In this sense, political
demands represent a demand to be recognized as a subject among other subjects and to be
given the sanction and love of the symbolic order.30 The subject comes to be signifed through its demands and its relation in
with a kind of enjoyable retroactive coherence.29 That is,

opposition to the institution of which it makes the demands. The demand, then, as well as the demanding subject, can come into being only through the sustained denial of the demand. In a

the subject relies on the denial of her demands to continue to maintain the appearance of
coherence and to continue to enjoy the process of this failed subjectifcation. Thus, for the
demanding subject, freedom is an ideal and not an exercise. Through the reiterative
processes of articulating demands addressed toward the institution and continually bemoaning the denial of those
demands (thereby inscribing and reinscribing victimization and vulnerability), the demanding subject is able to fgure herself in
opposition to the hegemonic order in question. She experiences agency in the classic sense of speaking against but does not exercise freedom
in Zerillis sense of itthat is, freedom as a radical, ungrounded claim to non-domination and participation.31 To the contrary, the demanding subjects
politics is contingent upon domination and the continual and constant opposition to the
oppression to which he is necessarily subjected. As Lundberg puts it: In the classical iteration and contemporary critical theories that inherit
sense,

its spirit, there is a presupposition that a demand is a way of exerting agency, and that the more frmly that the demand is lodged, the greater the production of an agential effect. The Lacanian
framing of the demand sees the relationship as exactly the opposite: the more frmly one lodges a demand the more desperately one clings to the legitimate ability of an institution to fulfl

of the politics of demand as a politics grounded in the absence of freedom that is


supposedly progressing toward freedom as an ultimate goal. However, because the petitioned
institution is seen as the locus of all power and because the subject is fgured in that frame as
oppressed and subjected, she cannot ultimately hope to realize that freedom; she will
continue to be rooted in this absence of freedom.
it.32 So we might think

The protectionist view of rights as ends prevent movement forward in political


discussion
Collins 14 Collins, Laura J. "The Second Amendment as Demanding Subject: Figuring the Marginalized Subject in Demands for an Unbridled Second Amendment." Rhetoric and
Public Affairs 17.4 (2014): 737-56. Project MUSE [Johns Hopkins UP]. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.

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Politics oriented toward freedom as the preservation of rights, however, is a staid and
constrained process. And this is precisely how freedom functions in many American political conversations. Constitutional rights become
the ends of political action rather than a means for achieving other political goals. The
rights become a political purpose in themselves. Perhaps paradoxically, all the attention paid to the right by centering a political movement

on it actually divests the right of its revolutionary and radical power and serves to further ossify this dead legal artifact. This is because the claim to a right presupposes that its possible to

The narrative of rights says that if you dont protect them, they will cease
to exist. Therefore, a politics grounded in rights protection requires a constant tension; if it is
a settled matter that the right is protected and that all are free to exercise that right, the
political movement around it collapses. In this sense, a politics oriented toward the preservation of
a right requires the perpetuation of that tension rather than the achievement of a goal or
purpose. The movement exists for the right and not for what might be achieved through the exercise of it. A politics of rights as ends seems,
then, to have less to do with forging a new political and social future and more to do with the
political practice or movement itself.
abridge, disrespect, or flout that right.

AT Self-Defense
Self-protection claims are coded in whiteness otherizing black criminality through the
need for protection
Carlson 13
Carlson, J. "The Equalizer? Crime, Vulnerability, and Gender in Pro-Gun Discourse." Feminist Criminology 9.1 (2013): 59-83. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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Gun ownership in America has also been attributed to the racialization of crime (Stroud, 2012; Young,
1986); Young (1986) shows that White Detroit males who espouse racist views are more likely to own guns
for protection against crime, while Stroud (2012) maintains that gun carriers engage in fantasies of violence and selfdefense against racial minorities they
perceive as dangerous. Responding to tough on crime politics and policies as well as media panics
about (Black) criminality, White Americans (particularly middle-class suburban Whites) have become the consumers
of private securitygated communities, crime-resistant SUVs, and private surveillance systemsoften due to imagined fears of Black criminality (Simon, 2007, p. 201).
By carrying guns, gun carriers embody this self-reliant citizen capable of selfprotection
through the consumption and carrying of firearms.

AT 2nd Amendment
Focus on the Second Amendment ties identity to victimization and vulnerability
Collins 14 Collins, Laura J. "The Second Amendment as Demanding Subject: Figuring the Marginalized Subject in Demands for an Unbridled Second Amendment." Rhetoric and
Public Affairs 17.4 (2014): 737-56. Project MUSE [Johns Hopkins UP]. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.

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The discourses surrounding an unbridled Second Amendment are indeed a politics rooted in freedom as
absence. Through metaphor and analogy, those advocating for an unbridled Second Amendment fgure
themselves as victimized by the oppressive political power and American public, generally. They are
vulnerable subjects seeking to protect or regain freedom in the symbolic form of the Second Amendment . Looking more closely at the discourses
around an unbridled Second Amendment and how they help to fgure the subjects speaking
them, we can begin to understand why Heller did nothing to break us out of the progun/anti-gun rut that Winkler references.33 As these discourses reveal, the unbridled Second Amendment is more about
identity than it is about political action or change.

Second Amendment supports view their position as an identity, denying their ability
to reason with bans deemed unconstitutional
Collins 14 Collins, Laura J. "The Second Amendment as Demanding Subject: Figuring the Marginalized Subject in Demands for an Unbridled Second Amendment." Rhetoric and
Public Affairs 17.4 (2014): 737-56. Project MUSE [Johns Hopkins UP]. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.

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Beyond alleging discrimination against the Second Amendment and Constitution (which, as things, cannot really be
discriminated against), many of the commenters declared discrimination against all gun carriers as an identity
group. A commenter proclaimed his intention to boycott Starbucks, reasoning, I do not patronize businesses that ban people who legally possess & carry frearms.46 In this
construction, it is not the frearms that are banned but the people themselves.ASeptember 27, 2013 post reads, Im sorry
that Mr. Shultz [sic] feels the need to humor the bigotry of some of his customers by demanding that the victims of the bigotry change their behavior. 47 Those who wish
to open carry are victims of bigotry. Open carry is not a practice or an act that one engages in at certain times. It is a permanent
state of being, akin to an immutable identitythe sort of thing that forms the basis of a class protected against discrimination. Those who feel
uncomfortable in the presence of open carry are not reacting to the gun; they are bigots
prejudicially reacting to the gun carrier. Another post claimed that Schultzs request was encouraging law-abiding, responsible customers to forfeit their rights . . . because it might make a

Their inability to see the sense in open carry


is not only wrongheaded; it is discriminatory, haphazard, and dangerous. In these constructions, it is not just the
Second Amendment that is vulnerable and under siege; it is all those who would seek to protect it and the Constitution .
random bigot uneasy.48 Random bigots base their reactions in ungrounded, irrational prejudices.

By imprinting the Second Amendment as an identity, advocates essentialize the gun


carrier
Collins 14 Collins, Laura J. "The Second Amendment as Demanding Subject: Figuring the Marginalized Subject in Demands for an Unbridled Second Amendment." Rhetoric and
Public Affairs 17.4 (2014): 737-56. Project MUSE [Johns Hopkins UP]. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.

, this vulnerability

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is, in the view of those who claim it, not self-imposed.

Importantly
and marginality
Another
commenter declared that she must forego her Starbucks habit because, as a person who happen[s] to carry a concealed frearm, she is no longer welcome in Starbucks stores.49 She does
not choose to carry a frearm; nor is her carrying temporally confned (in the sense that sometimes she does, sometimes she doesnt).

Carrying a frearm is an

inscribed, inarguable, and unshakable part of her identity. It happens to be part of who she is in the same way that one happens to
like punk rock or wear ones hair in spikes. It is a passive existence, not an active election of status. Discrimination on the basis of this passively inscribed facet of identity is, therefore, senseless
and oppressive. A number of comments drew explicit parallels between discrimination on the basis of gun carry status and discrimination on the basis of actual immutable characteristics.
Commenters queried: Whats next, a memo stating that black people are not welcome because they scare some of your customers?50 and Just wondering if your [sic] going to ask gays or
blacks to stop coming in your stores next?51 For these commenters, by requesting that customers not carry guns in their stores, Starbucks is enacting prejudicial policiesno identity group is

Gun carry or the belief in the unbridled Second Amendment is an identity just like race or
sexuality. As an identity, it is vulnerable to marginalization and discrimination. That gun carry
is unsettling to other customers is rooted not in rational belief but in harmful stereotypes, like
safe.

the stereotype that black men are dangerous, as another commenter demonstrated: If the request had been that if one was a black man, please refrain from wearing black hoodies because
some of our less enlightened guests would feel uncomfortable and unsafe, can you imagine the uproar? And rightfully so. But feel free to disenfranchise another class of law abiding citizen.
And no, Im not a tall, husky, white gun crazy guyIm a short, over 50 Asian chick who believes it prudent to have some type of defense for before the cops arrive.52 With an allusion to
Trayvon Martin, this commenter is suggesting that America condemns some types of discrimination, but that disenfranchising another class (here, those who open carry guns) can be
permissible if that class is not one that typically receives the attention and protection of mainstream American culture. So, in a sense, being a gun carrier is worse than being a racial minority.
The logic is that though racial minorities are sometimes marginalized (and actually experience violence and death as a result of that marginalization and related stereotypes), they are at least
tacitly culturally and legally recognized as a protected class. Americans generally acknowledge that overt racial discrimination is unacceptable (regardless of whether they practice it).

The

gun carrier does not have that broader recognition. She is fguratively disenfranchised,
stripped of her status as participatory citizen. Whether intentional or achieved through misuse, the metaphor of
having lost her voting rights paints the commenter as outside the concern of and the ability
to participate in the body politic. As a result of her marginalization (and the inability to open
carry), she is left vulnerable to violence. This compounded vulnerability is all due to the
discrimination of the less enlightened American public.

Second Amendment discourse victimizes its supporters


Collins 14 Collins, Laura J. "The Second Amendment as Demanding Subject: Figuring the Marginalized Subject in Demands for an Unbridled Second Amendment." Rhetoric and
Public Affairs 17.4 (2014): 737-56. Project MUSE [Johns Hopkins UP]. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.

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Through metaphor and the co-opting of the language of identity politics, vulnerability and
marginalization function on multiple levels in this discourse. The Second Amendment is
victimized and in need of protection. At the same time, those who would defend the Second Amendment by exercising their right to carry frearms are
marginalized. They are the object of discrimination and bigotry specifcally because of their belief in a robust and unbridled Second Amendment. In this
way, the embattled Second Amendment is metaphoric of the embattled defender of the Second
Amendment. It is perhaps for this reason that some commenters used the awkward construction of discrimination against a thing (the Second Amendment or Constitution).
Just as the Second Amendment is under attack by wrongheaded politicians and Americans, so
too are its true defenders. The marginalization is less about the amendment or right itself and
more about the identities connected with it. So while the right itself is grounds for political protest and action, it is also the cause of
marginalization. It helps to fgure the demanding subject in opposition to the broader American public who discriminates against the Second Amendment and its valiant (and marginalized)

These defenders are more pitiable and reviled than racial or sexual minorities because
their marginality is not even recognized by the state or the public. Their demands are
twofold, then: they demand the recognition and protection of an unbridled Second
Amendment (contrary to the Supreme Courts ruling in Heller) and they demand recognition as demanding subjects
who exist outside of and in opposition to dominant ideology. These twin demands necessarily fgure those who assert them as
defenders.

marginalized and victimized; the frst because it is an impossible demand and the second because it insists on marginal status.

Viewing the Second Amendment as a right as an end demands the cooption of


identity politics, demanding oppression in order to thrive.
Collins 14 Collins, Laura J. "The Second Amendment as Demanding Subject: Figuring the Marginalized Subject in Demands for an Unbridled Second Amendment." Rhetoric and
Public Affairs 17.4 (2014): 737-56. Project MUSE [Johns Hopkins UP]. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.

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those involved in advocating for an unbridled


Second Amendment experience jouissance in lodging their complaints and demands. They are able to perform resistance while
enacting feelings of alienation, marginality, and oppression by fguring themselves as both
defenders of the Second Amendment and pitiable victims of discrimination and prejudice. That is,
The responses to both the Starbucks open letter and Metcalfs Guns & Ammo piece demonstrate how

while they may not necessarily enjoy feeling alienated from most American citizens and politicians (though voting records might draw the latter category into question), they enjoy the practice

This position enables them to secure


minor victories in the name of the Second Amendment (Dick Metcalfs termination, the recall of the Colorado senators), while
ensuring that they will never have to abandon their position of marginality or demanding
subject. Their identity and movement is rooted in opposition, enabled by their clinging to the
Second Amendment as dead legal artifact. With right as ends, the right and its protectors (which are symbolically and inextricably connected)
are always vulnerable. There is always a possibility of infringement, a complaint to make, a demand that has not been (and will not be) met. As vulnerable, they are
able to enjoy their feelings of powerlessness and alienation within the American political
system and community. At the same time, they are able to protest those conditions without
the danger of having to alter them. This is the power of rights as endsit ensures no end to ones political
of fguring themselves as alienated, the process of creating a political subject in opposition and protest.

movement or political identityit is a stabilizing force. Politics as the exercise of freedom (where rights may serve as means) is rare because it insists on non-domination and conceivably on a

Politics in search of freedom (where rights serve


is contingent upon perpetual domination, on unheeded demands laid before the
supposed dominator. In such a politics, the subject appears fxed; she is able to maintain her
signifcation as demanding subject and, thus, her relation to other subjects, to the supposed
hegemonic order, and to freedom. The paradox of a politics where rights serve as ends, then, is that it is essentially conservative. Its goal is
naming and fguring the marginalized subject rather than defying that marginality. Thus, as a
politics in search of freedom, it is always and already sure to fail in this endeavor.
mutable and fluid identity as subject. Such a politics rests less on identity and more on action and interaction.
as ends), to the contrary,

Critical Affs Misc

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Fear of Death
Fear motivates ownership
Kleck et al 11
Kleck, Gary, Tomislav Kovandzic, Mark Saber, and Will Hauser. "The Effect of Perceived Risk and Victimization on Plans to Purchase a Gun for
Self-protection." Journal of Criminal Justice 39.4 (2011): 312-19. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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people acquire firearms for self-protection, and the focus of the present study,
derives from the fear of crime or perceived risk (hereafter referred to as fear/risk), and victimization
traditions (Cao, Cullen, & Link, 1997; Dejong, 1997; Kleck, 1997; Williams & McGrath, 1976). This perspective views defensive gun
ownership as an individualistic psychological coping mechanism for dealing with the threat actual, perceived, or emotional - posed by crime (Cao et al., 1997; Reid et al., 1998). Thus, fear or perceived risk
of criminal victimization could motivate gun acquisition . Studies assessing the effect of fear/risk and criminal victimization on gun
The most widely cited theoretical explanation for why

ownership have obtained wildly varying results. The inconsistency of these results may reflect either of two major methodological problems. The first and more easily corrected flaw is the
failure to measure the theoretically relevant dependent variable. Fear/risk is not hypothesized to affect all types of gun ownership - no one argues it is a major factor driving acquisition of rifles
and shotguns. Rather, fear/risk is hypothesized to affect handgun acquisition. Even more specifically, it is hypothesized to increase the likelihood of handgun ownership for protective or
defensive reasons. Since about two thirds of the guns owned by Americans are long guns (rifles and shotguns) (Kleck, 1997), most of the variation in gun ownership across households and
individuals is probably due to variation in long gun ownership. Studies that defined the dependent variable as ownership of any type of gun were therefore primarily analyzing variation in the
ownership of types of guns that are largely irrelevant to the fear/guns hypothesis. Null results concerning fear, risk, or victimization variables are therefore not surprising, but also may say little
about whether these factors actually influence ownership of defensive weaponry.

Tribal Inherency
No tribal gun bans in the squo because of limitations on tribal jurisdiction
Tweedy 14
Ann Tweedy, tribal attorney, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, pf @ Cal Berkeley Law, Indian Tribes
and Gun Regulation: Should Tribes Exercise Their Sovereign Rights to Enact Gun Bans or StandYour-Ground Laws? Albany Law Review, 78.2, 2014/15 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, SignUp Now]
In light of the Second Amendments inapplicability to Indian tribes, tribes appear to have the
greatest freedom to experiment with gun laws of any sovereign in the United States. What have
they done with that freedom and what sorts of regulations should they pursue? This article attempts to answer both questions. As to the first,
as discussed in more detail below, tribes

have enacted an array of generally fairly modest firearm


regulations including permit requirements, limits on concealed weapons, restrictions on
having guns in certain places, and regulations as to gun type and barrel length. As to the second
question, this article explores two fairly extreme types of possible tribal firearm regulations: gun bans and stand-your-ground laws. Although
each may have appeal to some of the nation's 566 federally recognized Indian tribes for different reasons, this article argues that, because

of the current limitations on tribal civil and criminal jurisdiction under federal law and related
issues, a tribe's enforcement of either [gun bans or stand-your-ground laws] would likely be
fraught with problems. Thus, despite their unparalleled discretion in the area of firearm
regulation, tribes' ability to effectively regulate on this crucial issue is hampered by the
arcane framework of tribal civil and criminal jurisdiction under federal law. Moreover, this incongruity
contradicts Congress' intent, as manifest in the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA). This article argues that, in light of the formidable obstacles to
successful tribal enforcement of gun restrictions, tribes

concerned about the proliferation of guns on their


reservationsand who might therefore consider gun bansmay be best served by enacting a comprehensive set of gun
regulations that makes extensive use of forfeiture, and probably particularly in rem forfeiture, as a penalty for any violation. Tribes that wish to
support gun rights are free to do so (as some have), but enacting

an expanded right to self-defense, such as a


stand-your-ground law, as a partial solution to on-reservation crime is likely to backfire and harm the very
tribal members who would be expected to benefit from such a law.

Symbolic Racism
Symbolic racism is tied to pro gun ownership attitudes. [and polls bad]
OBrien 13
[Kerry OBrien, Behavioural Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Walter Forrest,
School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom;
Dermott Lynott, Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom.
Institute of Sociomanagement, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Racism, Gun Ownership and Gun Control: Biased Attitudes in US Whites May Influence Policy
Decisions October 2013. PLOS ONE.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Notwithstanding these limitations, the

results indicate that symbolic racism is associated with gun-related


attitudes and behaviours in US whites. The statistics on firearm-related suicides and homicides
in the US might reasonably be expected to convince US citizens that action on reducing gun
ownership and use would be beneficial to their health. Yet, US whites oppose strong gun
reform more than all other racial groups, despite a much greater likelihood that whites will
kill themselves with their guns (suicide), than be killed by someone else [1]. Black-on-black homicide rates would benefit most
from gun reform, and, quite logically, blacks support these reforms even if whites do not [3,47]. Symbolic racism appears to
play a role in explaining gun ownership and paradoxical attitudes to gun control in US whites .
In other words, despite certain policy changes potentially benefitting whites, anti-black prejudice leads people to
oppose their implementation. This finding is consistent with previous research showing that symbolic racism is
associated with opposition to US policies that may benefit blacks, and support for policies
that disadvantage blacks, and critically, goes beyond what is explained by other important confounders. Gun-related deaths in the
US are a significant public health concern, representing a leading cause of death, and are particularly prevalent from ages 1554. Attitudes
towards guns in many US whites appear to be influenced, like other policy preferences, by illogical racial
biases. The present results suggest that gun control policies may need to be implemented indepen- dent
of public opinion. The implementation of initially unpopular public health initiatives has proven effective for other public health
threats (e.g., tobacco taxation, bans on smoking in public places, seatbelt use) that initially did not have widespread public and political support,
but have eventually proven popular and have led to changes in attitudes [48,49]. There remains considerable resistance in the US to even
cursory gun controls, and the reasons for owning a gun and opposing gun reform (i.e., self-protection, safety, fear of crime) [4,5], are not
supported by the evidence on gun-related harms. Clearly, other motives and attitudes must be driving such paradoxical views on guns. Future
research needs to examine other less obvious, yet influential, sociocultural and psychological influences on gun ownership and control, as this
evidence is sparse. Evidence on the psychological and sociocultural drivers of gun ownership and resistance to strong controls will in turn help
inform educational campaigns (e.g., social marketing) that may aid public acceptance of appropriate policies in the interest of the US publics
health, and/or allow policy makers to implement good public health policy. The reinstatement of funding for research on gun control in the US
should assist in these research endeavours.

Morals Aff Freedom

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Intrinsic > Preference Satisfaction


Freedoms that are intrinsically good matter more than freedoms which instrumentally lead to
preference satisfactionour freedom from violent assault is intrinsically good
Riddle 15
Christopher Riddle (Utica College). On Risk & Responsibility: Gun Control and the Ethics of Hunting. July 7th, 2015.
http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1533&context=eip

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Now]
Those who suggest that freedom is the embodiment of advantagewho ignore other aspects associated with wellbeingmight be said to be

After all, any conception of the


morality of our actions or of justice must take into account the full picture. To fail to move
guilty of fetishizing freedom of taking freedom to be the embodiment of advantage.

beyond freedom as a good is too simplistic . This failure ignores both other aspects that
comprise our wellbeing, as well as what freedom does for us. I posit that freedom is more
often than not good because of the sorts of things it permits us to do, and only in very rare
circumstances is it good in and of itself. Arneson has suggested that to postulate that freedom is of intrinsic moral
importance and should sometimes be sought even at the expense of wellbeing is fetishistic, in much the same way that concentrating on means

I take there to be at least two distinct


kinds of freedom. The first are freedoms that can be seen to be intrinsically good. These types
of freedoms are few and far between. These freedoms can be said to be intrinsically good
because they are fertilethey promote even more (quantity), greater forms of freedom
(quality).x These freedoms are the kinds of freedoms that without, one would suffer
corrosive disadvantageone would be unable to pursue other valuable states of being. I
to freedom as though it were valuable in itself it thoughts by Sen to be fetishistic. ix

take something like the freedom of bodily healthto be free from violent assaultto be a
paradigmatic example of a freedom that is intrinsically good . Even if freedom from violent
assault did not increase ones ability to secure other valuable freedoms or states of being, it
would still be something that possesses worth. Conversely, most freedoms tend to be only
instrumentally good. Most freedoms involve preference satisfaction and are not necessarily
good in and of themselves. The freedom of play tends to be an instrumental freedom. It is
good because it allows individuals to simply satisfy the preferences they have. Certainly some
basic level of leisure is necessarily, but the vast array of freedom we possess to decide what
we do with our leisure time is not necessarily an intrinsic good. This freedom is
instrumentally good because it allows us to satisfy preferences we have. The important
conclusion to draw from this distinction for the purposes of this argument is that we should
never permit freedoms of the second varietythose freedoms that result in mere
preference satisfactionto come at the cost of the first type of freedomsthose freedoms
that possess intrinsic worth.
That means the freedom to own a gun should be restrictedfreedom of bodily health
possesses intrinsic worth
Riddle 15

Christopher Riddle (Utica College). On Risk & Responsibility: Gun Control and the Ethics of Hunting. July 7th, 2015.
http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1533&context=eip

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Now]
I suggest that mere preference satisfaction should take a back seat to the more robust forms
of freedom that can be seen as being good in and of themselves. To be clear, in what follows,
I intend to demonstrate that the freedom to own a gun for the purposes of hunting is a
freedom that possesses only instrumental worth, and ought to be restricted to secure the
freedom of bodily health a freedom with intrinsic worth. In other words, it is an insufficient justification for
hunting to state that someone would be happy, or happier, if permitted to hunt. Satisfying preferences in this context by
granting the freedom to own a gun comes at the cost of others bodily healtha freedom
with intrinsic worth. If the argument appears too abstract thus far, let me begin to
contextualize it. I suspect we tend to agree with my above claims in many contexts. Take the freedom to smoke for example.
Individuals should be free to do as they wish, but we begin to limit this freedom once it begins to infringe upon others. Now that we are aware
of the dangers of second-hand smoke, we, in many public places throughout the United States, deny smokers the freedom to smoke. We deny
them this right both for paternalistic reasons, but more of concern for this paper, because it puts others at risk. We take the right to be free
from bodily injury (to not be forced to suffer from secondhand smoke) to be far more important than the right of an individual to smoke
wherever they wish. Moreover, we take it to be the case that any restaurant, for example, that permits smoking, is acting irresponsibly and
subjecting employees and customers to unnecessary risk. Importantly, we think both the smoker as well as the establishment permitting the
smoking ought to be held responsible for the risk one is subjected to as a result of their exercising the freedom to smoke. I will now offer

Imagine the following scenario. You enter a restaurant one


evening and are told that there are two and only two dishes being offered that night. You can
order option A, an option that you would find satisfying. To prepare option A, the waiting
staff would simply go back to the kitchen, place the order, and pick it up to deliver to your
table. However, you could also order option B. To procure the ingredients for option B, the
waiting staff must exit the rear of the restaurant and dive into hungry shark infested water,
only to be put further at risk by angry poachers attempting to hunt the shark for fin soup. If
you are honest with yourself, while option A would make you happy and you would enjoy
your meal, it is the case that you would be much happier with option B. Call this scenario, the
case of the endangered waiter. I hope that this example demonstrates that even though
option B would make you happier, it would be wrong to proceed and order B, thereby
another analogy to further reinforce this claim.

endangering the waiting staff, simply to satisfy your mere preferences . After all, there is a
perfectly good, albeit slightly less satisfying option, that does not put anyone at grave risk.
Anyone who insisted on ordering B would be reckless and selfish. Just as in the smoking
example above, I suspect that not only should we call into question your decision to order B if
you chose to do so, but that we should also be critical of the restaurant that provided you
with the option to endanger others in the first place.
In other words, not only would it be wrong for you to order B to satisfy your preferences and consequently endanger the

waiting staff, but it would be wrong for the restaurant to permit you to be in such a position to willingly endanger another. I take hunting to be similar to the case of the endangered waiter. Certainly there are other leisure activities one would be free to pursue if hunting were forbidden.
While it may very well be the case that one would derive less satisfaction from the available alternatives, others would not be subjected to the potential of violent assault as a result of your chosen leisure activity. As a result of owning a gun for the purposes of hunting, one is leaving open
the option of that gun being stolen and used by another to harm someone. Another example of similar reasoning can be found in Nozicks Anarchy, State, and Utopia, when he states: Suppose then that I enjoy swinging a baseball bat. It happens that in front of the only place to swing it
stands a cow. Swinging the bat unfortunately would involve smashing the cows head. But I wouldnt get fun from doing that; the pleasure comes from exercising my muscles, swinging well, and so on. Its unfortunate that as a side effect (not a means) of doing this, the animals skull gets
smashed. To be sure, I could forego swinging the bat, and instead bend down and touch my toes or do some other exercise. But this wouldnt be an enjoyable as swinging the bat; I wont get as much fun, pleasure, or delight out of it.xi Although the harmed agent in Nozicks example is a
nonhuman animal, I suspect we feel strongly that to make the choice to swing the bat rather than one of the alternatives would be wrong. Even when modified, the force of the example remains: Suppose that it is not merely a question of foregoing todays special pleasure of bat
swinging; suppose that each day the same situation arises with a different examplexii. However, the case of the endangered waiter is different than hunting for numerous reasons as well. First, the waiter has voluntarily subjected him or herself t o the risk associated with you potentially
ordering option B. In many respects, the waiter might be said to bear at least partial responsibility for any harm that befalls him or her because of the choices he or she has made. Conversely, individuals who are subjected to violent assault from stolen firearms have not agreed to be
subjected to this riskthey are innocent. That said, I dont think this difference negatively impacts the force of the example, and on the contrary, I suspect it supports it. Even if the waiter were not especially risk aversive and lacked the foresight to realize the potential harm he or she
could have tacitly agreed to, we would still think it would be wrong for the restaurant to prey on this fact and permit customers to endanger the waiting staff. Moreover, even if he or she should be held partly responsible for any harm that could come his or her way, I suspect we still
arrive at the conclusion that it would be wrong to choose option B when there was an alternative that would still be satisfactory and not subject anyone to the possibility of death or serious bodily harm. Second, the purpose of a restaurant is not to protect waiting staff from harm, but is

Governments
however, often implement policy with the sole or primary purpose of protecting citizens from
harm. We take the government to be responsible for our well-being , and if we are permitted
to be subjected to avoidable harm, we question the institutional arrangements that allowed
instead, to provide satisfactory meals to customers. It may very well be the case that restaurants ought not subject their staff to preventable harm, but this is a side constraint on the realization of serving food and turning a profit.

this harm to be introduced. In this sense, the case of the endangered waiter might seem too distinct. Yet again however, I
suspect this difference supports the prohibition of owning a gun for hunting more than it undermines the argument. Perhaps obviously,
because one of the main purposes of the Government is to protect its citizens, it should have an even stronger responsibility than the
restaurant to avoid the introduction of harm.

If it is wrong for a restaurant to permit a choice that introduces

harm, it should be considered even more egregious for a State to do so. In short, it is
impermissible to make a choice or choices to satisfy mere preferences that subject other
people to grave bodily injury. Furthermore, it is impermissible for those in a position to
regulate these sorts of choices to permit one to voluntarily endanger another . In the context of gun
control and the ethics of hunting, it is impermissible to choose to hunt because of the potential harm that could be introduced to others, and it
is also impermissible for the Government to permit people to make the choice to hunt and thereby introduce the possibility of harm to other,
innocent, xiii people.

AT CPs

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AT Criminal Records PIC


**Only ban handguns for people with prior convictions
Targeted ban cant solvethe most likely source of handgun violence is ordinary citizens, not
people with records
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Underlying the effort to target gun control at those who have prior convictions is the belief
that it is these people who are most likely to misuse firearms in the future, especially in the
case of homicide. However, in the case of homicides, this belief is vigorously challenged by
advocates of gun control. Murder, the argument goes, is not confined to the ranks of those
with criminal records. It is an act of terrible violence of which we are all capable if sufficiently
provoked. Only 21% of murders occur during the commission of another felony.7 " In at least 48.8%
of 1990 homicides, the victim was either a relative or an acquaintance of the murderer.79 In 1990, 34.5% of all murders resulted from domestic

Since we are all capable of heated arguments, we are all, in the wrong
circumstances, capable of losing control and killing our opponent. There, but for the grace of God, we all go.
Given the ease with which homicide can be committed with a handgun as opposed to other
more primitive methods (e.g. clubs or knives), the ease of availability of handguns may well
be the factor which transforms a heated argument into a lethal attack. The simple option of running
or other kinds of argument."o

away-which is very seldom mentioned in the anti-gun control literature-will be available far more often in the case of these other kinds of
attacks than in the case of a handgun attack.

Gun control measures that are targeted solely at those with

criminal records fail to protect us from the most likely source of handgun murder: ordinary
citizens.
A general ban reduces the number of guns in the hands of criminals
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Another reason why a general ban is preferable to a targeted restriction is that, by virtue of
reducing the overall "pool" of guns, it will reduce the real number of guns in the hands of
criminals, even if it does increase the percentage of gun owners who are felons. The illegal
means by which criminals would have to obtain guns-for instance buying them from
unlicensed pawnbrokers, illegal transfers, buying them from friends who originally bought
them legally, and outright theft-are all dependent on the presence of a substantial supply of
legally purchased handguns on the market. My proposal would shrink this supply, and hence
make it increasingly difficult for criminals to obtain handguns. It would also help to keep
guns out of the hands of lawbreakers who have so far eluded conviction , and would hence
qualify for gun ownership under a "targeted" ban. The "cost" of my proposal is that it does restrict many gun owners

However, this price is more than justified


by its far greater effectiveness than felons-only bans in reducing the number of murders, as it
gradually and over the years reduces the number of handguns in circulation in the United
States and chips away at the "gun culture" that encourages their use.
who never would have used their guns to commit homicide or any other crime.

AT Women PIC
The counterplans infeasible and unconstitutional
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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A major theme of this paper has been that the benefits of self-defense from handguns are in
general outweighed by the danger of handgun abuse . Since the vast majority of handgun
abuse is by men, a suggested policy is a ban on male handgun ownership, while allowing
women with a proven need for self-protection to own handguns. (In light of the high rate of
violence against women, perhaps all women have this proven need.) However, such a sexbased ban would not be feasible. First, men could easily solicit women to "buy for" them .
Second, a policy that discriminates against males would be subject to constitutional
challenge . It appears, then, that the only way to allow women the defensive benefits of
handguns is to make handguns available to both women and men.

AT DAs / Solvency DAs

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AT Domestic Violence
There are lots of ways women can protect themselves without handgunsa handgun ban
also reduces the chance that their aggressors are armed
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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The case for allowing women to own handguns, then, hinges on their role as an "equalizer" to
compensate for men's superior strength. I do not dispute that they are sometimes sufficient
for doing so. My point is that they are not necessary, since there are alternative ways to
protect women."' With regard to current or former husbands or boyfriends who threaten
violence, restraining orders and police protection can make a difference, though the latter
will require substantial public funding. Changing locks, and installing secure doors and
burglar alarms can make homes more secure. Martial arts and other forms of unarmed selfdefense can be highly effective against an assailant without a firearm, yet these options are
dismissed summarily by Silver and Kates, on the grounds that guns are (1) "less arduous," and
(2) more effective.' Few xould dispute that guns are more effective; but if unarmed selfdefense is sufficiently effective in warding off attacks, using a more lethal method of defense
would be gratuitous violence. Nor need we confine our attention to unarmed resistance.
Mace is a very effective weapon which can be used to immobilize an assailant, without
causing serious injury. It also has the advantages of being even easier to conceal and use than
a handgun, and of being far less likely than handguns to be used in the commission of crimes.
Being neither lethal nor capable of causing permanent injuries, it will be less effective in
intimidating victims into submission. Against the 10% or so of women's assailants who do
carry firearms, mace would be less effective, but it has to be realized that handguns are also
of less use against an assailant with firearms . Moreover, my proposed handgun ban would
make it less likely that he would be armed in the first place. In contrast, a likely result of
women carrying handguns is the same proliferation described in the previous section: more
of their assailants would carry guns , in order to ensure the success of their attack.
Most women dont own handguns anywaythe affs reduction in violence against women
outweighs
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Let us concede for the sake of argument that the combination of all of the alternative methods of self-defense that I have proposed would still
be marginally less effective than handguns in protecting women against violence in the 10% or so of assaults that involve firearms. The
inference to the conclusion that a handgun ban would decrease protection for women results from a comparison between a world in which
handguns are banned, and an imaginary world in which most women arm themselves with handguns. In

the actual world women

may now legally own handguns, but the vast majority choose not to do so. The relevant
comparison is between the actual world, in which handguns are used in hundreds of
thousands of violent crimes every year, yet in which few women own handguns; and, on the
other hand, a world in which a handgun ban substantially reduced the number of handguns
owned by both women and their potential assaulters. Whatever protection would be lost by
disarming the small number of women who currently own handguns is outweighed by the
reduction in violence against women that would be effected by a handgun ban , which would
take one of the most potent weapons out of the hands of many potential assaulters. It is true
that 50% of those who own guns solely for defense are female.' However, far more men than
women own guns." Given women's extra vulnerability, and the fact that there are now many more female-headed households than in
the mid-sixties, one would expect more women to own guns. In fact, a Harris poll showed that gun ownership in female-headed households
was less than a half of that in homes in which an adult male lived. 35 The

indications are that women themselves,


whatever their extra vulnerability may be, are generally unconvinced of the need to own
handguns for self-defense. The alleged protection for women resulting from the defensive ownership of handguns, then, falls to
provide a serious objection to a handgun ban. In contrast, throughout my paper I have detailed the substantial reduction in murder and violent
crime that is likely to result from a handgun ban. Women, too, are the beneficiaries in a society in which far fewer of their loved ones are killed
and maimed.

AT Self-Defense / Stand-Your-Ground
SYG gun uses are extremely rare
Webster et al 14
Daniel Webster, Cassandra Kercher Crifasi, and Jon S. Vernick, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun
Policy and Research, Effects of the Repeal of Missouris Handgun Purchaser Licensing Law on
Homicides, Journal of Urban Health, 91.2 2014 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
A potential threat to the validity of our estimate of the impact of the repeal of Missouris PTP law is confounding by the simultaneous adoption
of a Stand Your Ground law in Missouri. Controlling for the effects of SYG laws across all states, our estimate of the effect of the repeal of
Missouris PTP law on homicide rates declined slightly but was still substantial and statistically significant at pG.001. A

separate
analysis of justifiable homicide data from the FBIs Uniform Crime Reports revealed that there
were approximately three additional justifiable homicides per year in Missouri following the
adoption of the states Stand Your Ground law above pre-SYG-law levelsless than 1 % of the
total number of gun homicides during 20082010.
A handgun ban obviates the need for self-defensehandgun prolif is a self-fulfilling prophecy
that hardly defends society
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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More generally, a substantial number of the crimes of the kind that Kleck alleges are
prevented by the defensive use of firearms are themselves committed with guns (64.1% of
homicides, 36.6% of robberies, and 23.1% of aggravated assaults.)"' Even if Kleck is right that
a ban on handguns would reduce people's ability to defend themselves, it would also reduce
the need for self-defense in the first place . A heavily-armed citizenry might be a rational
response if heavily-armed criminals were inevitable; but far more rational would be a society
that strives to disarm all private citizens, thus obviating the need to use firearms in selfdefense . The reasoning that seeks safety in the profileration of privately owned firearms" is precisely the rationale that supported nuclear
proliferation under the strategy of mutual assured destruction (MAD). This policy rested the survival of the human race on the hope that
mutual fear of retaliation would prevent a first strike. It has been heavily criticized on the ground that an unspeakable catastrophe could follow
an accidental firing of a nuclear missile, or a deliberate attack by a fanatical nation that did not care about retaliation. These criticisms parallel
those that I have levelled at the argument for handguns as self-defense, with the difference that lethal accidents with and aggressive abuse of

A further parallel is that the high rate of handgun


ownership in this country is self-perpetuating. First, it is in response to the proliferation of
handguns that an increasing number of people believe they need to buy a handgun for selfdefense (though, as I have argued, it is an illusion that more widespread ownership of guns will
decrease gun crime.) Second, while some potential criminals may be deterred by a heavilyarmed citizenry, others will arm themselves with more and more powerful firearms in order to
outgun resisters. Trading gunfire or playing chicken with increasingly heavily-armed criminals
handguns are an everyday reality, rather than a feared possibility.

is a tenuous basis for the defense of society.

Taking away handguns doesnt undermine self-defense


Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Taking handguns from law-abiding citizens does not deprive them of many methods of selfdefense. They still have the option of escaping or calling for help, using weapons other than
handguns, using their bare hands, reasoning with the criminal, or simply not resisting (which,
as I pointed out above, is the next best way to avoid being injured.) It is possible that in some cases a victim
would have been able to avoid theft, injury, or even death had she been armed with a handgun. This "cost" of my proposal needs to be
weighed against the likely negative results of the defensive use of handguns described above: unnecessary and excessive use of handguns in
self-defense; and the deaths shown by Kellermann and Reay to result from the abuse of handguns in the home.

AT Shift / Substitution
Alternatives are less lethal, and a handgun ban still results in less robberies
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Let us suppose that robbers turn to knives, clubs, other instruments, and their hands and feet
to threaten and perhaps injure their victims. This is exactly what gun control advocates want,
since these weapons are far less lethal than handguns .88 While it is true that stabbings and
beatings are horribly lethal in their own right, a crucial difference is that running away will at
least sometimes be an option for the victim, whereas this tactic will be of little use in the face
of a loaded gun. A reduction in robberies and in their degree of violence is a likely result of
such a substitution.
No shift to long guns
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Another reason to doubt that long guns would be used in great numbers to replace handguns
in robberies, assaults, and homicides is that long guns are obviously much more difficult to
conceal. A potential mugger roaming the streets wielding a long gun will cause everyone in
sight to flee, and is likely to be quickly arrested when alarmed people call the police.
Similarly, a bank robber carrying a long gun will be immediately detected by security guards,
alarm systems will be triggered, and the chances of a successful robbery greatly diminished .
Handguns are obviously much more convenient for the commission of such crimes. Kates and Benenson point out that most homicides occur in
the home, where concealability is "irrelevant." 95 However, concealability would seem to be an important factor even in the home. Since the
victim may well be unaware that the killer is carrying a concealed weapon, the "surprise factor" which is peculiar to handguns can still apply
even in the home. In contrast, people can hardly be unaware that the person they are with is carrying a shotgun or rifle. Moreover, in any
argument or domestic quarrel, regardless of whether the potential victim knows that the assaulter is carrying a handgun, the ease of pulling out
the gun and shooting makes such arguments more likely to spill over into murder. In contrast, by the time the assaulter has gone into another
room to retrieve their long gun and loaded it, the potential victim has crucial seconds in which to escape. Another reason that the concealability
of handguns is not a good reason for a handgun-only ban is proposed by Hardy and Kates in their discussion of the impact of handgun control
on robberies. They point out that "[t]he difference between a long gun and a handgun is ten minutes and a hacksaw."' Even robberies, then,

However, this contention runs directly counter to the evidence


collected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' Project Identification. Seventy-one
percent, or 7,538, of the handguns submitted for tracing, had a barrel length of 3 inches or
less. Sixty-one percent, or 6,476, had a caliber of .32 or less. Since both of these factors relate
to the size of the weapon, these figures indicate that concealability is an overriding factor in
selecting a handgun for use in crime. 7 Sawed-off shotguns will be much longer and much
bulkier than any of these short and small-caliber handguns, especially "Saturday Night
Specials," which combine a caliber of .32 or less with a barrel length of three inches or less,
comprised 44% of all the weapons successfully traced, and fit into the palm of an average
sized hand. We may conclude, then, that because of the difficulty of concealment, neither
would not be diminished by a handgun ban.

long guns nor sawed-off versions of the same are likely to be used in great numbers to
replace handguns in the commission of crimes. The difficulty of concealment factor will
outweigh the greater lethalness of long gun shots. Consequently, a ban on handguns will
indeed result in a decrease in firearms-related homicide and other violent crimes. Since
firearms are the most lethal weapons, and they were used in 64.1% of homicides in the
United States in 1990,98 such a ban is, therefore, likely to result in a reduction in the overall
murder rate.'

AT Politics
Gun control will be branded as gun safety so plan isnt perceived as a gun ban
Peterson 15
Ryan J Peterson is an advocate for Second Amendment civil rights, How Common Sense Gun
Safety Became a De Facto Gun Ban 10-20-15 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
In July 2000 the

state of California passed SB 15 requiring all handguns to be submitted for and


pass certain safety testing before that gun could be sold in the state.
While the SB 15 bill was passed, signed into law, and then enacted in 2000, a form of the original bill (AB 1848) was proposed as early as 1992, where the California
Senate Judiciary Committee heard the bill, but did not vote on it. Essentially, it just died in committee. It was reintroduced as SB 1118 in 1995, where it, again, never
made it out of committee. A year later, the bill had gained traction and was reintroduced and passed as SB 933, but was later killed by the Public Safety Committee
in the State Assembly. In 1997 and 1998 the bill had gained enough support in the State Assembly and State Senate to be passed, first as SB 500 in 1997 and then as
SB 1500 in 1998, however, both bills were vetoed by then Governor Pete Wilson. Grey Davis had replaced Governor Wilson by 1999, and eagerly signed the
legislation into law in August of that year. It was then known as SB 15: The California Unsafe Handguns Act and had been authored by Senator Richard Polanco of
Los Angeles who referred to the bill as a common sense, responsible gun law. California, Where Gun Safety is Gun Control California requires all handguns for sale
in the state to be certified as not unsafe, essentially forcing citizens to seek their governments permission before buying a certain make/ model of handgun. The
bill essentially made the manufacture, sale, or transfer of unsafe handguns illegal in California. It defined not unsafe as follows: The handgun must have a
positive manually operated safety device The handgun must meet specific drop test safety requirements The gun must meet specific firing requirements defined

The bill

in the law If a revolver, the gun must have a manual safety device to prevent the hammer from making contact with the primer.
did this by requiring
the following: Prevented the manufacture, sale, or transfer of unsafe handguns Made the sale of unsafe guns a misdemeanor punishable by 1 year in jail Set the
requirements of a safety test and a drop safety test Force the manufacturer of any firearms for sale in California to submit a statement ensuring that their guns
are not unsafe by the definition in the law and required independent testing to ensure that was the case Required the DOJ to certify laboratories approved for

Required the DOJ to establish a roster of handguns approved by these


laboratories as not unsafe Made it illegal to sell or manufacture a gun that was not on this roster Set up substantial fees for the testing and
completing these safety tests

for submitting a gun to the roster and maintaining that gun on the roster Exempted private party transfers of used guns from these requirements The road to
slavery is paved with reasonable people proposing common sense legislation. As so often happens with common sense, responsible gun laws, what started
out as a requirement for drop testing has grown into something much more complicated and restrictive for gun manufacturers and would-be gun buyers. In 2003
and 2008 additional safety requirements were added in order for a gun to be certified as not unsafe. Those changes included: In 2006, SB 489 (originally passed
in 2003) required additional safety features such as loaded chamber indicators and magazine disconnects on all semi-automatic handguns added to the roster. In
2013 AB 1471 (originally passed in 2008) now requires a technology called microstamping on any handgun in order for it to be added to the roster. Microstamping
is a small stamp containing the serial number (or other unique identifier) of the individual firearm placed on the head of the firing pin. When the firing pin strikes
the primer it leaves the indentation of the serial number on the spent casing. Think of it as a license plate added to each spent round. It is important to understand
that only models of guns added to the roster after 2006 and 2013 must comply with the updated requirements of SBs 489 and 1471. Gun models added to the
roster before those dates do not need those additional safety features. This is why Gen 3 Glocks are sold in California without magazine disconnects, but a Sig

models of guns added to the roster after 2006


and 2013 must comply with the updated requirements of SBs 489 and 1471 . Gun models added to the
P229 is required to have those features. It is important to understand that only

roster before those dates do not need those additional safety features. This is why Gen 3 Glocks are sold in California without magazine disconnects, but a Sig
P229 is required to have those features. How Gun Safety Became a Gun Ban Unfortunately, microstamping is a technology that doesnt exist outside of the
laboratory environment. In addition, all gun manufactures have said they have no intention of producing guns containing this technology as it is expensive,

AB 1471 essentially eliminates any handgun not on the roster


before January 1, 2013 from ever being added to the roster. As of 2013 there were 1,179 models of handguns on the
roster. An average of 125 guns fall off the roster each year (see Figure 1 below). Gun manufacturers update their models just
ineffective, and easily circumvented. As such,

as car companies generally update their cars with new features or additional options packages each year. When gun companies update these models it often results

Something as
simple as changing the grip or the color on a gun model could result in it being expelled from
sale in California. Since no guns can be added to the roster and we lose about 125 guns from
the roster each year through natural attrition, there will essentially be no handguns for sale in California
in that model needing to be recertified. However, since the gun does not include microstamping, it cannot be re-submitted to the roster.

around the year 2023 . One might suggest that was Sacramentos plan all along.
After AB 1417 went into effect in January 2013, The Calguns Foundation, Second Amendment Foundation and 4 other plaintiffs filed suit against
the California DOJ in a case now titled Pea vs. Lindley. The Pea case was first heard on December 17, 2013. In March of 2015 a

trial
judge ruled that the requirements of Californias Unsafe Handguns Act DID NOT violate the
second amendment. The decision has been appealed and is currently waiting to be heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. It
generally takes 6 to 8 years for these cases to wind their way through the court system and end up at the Supreme Court of the United States,
so California gun owners should not hold their breath on the roster going away any time soon.

Regardless of how one might feel about the

handgun roster, it is (at the very least) a unique tool for enacting gun
control under the guise of gun safety. This is important to understand, because gun control advocates
have spent the last couple of years, not to mention millions of dollars, rebranding their gun
control efforts into gun safety campaigns. This is in much the same way as global warming has been rebranded as
climate change. As their focus groups and polling have told them the public simply does not support gun control, they just change the name
and continue pushing for the same restrictions. This allows them to push radical agendas under innocuous language and at the same time paint
their opponents as extremists in their own right. Because, after

all, who can argue with gun safety, right? Dont we


all want people to be safe with their guns? The California handgun roster is a perfect example
of how these gun safety efforts can devolve into the de facto banning of all guns. While residents
of the state of California fight to regain their basic civil rights, those in the rest of the country should beware of gun control wolves posing in
gun safety clothing. Remember, Sheepdogs Need Sharp Teeth.

AT Recreation/Gun Collectors
Banning private ownership doesnt affect recreational uses or licensed gun collection
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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Many recreational uses of handguns are compatible with a ban on private ownership. For
instance, target shooting can still be enjoyed at licensed facilities. Shooters would be allowed
to own or rent handguns that would be permanently stored at the shooting ranges.' Licensed
gun collectors would be allowed to keep hanguns of recognized antique value-say fifty years
old or more--on the strict condition that no ammunition be kept. Another cost of a ban would
be that gun dealers would lose the profits they currently make from the sale of handguns and
their ammunition. However, they would be able to recoup some of these losses by
diversifying their stock of long guns, which would be unaffected by my proposal. The
reduction in violent crime that would result outweighs whatever loss of profits may- occur for
this relatively affluent sector of our society.

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AT Root Cause
Perm solves
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

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More importantly, it is not necessary for me to respond to these and other attempts to discredit my international comparison by reference to
causes of crime that are unrelated to gun laws. I

have already made clear that I do not deny that factors other
than the prevalence of handguns may influence the rate of violent crime. It should be no
surprise that these factors prevent a uniform correspondence in all countries between levels
of gun ownership and violent crime. Advocating a ban on handguns is perfectly compatible
with recognizing that a concerted attack on unemployment, homelessness, huge disparities in
wealth and real opportunity, racial inequality, and other sources of injustice are of much
greater importance in the attempt to reduce homicide and violence.

AT NCs

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AT Constitution
Utilitarian considerations justify overriding the Constitutionothers rights to well-being are
trumps
Riddle 15
Christopher Riddle (Utica College). On Risk & Responsibility: Gun Control and the Ethics of Hunting. July 7th, 2015.
http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1533&context=eip

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Now]
Second, because the right to bear arms is built into the fabric of the U.S. political system through the Second Amendment of the United States
Constitution, it is often argued that to prohibit one from owning and using guns for the purposes of hunting would be unconstitutional, or at
least a violation of some sort of fundamental right. That

said, we do frequently set limits on the freedoms


established by the Constitution. The First Amendment is regularly limited for the purpose of
the greater social good. We of course, criticize such restrictions on free speech when, for
example, these restrictions are designed to suppress political dissent or are designed solely or
wholly to be paternalistic in nature. However, we do accept, and often without much
resistance, restrictions on the First Amendment when others wellbeing is at stake. To use a
clichd example, we cannot enter a crowded theatre and shout fire. We accept this
limitation on our freedom because we realize that others rights to well-being can often
serve as trumps against more trivial rights such as the ability to make a false, and potentially
dangerous utterance, in public. Dworkin acknowledges this claim when he suggests a right
against the Government need not go so far as to say that the State is never justified in
overriding that right. He might say, for example, that although citizens have a right to free
speech, the Government may override that right when necessary to protect the rights of
others, or to prevent a catastrophe, or even to obtain a clear and major public benefit.vi It
might be better to not limit any freedoms at all, but in these instances there appears to be
trade-offs, and ones we are willing to accept . Thomson has suggested that it might be said that we do violate one or
more of your rights [] but that our act, though wrongful, is excusable.vii It would be inconsistent to suggest that the rights guaranteed by one
Amendment are so flexible that they can be overridden by concerns of social utility, while others are absolute and must, under no

Thus, it appears that arguments concerned about the Second Amendment


ignore the fact that we have an established precedence of overriding Constitutional
circumstance, be denied.

guarantees when the good of many are at stake.


Utilitarian reasons for a handgun ban outweigh constitutionality concerns
Dixon 93
Nicholas Dixon (associate professor of philosophy, Alma College). Why We Should Ban Handguns In The United States. Saint Louis University
Law Review. 1993.

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]

Readers of this review are likely to be familiar with the controversy over whether restrictions
on gun ownership are compatible with the Second Amendment's guarantee of "the right to
bear arms."' There would be little point in discussing the complex question of the
constitutionality of gun restrictions, however, unless there were good reasons for

implementing them in the first place . The purpose of this paper, which will be confined to
handguns, is to argue that there are good reasons for the most stringent restriction - an
outright handgun ban. This paper can thus be viewed as motivating and setting the stage for
the constitutional debate. My argument for banning handguns is utilitarian : the likely good
consequences of my proposal, I argue, far outweigh the possible bad consequences. My main
focus will be on homicide, but I will also sometimes discuss robbery and assault in connection
with handguns. Aside from my detailed discussion of existing literature and evidence, I hope to advance the debate over gun control in
two main ways. First, I have gathered original data, strongly supporting my hypothesis, on the correlation between handgun ownership and
handgun homicide rates in various countries. Second, I have placed the discussion of rival interpretations of the evidence in the context of an
elementary discussion of the nature of confirmation of hypotheses in the social sciences, and of the burden of proof that falls on their
proponents and opponents. While the points I make in this regard are indeed elementary, they have been persistently ignored by opponents of
gun control. In keeping with the utilitarian nature of my argument, the majority of my paper is devoted to a discussion of empirical data.
However, the theoretical key to my argument is my brief account of confirmation and the burden of proof in section one, to which I will refer
throughout the paper.

Negative

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Solvency

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AT Gun Buy-Back Programs


Gun buyback programs dont work gun control laws do not generally affect the guns
that are used in crimes.
Levitt 04
[Steven D. Levitt is the Alvin H. Baum Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, and
Research Fellow, American Bar Foundation, Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four
Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not. Winter 2004. Journal of Economic
Perspectives] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Gun buy-back programs are

another form of public policy instituted in the 1990s that is largely

reducing crime . First, the guns that are typically surrendered

in gun buy-backs

ineffective in

are those

guns that are

least likely to be used in criminal activities . The guns turned in will be, by definition, those for which the owners derive
little value from the possession of the guns. In contrast,

those who are using guns in crimes are unlikely to

participate in such programs . Second, because replacement guns are relatively easily obtained, the decline in the number of
guns on the street may be smaller than the number of guns that are turned in. Third, the likelihood that any particular gun will be used in a
crime in a given year is low. In 1999, approximately 6,500 homicides were committed with handguns.

There are approximately

65 million handguns in the United States . Thus, if a different handgun were used in each
homicide, the likelihood that a particular handgun would be used to kill an individual in a
particular year is one in 10,000.

The typical gun buy-back program yields fewer than 1,000 guns. Thus, it is not surprising that

research evaluations have consistently failed to document any link between gun buy-back
programs and reductions in gun violence
Rosenfeld, 1996; Reuter and Mouzos, 2003).

(Callahan, Rivera and Koepsell, 1994; Kennedy, Piehl and Braga, 1996;

AT Public Health Model


Framing violence as disease is absurd.
Kopel 94
[David Kopel, associate policy analyst, is research director at the Independence Institute and
adjunct professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University, Sturm College of Law.
Guns, Germs, and Science: Public Health Approaches to Gun Control October 14, 1994]
[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Most of these researchers

tell us that "Violence is a disease," that "Guns are a disease vector," and that we
should start looking at gun control as a public health issue, rather than a legal or criminal issue. Indeed, we are
told that the gun control debate is now ended, since the "scientific" public health approach has supplied all the answers. I have to tell
you how strange these phrases sound to many people who are trained in law or criminology.
Imagine, if you would, that the direction of this inter-disciplinary crossing was reversed. What if
criminologists and law professors started getting involved in medicine? Suppose, for example, that I was here to tell
you that it is time to start thinking of communicable disease as a criminal and legal issue, rather than a public health issue, and this is time to
recognize that "Disease is a crime." In support of this new, "legal" approach, I might point out that while the public health approach has made
important progress in reducing communicable disease, the public health approach has succeeded in wiping out entirely only a few diseases,
such as smallpox. In the 1960s, the Centers for Disease Control promised that measles in America would be eradicated entirely within four
years, yet a quarter of a century later, measles is still with us. I would further point out that disease

endangers the person


who is diseased, just as does drug abuse, which is currently treated as criminal problem.
Communicable diseases, being communicable, also endanger other people far more directly than
does drug use, or most other forms of non-violent crime. In many cases, a person who comes down with a communicable disease could
have prevented the disease through proper precautions, ranging from inoculation to hand-washing. Moreover, persons who are
carriers of communicable diseases have often consciously disregarded a risk they pose to
innocent people -- for example by coming to work even though they know they are sick. If we can characterize the level of
violence in American society as "epidemic," then we could certainly say that the total, overall level of
communicable diseases, including everything from the flu to chicken pox to AIDS is also epidemic. More properly, chicken
pox and violence might be described as having high endemic levels, but we should not be too concerned with technical details when public
safety is involved. Accordingly, my modest proposal for "Treating

disease as a crime" would impose criminal


penalties, including fines and imprisonment, on people who have communicable diseases. The most severe
criminal penalties would be applied to people whose misconduct inflicts a large number of people with a dangerous disease. Lesser
punishments would apply to persons who infect only themselves with minor diseases through negligence, rather than recklessness. A person
who catches a cold because he failed to wash his hands often enough would only spend a week in jail. For

persons who catch


diseases through no fault of their own, administrative fines, but no jail time would be
imposed, much as we currently impose fines on businesses which inadvertently violate highly technical environmental regulations.

Medical research on guns ignores factors that make the population more susceptible to
violence.
Kopel 94
[David Kopel, associate policy analyst, is research director at the Independence Institute and
adjunct professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University, Sturm College of Law.
Guns, Germs, and Science: Public Health Approaches to Gun Control October 14, 1994]
[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]

In regards to gun violence in America, the core problem again involves human behavior, not
inanimate weapons. Gun crime is falling for most population groups, but it is soaring for inner-city minority males, bringing the
overall rate up. In a way, the current evidence regarding gun misuse vindicates one of the critics of Dr. Louis Pasteur. In 1880, Pasteur
discovered that he could make chickens sick by injecting them with cholera germs. But a few years later, Max von Pettenkofer (a Professor of
Hygiene in Munich) drank a cup of pure cholera germs, with no ill effect. Pettenkofer is credited with establishing that germs by themselves do
not cause infection; there must also be a susceptible population and a suitable environment. In

the case of inner-city male


minority teenagers, there is plainly a population and environment susceptible to the
"disease" of gun violence. Yet the medical research about the disease looks almost exclusively at
guns, and pays little attention to the factors that have made one particular portion of the
population immensely more susceptible to the violence disease than every other part of the
population. Until we begin the social reconstruction that will change the lives of the poor in
Americas inner cities, nothing will change about the gun problem.

There is no empirical evidence for the public health model of guns as a disease
Kopel 94
[David Kopel, associate policy analyst, is research director at the Independence Institute and
adjunct professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University, Sturm College of Law.
Guns, Germs, and Science: Public Health Approaches to Gun Control October 14, 1994]
[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
If you find my modest proposal to treat disease a crime to be rather disturbing -- and I hope you do -- then perhaps you can sympathize a little
with the legal scholars and criminologists who are disturbed by the current campaign to treat violence as a disease. And in any case, it

is
time for the "violence as a disease" theory to undergo a much more rigorous analysis than it
has thus far received. Even if we accept that violence is a disease, the public health solution is far less obvious than the gun
prohibition movement and some of its public health allies would suggest. Their analysis simplistically echoes the words of Dr.
Katherine Christoffel of the American Academy of Pediatrics: "Guns are a virus...They are causing an epidemic of
death by gunshot, which should be treated like any epidemic -- you get rid of the virus." Let me suggest that sensible public
health policy does not support this conclusion so readily. Flies are a disease vector for polio.
Yet the CDCs rigid fly control programs of the early 1950s proved ineffective against polio. Are
guns in America, like flies, already so numerous that attempting to reduce their numbers significantly
enough to reduce the violence-disease rate is likely to be an exercise in futility? Much, but not all,
criminological researchers suggests that the answer to this question is "yes ." CDC can get caught up in
programs that fit with the political wishes of the White House or Congress, but which have little scientific validity. The rat control programs of
the 1960s are one example. Another is the Times Beach, Missouri, evacuation in early 1980s, which forced hundreds of people out of their
homes because of alleged dioxin contamination, for what turned out to be unscientific, politically-driven reasons. The evacuation was the work
of Dr. Vernon Houk, who later became a leader in the CDCs gun prohibition efforts. For

something to be a genuine disease


vector, there must be some association between prevalence of disease vector (guns) and the
disease (violence). In fact, there is a strong correlation. But the correlation is an inverse one. Regions and
population groups with the most guns have the lowest levels of gun violence. Periods when
the per capitagun supply is rising rapidly, such as the early 1980s, have been periods of falling
violence. Serious research about a source of disease must consider the disease may have a pharmakopic effect. The evidence suggests that
firearms do. The latest, most in-depth research suggests that firearms are used as often as 2.5 million times a year for self-defense against
criminal attack. Defensive use usually involves simply brandishing or referring to a gun, rather than firing it. Finally,

the "public
health" campaign to outlaw guns because of the allegedly successful gun control policies of
other nations ignores the potential criminogenic effect of those controls.

Problems with correlations between murder rates and gun ownership levels.
Kopel 94
[David Kopel, associate policy analyst, is research director at the Independence Institute and
adjunct professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University, Sturm College of Law.
Guns, Germs, and Science: Public Health Approaches to Gun Control October 14, 1994]
[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Unfortunately, the

product of public health research about guns is too often bad data . A good example of
bad data is the claim of Dr. Arthur Kellermann in a study released last fall that claims that the presence of
a gun in the home raises the risk of murder by 2.7 times. The study fails to adequately
address the cause and effect relationship. Do guns cause people to be murdered, or are people already at risk of being
murdered more likely to buy guns? We can see the cause-and-effect issue by looking carefully at Kellermanns own odds ratios. The Kellermann
article, which produced the widely-circulated risk ratio for gun ownership, reports an ever higherrisk ratio (4.4) for renting rather than owning
the place where you live. Does this mean that you suddenly become safer when your apartment building goes condo? Of course not. Likewise,
are you safer when you get rid of your gun? Not necessarily. One

of the confounding factors not reported in the


Kellermann article is whether the crime victim is a criminal. Criminals are at much higher risk
of being murdered than the population in general. And criminals may be more likely to own
guns. So perhaps the connection between apartments, handguns, and homicide is that each of these elements may be associated with
criminality, relative to the general population. The possibility that Kellermann has reversed cause and effect is supported by his findings
regarding "controlled" access security systems. Such security systems produced a higher crude odds ratio than did gun ownership. Does this
mean that a cautious homeowner should, after getting rid of handguns, convince his landlord to get rid of the security guard in the apartment
lobby? To the contrary, the presence of security guards in the lobby (like guns in the home), may simply be a reflection of the dangers faced by
people who are at risked of being murdered, and who are taking sensible steps (through armed security guards, and through personal
armament) to protect themselves.

Medical scholarship about guns stems from misunderstanding


Kopel 94
[David Kopel, associate policy analyst, is research director at the Independence Institute and
adjunct professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University, Sturm College of Law.
Guns, Germs, and Science: Public Health Approaches to Gun Control October 14, 1994]
[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
In short, the

medical gun prohibition literature is frequently suffers from the same defect which
the sociologist Herbert Blumer found in so much sociology: "To select (usually arbitrarily)
some one form of empirical reference and to assume that the operationalized study of this
one form catches the full empirical coverage of the concept or proposition..." Not all of the federallyfunded "guns are germs" studies are as flawed as the study we just discussed. But most of them are. The article handout by Doctor Suter
dissects most of the famous guns and health articles. The medical scholarship does a reasonably good job of quantifying firearms deaths. But

the literature is so full of ignorant statements about how guns function, hostility to the
notion that guns might sometimes have a pharmakopic effect (the victims gun serving as a
"remedy" to the criminals gun), vicious denunciations of gun owners, and a complete
incomprehension as to why anyone would actually own a gun as to be of very limited value in
formulating gun control policy. There is no effort to enter the world of the gun owner, to see guns as gun owners see them.
Accordingly, the medical literature regarding guns is generally as flat and sterile as would be research about wines written by a hard-shell
Baptist preacher whose lips have never tasted a drop. As Blumer observed, "the scholar who lacks firsthand familiarity is highly unlikely to
recognize that he is missing anything." There is another problem with the medical intervention in the gun issue. Too

often, it is
based on an appeal to authority, rather than to logic. Doctors--unlike lawyers, Congress, and

used car salesman--enjoy great credibility in the eyes of the American people. But the further that
doctors stray from medicine, the greater the risk of destroying that credibility.

Lit bias flows neg authors that switch opinions always become skeptical of gun
control.
Kopel 94
[David Kopel, associate policy analyst, is research director at the Independence Institute and
adjunct professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University, Sturm College of Law.
Guns, Germs, and Science: Public Health Approaches to Gun Control October 14, 1994]
[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Moreover, personalization of the issue tends to raise rather than settle questions about the desirability of gun control. Both

sides of
debate have people for whom research has confirmed their previous intuitions, for or against
guns. But there is also a class of scholars who started studying the gun issue and were strong
supporters of one viewpoint, but who revised their views in light of the evidence . Every
scholar who has "switched" has "switched" to the side that is skeptical of controls. Indeed, most
of the prominent academic voices who are gun control skeptics -- including law professors
Sanford Levinson and William Van Alstyne, and criminologists Gary Kleck and James Wright -- are people who
when they began studying guns were supporters of the gun control agenda . I do not know of a
single scholar who has published a pro-control article who started out as a skeptic of gun
control. This suggests how heavily the weight of the evidence is distributed, once people
begin studying the evidence. Rather than taking my word, study the research yourself.

AT Reduce Crime
Hand gun restrictions do not decrease crime.
Levitt 04
[Steven D. Levitt is the Alvin H. Baum Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, and
Research Fellow, American Bar Foundation, Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four
Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not. Winter 2004. Journal of Economic
Perspectives] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
More stringent gun-control policies such as bans on handgun acquisition passed in Washington,
D.C, in 1976 and the ban on handgun ownership in Chicago in 1982 do not seem to have reduced
crime, either. While initial research suggested a beneficial impact of the D.C. gun ban (Loftin, McDowall, Weirsema and Cottey, 1991), when
the city of Baltimore is used as a control group, rather than the affluent Washington suburbs,
the apparent benefits of the gun ban disappear (Britt, Kleck and Bordua, 1996). Although no careful analysis of
Chicago's gun ban has been carried out, the fact that Chicago has been a laggard in the nationwide
homicide decline argues against any large impact of the law . From a theoretical perspective, policies that raise
the costs of using guns in the commission of actual crimes, as opposed to targeting ownership, would appear to be a more effective approach
to reducing gun crime (for instance, Kessler and Levitt, 1999). The most prominent of these programs, Project Exile, which provides prison
sentence en? hancements for gun offenders, however, has been convincingly demonstrated to be ineffective by Raphael and Ludwig (2003),
apparently in part because of the small scale on which it was carried out.

Deterrence
Increased private gun ownership deters would-be criminals, reducing violent crime
Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]

Gun control proponents may find these statistics theoretically surprising: increasing the availability of one important means of committing
violent crimes, they believe, should increase the violent crime rate.Footnote But an alternative theory gives the opposite prediction:

Increased availability of guns to citizens, including the ability to carry concealed weapons,
increases the risks to would-be criminals of experiencing undesired consequences as a result
of attempting a violent crime. These consequences include being shot, being detained by the
would-be victim until the police arrive, and simply being unable to complete the crime. Thus,
other [316] things being equal, increased availability of guns to the general public should
result in decreased violent crime. Lotts study strongly corroborates this theory. But even before considering
statistical evidence, the theory is more plausible than that offered by gun control supporters.
Gun control laws tend to influence the behavior of would-be crime victims much more than
the behavior of criminals.

Those who are willing to commit violent felonies are much more likely than the average citizen to be

willing to commit misdemeanors such as carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. They are also more likely to have black market
contacts capable of supplying them with illegal weapons. Thus, laws that prohibit or place obstacles in the way of carrying concealed weapons,
or owning weapons at all, are likely to cause a much greater reduction in the proportion of armed victims than in the proportion of armed
criminals. Furthermore,

one can guess that the possibility of encountering an armed victim


probably has a greater effect on would-be criminals, with respect to deterring violent crimes,
than would a moderate increase in the difficulty of obtaining a gun to assist in crimes, since
the feared consequences of attacking an armed victim are extremely serious, whereas
increased difficulty in obtaining a gun is a relatively small impediment to committing a violent
crime, particularly if one can choose a victim who is physically weaker than oneself and
unarmed, or if one has black market contacts. This argument is inconclusive, since it could be that very few
noncriminals would carry guns for self-protection even if allowed to, in which case the risk to criminals of encountering armed victims would
still be a minor factor. But in fact, a great many non-criminal Americans presently own guns, and approximately 9% of Americans surveyed

Accordingly, criminals surveyed report being


more afraid of encountering armed victims than they are of encountering the police.Footnote
For these reasons, one should not be surprised that the effect of stricter gun laws of reducing
a deterrent to violent crime should [317] predominate over their effect of making it harder to
obtain tools for assisting in such crimes.
admit to carrying a gun for self-protection outside the home.Footnote

Deterrence/Economy
Economic studies demonstrate the deterrent effect of guns, nets billions of dollars by
saving lives and stopping violent and property crimes
Mixon and Gibson 01
FRANKLIN G. MIXON, JR.' & M. TROY GIBSON2 1Department of Economics and International
Business, The University of Southern Mississippi, The retention of state level concealed
handgun laws: Empirical evidence from interest group and legislative models, Public Choice
107.1/2, 2001 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
As Lott and Mustard (1997) point out, beginning with the seminal work on crime by Becker (1968), economists

and others have


pointed out the importance of the deterrent effect of punishment within models which
suggest that the expected penalty is related to the prospective criminal's desire to commit
crimes (the work on crime actually dates back at least to Chadwick, 1829). Fromh ere, the L-M study deviates from traditional
work regarding the successive probabilities of arrest and conviction (and others) by examining the net effect of "shall
issue" right-to-carry laws.1 They report regression evidence from the 3,054 counties in the
U.S. on various violent and property crimes which supports the notion that right-to-carry
legislation saves lives and produces a net economic benefit of $6.214 billion.

Deterrence/Sexual Assault/Rape
Rapists can be deterred by female gun ownership
Mixon and Gibson 01
FRANKLIN G. MIXON, JR.' & M. TROY GIBSON2 1Department of Economics and International
Business, The University of Southern Mississippi, The retention of state level concealed
handgun laws: Empirical evidence from interest group and legislative models, Public Choice
107.1/2, 2001 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
The L-M evidence points out that despite

the relatively small number of women using concealed


handgun permits, the concealed handgun coefficient for explaining rapes is consistently
comparable to the size of the effect that it has on other violent crime rates. The results suggest, that
while the set of women who are particularly likely to be raped might carry concealed
handguns at a much higher rate than the general population of women, rapists are
susceptible to this form of deterrence

(Lott and Mustard, 1997). Because women, as reported by L-M, are less than half as

likely to use handguns in self-defense away from home compared with in/around home,

"shall issue" legislation would


provide significant benefits for women who are away from home. This is so because "shall issue" legislation is not
necessary for citizens to maintain handguns in the home. Females who are employed would be those capturing the largest potential benefits,
and thus one might predict that states where female labor force participation rates (FLFPR) are high would have "shall issue" legislation. We,
therefore, expect FLFPR to retain a negative coefficient (as FLFPR increases, likelihood CAT=0 increases.

Enforcement Problems
Hard enforcement failure laundry list:
Jacobs 02
[James B. Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts
Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice @ NYU Law, Can Gun Control Work? 2002.
Can Gun Control Work?James B. Jacobs OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS] [Premier, Premier Debate
Today, Sign-Up Now]
Who would enforce handgun disarmament and with what degree of vigor? National Alcohol Prohibition was enforced by
a small number of US. Treasury Department agents and by state and local police departments. Criminal justice and organized crime scholar
Humbert S. Nelli writes that Prohibition

overburdened the criminal justice system and undermined

respect for the nations law. Another author recalled that organization and methods . . . were hopelessly inadequate.20
Professor McBain of Co- lumbia Law School wrote in 1928 that the large-liquor drinking public has been indifferent to, if not positively in favor
of, the corruption that helps to keep the stimulating stream flowing without interruption . . . the [police] force from the beginning has been
thoroughly spoils-ridden.21 In many cities, the police were contemptuous of alcohol prohibition and did not enforce it; corruption flourished.

History has repeated itself with the contemporary drug war . After the Supreme Courts decision in Printz,
rejecting federal authority to order state and local officials to conduct background checks, National Handgun Prohibition
might have to be a completely federal program.22 What kind of a federal enforcement agency would be needed to
investigate and deter unlawful handgun possession? Currently, most illegal handguns are seized as a consequence of street or car stops made
by local law en- forcement agents; a frisk reveals the gun.23 Routine

car and street stops are not the province of

federal agents, who lack general street-level policing authority and experience. Perhaps BATF could be expanded into a super
nationwide street-level police agency with tens of thousands of new agents? Such a move would have to overcome the opposition of the NRA,
gun owners, some members of Congress, and others who excoriate BATF agents as jack-booted minions.* It

would also have to


overcome those who oppose expanding federal power and expending a great deal of fed- eral
funds. Undoubtedly, there would be opposition and resistance from fringe elements, who for years have warned of a colossal and despotic
federal government. The number of militia groups would probably grow, with the potential for Waco-type standoffs and shootouts.24

Passive enforcement failure:


Jacobs 02
[James B. Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts
Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice @ NYU Law, Can Gun Control Work? 2002.
Can Gun Control Work?James B. Jacobs OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS] [Premier, Premier Debate
Today, Sign-Up Now]
These potential problems suggest that passive enforcement might be a better alternative. BATF agents might

make no special
effort to identify and arrest handgun possessors. They could simply make arrests when
handguns come to light in the course of investigations of other crimes. Of course, that is not much different than
the way federal and state felon-in- possession laws are currently enforced. Some prosecutors, for political or practical
reasons, would hesitate to prosecute unlawful possession cases, just as prosecutors today do
not prosecute every drug possession case. They would face serious difficulties convicting
defendants with no criminal record who claim to possess a gun for self-defense or sport.
Currently, federal prosecutors decline to prose- cute a high percentage of charges even against
persons with felony records when, though possessing firearms illegally, the arrested person has committed no other crime.25 It would be much more difficult to convince fed- eral or state prosecutors to

bring charges against otherwise law-abiding persons for merely violating National Handgun Prohibition. Even if
pros- ecutors brought charges, it would be difficult to get unanimous guilty ver- dicts from jurors who, in
many states, would be inclined to nullify the unpopular law. Perhaps enforcing unpopular, or at least controversial,
handgun disar- mament could be made easier by setting the punishment low. If illegal possession of a handgun were
treated as a misdemeanor or administrative violation, punishable by a small fine, say $250 or $500, jury trials could
be avoided altogether. However, under that scheme, people who were committed to keeping their handguns
would be no more deterred from Violating the gun law than from Violating the speed limit .

Prohibition enforcement would be unsuccessful due to the black market.


Jacobs 02
[James B. Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts
Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice @ NYU Law, Can Gun Control Work? 2002.
Can Gun Control Work?James B. Jacobs OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS] [Premier, Premier Debate
Today, Sign-Up Now]
National Handgun Prohibition, whether actively or passively enforced, would have to contend with a black
market.26 If the lawful supply of fire- arms was shut down, consider how easily guns could migrate into the black market. In the
United States, there exists a black market in handguns that are stolen, purchased for unlawful
sale, or otherwise diverted from lawful owners to criminal s. According to Gary Kleck, There appears to
be stronger evidence pointing to theft as a major source of guns for crim- inals than illicit
trafficking. Perhaps half of the guns obtained by crimi- nals have been stolen at some time in the
past, though not necessarily by the criminal who most recently possessed it and used it in a crime. Kleck
estimates that as many as 750,000 guns are stolen each year . Of the in- mates interviewed by sociologists
James Wright and Peter Rossi in 1986, thirty-two percent said that they stole their most recently acquired
hand- gun; 46% stated that their most recently acquired handgun was definitely stolen,
while another 24% said the gun was probably stolen .28 Even in countries with strong prohibitory regimes
(like Japan and Holland), crim- inals are able to obtain handguns relatively easily on the black
market. We can reasonably estimate that there would be a stock of some 100 million or more handguns
in private hands by the time National Handgun Prohibition was enacted (assuming booming sales in the
4-5 years leading up to prohibition). The handgun black market would be supplied by im- ports, stolen handguns, handguns illegally produced in
clandestine work- shops, and handguns given away or sold by lawful owners, who oppose the law or who, for a profit, are willing to risk getting
caught.

Murders
Empirics prove restrictive gun laws increase state murder rates
Gius 14
Mark Gius, Department of Economics, Quinnipiac University, An examination of the effects of
concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates, Applied
Economics Letters, 21.4, 2014 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on state-level
murder rates. Using

data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed
effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of
concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that
assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results
suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at
the state level. The results of this study are consistent with some prior research in this area, most notably Lott and Mustard (1997).

Shift DA / Black Market / Underground Economy


Empirical examples of prohibitions show that gun prohibition would lead to
clandestine manufacturing.
Jacobs 02
[James B. Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts
Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice @ NYU Law, Can Gun Control Work? 2002.
Can Gun Control Work?James B. Jacobs OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS] [Premier, Premier Debate
Today, Sign-Up Now]
Closing down legitimate manufacturers would be a boon to black market producers.
Clandestine handgun manufacturers would spring up, just as thousands of illegal stills operated
during alcohol prohibition, and hun- dreds or thousands of clandestine labs now produce unlawful
mood and mind-altering drugs like amphetamine and ecstasy. Even today, zip guns are produced or
assembled in small workshops within the United States.* These black market manufacturers,
already illegal, operate outside any regulatory scheme for recordkeeping, serial numbers, safety locks, or tax- ation.
Implementing a prohibition on importation of handguns would be even more difficult. Without (or with sharply
diminished) domestic U.S. sources for new handguns, there would be a greater economic incentive for
smugglers to bring in handguns from abroad. Is there any reason to believe that customs officials and other law
enforcement personnel would be more successful in preventing handgun smuggling than in preventing drug smuggling? I think not.

Contraband handguns, like illicit drugs, would enter the country illegally in seaborne containersa, trucks, cars,
planes, and by mail. (Currently, there are firearms black markets in West- ern Europe, Where handguns smuggled from Eastern Europe and the
for- mer Soviet Union are easily obtainable in Amsterdam, Brussels, and other cities.)16

Black markets render implementation of bans ineffective.


Levitt 04
[Steven D. Levitt is the Alvin H. Baum pf of Economics, University of Chicago, and Research
Fellow, American Bar Foundation, Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors
that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not. Winter 2004. Journal of Economic Perspectives]
[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
There are more than 200 million firearms in private hands in the United States ?more than the number
of adults (Cook and Ludwig, 1996). Almost two- thirds of homicides in the United States involve a firearm,
a fraction far greater than other industrialized countries. Combining those two facts, one might conjec? ture that
easy access to guns in the U.S. may be part of the explanation for our unusually high homicide rates. Indeed, the most careful study on the
subject finds that higher rates of handgun ownership, which represent about one-third of all firearms, may be a causal factor in violent crime
rates (Duggan, 2001). There

is, however, little or no evidence that changes in gun control laws in the
1990s can account for falling crime. For example, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of
1993 instituted stricter requirements for background checks before a gun is sold . However,
Ludwig and Cook (2000) report no difference in homicide trends after the passage of the Brady
Act in states affected by the law and states that already had policies in place that were at
least as stringent as those in the Brady Act. Given the realities of an active black market in guns (Cook,
Molliconi and Cole, 1995), the apparent ineffectiveness of gun control laws should not come as a great

surprise to economists. Even in the late 1980s, prior to the Brady Act, only about one-fifth of prisoners
reported obtaining their guns through licensed gun dealers (Wright and Rossi, 1994).

AT Advantages

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Tribal
Tribal gun ban could backfire US Supreme Court would restrict tribal jurisdiction in
response
Tweedy 14
Ann Tweedy, tribal attorney, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, pf @ Cal Berkeley Law, Indian Tribes
and Gun Regulation: Should Tribes Exercise Their Sovereign Rights to Enact Gun Bans or StandYour-Ground Laws? Albany Law Review, 78.2, 2014/15 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, SignUp Now]
Another potential problem with

a tribal gun ban is that, as a result of the availability of federal court


review of the jurisdictional question," a federal appellate court or the Supreme Court could
be alarmed by a tribe's ability to make law that contradicts the current interpretation of the
Second Amendment and, in response to that alarm, narrow the scope of tribal jurisdiction to
an even greater extent than is already the case. Due to the current Supreme Court's reluctance to enforce tribal
jurisdiction, in the context of federal Indian law, the concern that "bad facts make bad law" is heightened.97 Despite tribes' clear ability, under
federal law, to disregard the Second Amendment, presenting

a federal court with a fact pattern of a tribe's


wholesale denial of the individual right to self-defense, which the Court recently recognized
in Heller, may be unwise, particularly given that some members of the Court have expressed
concern about the fact that tribes are not directly bound by the Bill of Rights."

CPs

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Advantage CP Background Checks


Background checks solve. Reverse causal evidence in Missouri shows a repeal of
background checks sharply increased homicides
Webster et al 14
Daniel Webster, Cassandra Kercher Crifasi, and Jon S. Vernick, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun
Policy and Research, Effects of the Repeal of Missouris Handgun Purchaser Licensing Law on
Homicides, Journal of Urban Health, 91.2 2014 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
This study provides compelling evidence that the

repeal of Missouris PTP handgun licensing law, which


required all handgun purchasers to pass a background check even for purchases from private
sellers, contributed to a sharp increase in Missouris homicide rate. Our estimates suggest that the law
was associated with an additional 55 to 63 murders per year in Missouri between 2008 and
2012 than would have been forecasted had the PTP handgun law not been repealed. Our
analyses ruled out several alternative hypotheses to explain the relatively large and highly
statistically significant increase in firearm homicides in Missouri following the repeal of its PTP
handgun licensing law. We controlled for changes in unemployment, poverty, policing levels,
incarceration rates, trends in crime reflected in burglary rates, national trends in homicide
rates, and several kinds of other laws that could affect homicides. That Missouris sharp increase in firearm
homicides was unique within the region, specific to firearms, and was observed in metropolitan jurisdictions across Missouri suggests that
unmeasured unique local circumstances (e.g., gang activity and changes in social norms) are unlikely to have biased our estimates of the impact
of the policy change. Estimates of the effects of the repeal of Missouris PTP handgun law were similar for firearm homicides and total
homicides using death certificate data for 43 states through 2010, and for murders and nonnegligent manslaughters using police reports for all
50 states through 2012. This suggests that the

biased the findings.

data source and time period studied are unlikely to have

Advantage CP Kids
Adults should be legally responsible for injuries caused by their firearms, and guns
should be engineered to be childproof
Jackman et al 01
Geoffrey A. Jackman, MD*; Mirna M. Farah, MD; Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH; and
Harold K. Simon, MD* Seeing Is Believing: What Do Boys Do When They Find a Real Gun?
Pediatrics 107:6, June 2001 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Third, several states have enacted laws that hold adults legally responsible for injuries caused
by their firearms. Enactment of laws that permit felony prosecution of violators has been
linked to a 23% reduction in unintended shooting deaths of children younger than 15 years .29
It is unclear, however, whether laws of this sort alter gun storage practices or whether the decline in unintentional firearm deaths is sustained
over time. Finally, it

should be possible to make safer handguns. 27,30 Although handguns account for fewer than
half of all new gun sales, this type of weapon is involved in ;85% of fatal and nonfatal firearm injuries in
metropolitan counties.31 Most of the handgun models that are manufactured domestically or
imported into the United States lack safety features to prevent unintended discharge (Hargarten
S, Milne J, Kellermann A, Wintemute G, unpublished data). Fully 88% of respondents to a National Opinion Research Center survey, including
80% of responding gun owners, supported the notion that all

new handguns sold in the United States should be

required to be childproof. This study also found that 71% of respondents supported the requirement that all new handguns be
personalized.32

Advantage CP Regulations
Regs good: Solvency -- Only restrictive solutions that stop short of a ban ensure the most
optimal outcomes
Hsiao 15
Timothy Hsiao (professor of philosophy at Florida State University). Against Gun Bans and Restrictive Licensing. Essays in Philosophy, Vol. 16,
No. 2. July 7th, 2015. http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1531&context=eip

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Again, suppose that gun ownership under permissive laws leads to an overall net increase in social harms. The key word here is net. Even

though guns may lead to more overall social harm, there remain certain persons for whom
gun ownership would be effective at stopping or preventing crime. Saying that gun ownership
increases overall harm does not tell us who would benefit from gun ownership and who
wouldnt. Since we want a gun policy that maximizes their benefits and minimizes their
harms, it would be overreaching and reckless to ban guns for everyone without first
attempting to implement a less restrictive solution that preserves their benefits. In other
words, the proper response is not to ban guns, but to develop a system restrictive enough so
that it minimizes the social harms of guns, but that at the same time is also permissive
enough so that it maximizes the benefits provided by guns by allowing only competent
persons to own them. We want a system that can reliably keep guns out of the wrong
hands while allowing the right hands to own them . By jumping straight to the most
restrictive method without considering other potentially viable solutions that fall short of a
ban, Dixons utilitarian argument for a handgun ban actually runs counter to utilitarian
reasoning . What is needed is an argument that a ban is preferable over other less restrictive solutions, which Dixon does not provide.
Consider other risky activities that the state does not ban wholesale, even though the harms
seemingly outweigh the benefits. Excessive alcohol consumption, for instance, is associated
with more than 88,000 deaths annually.xi Yet the state does not ban alcohol, even though the
health benefits of alcohol consumption are relatively minor when compared to the lives
saved by using guns in self-defense. Instead, the state enacts measures so as to minimize the
irresponsible consumption of alcohol while simultaneously recognizing the rights of those
who can responsibly consume alcohol by allowing qualified persons to imbibe. A complete
ban on alcohol may, we suppose, achieve the end of harm-reduction, but such a policy
needlessly eliminates the many social benefits associated with alcohol. If such a policy is justified with
respect to alcohol, then it is all the more justified when it comes to gun ownership, especially given the substantial benefits of guns considered
earlier.

Hence, an outright ban should not be our immediate recourse, since it focuses only on

minimizing harms and ignores benefits completely . While an outright ban may have a positive effect on overall
crime reduction, it inherently excludes many individuals for which gun ownership would otherwise be beneficial. A gun policy that
focuses on minimizing gun-related harm and maximizing gun-related benefits is likely to have
a stronger effect at crime reduction than just a policy that focuses only on minimizing gunrelated harms. This is true even if a ban is in everyones interest and even if all guns are removed from criminals. Although a total ban
may decrease or completely eliminate malicious usage of guns, it is plausible to suppose that there will still be many situations in which guns

are necessary for resisting crime, such as those involving significant disparities in force and physical ability. Given the substantial benefits that
guns provide in resisting crime, there ought to be provisions under which certain citizens can acquire guns for self-protection.

Regs good: Rights -- Only regulations respect peoples prima facie rights
Hsiao 15
Timothy Hsiao (professor of philosophy at Florida State University). Against Gun Bans and Restrictive Licensing. Essays in Philosophy, Vol. 16,
No. 2. July 7th, 2015. http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1531&context=eip

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There is also a rights-based argument against an outright ban. This argument proceeds from
the claim that prima facie rights should be presumed weighty unless shown to be defeated or
overridden. Given that there are many people for whom gun ownership is or would be
beneficial, their prima facie right to own a gun is undefeated and ought to be respected by
the state. It is a mistake to think that because gun ownership on average leads to more
social harms, that therefore each individual instance of gun ownership likewise leads to
more social harms and is therefore overridden or defeated. Respecting the undefeated rights
of those for whom gun ownership is beneficial is compatible with restricting the rights of
those for whom gun ownership is likely to be counterproductive. Thus, a blanket prohibition
is prima facie unjust because it is not narrowly tailored to its intended goal. As was the case
with the utilitarian argument, the states first recourse should be to find a less restrictive
way of controlling for the negative effects of firearms instead of jumping straight to a total
ban.
Regulations, not a ban, are most utilitarianDixons wrong
**While this card doesnt say regulations, the argument is that we should harness the self-defense benefits of guns while minimizing their
risksthats basically regulations which minimize the risks of handguns short of a ban, preserving the self-defense benefits

Hsiao 15
Timothy Hsiao (professor of philosophy at Florida State University). Against Gun Bans and Restrictive Licensing. Essays in Philosophy, Vol. 16,
No. 2. July 7th, 2015. http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1531&context=eip

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It is sometimes thought that if it were shown that allowing private gun ownership resulted in more overall social harms than benefits, that this
would be sufficient in justifying a total ban on gun ownership. Dixon seems to think so, but this does not followeven if he is right that a total

If we reason with the aim of utility maximization , then public policy


decisions should attempt to minimize social harms while maximizing benefits. This is neutral
with respect to what particular gun control policy we adopt. When it comes to guns, we
ban would reduce homicide rates.

want a gun policy that not only minimizes their social harms, but one that also maximizes
their benefits . Given that there are strong and substantial defensive benefits associated with
gun ownership, a reasonable gun policy is one that attempts to maximize these defensive
benefits while minimizing the harms . This can be done, at least in principle, without enacting
a total ban on gun ownership for everyone. So it is not the case that a mere outweighing is by
itself sufficient to justify a total ban, even if it would achieve its desired goals. More needs to
be said.

Process CP - Manufacturing Ban


Manufacturing prohibition mechanisms:
Jacobs 02
[James B. Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts
Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice @ NYU Law, Can Gun Control Work? 2002.
Can Gun Control Work?James B. Jacobs OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS] [Premier, Premier Debate
Today, Sign-Up Now]
Prohibition proposals come in different styles and sizes. Prohibiting man- ufacture of
handguns would be the easiest form of prohibition to imple- ment and enforce. The Census of Manufacturers for 1997 shows
that there were one hundred and ninety-one small arms manufacturing companies with combined sales of $1.2 billion. The locations of
these manufacturers are known. The federal government could order them shut down, subject
them to prohibitive taxation (tax them to death), or expose them to ru- inous tort liability. Their
decommission would be easy to monitor. Of course, the government would need to permit at least one private company
to continue producing enough handguns for the police and whatever other groups would still be lawfully armed. Alternatively, the
government could set up its own handgun manufacturing plant to supply the legitimate market.*

Process CP - Sale Ban


Ban of sale mechanism:
Jacobs 02
[James B. Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts
Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice @ NYU Law, Can Gun Control Work? 2002.
Can Gun Control Work?James B. Jacobs OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS] [Premier, Premier Debate
Today, Sign-Up Now]
All handgun prohibition proposals discussed in this chapter include a ban on the sale of handguns. A

sales prohibition would

necessarily have to prohibit every type of commercial transfer, lest the ban be circumvented by leasing and
renting. But even that expanded proscription would be incomplete. Banning just commercial transfers would not prevent hand- guns from
being transferred by nondealers to new owners as gifts or barter. Therefore, an

effective sales prohibition should

encompass a ban on gifts and lending as well. No doubt once a sales prohibition seemed like a realistic possibility, some
people (including profiteers and ideological opponents of the pro- hibition) would purchase large quantities of handguns in order to supply the
post-sales prohibition demand.

DA Politics

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Handgun Ban Kills Obamas PC


A handgun ban would destroy Obamas political capital
Scher 15
Bill Scher (senior writer, Campaign for Americas Future). Will Any Presidential Candidate Support Banning Handguns? Common Dreams.
October 3rd, 2015. http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/10/03/will-any-presidential-candidate-support-banning-handguns

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]


Politicians generally avoid proposing handgun bans because the position doesnt fit into the
frame of exempting responsible gun owners from new regulations. No one needs an assault
rifle to hunt or to protect themselves. But plenty of Americans keep handguns thinking that it
will protect them from harm. Politicians are loathe to advocate that the government take
their guns away.

However, the reality is, as physicist David Robert Grimes put it, actually owning and using a firearm hugely

increases the risk of being shot. Of

course, this is a political impossibility for the foreseeable future. The


current Republican Congress wont even pass an expansion of background checks, and a
previous Republican Congress allowed the Clinton-era assault weapons ban to expire. A
handgun ban also could run afoul of the Supreme Court, as it is currently constituted.

Gun Rights Movement


Gun rights movement and special interest groups will fight the aff empirically, states
have retained their shall issue handgun laws due to pressure
[Could also be used to prove the politics DA is good on this topic gun controlis not
produced in a vacuum]

Mixon and Gibson 01


FRANKLIN G. MIXON, JR.' & M. TROY GIBSON2 1Department of Economics and International
Business, The University of Southern Mississippi, The retention of state level concealed
handgun laws: Empirical evidence from interest group and legislative models, Public Choice
107.1/2, 2001 [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
The present study offers a departure from recent efforts to examine the relationship between state level gun control legislation and various
violent and property crime rates. We

offer interest group and legislative models which posit that state
level gun control legislation (three categories, from unrestricted to restricted) is not produced in a vacuum, but
is influenced by various demand and supply factors across states. The findings presented here
suggest that the property-rights movement has influenced the legislative process and
significantly shaped the outcome concerning the retention of "shall issue" handgun laws
across states.

Popularity
Gun de-control is popular now, even left-leaning, gun-banning cities and states are
moving toward de-control
Volokh 13
Eugene, the Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, Chicago: From a
Handgun Ban to a Right to Carry Concealed Handguns http://volokh.com/2013/07/10/chicagofrom-a-handgun-ban-to-a-right-to-carry-concealed-handguns/ [Premier, Premier Debate
Today, Sign-Up Now]
Illinois has just become a shall-issue state, which means that pretty much any law-abiding
adult age 21 and above can get a license to carry a concealed handgun in public . To be sure, something will
depend on how the law is implemented, and my understanding is that gun rights supporters see the law as narrower (and more burdensome)
than theyd like. But lets not miss the forest for the trees: Illinois residents like the residents of all but 8 states are now able to effectively
defend themselves in public using pretty the same kinds of weapons that the police, bodyguards, and the like use to defend themselves.

That is remarkable, especially in a state that until recently hosted one of the few
handgun bans (in Chicago and its environs), which prohibited possessing handguns even in the home. The
change of course was triggered by Second Amendment litigation, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, which struck down the handgun ban, and
Moore v. Madigan, a Seventh Circuit decision that struck down Illinois total carry ban. But it wasnt just litigation: Moore did not clearly hold
that restrictive licensing schemes (such as those in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, or Rhode
Island) are unconstitutional, so the Illinois Legislature could have experimented with those. And of course Illinois could have asked the U.S.
Supreme Court to review the Moore decision.
Rather, as with the immense success of the shall-issue movement more broadly over the
last 30 years, a big part of the success was political. The notion that people should be free to
be their own and their families bodyguards, even if they arent rich or important enough to get police escorts or hired
bodyguards, has been remarkably successful politically, throughout the U.S., including in many
deep blue states. Heres an animation illustrating this (which apparently came from Jeff Dege):
This is a remarkable political story. In the same era that the top mainstream media stories about
gun laws have been about gun control, the most practically significant movement on gun law
has been this movement of (limited) gun decontrol. I just hope that some day soon the movement will come even to
my own California; to be sure, that might seem politically implausible, but I would have thought many people would have said the same about
Illinois a year or two ago.

Aside: Republican Downfall


Republicans will vote no on the aff, killing their popular appeal and dooming the
Republican party
LoGiurato 13
Brett LoGiurato, politics editor at Business Insider, Joe Scarborough Explodes At GOP For Voting
Down Gun Control: 'This Party Is Moving Toward Extinction', 4-18-13 [Premier, Premier Debate
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"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough reamed into Senate

Republicans and four Democrats who voted against the


passage of a bill expanding background checks. Particularly targeting Republicans, Scarborough said that
the party was "moving toward extinction." "You do not ignore 90 percent of the American
people on an issue of public safety," Scarborough said, citing poll numbers that consistently showed nine in 10
respondents supporting the measure. "Mark it down this is going to be a turning point in the history of the
Republican Party as well," he added. "And let those out there chattering, let them chatter away all they want to and scream like
hyenas. Let them do what they want to do. "This party that killed this background check yesterday this party is
moving toward extinction. A new Republican Party is going to replace it. And this is going to be a vote that people are
going to look back on and say, 'That party that extremism that was unsustainable." On
Wednesday afternoon, the Senate failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to pass the measure. It drew an especially angry reaction from
President Barack Obama, who made new gun legislation a key legislative goal of the start of his second term. Scarborough vowed that the

setback was just the "beginning" of the fight for gun-control advocates a fight he said wouldn't end
until, at least, stricter background checks are in place. "The President did not suffer a defeat," Scarborough said. "The American people suffered
the defeat yesterday in the United States Senate."

Morals Neg Rights

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Basic 1NC Argument


Description of prima facie rights
Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

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Second, I distinguish between absolute and prima facie rights. An absolute right is one with
overriding importance, such that no considerations can justify violating it. A prima facie right
is one that must be given some weight in moral deliberation but that can be overridden by
sufficiently important countervailing considerations. Thus, if it would be permissible to steal
for sufficiently important reasonssay, to save someones lifethen property rights are not
absolute but at most prima facie. It is doubtful whether any rights are absolute. At any rate, I
do not propose any absolute rights; I argue only that there is a strong prima facie right to own
a gun.
To deny a prima facie right to own a gun, the aff has to show either of three possibilities(1)
that gun ownership treats people as a means, (2) imposes high risk on others, or (3) evinces
an intention to harm
Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]

What sort of reasons would show that we have no right to engage in a particular activity?
Consider three relevant possibilities: (i) Plausibly, we lack even a prima facie right to engage
in activities that harm others, treat others as mere means, or use others without their
consent. Thus, I have no claim at all (as opposed to having a claim that is outweighed by
competing claims) to be allowed to beat up or rob other people. (ii) Perhaps we lack a prima
facie right to engage in activities that, even unintentionally, impose high risks on others, even
if those risks do not eventuate. If my favorite form of recreation involves shooting my gun off
in random directions in the neighborhood, even if I am not trying to hit anyone, my would-be
right to entertain myself is at least overridden, but perhaps wholly erased, because of the
danger to others. (iii) Perhaps we lack a prima facie right to engage in activities that
reasonably appear to evince an intention to harm or impose unacceptable risks on others. For
example, I may not run towards you brandishing a sword, even if I do not in fact intend to
hurt you. The principle also explains why we punish people for merely attempting or
conspiring to commit crimes. There may be other sorts of reasons for excepting an activity
from the presumption in favor of liberty. The above list, however, seems to exhaust the
reasons that might be relevant to the existence of a right to own a gun . I assume, in particular, that the
following sort of consideration would not suffice to reject a prima facie right to do A: that a modest statistical correlation exists between doing
A and engaging in other, wrongful activities. Thus, suppose that people who read the Communist [299] Manifesto are slightly more likely than
the average person to attempt the violent overthrow of the government. (This might be because such people are more likely to already have
designs for overthrowing the government, and/or because the reading of the book occasionally causes people to acquire such intentions.) I take
it that this would not show there is no prima facie right to read the Communist Manifestothough perhaps the situation would be otherwise if
the reading of the Manifesto had a very strong tendency to cause revolutionary efforts, or if the occurrence of this effect did not depend on
further free choices on the part of the reader.

There is a prima facie right to own a gun under all of these criteria
Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]

Given the presumption in favor of liberty, there is at least a prima facie right to own a gun,
unless there are positive grounds of the sort discussed in 2.1 for denying such a right. Are
there such grounds? (i) Begin with the principle that one lacks a right to do things that harm
others, treat others as mere means, or use others without their consent. It is difficult to see
how owning a gun could itself be said to do any of those things, even though owning a gun
makes it easier for one to do those things if one chooses to. But we do not normally prohibit
activities that merely make it easier for one to perform a wrong but require a separate
decision to perform the wrongful act. (ii) Consider the principle that one lacks a right to do
things that impose unacceptable, though unintended, risks on others. Since life is replete
with risks, to be plausible, the principle must use some notion of excessive risks. But the risks
associated with normal ownership and recreational use of firearms are minimal. While
approximately 77 million Americans now own guns, the accidental death rate for firearms
has fallen dramatically during the last century, and is now about .3 per 100,000 population.
For comparison, the average citizen is nineteen times more likely to die as a result of an
accidental fall, and fifty times more likely to die in an automobile accident, than to die as a
result of a firearms accident. Some may think that the firearms accident statistics miss the point: the real risk that gun
ownership imposes on others is the risk that the gun owner or someone else will lose control during an argument and decide to shoot his
opponent. Nicholas Dixon argues: In 1990, 34.5% of all murders resulted from domestic or other kinds of argument. Since we are all capable of
heated arguments, we are all, in the wrong circumstances, capable of losing control and killing our opponent.Footnote In [303] response, we
should first note the invalidity of Dixons argument. Suppose that 34.5% of people who run a 4-minute mile have black hair, and that I have
black hair. It does not follow that I am capable of running a 4-minute mile. It seems likely that only very atypical individuals would respond to
heated arguments by killing their opponents. Second,

Dixons and McMahans claims are refuted by the


empirical evidence. In the largest seventy-five counties in the United States in 1988, over 89
percent of adult murderers had prior criminal records as adults. This reinforces the common
sense view that normal people are extremely unlikely to commit a murder, even if they have
the means available. So gun ownership does not typically impose excessive risks on others .
(iv) Consider the idea that individuals lack a right to engage in activities that reasonably
appear to evince an intention to harm or impose unacceptable risks on others. This principle
does not apply here, as it is acknowledged on all sides that only a tiny fraction of Americas
77 million gun owners plan to commit crimes with guns. (v) It might be argued that the total social cost of private
gun ownership is significant, that the state is unable to identify in advance those persons who are going to misuse their weapons, and that the
states only viable method of significantly reducing that social cost is thus to prevent even noncriminal citizens from owning guns. But this is not
an argument against the existence of a prima facie right to own a gun. It is just an argument for overriding any such right. In general, the fact
that restricting an activity has beneficial consequences does not show that no weight at all should be assigned to the freedom to engage in it; it
simply shows that there are competing reasons against allowing the activity. (Compare: suppose that taking my car from me and giving it to you
increases total social welfare. It would not follow that I have no claim at all on my car.) It is difficult to deny the existence of at least a prima
facie right to own a gun. But this says nothing about the strength of this right, nor about the grounds there may be for overriding it. Most gun
control advocates would claim, not that there is not even a prima facie right to own a gun, but that the right is a minor one, and that the harms
of private gun ownership, in comparison, are very large. [304]

Gun Ban Violates Right Of Self-Defense


Gun prohibition seriously violates the right of self-defensealternative means of self-defense
fail
Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

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We turn to premise 2, that gun prohibition is serious as a violation of the right of selfdefense. Consider: Example 2 As in example 1, except that the victim has a gun by the bed, which he would, if able, use to defend himself
from the killer. As the killer enters the bedroom, the victim reaches for the gun. The accomplice grabs the gun and runs away, with the result
that the killer then stabs his victim to death. The accomplices action in this case seems morally comparable to his action in example 1. Again,
he has intentionally prevented the victim from defending himself, thereby in effect assisting in the murder. The arguments from the criteria for
the seriousness of rights-violations are the same. The analogy between the accomplices action in this case and a general firearms prohibition

A firearms ban would require confiscating the weapons that many individuals keep
for self-defense [308] purposes, with the result that some of those individuals would be
murdered, robbed, raped, or seriously injured. If the accomplices action in example 2 is a major violation of the right
should be clear.

of self-defense, then gun prohibition seems to be about equally serious as a violation of the right of self-defense. Consider some objections to
this analogy. First, it might be said that in the case of a gun ban, the government would have strong reasons for confiscating the guns, in order
to save the lives of others, which (we presume) is not true of the accomplice in example 2. This, I think, would amount to arguing that the selfdefense rights of non-criminal gun owners are overridden by the states need to protect society from criminal gun owners. I deal with this
suggestion in 5 below. Second, it might be argued that example 2 differs from a gun ban in that the murder is imminent at the time the accomplice takes the gun away. But this seems to be morally irrelevant. For
suppose that the accomplice, knowing that someone is coming to kill the victim tomorrow (while the victim does not know this), decides to take the victims gun away from him today, again resulting in his death. This would not
make the accomplices action more morally defensible than it is in example 2. A third difference might be that, whereas we assume that in example 2 the accomplice knows that the victim is going to be killed or seriously injured,
the state does not know that its anti-gun policy will result in murders and injuries to former gun-owners. This, however, is surely not true. Although the state may claim that the lives saved by a gun ban would outnumber the lives
cost, one cannot argue that no lives will be cost at all, unless one claims implausibly that guns are never used in self-defense against life-threatening attacks. Some will think the former claim is all that is needed to justify a gun ban;
this would return us to the first objection. Fourth, it may be observed that in example 2, there is a specific, identifiable victim: the accomplice knows who is going to die as a result of his gun-confiscation. In contrast, a gun-banning
government cannot identify any specific individuals who are going to be killed as a result of its gun ban, even though it can predict that some people will be. But this seems morally irrelevant. Consider: Example 3 An accomplice
ties up a family of five somewhere in the wilderness where he knows that wolves roam. He has good reason to [309] believe that a pack of wolves will happen by and eat one or two of the family members (after which they will be
satiated), but he doesnt know which ones will be eaten. He leaves them for an hour, during which the mother of the family is eaten by the wolves. In this case, the fact that the accomplice did not know who would die as a result of
his action does not mitigate his guilt. Likewise, it is unclear how the states inability to predict who will become the victims of its anti-gun policy would mitigate the states responsibility for their deaths or injury. Fifth, the victims of

Unfortunately, statistics
from the National Crime Victimization Survey indicate that such alternative means of selfprotection would be relatively ineffectiveindividuals who defend themselves with a gun are
less likely to be injured and far less likely to have the crime completed against them than are
persons who take any other measures. Consequently, though the present consideration seems to mitigate the states
a gun ban would presumably have sufficient forewarning of the coming ban to take alternative measures to protect themselves, unlike the victim in example 2.

culpability, it does not remove it. The situation is analogous to one in which the accomplice, rather than taking away the victims only means of
defending himself against the killer, merely takes away the victims most effective means of self-defense, with the result that the victim is killed.

Since gun prohibition is a significant


violation of an extremely weighty right, we must conclude that it is a very serious rightsviolation. The above examples initially suggest that it is on a par with the commission of
(multiple) murders, robberies, rapes, and assaultsalthough the consideration of the
preceding paragraph may show that it is somewhat less wrong than that. The point here is
not that would-be gun banners are as blameworthy as murderers and other violent criminals
(since the former do not know that their proposals are morally comparable to murder and
have different motives from typical murderers). The point is just to assess the strength of the
reasons against taking the course of action that they propose.
Here, the accomplices action is less wrong than in example 2, but it is still very wrong.

There is a prima facie right of self-defense


Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

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I begin by arguing that the right of self-defense is extremely weighty. Consider this scenario: Example 1 A
killer breaks into a house, where two peoplethe victim and the accompliceare staying. (The accomplice need have no prior
interaction with the killer.) As the killer enters the bedroom where the victim is hiding, the accomplice enters through another door and
proceeds, for some reason, to hold the victim down while the killer stabs him to death. In this scenario, the killer commits what may be the
most serious kind of rights-violation possible. What about the accomplice who holds the victim down? Most would agree that his crime is, if not
equivalent to murder, something close to murder in degree of wrongness, even though he neither kills nor injures the victim. Considered
merely as the act of holding someone down for a few moments, the accomplices action [307] seems a minor rights-violation. What makes it so
wrong is that it prevents the victim from either defending himself or fleeing from the killerthat is, it violates the right of self-defense. (To
intentionally and forcibly prevent a person from exercising a right is to violate that right.) We may also say that the accomplices crime was that
of assisting in the commission of a murderthis is not, in my view, a competing explanation of the wrongness of his action, but rather an

Since the right of self-defense is a derivative right, serving to protect


the right to life among other rights, violations of the right of self-defense will often cause or
enable violations of the right to life. It is common to distinguish killing from letting die. In this
example, we see a third category of action: preventing the prevention of a death. This is
distinct from killing, but it is not merely letting die, because it requires positive action. The
example suggests that preventing the prevention of a death is about as serious a wrong as
killing. In any case, the fact that serious violations of the right of self-defense are morally comparable to murder serves to show that the
elaboration on the first explanation.

right of self-defense must be a very weighty right. The intuition of the extreme wrongness of the accomplices act is supported by the criteria

First, the right to life is of foremost importance to


individuals ability to carry out their plans for their own lives. Second, the right of selffor the seriousness of rights-violations suggested in 2.3.

defense is very important to protecting individuals right to life . Third, holding down a
person who is being stabbed is extremely serious as a violation of the right of self-defense.

Handguns Key
Handguns are the most suitable weapons for self-defensealternatives cant solve
Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

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Thus far, we have considered gun control only in the extreme form of a ban on all guns. What of more limited measures? Here I mention just

First, many support a ban on all handguns. Second,


many states either prohibit or place severe restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons
in public places. What do our arguments based on the right to own a gun imply about these
measures? I think that these measures are also serious rights-violations, though not as
serious as a complete gun ban. The reason is that they (would) create severe impediments to
individuals defending themselves. The features of handguns that make them useful to
criminals are also the features that make them the most suitable weapons for self-defense
purposesthe fact that they are small and light, require little strength or skill to wield
effectively, and are widely feared. Furthermore, for various [324] reasons, almost no one in our society would carry a gun for
self-protection unless they were able to carry it concealed. Almost no one would carry any kind of gun other than
two of the more common measures proposed or enacted.

a handgun for self-protection. So laws that prevent law-abiding citizens from carrying
concealed weapons, or from owning handguns at all, effectively eliminate self-defense uses
of guns outside the home , to the extent that the laws are obeyed. We have seen that the best available
evidence indicates that such laws increase rather than decrease crime; thus, there is no case for overriding victims self-defense rights. All
mentally competent, noncriminal adults should therefore be allowed to own and carry concealed handguns. The fewer impediments or costs
are placed in the way of their doing so, the better, since any such impediments can be expected to decrease the rate at which victims defend
themselves much more than they can be expected to decrease the rate at which criminals carry guns.

Guns Key Empirics


National surveys confirmAmericans frequently use guns for self-defense
Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

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5.2.1. Frequency of Defensive Gun Uses Guns are used surprisingly often by private citizens
in the United States for self-defense purposes. Fifteen surveys, excluding the one discussed
in the following paragraph, have been conducted since 1976, yielding estimates of between
760,000 and 3.6 million defensive gun uses per year, the average estimate being 1.8 million.
Probably among the more reliable is Kleck and Gertz 1993 national survey, which obtained
an estimate of 2.5 million annual defensive gun uses, excluding military and police uses and
excluding uses against animals. Gun users in 400,000 of these cases believe that the [313] gun certainly or almost certainly
saved a life.Footnote While survey respondents almost certainly overestimated their danger, if even
one tenth of them were correct, the number of lives saved by guns each year would exceed
the number of gun homicides and suicides. For the purposes of Kleck and Gertz study, a defensive gun use requires
respondents to have actually seen a person (as opposed, for example, to merely hearing a suspicious noise in the yard) whom they believed
was committing or attempting to commit a crime against them, and to have at a minimum threatened the person with a gun, but not

Klecks statistics imply that defensive gun uses outnumber crimes


committed with guns by a ratio of about 3:1. While Klecks statistics could be an overestimate, one should bear three
necessarily to have fired the gun.

points in mind before relying on such a hypothesis to discount the defensive value of guns. First, Klecks figures would have to be very large
overestimates in order for the harms of guns to exceed their benefits. Second, one would have to suppose that all fifteen of the surveys alluded

Third, it is not clear prima facie that an overestimate is more likely than
an underestimate; perhaps some respondents either invent or misdescribe incidents, but
perhaps also some respondents either forget or prefer not to discuss their defensive gun uses
with a stranger on the telephone.
to have contained overestimates.

Empirics proveguns are a very effective means of self-defense


Hsiao 15
Timothy Hsiao (professor of philosophy at Florida State University). Against Gun Bans and Restrictive Licensing. Essays in Philosophy, Vol. 16,
No. 2. July 7th, 2015. http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1531&context=eip

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It is a fact that guns provide considerable defensive benefits. Simple armchair reflection reveals that guns are
especially suited toward this end. Guns are commonly touted as equalizers that control for physical disparities that are often exploited in

It is no wonder that the empirical evidence indicates that guns are frequently used
for self-defense. According to a 2013 report by the Institute of Medicine and National
Research Council, [a]lmost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by
victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses
ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000
violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.iv Perhaps the most famous of these surveys,
conducted by Kleck and Gertz (1995), found that guns were used defensively more around 2.5
violent crimes.

million times each year in the United States. Even if this number is exaggerated, as critics sometimes allege, it is no
exaggeration that there are a large number of defensive gun uses, and that this number is non-trivial. In addition to the
frequency of defensive uses, numerous studies have found that resisting violent crime with a
gun is correlated with lower injury rates.vi Indeed, it has been consistently found that
forceful resistance with a gun is more effective at fending off violent attack than both
resistance with other forceful means and non-resistance. Kleck and Delone (1993) assessed eight different forms
of robbery resistance and found that victim gun use was the resistance strategy most strongly and consistently associated with successful
outcomes for robbery victims. Southwick (2000) found that women who resisted an attack without a gun were four times more likely to be
seriously injured than women who resisted with a gun. Men who resisted with a gun were also less likely to be seriously injured than men who
either did not resist at all or who resisted without a gun.vii Kleck and Tark (2004: 861) assessed sixteen different forms of victim self-protection
and found that a variety of mostly forceful tactics, including resistance with a gun, appeared to have the strongest effects in reducing the risk
of injury. Guerette and Santana (2010) found that the odds of robbery and rape completion were decreased by 93 and 92 percent when a
victim resisted with a gun. It should also be noted that in the vast majority of cases where guns were used defensively, the gun was not fired.
According to Kleck (1999: 297), there are about 7,700 to 18,500 reported legal shootings of criminals a year, which would be less than 1% of all
defensive gun uses. The rest of defensive gun uses, then, involve neither killings nor woundings but rather misses, warning shots fired, or guns
used to threaten, by pointing them or verbally referring to them. Lott

(2010) found that in most cases, simply

brandishing a gun was sufficient to repel an attack.

Err Neg
Burden of proof is on the affshowing modest correlation between handguns and violent
crime isnt enough to override a prima facie right
Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

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I assume that
individuals have at least some moral rights that are logically prior to the laws enacted by the
state, and that these rights place restrictions on what sort of laws ought to be made. I assume that
2.1. Assumptions about the Nature of Rights I begin with some general remarks about the moral framework I presuppose.

we may appeal to intuitions to identify some of these rights. An example [298] is the right to be free from physical violence: intuitively, it is,
ceteris paribus, wrong for people to do violence to one another, and this limits what sort of laws may, morally, be madeit explains, for

I
further assume that we normally have a right to do as we wish unless there is a reason why
we should not be allowed to do soand hence that one who denies our right to act in a
particular way has the dialectical burden to provide reasons against the existence of the
instance, why the state ought not to pass a law according to which a randomly chosen person in each district is flogged each week.

right in question. In contrast, one who asserts a right need only respond to these alleged
reasons.

What sort of reasons would show that we have no right to engage in a particular activity? Consider three relevant possibilities:

(i) Plausibly, we lack even a prima facie right to engage in activities that harm others, treat others as mere means, or use others without their
consent. Thus, I have no claim at all (as opposed to having a claim that is outweighed by competing claims) to be allowed to beat up or rob
other people. (ii) Perhaps we lack a prima facie right to engage in activities that, even unintentionally, impose high risks on others, even if those
risks do not eventuate. If my favorite form of recreation involves shooting my gun off in random directions in the neighborhood, even if I am
not trying to hit anyone, my would-be right to entertain myself is at least overridden, but perhaps wholly erased, because of the danger to
others. (iii) Perhaps we lack a prima facie right to engage in activities that reasonably appear to evince an intention to harm or impose
unacceptable risks on others. For example, I may not run towards you brandishing a sword, even if I do not in fact intend to hurt you. The
principle also explains why we punish people for merely attempting or conspiring to commit crimes. There may be other sorts of reasons for
excepting an activity from the presumption in favor of liberty. The above list, however, seems to exhaust the reasons that might be relevant to

I assume, in particular, that the following sort of consideration


would not suffice to reject a prima facie right to do A: that a modest statistical correlation
exists between doing A and engaging in other, wrongful activities. Thus, suppose that people
who read the Communist [299] Manifesto are slightly more likely than the average person to
attempt the violent overthrow of the government. (This might be because such people are
more likely to already have designs for overthrowing the government, and/or because the
reading of the book occasionally causes people to acquire such intentions.) I take it that this
would not show there is no prima facie right to read the Communist Manifestothough
perhaps the situation would be otherwise if the reading of the Manifesto had a very strong
tendency to cause revolutionary efforts, or if the occurrence of this effect did not depend on
further free choices on the part of the reader.
the existence of a right to own a gun.

Err negthe aff has the burden of proofhandguns arent intrinsically bad, so presume that
we have a prima facie right to them
Hsiao 15
Timothy Hsiao (professor of philosophy at Florida State University). Against Gun Bans and Restrictive Licensing. Essays in Philosophy, Vol. 16,
No. 2. July 7th, 2015. http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1531&context=eip

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Since individuals have a right to self-defense, and since handguns are a reasonable means of
self-defense, these considerations suggest at the very least that there is a prima facie right to
own a gun for self-defense. There is also an additional argument from liberty: If private
ownership of some item does not involve any intrinsic evil, then there is a defeasible
presumption in favor of allowing individuals to own said item. Since handgun ownership is
not in itself intrinsically evil, there is a defeasible presumption in favor of private ownership
of handguns . The burden of proof is on the prohibitionist or restrictionist to justify any
proposed gun control measures, a burden that is implicitly accepted by most gun control
advocates when they appeal to the harms of gun ownership.

AT NCVS
NCVSs survey has a poor methodology
Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

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One survey, the National Crime Victimization Survey, obtained an estimate an order of
magnitude below the others. The NCVS statistics imply something in the neighborhood of
100,000 defensive gun uses per year. Though even this number would establish a significant
self-defense value of guns, the NCVS numbers are probably a radical underestimate, given
their extreme divergence from all other estimates. Kleck describes the methodological flaws
of the NCVS, one of the more serious being that the NCVS is a non-anonymous survey
(respondents provide their addresses and telephone numbers) which the respondents know
to be sponsored by the U.S. Justice Department. Respondents may hesitate to nonanonymously report their defensive gun uses to employees of the law enforcement branch of
the federal government, particularly if they believe there is any chance that they might be
accused of doing anything illegal. In addition, respondents are not asked specifically about
defensive gun uses, but are merely invited in a general way to describe anything they did for
self-protection. And respondents are not asked about self-protective actions unless they have
previously answered affirmatively to the crime victimization questions, and it is known that
the NCVS drastically underestimates at least domestic violence incidents ; only 22% of
domestic assaults appearing in police records (which may themselves be incomplete) were
mentioned by respondents to the survey.Footnote

AT Rights of Homicide Victims


The right of self-defense cant be overridden simply to save livesthe benefit has to
massively outweigh the harm to the rights-bearerrights are agent-centered constraints
Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

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In order to be justified as a case of the overriding of prima facie rights, gun prohibition would have to save many times as many lives as it cost,
for: 1. It is wrong to murder a person, even to prevent several other killings. (premise) 2. A violation of a person or groups right of self-defense,
predictably resulting in the death of one of the victims, is morally comparable to murder. (premise) 3. If it is wrong to commit a murder to

Therefore, it is
wrong to violate a person or groups right of self-defense, predictably resulting in the death
of one of the victims, even to prevent several killings. (from 1, 2, 3) 5. Therefore, it is wrong to violate a group of
prevent several killings, then it is wrong to commit a rights-violation comparable to murder to prevent several killings. 4.

peoples right of self-defense, predictably resulting in the deaths of many of the victims, even to prevent several times as many killings. (from 4)
6. Gun prohibition would violate a group of peoples right of self-defense, predictably resulting in the deaths of many of the victims. (premise)

Therefore, gun prohibition is wrong, even if it would prevent several times as many killings
as it contributed to. (from 5, 6) Similar arguments can be made concerning other rights
including, for example, the right to engage in ones chosen form of recreationthe general
point of which would be that the overriding of a right for consequentialist reasons requires a
7.

benefit not merely greater, but very much greater than the harm to the rights-bearer.

For

simplicity, however, I focus only on how the argument works with the right of self-defense. Consequentialists reject premise (1). But virtually all
who accept the notion of rights would accept (1). Consider

this well-worn example:Footnote Example 4 You


are a judge in a legal system in which judges render verdicts of guilt or innocence. You have a
defendant on trial for a crime [318] that has caused considerable public outrage. During the
course of the trial, it becomes clear to you that the defendant is innocent. However, the
public overwhelmingly believes him guilty. As a result, you believe that if the defendant is
acquitted, there will be riots, during which several people will be (unjustly) killed and many
others injured. Assume that the crime in question carries a mandatory death sentence.
Should you convict the defendant? Most people, including virtually all who believe in rights,
say the answer is no. If this is the correct answer, then we must conclude that it is wrong to
violate one persons rights (in particular, his right to life) even if doing so would prevent
several rights-violations of comparable seriousness. This is because rights function as agentcentered constraints : each individual is enjoined from violating rights, himself, rather than
being enjoined to cause a reduction in the total number of rights-violations in the world.
Footnote Something like premise (1) is essential for distinguishing a rights-based moral theory from a consequentialist theory.

AT Justifies Possessing Nukes


This misrepresents the argumentHuemers not presuming that all prima facie rights are
equally valid
Huemer 3
Michael Huemer (professor of philosophy at UC Boulder). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice, vol. 29, no. 2. April 2003.
http://www.owl232.net/guncontrol.htm

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Some object that strong gun rights positions imply the existence of a right to own all sorts of
weapons. Briefly, if there is a right to own a gun, then there is also a right to own a nuclear
missile, which is absurd. While my premises may support some prima facie right to own all
manner of weapons, from machine guns to nuclear missiles, the arguments of 4 do not
imply that all such prima facie rights are equally weighty , nor do those of 5 imply that the
reasons for overriding all such prima facie rights are of equal strength. Based on empirical
evidence discussed above, firearms, particularly handguns, are the most effective means of
self-defense against violent criminals, while both handguns and rifles are commonly used for
recreational purposes. It would be, to say the least, difficult to make a case for the
importance of nuclear missiles for either recreational or self-defense purposes , while it
would be easy to make a case for the overriding of any prima facie right to own a nuclear
missile. The reader may make his own assessment of the case for various other weapons.

AT Violent Crime Overrides Prima Facie Right


Proving that handgun possession leads to social harms on average doesnt deny the prima
facie right for everyonemeans reject a total ban
Hsiao 15
Timothy Hsiao (professor of philosophy at Florida State University). Against Gun Bans and Restrictive Licensing. Essays in Philosophy, Vol. 16,
No. 2. July 7th, 2015. http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1531&context=eip

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Let us suppose both that individuals have a prima facie right to own a gun and that handgun
ownership under permissive gun laws leads to more social harms than it is supposed to
prevent.iii In such a scenario, two questions present themselves. First, is a mere outweighing of negative consequences sufficient to defeat
an individual moral right to own a gun? Second, given that gun ownership leads to more harms than benefits, what type of gun policy should
we enact? Nicholas Dixon (1993; 1999; 2011) argues that a simple outweighing is enough to completely override the strength of any putative
right to own a gun, and hence advocates a total ban on handgun ownership. By contrast, David DeGrazia (2014a; 2014b) takes a self-described
moderate position, recommending instead a restrictive discretionary policy under which handgun ownership is permitted only for those who
can demonstrate a special need and who pass a rigorous course in handgun safety. This paper argues that neither approach is preferable and
that gun ownership should instead be subject to nondiscretionary oversight. I give two arguments against Dixon and DeGrazias proposals. The
first argument, which, like Dixons argument, is framed in terms of utilitarian considerations, holds that a reasonable gun policy is one that, all
things considered, minimizes the social harms of guns while maximizing their benefits. Since guns provide numerous and very real benefits to
many people, an effort should be made to maximize these benefits while minimizing their harms. This implies that at least some people should
be allowed to own guns, for even if gun ownership leads to more harms than benefits, it does not follow that the immediate utility-maximizing
solution is to enact a total ban on private gun ownership. Thus, a total ban is justified only as a last resort. According to the second argument,
which is framed in terms of rights, both a total ban and restrictive discretionary policies violate the rights of those for whom gun ownership is
not counterproductive.

Even if gun ownership on average results in a net increase in social harms, it

is false to say that therefore the prima facie right of every person to own a gun is defeated.
For many individuals, defensive gun ownership is beneficial both to themselves and others.
Hence these persons have an undefeated prima facie right to keep and bear firearms that
ought to be respected by the state. A total ban clearly violates this requirement , and while
DeGrazias moderate gun control avoids some of the problems associated with a total ban by
permitting gun ownership for certain qualified persons, it too violates the rights of gun
owners insofar as it requires all prospective owners to justify their need to the state, a
requirement which presumes that their right to own a gun has already been overridden.
Additionally, special need requirements misunderstand the purpose of gun ownership. What justifies the right to own guns is not the risk of
unjust attack (which, for most people, is very low), but the effectiveness they contribute in fending off unjust attacks when they do happen to
occur. It is therefore inappropriate to require that prospective gun owners demonstrate a need that goes beyond the desire for a reasonable
means of self-defense.

Morals Neg Constitution

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Aff Will Be Struck Down


The aff will be struck down so the Court can preserve judicial supremacy, empirics
prove
Softness 13
Benjamin S. Softness, Executive Editor Of Upenn Law Review, JD, Preserving Judicial Supremacy
Come Heller High Water, University of Pennsylvania Law Review Vol. 161: 623 [Premier,
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In displaying power-preservation tactics, Heller and McDonald are two in a line of cases that
includes Marbury v. Madison, 17 Brown v. Board of Education, 18 and, most recently, National Federation of
Independent Business v. Sebelius, 19 the Courts decision resolving the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. In all of these
cases, the Court set new legal precedent but demanded very little in practical effect. And in all of
these cases, a chief factor motivating the Court was the preservation of its own institutional
power. An exploration of the forces that motivate the Supreme Court is not simply an academic endeavor; it bears on the core of the
Courts function in our constitutional democracy.20 The Court issues nationally authoritative interpretations of the Constitution and federal
law, and these interpretations are binding on everyone, including government actors in the other coequal branches. Yet no part of the
constitutional text or structure technically gives the Court this awesome power.21 The

Court relies on the publics, and the


other branches, belief in and deference to the Courts institutional role and competency .22 It
thus falls to the Court to preserve that influence through its primary institutional functionto wit, deciding
cases. Moreover, although this Comment explores power preservation primarily through two specific cases, the Courts repeated
attempts to preserve and conserve its power is a phenomenon the significance of which is only
increasing.23 It was almost certainly at play in the recent landmark ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act.24 And, as will be discussed,
it has emerged at many key moments throughout the history of the Supreme Court.
Given the hot-button nature of the issue, the Court did well to rule narrowly and hence make only minimal demands of citizens and
the political branches. On a divisive issue, the more the Court had asked for, the more influence it would have had to leverage. Instead, the
Courts approach enunciated a principle and effectively delegated the responsibility for effecting and defining that principle to the democratic
branches of the federal and state governments. It left those bodies in charge of gun policy while nonetheless preserving the power to review
future rights violations. The Heller

and McDonald decisions thus conformed to the power-preserving minimalist

model. Like Marbury and Brown, both opinions were issued out of an awareness of the perceived importance of avoiding unenforceable
orders.180 Justice Stevenss concern that courts would engage in case-bycase judicial lawmaking to define the contours of acceptable guncontrol181 has proven unfounded; those contours remain the purview of the democratic branches of government. To be sure, the Courts lack
of guidance leaves open the question of whether lower courts are giving proper effect to the Courts rulings.182 It could be that the Supreme
Court intended to delegate much of the job of interpreting the Second Amendment to the political branches, as seems to have happened, or it
could be that lower courts are under-enforcing the Second Amendment to the Courts chagrin (which could itself be power preservation by
lower courtsapplying the right rule while avoiding unenforceable holdings). However, there are good reasons to think that the lower courts
are applying the law correctly. First, a permissive rule aligns the federal Constitution with the forty-two state constitutions that already protect
an individual right to bear arms.183 Second, even the narrow holding was a significant change in the law. The survival of most gun control
legislation did not dampen the victory for gun-rights advocates.184 In particular, the Bush Administration, which filed an amicus brief in Heller
supporting the individual right, concurrently listed the prosecution of gun crimes as one of its top enforcement priorities.185 Consistent with
that priority, the governments brief proposed an even more cabined interpretation of the Second Amendment than the one the Court
ultimately provided.186 In short, gun-rights advocates did not see Heller as a victory in name only.187 CONCLUSION In 2011, Dick Hellerof
Heller famelost his appeal before the D.C. Circuit.188 He had argued that D.C.s emergency legislation, enacted in the wake of Heller I, as it
might now be called, failed to cure the original constitutional defect.189 Dissenting from the panel opinion, Judge Kavanaugh wrote in twenty
words what I hope I have conveyed in a few thousand: Heller, while enormously significant jurisprudentially, was not revolutionary in terms of
its immediate real-world effects on American gun regulation.190 In my view, that was precisely the point. The Court never intended to effect
a dramatic upheaval in the law191only to announce an important new rule and preserve its power. On that score, it appears to have
succeeded. The Court made a strong legal statement in uncharted constitutional waters, and it did so narrowly. It commanded very little action
and thus largely avoided the risk of defiance.
If power-preserving minimalism was at play, it may not have been to the exclusion of other minimalist forces. Professor Sunstein has
writtenand Justice Frankfurter would likely agreethat minimalism is the appropriate course for [adjudicating] large-scale moral or political
issues because it is democracy-forcing.192 This approach may have been particularly prudent with respect to gun control, since the cultural
contingency of the gun debate makes it a difficult dispute for the Court to settle through constitutional law.193 In other words, right up to
the discrete legal boundary set by the Court, Americans ought to decide what gun control laws are necessary through their elected

representatives. On the other hand, the

Court may have been wedging its figurative foot in the door,
preparing its own effort to chip away at the legality of gun control. There is support for the argument that
foot-in-the-door minimalism was not at play here,194 but it may be too early to say. In any event, given its historical and jurisprudential
similarities to Brown and Marbury, Heller

can be accurately categorized as an instance of powerpreserving minimalism. I am certainly not the first to suggest that the Court is concerned about its public
perception.195 I have, however, tried to provide a framework that helps categorize the Courts decisions in a way that accounts for their
impact on the Courts role and influence. That framework is a subtle expansion on Cass Sunsteins observation that narrow decisions are a
common starting point for doctrinal innovation.196 Narrow

decisions are also sometimes key to the Courts


power over legal doctrine more generally. That the Court may need to take deliberate steps
to preserve its influence should not be surprising in light of the foundations of judicial
supremacy.197 Without power, judgments are mere opinions without practical force. Understanding when power preservation is at play,
and (perhaps more critically) when it is called for, matters because judicial supremacy is a national treasure.198 By preserving its
soft power in cases that permit that tactic, the Court retains the ability to exert a more
forceful checking function on the other branches in cases unlike Hellercases in which the
luxury of minimalism is unavailable. These cases may include, as Justice Stone wrote in the famous Footnote Four, laws that
affect discrete and insular minorities, the very enactment of which reflect a failure of the democratic process.199 Cases like these are, by
hypothesis, countermajoritarian and thus stretch the Courts power to require change. These

cases present problems that


cannot be solved through politics. When they arise, the Courts ability to settle the law and
enforce constitutional justice where no other branch can do so is crucial . And although we tend to take
that power for granted, history teaches that preserving it is harder than it looks.

Heller Summary
The Supreme Court analyzed Constitutional and historical context to determine Heller
-DeBoise 08
Constitutional Law-The Second Amendmentd. C. Statute Prohibiting The Possession Of A
Useable Handgun In The Home And Restricting Handgun Possession Is Unconstitutional. District
Of Columbia V. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008). Cumberland Law Review 39:1 [Premier, Premier
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The Supreme Court's rationale for its holding involved an indepth textual criticism of the Second Amendment. The

Court analyzed
the Second Amendment's context within the Constitution and examined its historical
precedent.25 The Court also separated the Second Amendment into its two textual components: the operative clause and the prefatory
clause. 6 The Court first examined the operative clause to determine whether the Second Amendment conferred an individual right or a
collective right to the people 27 and, secondly, to determine what the phrase "to keep and bear arms" means.28 The Court next analyzed the
prefatory clause to determine whether the Second Amendment applied only to a "well regulated militia."2 Finally, the Court evaluated the
textual relationship between the prefatory clause and the operative clause. 0 The

Court first decided that a textual


analysis of the operative clause evoked a strong presumption that the Second Amendment
confers an individual right rather than a collective right .31 Justice Scalia observed that
"[n]owhere else in the Constitution does a 'right' attributed to 'the people' refer to anything
other than an individual right."32 The Court arrived at this conclusion after comparing the
usage of the phrase "the people" throughout the Constitution as applied to rights versus its
usage as applied to the exercise 33 or limitations of power. With respect to the substance of the operative clause,
the Court concluded that to "keep and bear arms" follows the natural interpretation adopted in Muscarello
v. United States and in no way requires participation in military service
The Supreme Court resolved the apparent conflict between the prefatory clause and the operative clause by
interpreting the Second Amendment within the confines of the historical setting that
surrounded its drafting.36 The petitioners argued that a "well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State"3
limits the right to keep and bear arms to the individuals who are members of a military organization.3 The Supreme Court, however,
disposed of this argument by first adopting the original meaning of "[m]ilitia" set forth in United States v.
Miller,39 which stated that the militia, as understood at the time of the enactment of the
Second Amendment, included all able-bodied males.4 The Court also interpreted the phrase "a free state" to
mean a free polity or country. Considering the Second Amendment's historical origins, the Court concluded that the prefatory clause was
intended to state a purpose for which the Amendment was enacted but not to act as a restriction on the operative clause or on other purposes
that 42 could be effectuated by conferring the right to bear arms. The

Court further supported its interpretation of


the Second Amendment by comparing similar gun-right provisions in analogous state
constitutions along with various court interpretations of their meanings .43 In addition, the
Court progressed through common law interpretations from before the Amendment's
ratification through the post-civil war interpretations.' The Court also analyzed prior Supreme
Court precedents to ensure that previous decisions did not foreclose its conclusion that the
D.C. statutes violate 45 the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The Supreme Court
referenced the leading case on the Second Amendment, United States v. Cruikshank," to
support its conclusion that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to the people
of the United States. In Cruikshank, a group of white citizens were charged with conspiracy to prevent and deprive Levi Nelson and
Alexander Tillman, both African American citizens, of their "free exercise and enjoyment of rights and privileges 'granted and secured' to
them,"48 which included depriving them of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.49 The three named defendants were found guilty

by a jury on the first series of counts - 50 including the count of interference with the right to bear arms. 0 The defendants appealed the verdict,
and, consequently, the Su- preme Court granted certifications to determine whether the motion in arrest ofjudgment should be granted."

The Heller case hinged on the question of whether or not the 2nd amendment
guaranteed a personal right to bear arms.
Oyez 07
[Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech. "District of Columbia v. Heller." Oyez.
https://www.oyez.org/cases/2007/07-290 (accessed December 9, 2015).] [Premier, Premier
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For the first time in seventy years,

the Court heard a case regarding the

Amendment and its relation to gun control laws . After


barring the registration of handguns,

the

central

meaning of the Second

D istrict of C olumbia passed legislation

requiring licenses for all pistols , and mandating that all legal firearms must be kept

unloaded and disassembled or trigger locked,

a group of private gun-owners brought suit claiming the laws

violated their Second Amendment right

to bear arms. The federal trial court in Washington D.C. refused to grant the

plaintiffs relief, holding that the Second Amendment applies only to militias, such as the National Guard, and not to private gun ownership.

The Supreme Court determined that the second amendment contains a personal right
to posses a firearm a ban would be unconstitutional.
Oyez 07
[Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech. "District of Columbia v. Heller." Oyez.
https://www.oyez.org/cases/2007/07-290 (accessed December 9, 2015).] [Premier, Premier
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Yes . In a 5-4 decision , the Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to
possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia , and to use that firearm for
lawful purposes, such as

self-defense

within the home.

traditionally

The Court based its holding on the text of the

Second Amendment , as well as applicable language in state constitutions adopted soon after the Second Amendment. Justice
Antonin Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court. Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer filed dissenting opinions, each joined by the
other as well as Justices David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Stevens argued that the Second Amendment only protects the rights of
individuals to bear arms as part of a well-regulated state militia, not for other purposes even if they are lawful. Justice Breyer agreed with
Stevens' argument but also stated that even if possession were to be allowed for other reasons, any law regulating the use of firearms would
have to be "unreasonable or inappropriate" to violate the Second Amendment. In Breyer's view, the D.C. laws at issue in this case were both
reasonable and appropriate.

Critical Neg Ableism

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Link
Discourse of labeling violent actions as due to mental illness scapegoats and
stigmatizes mentally ill people.
Arkles 13
[Gabriel Arkles, Associate Academic Specialist at Northeastern University School of Law, GUN
CONTROL, MENTAL ILLNESS, AND BLACK TRANS AND LESBIAN SURVIVAL. 2013. Southwestern
Law Journal] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Accepting the

assumption that someone who does bad, violent things or at least really bad, violent things, things
tell
us anything about why violence happens, how to prevent it, or how to respond once it has happened.
It also doesnt tell us anything about the proclivities of people labeled as mentally ill (to say it is a tiny
like killing a lot of white childrenis crazy because it just is crazy to do those things, though, doesnt get us very far. It doesnt

minority of people who are labeled as mentally ill because they have killed children would be a drastic overstatement of the numbers).186 For
example, while some people make much of the fact that the Virginia Tech shooter had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder,187 he is in the
company of more than 18% of Americans,188 most of whom do not open fire on their classmates. This assumption does, however,

stigmatize and scapegoat mentally ill people.189 It allows normal people to disavow any role
in or potential for violence.190 After the Holocaust, one reaction was to blame it on Hitlers insanity.191 Whether or not Hitler
was crazy, though, he was not the only person responsible for the murder of eleven million Jews, Roma, disabled people, and queer people. As
a scapegoating technique, this link need not be logical. It sacrifices a marginalized group for the comfort of others. A press release about a
recent New York gun law, for example, proclaims that the legislation will keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous mental health
patients. 192 This proclamation succeeds in painting a picture of who is responsible for gun violence while

sidestepping the
reality that everyone, whether they have received mental health treatment or not, is potentially dangerous. This
focus also neatly evades challenges to the status quo and deflects attention from racial and gender privilege . An
alternative approach to Newtown, for example, might interrogate the ways that society leads white men
to believe that they are entitled to control the bodies and lives of women and children; that they
own public spaces, and that rage, lust and aggression are the only acceptable feelings for them.193 In fact, mental illness is not linked to
violence more strongly than gender is; it would make at least as much sense to lock up all men as a preventive measure as it would to lock up
all mentally ill people.194 I am not suggesting that racism and sexism are the whole reason for Newtown, at least in a direct and simple way;
most white men do not kill as Adam Lanza did. When

we focus on mental illness, though, we are making a choice to


focus negative attention on a marginalized characteristic, rather than a privileged one, with
even less justification for doing so.

Critical Neg Black Americans

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Black Self-Defense
[could be a PIC that allows black Americans the right to own a handgun or used for
different sorts of race Ks]
Black Americans face state tyranny the right to own a handgun is crucial to Black Self
Defense
Cottrol 14, Robert J. Second Amendment, Constitutional Dysfunction or Necessary Safeguard? Boston University Law Review 49 [2014]: 837-850) [Premier,
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. The United States has been spared the reign of mad
dictators bent on subjugating, terrorizing, and destroying whole populations. But state
tyranny can come in other forms, including the deliberate refusal of authorities to protect unpopular
groups from violence by hostile majorities. A number of scholars, myself included, have written about this from
the perspective of the Afro-American experience, and how a right to arms played an
important role in mitigating racial violence during the Jim Crow era and in providing the
physical protection that enabled the voter registration efforts and other activities of civil rights workers in the
South in the 1950s and 1960s.54 These examples should not be disregarded as simply historical examples from a past that is now mercifully, or hopefully, far behind us. Instead
they should be seen as case studies in the need for vulnerable minorities to have the means
of self-defense. The names of the minorities who might have such needs will change over time, but the principle that there is a need for the
means of self-defense, that it should not be taken away, and that it is dangerous to force a
people to rely solely on the state for protection, remains sound policy, and not an example of
constitutional dysfunction. [849-50]
We should approach the notion that it cannot happen here with due humility

Historically, Black Americans havent had the right to bear arms the state ignores
them so they must protect themselves
Cottrol 14, Robert J. Second Amendment, Constitutional Dysfunction or Necessary Safeguard? Boston University Law Review 49 [2014]: 837-850) [Premier,
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, the historiography of
the black experience was at the periphery of the historical profession's consciousness, an
area of scholarly endeavor populated by those who were either ignored or regarded with
suspicion by the mainstream of the academy. Not until after World War II did the insights that could be learned from the history of American
race relations begin to have a major influence on the works of constitutional policy makers in courts, legislatures, and administrative bodies. Moreover, it should be
stressed that, for a good portion of the twentieth century, the courts found ways to ignore the constitutional
demands imposed by the reconstruction amendments. While discussion of the Second
Amendment has been relegated to the margin of academic and judicial constitutional
discourse, the realization that there is a racial dimension to the question, and that the right
may have had greater and different significance for blacks and others less able to rely on the
government's protection, has been even further on the periphery. The his tory of blacks and
the right to bear arms, and the failure of most constitutional scholars and policymakers to
seriously examine that history, is in part another instance of the difficulty of integrating the study of the black experience into larger questions of legal and
social policy. Throughout American history, black and white Americans have had radically different experiences
with respect to violence and state protection. Perhaps another reason the Second Amendment has not been taken very seriously by the courts
There are interesting parallels between the history of African-Americans and discussion of the Second Amendment. For most of this century

and the academy is that for many of those who .shape or critique constitutional policy, the state's power and inclination to protect them is a given. But for all too many black Americans, that

. If in the past the state refused to protect black


people from the horrors of white lynch mobs, today the state seems powerless in the face of
the tragic black-on-black violence that plagues the mean streets of our inner cities, and at
times seems blind to instances of unnecessary police brutality visited upon minority
populations. [359-360]
protection historically has not been available. Nor, for many, is it readily available today

Symbolic Racism
Symbolic racism through decisions regarding policy is underpinned by an anti-black
affect.
OBrien 13
[Kerry OBrien, Behavioural Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Walter Forrest,
School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom;
Dermott Lynott, Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom.
Institute of Sociomanagement, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Racism, Gun Ownership and Gun Control: Biased Attitudes in US Whites May Influence Policy
Decisions October 2013. PLOS ONE.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Most prominently, symbolic

racism (racial resentment), an explicit but subtle form and measure of racism,
has been found to be consistently related to peoples decisions regarding policies that may
affect non-white US citizens. It is argued that symbolic racism supplanted old-fashioned or
overt/blatant racism which had seen blacks as amoral and inferior, and was associated with open support for race inequality and
segregation under Jim Crow Laws [25]. Research following the US civil-rights movement suggested that anti-black racism and stereotyping, as
assessed by blatant measures, had declined [26]. However, subsequent research revealed that people may merely be reluctant to express
racism and negative stereotyping on these blatant measures in order to avoid appearing racist [27,28]. This observation

led to the
conceptualization and measurement of more subtle measures of racism, such as, symbolic
racism [25]. Symbolic racism is a belief structure underpinned by both anti- black affect and
traditional values [29]. The anti-black affect (racism) component of symbolic racism is said to be established in
pre-adult years through exposure to negative black stereotypes (e.g. blacks as dangerous, blacks are lazy), to
the point that phenomena such as crime and physical violence have become typified as black
phenomena [30]. The anti-black affect is not necessarily conscious or deliberative, but may be felt as fear, anger, unease, and hostility
towards blacks [29,31,32]. The symbolic component reflects the abstract view of blacks as a collective rather than as individuals, as well as its
basis in abstract white moralistic reasoning and traditions. Because symbolic racism represents an ingrained schema, individuals

high
in symbolic racism will react in a negative manner, often unconsciously, to issues perceived to
involve a racial (i.e. black) component. Psychometric work shows that while symbolic racism has a small relationship with oldfashioned or blatant racism and stereotypes, only symbolic racism is associated with policy preferences related
to race after controlling for conservative and political ideology and demo- graphic
characteristics (e.g., education, gender, age) [33]. Policies of which blacks or whites are the intended or obvious beneficiaries (e.g.
affirmative action, school busing) should easily be perceived as involving a racial component. But other policies may also involve a
perceived racial component merely because they concern an issue that is already understood
by whites in racial (black) terms. Thus, symbolic racism has been linked to opposition to and
support for a range of policies that whites consistently associate with blacks (e.g., welfare),
even if it is not in the self- interest of whites to do so [2225,32]. This is also likely to explain the frequently
observed correlations between symbolic racism and public opinion regarding a range of criminal justice policies (e.g. death penalty, mandatory
sentences). There

is substantial evidence that whites associate blacks with crime, and especially
violent crime [19,30]. The result of this conflation of race and crime is that whites high on
symbolic racism will support policies that are perceived as being tough on crime and oppose
policies that are considered lenient. Green and colleagues [34] have found a positive relationship between symbolic racism
and punitive crime policies (i.e., death penalty, three strikes imprisonment), and negative correlation with policies that are intended to assist
criminals (i.e., education of inmates, poverty reduction). And although conservative ideologies and racism are inherently related, symbolic

racism makes a unique contribution to crime policy attitudes after accounting for other race-neutral factors (e.g., conservatism, crime
victimization, crime news exposure, and socio-demographics) [34]. More generally, symbolic

racism should also correlate


with fear of crime and black violence, along with attitudes to policies that may reduce, or
increase, perceived threat (e.g., gun ownership, gun control). Self-protection and physical safety (e.g., fear)
are the most commonly cited reason for owning a gun and opposing gun control and blacks
are overrepresented in the crime statistics and media portrayals of violent crime.
Accordingly, people with higher symbolic racism may be more likely to own a gun and oppose
gun control as a means of dealing (consciously or unconsciously) with abstract fears regarding blacks [19].

Methodology of study
OBrien 13
[Kerry OBrien, Behavioural Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Walter Forrest,
School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom;
Dermott Lynott, Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom.
Institute of Sociomanagement, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Racism, Gun Ownership and Gun Control: Biased Attitudes in US Whites May Influence Policy
Decisions October 2013. PLOS ONE.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
The most recent data from the American National Election Study (ANES) [35] was used to test
the hypothesis. The ANES panel study is the leading large-scale psychological and sociopolitical attitudes survey in the US, measuring various constructs and attitudes in monthly
waves from a representative probability sample of US voters. Explanatory variables, including
demo- graphic details (i.e., age, gender, education, income, location: southern vs. other), anti-government
sentiment, measures of conservatism (e.g., liberal versus conservative ideology), party identification (e.g.,
Republican versus Democrat leanings), sym- bolic racism, belief in a black violent stereotype, and implicit
racism (i.e., race IAT), were accessed for US whites. Outcome measures were: having a gun in the
home, opposition to policies banning handguns in the home, and support for permits to carry
concealed handguns. Potential participants for the ANES were contacted via telephone using random-digit-dialling and requested to
complete an online survey each month from January 2008 to September 2009. Respondents were paid $10 a month for participation and those
without internet access were provided with internet service for the duration of the study. The

current study drew on data


from several waves of the ANES survey. To counter the impact of participant drop-out and non-response on the
representativeness of the sample examined in the current study we applied ANES generated weights as recommended (i.e. wave 20 postelection weight) [35]. The comprehensive ANES panel study demographics, data, materials and methods are freely available online at
(http://www.electionstudies.org/).

Gun control targets black Americans


Babat 09
Babat, David, "The Discriminatory History of Gun Control" (2009). Senior Honors Projects. Paper 140.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/srhonorsprog/140

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Gun control in the United States is based on a long history of discrimination which continues to this day.
While blacks were the first targets of gun control measures, different racial and ethnic
minorities have been targeted over time, and today the poor now face economic
discrimination in many gun control laws. Gun control may be portrayed as a measure to
reduce crime,1 but even in its earliest forms firearms regulation has been used as a means to control specific societal groups by keeping them from possessing weapons. The
first selectively restrictive gun control legislation was enacted in the pre-Revolution South and primarily aimed at keeping free blacks from owning firearms and maintaining a white monopoly
on power. Many different forms o

f gun control laws were implemented before and after the Revolution to keep

firearms out of African-American hands. Even after the Civil War, Black Codes were enacted which
ensured that supposedly freed blacks would not have effective means to defend themselves,
and would remain an unarmed and subordinate group in society, unable to defend
themselves or fight for their legal and constitutional rights.

Critical Neg Feminism

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Link Gender Norms


Disallowing women from using masculine handguns ascribes gender norms
Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

[Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]


A more sinister explanation is that gun control is, symbolically, male control.11 Sociologist H. Taylor Buckner found that [o]verall, the women who support gun control do so in the context

women who have been subjected to force (almost always by


men) do not think that more gun laws will reduce violence against women.13 Women who
have been victimized by men are all too aware of the damage a man can inflict with just his bare
hands, feet, or common household items. Women may also want to avoid being seen as having masculine
traits such as gun ownership or proficiency because it is considered unladylike and
unattractive.14 Moreover, some women might not be able to see themselves in the role of a
protector or defender, and so delegate this responsibility to the man in their life or the
police.15 These women may be willing to sacrifice some measure of security in order to stay
within prescribed gender norms.
of controlling male violence and sexuality.12 Interestingly,

Self-Defense and Autonomy


HG key to self defense and autonomy of women
Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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Some womens issues affect only a particular class of women: maternity leave and parental benefits affect only women who
choose to become mothers, access to abortion affects only women of child-bearing age, and pay discrepancies affect only women in the work force. However, the fear of
violence affects all women.27 Some women may respond to this fear with denial or a pacifist determination to succumb rather than fight back, and that is their
choice. Others may decide, after careful consideration, that their bodies and lives are worth defending. These women must have a full range of
self-defense tools in order for their choice to be meaningful. Pervasive acceptance of
womens armed self-defense could help change the current rape culture and encourage
women to take responsibility for their own safety, while working for equality and an end to
patriarchy. Guns are safe when used by responsible adults, and are the most effective tool for
self-defense.28 Furthermore, removing restrictions on womens choices increases individual
freedom and can lead to greater personal autonomy.

Handguns protect freedom of women


Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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There was a time in this country when women had few choices about any facet of their livesperhaps the biggest choice a woman would ever make involved which man to marry as she
moved from her fathers house to her husbands house. American women today have many important choices: whether to pursue higher education, where and what kind; with whom to share
her life and whether she ought to marry; her vocation; where she will live; whether to become a mother; and even how to vote, thanks to the Nineteenth Amendment, ratified a mere ninety

. Choices are necessary for the freedom to do, not do, become, or not become something.65 Freedom to make choices,
as well as freedom from external forces such as patriarchy and violence, are both necessary
for autonomy: the ability of an individual to define her own conception of the good and
exercise control over her own life.66 There are many factors that can reduce a womans
choices in life, and therefore her freedom. Economic status, education level, others prejudice, even past choices, can all reduce available choices;
this is unfortunate, but perhaps unavoidable. However, there is no reason for a government to reduce the selfdefense
choices available to an individual, because gun control laws do not reduce crime.67 Women
can be trusted to make good decisions for themselves, evenor perhaps especiallyin
difficult situations.
years ago

Just like the right to choose, women ought to have the right to own handguns
Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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. Abortion rights and gun rights allow
what might be crucial private choices in extreme personal crises. However we come down
politically, in truly desperate circumstances many of us might want for ourselves or someone
we love the option offered by these two most controversial rights.68 The vast majority of women, if they were honest
The most morally or politically difficult choices to allow may be the most important for a woman in crisis

with themselves, could imagine a worst-case scenario in which they might want the option of an abortion. The same holds true for guns, and in fact, may involve less of a moral dilemma

even women who currently have no desire to own


a gun should support the right to keep and bear arms, just as women not currently
experiencing an unwanted pregnancy should support abortion rights. Since the crucial moment for an individual
cannot be predicted in advance, the rights must always be available and meaningful rather than a hollow guarantee, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Both freedom
from and freedom to are necessary for womens autonomy. Achieving freedom from the forces of patriarchy and its resulting
evils will continue to be a long, difficult, uphill climb. By contrast, the freedom to do, not do, become, or not become
something can be easily realized by removing the restrictions on womens choices.70
because the criminal aggressor has a malicious intent that the fetus lacks.69 Therefore,

Granting self defense to women is key to helping them become equal in society
Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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Women have won many legal battles in the last forty years,76 but true liberty and equality remain elusive.77 None of the various strategies employed by feminist legal pioneers have won the

Equal protection has not protected women from the discriminatory effects of laws
dealing with pregnancy or abortion.79 The undue burden standard transforms the right to abortion into a right to choose abortion, subject to
restrictions designed to impede and disparage the choice.80 The right to privacy implies that women should keep quiet
about reproductive matters and take care of their shameful business behind closed doors.81
war.78

Substantive due process is a legal fiction, and its amorphous protections are subject to the opinions of five justices of the Supreme Court.82 The Privileges or Immunities Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment should provide textual support for protection of natural rights, but it has been virtually read out of the Constitution by the Supreme Court, beginning with the
Slaughter-House Cases.83 The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment has been polluted by unprincipled use of substantive due process and should be abandoned for more fertile

Fifth Amendments Due Process Clause provides the most practical


and productive support for a right to bodily integrity and individual autonomy. The Fifth Amendment
provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. . . .84 The liberty component of this clause is
broad enough to protect an individuals rights to make her own medical decisions about
abortion and contraception, engage in consensual sexual behavior,85 and defend her bodily
integrity by any means necessary. More importantly, unless one persons liberty intrudes on anothers rights, no amount of process is sufficient to justify
a significant deprivation of the right.86 This approach is markedly different from substantive due process because
the substance comes from the guarantee of liberty, and any infringement, such as requiring
a license for concealed carry, would require a showing of actual processa procedural, not
substantive protection. Legally and politically, the best strategy to accomplish this shift is to argue for a
right to bodily integrity in the context of self-defense. There can be no legitimate governmental interest in depriving a woman of the
right to resist rape or death, just as there can be no legitimate interest in interfering with an individuals reproductive autonomy or private, consensual sexual conduct.87 The
advantage of presenting a self-defense argument to gain recognition of the right to bodily
integrity is that conservatives and liberals alike profess respect for the right of selfdefense.
Liberals may hate guns, but only the most hard-hearted would condemn a woman for
successfully using one in self-defense.88 Self-defense could be the ideal common ground to
build a foundation for expanded womens rights.
ground. Therefore, the almost identical text of the

Handguns force police to pay attention


Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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Professor MacKinnon said it best: [w]hat [women] need is change: for men to stop hurting them and using
them because they are women, and for everyone to stop letting them do it because they are men.34 Feminists have worked for

reforms aimed at recognizing women as people worthy of equality and respect, and this endeavor has been
quite successful in some areas,35 but there is still much work to be done.36 Changing hearts and minds is the ultimate goal.
However, until that dream becomes a reality, womens armed self-defense may be both a
strategy for achieving the goal, and a stopgap measure to prevent violence by men who refuse to see all women as fully human. Rape is tolerated, in part,
because most of the time only women are hurt and no one dies. If women began defending themselves with firepower, the
authorities might sit up and take notice. This strategy provided some benefits for Ku Klux Klan
victims in the 1930s: [A]rmed self-defense brought police intervention which martyrdom
would not have done. African-Americans, Catholics, Jews, immigrants, and radicals were
neither popular nor powerful in the areas in which the KKK thrived. Public authorities and influential private citizens
might well have been content to see unarmed victims brutalized or slain, if the violence could have been so confined. When victims arm themselves,
however, authorities are compelled to act lest incidents lead to widespread bloodshed and
disorder.37 The point is simple: while protecting the powerless may not be a high priority for public authorities, preserving order is. Police are likely to pay
more attention to a mans death than a womans rape; perhaps society would care more
about the latter if it had the potential to impact the former.

While force isnt desired, it is required until peace can be achieved


Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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Most men cannot comprehend the grievous harms of rape and domestic violence,40 but a widespread movement to prevent victimization
by any means necessary might help them begin to understand the consequencesboth for
women who are abused, and for men who attempt to harm an armed woman.41 If women
defended themselves violently, the amount of damage they were willing to do to would-be
assailants would be the measure of their seriousness about the limits beyond which they
would not be pushed. If more women killed husbands or boyfriends who abused them or their children, perhaps there would be less abuse. A large number of women
refusing to be pushed any further would erode, however slowly, the myth of the masochistic female which threatens all our lives.42 It is reasonable to believe that violence
against women would decrease once men begin to realize that attacking a seeminglydefenseless woman could be their destruction. The ideal, naturally, is a society of men and women who respect each other as equals and do
not use the threat of violence to dominate and control any group. Until then, the best strategy may be to achieve a social
equilibrium of nonviolence by arming women.43 Offensive violence may beget more violence,
but unyielding self-defense begets dtente.44 Peace would be preferable, but cessation of
violence is essential.

Sexual Assault / Rape


Rapists are rarely convicted or deterred
Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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The government cannot prevent all crime.132 Even if every police officer in the country were smart, honest, and completely committed to ending
violence against women, they could not stamp out rape or domestic violence. And even if police departments had the resources to station an officer on every city block and in every home and

police officers cannot be everywhere all the time.


. Punishing
people for crimes already committed has several benefits: it signals societys disapproval of
the behavior; deters others from committing a similar crime, because they too might be
apprehended and prosecuted; and if the offender is sent to prison, prevents him from committing any more crimes during that time. Unfortunately, the
American criminal justice system is not perfect. We are particularly bad at holding rapists criminally responsible. Due to societal and system failures,
most rapes are not reported to the police. Of those that are, most of the offenders are not punished. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network: 60% of
rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police. . . . If a rape is reported, there is a 50.8% chance of an arrest . If an arrest is made, there is an 80%
chance of prosecution. If there is a prosecution, there is a 58% chance of a conviction. If there
is a felony conviction, there is a 69% chance the convict will spend time in jail. So even in the
39[-40]% of attacks that are reported to the police, there is only a 16.3% chance the rapist
will end up in prison. Factoring in unreported rapes, about 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. 15 of 16 walk free.134 Granted, the number of unreported rapes is
business, most people would consider this an unacceptable intrusion. Simply put,

Expecting the police to prevent crime is unrealistic and impractical.133 While preventing crime is aspirational, punishing offenders is mandatory for any civilized society

an estimate, based on U.S. Department of Justice statistics, and the other numbers will vary slightly from year to year and by jurisdiction. What can be determined for sure is this: our criminal

Our failure to consistently punish likely contributes to the prevalence


of rape and the high recidivism rate.
justice system is bad at punishing rapists.135

Guns are key to preventing violence


Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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Women must get angry about being targets for abuse, believe that their bodily integrity and lives are worth defending, and act accordingly. The Aquarian idea that we would all be better able

a gun is the only equalizer that gives women a


fighting chance against their male aggressors. Perhaps someday peace will guide the planets and love
will steer the stars,146 but our current reality necessitates a womans right to defend herself
by any means necessary. Until men declare a truce in the war against women, we can settle
for dtente.
to make our own decisions in a gun controlled environment ignores one crucial fact:

Concealed Carry Good


Widespread concealed carry policies benefit all women, whether or not they own guns
Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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Widespread concealed carry may provide self-defense and psychological benefits for
individual women, and other benefits for women as a whole. Some of these societal benefits could be realized if more women simply obtained a concealed carry permit,
regardless of whether they actually choose to carry on a regular basis . Allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons
has been shown to deter violent crime.126 According to economist John Lott, the [deterrent] effect is especially
pronounced for women. An additional woman carrying a concealed handgun reduces the
murder rate for women by about three to four times more than an additional man carrying a
concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for men.127 Lott also found that rapists are particularly
deterred by handguns.128 Every woman who carries a gun is making the world a little bit safer
for her sisters: [c]itizens who have no intention of ever carrying concealed handguns in a
sense get a free ride from the crime-fighting efforts of their fellow citizens.129 This should be encouraged.

Evidence Comparison
Gun owners dont reflect anti-handgun feminist literature
Carlson 13
Carlson, J. "The Equalizer? Crime, Vulnerability, and Gender in Pro-Gun Discourse." Feminist Criminology 9.1 (2013): 59-83. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

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Most scholarship on gun culture has focused on one side of this contradiction, namely, the patriarchal
proclivities of pro-gun America and the association between firearms and masculine
domination. Connell (2005) and ONeill (2007) link guns to a violent masculine heroism (Connell, 2005, p.
214), while Melzer (2009) argues that NRA members embrace a mythologized frontier masculinity that
emphasizes mens heroic defense of the (White, heterosexual, conservative) social order. Burbick
(2006), who studied American gun shows, finds that gun proponents are embedded in a male fantasy that celebrates White masculinity, and Stroud (2012) argues that guns allow men to

gun carriers I interviewed contradict


straightforward narratives of masculine domination and patriarchy. Rather than maintaining
a male monopoly on guns, they actively promoted guns to women, oftentimes touting them
as the great equalizer, and I met no gun carrier who voiced opposition to the idea that women should be armed. To quote Will above, they believe that a
woman who can defend herself is very admirable. How can this discourse of inclusivity be reconciled with accounts of gun politics as
masculinist and patriarchal? While previous studies on gun culture and politics emphasize the overt masculine contours of gun culture, they gloss over the more
subtle juxtaposition of contradictory gender logics within pro-gun discourse. Indeed, gender scholars working in areas
enact hegemonic masculinity through fantasies of violence marked by race. However, the 71

other than gun politics have demonstrated that under cultural pressures for men to appear egalitarian, traditional masculinity has been softened, even among privileged men whom gender
scholars would expect to be most committed to maintaining dominance (Gallagher & Smith, 1999; Heath, 2003; Stein, 2005; Wilcox, 2004). This article shows that gun culture is not an
exception to this trend.

Stats are skewed - prefer neg studies on women and self defense
Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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Misleading statistics, myths, and common misperceptions may also be partly to blame. For instance, a common claim is that
a gun is more likely to be used against a family member than used in self-defense; however, the
study on which that claim is based only counted defensive gun uses (DGUs) that resulted in the
criminals death.18 This renders the study meaningless, since a criminal will usually run away as soon as he sees a gun, and no shots are
ever fired.19 The resulting statistic is extremely deceptive because less than 1% of life-saving DGUs
result in a criminals death, which means that over 99% of life-saving DGUs were not counted
in the study.20 This is just one example of the many ways statistics can be manipulated to further an anti-gun agenda. If open-minded women educated themselves about guns
and self-defense, they would discover that many of their fears are unfounded. The saddest explanation is that society, including women, generally tolerates
violence against women.21 Rape is ostensibly illegal, but overwhelmingly permitted in fact.22
Domestic violence and rape survivors are still stigmatized, shamed, and blamedeven by
other women. Women may be blaming survivors because they do not want to believe that
they themselves could ever become a victim; the idea being that if the survivor did something
wrong or brought it on herself, then it cant happen to me.23 And women who convince themselves they will never
be victims see no need for self-defensefor themselves or for anyone else.24 Both men and women downplay
the devastating effects of rape and domestic violence when they suggest that women should submit rather than defend their bodily integrity,25 or tell them their self-defense efforts would be
incompetent and counterproductive.26

full-fledged person.

All of this should be offensive to an adult woman who considers herself a

Safety / AT Accidents
Gun ownership is safe and killing rarely occurs
Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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A complete criminology of guns, with a discussion of the societal benefits of widespread firearm ownership by law-abiding Americans and the inefficacy of gun control, is beyond the scope of
this article.45 However, women should have some basic facts to aid them in their personal decision about gun ownership. A woman must first consider whether having a gun will make her

Research consistently shows that victims who resist with a gun are
less likely to be injured during a rape or robbery, and less likely to have a rape attempt completed, compared to victims who do not resist or
who resist without a weapon.46 [C]riminological studies find that, in confrontations with criminals, armed
citizens usually win.47 Moreover, armed citizens usually win without ever firing a shot because criminals who discover that their intended victim is armed usually flee
rather than picking a fight with someone who can fight back.48 If a woman must shoot a criminal in order to protect herself,
she is still unlikely to take a life because roughly eighty-five percent of those wounded by
gunshot survive if they get medical care.49 Many women are understandably concerned that having a gun in the home could lead to a family
members accidental death. However, fatal gun accidents are extremely rare,50 and are generally caused by an
unusually reckless subset of the population who often have a long record of violent crime,
heavy drinking, and other types of accidents.51 Women who have criminal records are unable
to purchase a gun, and those with a history of heavy drinking or risky behavior should
carefully consider whether having a gun would make them more or less safe, based on their
personal situations.52
more or less safe if she is targeted for victimization.

Women are safe with guns, empirics prove


Charles 11
Chalres, Lindsay. "FEMINISTS AND FIREARMS: WHY ARE SO MANY WOMEN ANTI-CHOICE?" CARDOZO JOURNAL OF LAW & GENDER 17.197
(n.d.): n. pag. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cardozolawandgender.com/uploads/2/7/7/6/2776881/17-2_charles_ws.pdf>.

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Nor are guns particularly dangerous in homes with young children. Women can use a gun safe to keep their firearm out of a
childs hands, or a trigger lock to render the gun inoperable, or both. Seemingly innocuous household items can actually
be a much greater threat. As Steven D. Levitt, of FREAKONOMICS fame, famously observed, on average, if you own a gun and have
a swimming pool in the yard, the swimming pool is almost 100 times more likely to kill a child
than the gun is.53 Thirty-nine children under the age of ten died due to a firearm accident in 2007; while tragic, this is much smaller than the number of those who died in
accidents involving motor vehicles (1190), suffocation (1150), drowning (637), or poisoning (65).54 Naturally, women with children in the home will
have to take safety precautions that single women living alone need not; again, this is an
individualized decision. Another common concern among women is that they, or someone in their household, will suddenly snap and shoot someone over a trivial
matter. This may be partly due to fear of the unknown by women who have never felt the awesome power and responsibility of holding a loaded gun. Women who genuinely feel that they

the
idea that ordinary people commit murder just because they happen to have a gun handy is
a myth; in fact, murderers are highly aberrant. They tend to have lifelong histories of felony,
extreme violence, and other hazardous behaviors (toward themselves as well as those around them), including car and
gun accidents, substance abuse, and psychopathology.55 Women who live with violent intimate partners should not introduce a gun
into the home, but could leave one with a trusted neighbor or in a safe-deposit box at their bank in case they need it in an emergency. A household comprised of
law-abiding, mentally healthy, reasonably prudent people is not at any great risk for a heatof-the-moment murder simply because there is a readily accessible firearm.56
have the capacity to lose control and take a life without justification obviously should not have access to a firearm, and may also want to get rid of their kitchen knives. However,

Critical Neg Statism K

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Handguns GoodTransition to Anarchy


Banning handgun ownership deprives people of an effective means of self-defensethats
needed in the interim for a peaceful transition to anarchy
Carrara 5
Chris Carrara. An Anarchist Case Against Gun Control. January 1st, 2005. http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/chris-cararra-an-anarchist-caseagainst-gun-control

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Anarchists envision a society without government, a world where individual people,


sometimes on their own and sometimes in cooperation with others, take care of themselves,
their needs, their desires. One can expect that in such a libertarian society, with no
restrictions on peoples freedom to engage in whatever non-coercive productive and
commercial activities they choose, and the absence of oppressive political institutions and
laws, there will be far fewer incidents of theft and physical attack than there are today. While
changing the world to eliminate poverty and institutional violence may be the ultimate
solution to the problem of violence and robbery, until that time non-coercive people need a
means of defense against those who are not as peaceful as they are. Most people now look
to the armed forces of the government, whether police or military, for such protection.
However, not only do police and military personnel do an abysmal job of protecting
individuals, they are often themselves the perpetrators of coercive violence. In light of this,
people need to look to themselves and their chosen communities for self-defense . Such a
strategy of self-defense must include the freedom to own and use handguns without putting
oneself at risk of arrest and/or violence by agents of the government. Many states and cities
in the United States have very restrictive laws against handgun ownership and use, under the
pretext that such laws keep handguns out of the possession of violent aggressors. In fact,
these statutes commonly do nothing of the sort. Their primary effect is to disarm peaceable
individuals and leave them at the mercy both of hoods and cops. Aggressors, who are already
violating various laws by killing, raping, robbing, etc, will not necessarily be deterred from
using guns by criminalizing their use as well. If they were afraid of laws they would not be
attacking other people to begin with. Gun control laws make the lives of human predators
easier, by depriving their potential victims of an effective means of defense.

Self-Defense vs. Oppressive State


Handgun bans undermine the ability of the oppressed to defend themselves against the
states violence
Carrara 5
Chris Carrara. An Anarchist Case Against Gun Control. January 1st, 2005. http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/chris-cararra-an-anarchist-caseagainst-gun-control

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The other people who benefit from gun control are the police. Without an armed populace
they can freely stop, search, and harass peaceable people, invade their homes, order them
from and search their vehicles, and confiscate their property without any fear of reprisal. In
order to combat such state-sponsored terrorism, wholesale abolition or evasion of gun
control laws and widespread ownership of guns is crucial . While individual possession of firearms may deter
routine traffic stops and harassment of peaceful people on the street by cops, it is important that any larger-scale attempt at armed selfdefense against police or other agents of the state involve more than just a few individuals. If small groups try to defend themselves against
police attacks, they can expect military-style assaults on their homes, as was demonstrated in Philadelphia in the MOVE bombing and in Waco
in the attack on the Branch Davidians. Only a coordinated neighborhood- or community-wide response has a chance of preventing or resisting

Laws regulating handgun possession and use have helped keep people from
fighting against their social and political oppressors. Bans on sales of cheap handguns, so
called Saturday night specials were instituted historically to keep weapons out of the hands
of peaceable poor people, who often were not able to afford more expensive guns and rifles.
This at one time left southern black people at the mercy of the KKK, and workers of all colors
no defense against the thugs hired by business owners during strikes and industrial actions.
such an offensive.

Related militia laws helped destroy the Lehr-und-Wehr-Verein armed organization in Chicago in the 1800s, a group organized to defend against

While it is certainly easier for poor


people in the United States to afford more expensive handguns than was once the case,
modern attempts to outlaw cheaper weapons, despite protestations of concern for the safety
of the user, will make it harder for those most in need to purchase a gun, rendering them
much less safe than they would be if they were free to defend themselves.
police attacks on rebellious workers, which included anarchists among its members.

Police Protection Bad


The aff insists we should all rely on cops, when cops fail to protect us and often victimize people
themselves! We should protect ourselves, not put all our hopes into the state
Carrara 5
Chris Carrara. An Anarchist Case Against Gun Control. January 1st, 2005. http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/chris-cararra-an-anarchist-caseagainst-gun-control

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The police and the laws which support them tell peaceable individuals that they must rely on
cops for their protection. Then they either fail to protect, of themselves victimize, those they
are mandated to watch over. Even if they did a better job, however, they would still have no
right to prevent people from looking out for themselves. No one is asked if they agree to turn
their protection over to someone else, and the police presume to serve and protect the
populace without their consent. Free people must be free to arm and defend themselves
with the weapons they choose. While making all of society less violent, by changing the
social conditions which breed various sorts of predation and abolishing political coercion, is
the best way to stop aggressive acts, until then people should be able to have access to the
means to defend themselves, including firearms.
The states police power is what pushes many people to own firearms in the first place
Greenwald 13
David Greenwald (received his BA in German from Hendrix College and his master's in counseling studies from Capella University. He currently
teaches high school English in Slovenia, where he conducts extracurricular projects on entry-level Austrian economics, banking and the business
cycle, and the sociology of violence. He is also a lecturer at the Cato Institute's Liberty Seminars). Anarchy, State, and Gun Ownership. Mises
Institute. February 25th, 2013. https://mises.org/library/anarchy-state-and-gun-ownership

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There are at least two ways in which the states arrogation of police power, to the exclusion
of all potential competitors, encourages individuals to own firearms who would not
otherwise wish to do so. First in this group are people who either consider themselves
underserved (or, in the worst case, not served at all) by their state or local police
departments or are distrustful or afraid of the police. Not surprisingly, such people tend to be
concentrated in poor urban areas where police may be disinclined to patrol regularly and, in
some instances, may not even respond to calls for help. (Ironically, these also tend to be the areas most plagued
by violence stemming from the states prohibition on drugs.) Under such conditions, it is inevitable that some
individuals will turn to gun ownership as the only viable alternative to adequate police
protection. Given that these are persons of modest means who would otherwise probably
not wish to own firearms, it is also likely that many of them will be reluctant or financially
unable to undergo training in marksmanship and gun safety, and will tend to avoid additional
expenditures on safety features such as trigger locks or gun vaults. The result must be a
marked increase in both gun theft and accidental shootings, the latter often involving

children. It is ironic that such incidents are often invoked as a justification for the forced
disarming of citizens by the state , when it is precisely the black markets created by the
states prosecution of victimless crimes (e.g., drug use), together with its procurement of
substandard security services, that drives the demand for private gun ownership in the first
place.

The second way in which government promotes firearm ownership follows from the fact that, as the sole supplier of security

services within its jurisdiction, its officers cannot be everywhere at once. They generally do not know that a crime is in progress until notified by
someone already at the scene. This produces a significant response time lag.

Free Market Law Alt


Firearm bans rely on the states monopoly over lawthey impose a single solution on all
partiesthe alternative is a free market legal system based on voluntary contractual
arrangements
Greenwald 13
David Greenwald (received his BA in German from Hendrix College and his master's in counseling studies from Capella University. He currently
teaches high school English in Slovenia, where he conducts extracurricular projects on entry-level Austrian economics, banking and the business
cycle, and the sociology of violence. He is also a lecturer at the Cato Institute's Liberty Seminars). Anarchy, State, and Gun Ownership. Mises
Institute. February 25th, 2013. https://mises.org/library/anarchy-state-and-gun-ownership

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The arguments, for and against, gun control also dont seem to be any different under Barack
Obama from what they were under Lyndon Johnson. Then as now, there were: Property-rights-based justifications
for gun ownership (e.g., guns are like any other property and so anyone may own them, provided they are not used to violate the person or
property of others), as well as for gun prohibition (except as a decorative candle holder, an AK-47 seems unlikely to be used for any purpose
other than to violate the person or property of others). Utilitarian reasons for a ban (it would increase safety by reducing the overall number of
guns in society), and also for laissez-faire (prohibition would at best disarm only peaceful citizens, rendering them easy prey for criminals while
creating yet another lucrative black market for organized crime). Civil-liberties-based arguments for leaving the citizen free (I have a right to
defend myself), and for regulating him (I have a right to walk down the street without fear of being shot). And today, four and a half decades
and nine gun-related Time covers later, here we are again, still shaking our heads in disbelief at the violence we see around us, and still asking

My position, as a libertarian anarchist, is that everyone is right. There is


no perfect solution to the problem of the use of firearms for criminal purposes, and there are
valid points on both sides of the debate. This is one of the reasons why this issue never has
been and never will be resolved as long as we turn to the state to solve it for us instead of
the same question: who is right?

solving it for ourselves. Federal law by nature imposes one solution on all members of
society. Whether a ban is enacted on all firearms for all citizens, on only some types of guns,
or for only some categories of citizens, all must live under the same set of rules. Yet because
only imperfect solutions are possible, and because individual preferences rest on subjective
value judgments, the fastening of a single policy on all parties by force of law must create
social conflict. The only way out of this impasse is to abolish the states monopoly on the
production of law and law enforcement and replace it with a cooperative legal systemor,
more accurately, with the vast and complex matrix of voluntary contractual arrangements
known as the market law society.

Critical Neg Trans People of Color

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Gun control laws maintain social hierarchies and white supremacy. Trans people of
color are targeted through this legislation.
Arkles 13
[Gabriel Arkles, Associate Academic Specialist at Northeastern University School of Law, GUN
CONTROL, MENTAL ILLNESS, AND BLACK TRANS AND LESBIAN SURVIVAL. 2013. Southwestern
Law Journal] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Gun control laws have been around for centuries and have maintained hierarchies of race, gender,
disability, nationality, class, and sexuality. As others have documented extensively, most gun control laws
implemented throughout US history have either explicitly or implicitly supported white supremacy .76 Early
gun control laws primarily focused on preventing Black people (enslaved or free) and Native Americans
from arming themselves.77 Later, new gun control laws focused on disarming immigrants and
working class people.78 In the 1960s lawmakers passed gun control laws in reaction to Black Panther
organizing, a move which armed women and men from the Black Panthers protested.79 White men seem to be the most common gun
owners in the U.S.80 However, it is mostly people of color and often trans people of color and queer women of
color who get targeted through gun control laws. Partly, this is because most gun control laws are
criminal laws and the criminal legal system targets people of color, trans people, and poor people. The disproportionate arrest,
prosecution, sentencing, and punishment of communities of color is well-documented.81 While much of the writing and activism about the
racism of the criminal legal system has focused on cisgender men of color, who do experience extremely high rates of incarceration and police
violence, women

of color and (other) trans people of color also face severe and pervasive
criminalization and punishment, as well as gender-related harms within these systems.82 Beyond the concerns that could
apply to any criminal law, gun control laws are particularly bad for trans people of color and queer women of color, for a few reasons. First, as
described above, trans

people of color and queer women of color are heavily targeted for both
interpersonal and institutional violence and they are also particularly unlikely to be able to rely on
police or other government or corporate entities for protection. Those who choose to have guns for selfdefense, under these circumstances, should not be punished. Further, the text of most gun laws requires
discrimination. For example, existing federal law prohibits certain people from having a gun.83 The categories of people prohibited from
possessing a firearm include people with certain types of criminal history; people who are addicted to controlled substances; undocumented
immigrants and people present in the U.S. as visitors; people dishonorably discharged from the military; and people who have had certain types
of mental health treatment.84 All of these restrictions disproportionately impact marginalized communities.

Empirics prove that people charged for unlawful possessions of firearms are mostly
people of color and trans women of color.
Arkles 13
[Gabriel Arkles, Associate Academic Specialist at Northeastern University School of Law, GUN
CONTROL, MENTAL ILLNESS, AND BLACK TRANS AND LESBIAN SURVIVAL. 2013. Southwestern
Law Journal] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Further, criminal gun

control laws are not neutrally applied. In New York City, people charged with
unlawful possession of a firearm are almost all people of color.98 Less than 4% of people
charged with this crime are white, while nearly 70% are Black.99 Like illicit drugs, illicit guns can easily be
detected through searcheslawful or otherwise.100 Because of racial profiling, people of color are
overwhelmingly the targets for stop and was calling the police, rather than offering to take a minute to help him with a

push.105 Trans

women of color are routinely stopped and arrested as presumed sex workers ,
simply because of their gender expression and race.106 Poverty and homelessness also
dramatically increase vulnerability to police surveillance and are more prevalent among queer
women of color and trans people of color.107 This increased surveillance and suspicion can make
queer women of color and trans people of color far more likely to get caught with guns than identically armed
white, straight, cisgender men.

Impacts
Trans people of color are significantly more likely to experience physical violence.
Arkles 13
[Gabriel Arkles, Associate Academic Specialist at Northeastern University School of Law, GUN
CONTROL, MENTAL ILLNESS, AND BLACK TRANS AND LESBIAN SURVIVAL. 2013. Southwestern
Law Journal] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
John alluded to living in an environment of pervasive threat. Most studies

of violence do not look at intersections of


race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability, but evidence shows that violence, including sexual violence, is
more commonly perpetrated against groups marginalized based on those factors . Women are more
likely to be sexually assaulted than men.25 Trans people are more likely to be sexually assaulted than cisgender26 people.27 Black women are
more likely to be sexually assaulted than white women.28 Poor women are more likely to be sexually assaulted than rich women.29 Lesbian
and bisexual women are more likely to be sexually assaulted than straight women.30 Disabled people are more likely to be sexually assaulted
than able-bodied people.31 A

national survey of transgender people found that transgender people of


color were much more likely than white transgender people to experience virtually every
category of violence, including transphobic family violence, violence in schools and places of public accommodation, and police and
prison violence.32 For example, 22% of Black trans and gender nonconforming people had been
physically assaulted in a place of public accommodation, as compared to 6% of white trans and
gender nonconforming people.33 29% of Asian trans and gender nonconforming people and 38% of Black trans and
gender nonconforming people had been harassed by police, as compared to 18% of white transgender and
gender nonconforming people.34 A different report, which examined hate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIVaffected (LGBTQH) people in 2011, found that certain groups within LGBTQH communities experienced more violence than others.35 For
example, LGBTQH

undocumented immigrants were 2.31 times as likely to experience physical


violence and transgender people of color were 2.38 times as likely to experience police violence as
compared to LGBTQH people overall.36

Trans people of color do not receive institutional protection from violence and need to
defend themselves.
Arkles 13
[Gabriel Arkles, Associate Academic Specialist at Northeastern University School of Law, GUN
CONTROL, MENTAL ILLNESS, AND BLACK TRANS AND LESBIAN SURVIVAL. 2013. Southwestern
Law Journal] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
Because they are overwhelmingly targeted for violence and do not receive institutional
protection from this violence, trans people of color and queer women of color are likely to genuinely
need to defend themselves and their communities from violence. However, while according to law and
public perception self-defense is justified,43 in practice the self-defense justification works more effectively for
those accused of crimes against people with less privilege than they have. This dynamic explains why women are
punished for fighting back against men who abuse them44 and why hate crime laws are used against the groups they are purported to
benefit.45 Certain bodies are considered more worthy defense of than others.46 Famously, Bernhard Goetz, a white man, shot

four

young Black men he perceived as trying to rob him in a NYC subway.47 While many expressed outrage at Goetz racism, others
acclaimed him as a hero.48 A mostly white jury acquitted him of murder.49 More recently, George Zimmerman, a mixed
race Latino man who was widely perceived as white, shot Trayvon Martin, a young, unarmed Black man, and claimed he acted in self-defense.

Zimmermans ability to claim self-defense was bolstered by the Blackness of his victim and his own
perceived whiteness. Police accepted his account of Martins killing as true. Only after widespread public outcry did they question his story,
ultimately arresting him for the murder.50 A

jury acquitted him.51 Less famously, in the Jersey Seven case, young
Black lesbians who defended themselves against an adult Black straight male attacker were promptly
arrested and prosecuted.52 The young women were walking along a New York City street when Dwayne Buckle propositioned
Patreese Johnson.53 When Johnson said no, Buckle became violent.54 Johnsons friends came to her aid and they struggled.55 A couple of
male bystanders joined the melee, trying to help the women.56 Buckle ended up getting stabbed.57 He recovered after emergency
treatment.58 Mainstream media outlets depicted the young women in dehumanizing terms as a gang of angry lesbians and wolf-pack and
reported Buckles self-depiction as a victim of a hate crime against a straight man.59 The women were the only ones arrested or charged.60
While a number of grassroots groups led by queer and/or trans people of color organized against the prosecution, widespread mainstream
public outrage about the case never emerged.61 Johnson served almost eight years for her conviction arising from the incident.62 Similarly,
CeCe McDonald, a Black trans woman, was attacked on the street in Minnesota where she was walking with a group of friends.63 A number of
white, straight, cisgender people started calling them niggers, faggots, and chicks with dicks.64 McDonald told them to stop and in
response got smashed in the face with a glass, causing injuries that needed eleven stitches.65 She and her friends fought back and one of the
attackers, a man who had a swastika tattoo, got fatally stabbed.66 McDonald was promptly arrested and charged with second degree
murder.67 She accepted a plea for second degree manslaughter and is currently serving time in prison.68 Again, while grassroots groups rallied
to support her, the prosecution was unconvinced by her narrative of self-defense and the mainstream media did not pick up the story.69 As
these incidents graphically illustrate, when Black

queer women and/or trans people fight back against racist,


sexist, homophobic, and transphobic violence, it is not perceived as legitimate self-defense. As
INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence articulates, The question of why there is so much silen ce surrounding
the NJ7 case and similar instances of criminalization of women of color and queers of color lays bare
the ways in which queer folks of color and women of color do not fit the racialized and gendered mold of who gets to be
perceived as legitimately victimized or legitimately resisting oppression.70

Topicality and Definitions

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Handguns
US code defines handguns
Legal Information Institute
[Legal Information Institute, non-for-profit group that publishes law online. 18 U.S. Code 921
Definitions https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921] [Premier, Premier Debate
Today, Sign-Up Now]
29) The term handgun means (A) a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to
be held and fired by the use of a single hand ; and (B) any combination of parts from which
a [such a] firearm described in subparagraph (A) can be assembled .

Collins Dictionary
[http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/private-ownership] [Premier, Premier
Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
the fact of being owned by a private individual or organization, rather than by the state or a
public body

Wright clarifies that private ownership can be personal or household ownership, and
can be for sport and recreation, protection and self-defense, or criminal purposes.
Wright et al 83
[James D. Wright, Charles and Leo Favrot Professor of Human Relations, Department of
Sociology, Tulane University; Peter H. Rossi, Stuart A. Rice Professor of Sociology and Acting
Director, Social and Demographic Research Institute, UMass Amherst; Kathleen Daly, Professor
of Sociology at Yale University. Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime, and Violence in America
1983.] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up Now]
This chapter reviews the available research on characteristics of the people and households that possess weaponry, that is, how owners and
nonowners differ in social background, locale, and personal outlooks. Our

purpose is essentially to determine where in the


ownership of weapons is concentrated. There are at least two important
distinctions that need to be introduced. First is the distinction between personal and
household ownership of weapons. It seems reasonable to assume that guns are owned by individuals, and it
society the private

is the characteristics of these individuals that are at issue here. However. much of the available survey data on weapons ownership is based on
a question that asks about guns kept in the house, whether they belong to the respondent or to some other family member. In turn, much of
the descriptive literature on the correlates of ownership deals not with individual owners but with the characteristics of the households within
which they reside-a separate matter. Second, it

is essential to distinguish among various types of private


weap onry. Several distinctions might be considered in this context, for example, handguns versus shoulder weapons. Lizotte and Bordua
(1980, and in press; Bordua and Lizotte, 1979), however, have made a persuasive case that the most critical distinction
concerns the reasons that the weapon is owned: whether for sport and recreation, for
protection and self-defense, or for illicit criminal purposes. Their research (reviewed in more detail below)
strongly suggests that the characteristics of people who own weapons for sport and recreational purposes differ sharply from the
characteristics of people who own protective or defensive weaponry. (It can also be assumed that the criminal ownership of weapons involves
yet another qualitatively different type.) Unfor- tunately, most available research depends exclusively on the simple yes-no ownership question,
such that all weapons owners, irrespective of their reasons for ownership, are treated equally.

Ban
On normal means, a ban would be a federal policy criminalizing possession
Jacobs 02
[James B. Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts
Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice @ NYU Law, Can Gun Control Work? 2002.
Can Gun Control Work?James B. Jacobs OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS] [Premier, Premier Debate
Today, Sign-Up Now]
Who would enforce handgun disarmament and with what degree of vigor? National Alcohol Prohibition was enforced by
a small number of US. Treasury Department agents and by state and local police departments. Criminal justice and organized crime scholar
Humbert S. Nelli writes that Prohibition overburdened

the criminal justice system and undermined respect for the


nations law. Another author recalled that organization and methods . . . were hopelessly inadequate. 20
Professor McBain of Co- lumbia Law School wrote in 1928 that the large-liquor drinking public has been indifferent to, if not positively in favor
of, the corruption that helps to keep the stimulating stream flowing without interruption . . . the [police] force from the beginning has been
thoroughly spoils-ridden.21 In many cities, the police were contemptuous of alcohol prohibition and did not enforce it; corruption flourished.
History has repeated itself with the contemporary drug war. After

the Supreme Courts decision in Printz, rejecting


federal authority to order state and local officials to conduct background checks, National
Handgun Prohibition might have to be a completely federal program .22 What kind of a federal
enforcement agency would be needed to investigate and deter unlawful handgun
possession? Currently, most illegal handguns are seized as a consequence of street or car stops
made by local law en- forcement agents; a frisk reveals the gun.23 Routine car and street stops are not the province of
federal agents, who lack general street-level policing authority and experience. Perhaps BATF could be expanded into a super nationwide
street-level police agency with tens of thousands of new agents? Such a move would have to overcome the opposition of the NRA, gun owners,
some members of Congress, and others who excoriate BATF agents as jack-booted minions.* It would also have to overcome those who
oppose expanding federal power and expending a great deal of fed- eral funds. Undoubtedly, there would be opposition and resistance from
fringe elements, who for years have warned of a colossal and despotic federal government. The number of militia groups would probably grow,
with the potential for Waco-type standoffs and shootouts.24

Merriam Webster defines ban (useful to leverage in T implementation debates)


[http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ban] [Premier, Premier Debate Today, Sign-Up
Now]
prohibit especially by legal means