A Thoughtful Look Into Things
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Resolved: In the United States, private ownership of handguns ought to be banned.
This a great topic, and a relevant one as well. It’s good that students will get thinking about this issue. I’m a little confused, though, as to why it’s an LD topic. It seems more like a PF one. It will be tricky for debaters not to get bogged down in the practical nuances and focus on the value debate, especially with the increasingly terrible judges on the debate circuit these days. In any case, let’s do it.
Private ownership of handguns – This is individual people privately owning handguns. Don’t get caught up in the nuances of what this means, but rather the principle behind it. Keep this definition simple.
Banned – This means that said private ownership will not be legally permitted. Again, the nuances of what the punishment will be and how it will be enforced are irrelevant.
1. Utilitarianism – Gun ownership is bad. It leads to people being harmed. Empirically, countries all around the world have demonstrated that restricting gun ownership leads to less death. Therefore, we should ban private gun ownership.
2. Veil of Ignorance – I know I use this a lot here, but it’s a great position. If you put everyone behind a veil of ignorance, then people would vote that nobody has any guns.
3. The Categorical Imperative – Gun ownership violates 2 of the 3 maxims of the categorical imperative. Therefore, it should be banned.
1. The Constitution – This is a fairly weak argument in my opinion, but it’s on here because a lot of people will be running it. The right to bear arms is in the U.S. Constitution, and that is the document which should determine what the U.S. government ought to do.
2. Property Rights – Banning private gun ownership is a violation of individual property rights. The government does not have the authority to violate these individual rights.
3. Mutually Assured Destruction – Banning private gun ownership exposes a population to dangers. MAD theory dictates that, if everybody is armed, then nobody will fire the first shot because everyone else will be prepared to destroy them.
I hope that helps, good luck!