Resolved: In the United States, private ownership of hand guns ought to be banned (Bibliography)

Relevant Court Cases

DC v . Heller DC v. Heller is the seminal Supreme Court case for this topic.  It argued that Washington, D.C.’s ban on hand guns in the home was unconstitutional.

Chicago v. McDonald This related supreme court case says that the Second Amendment applies to the states and that Chicago’s ban on hand guns in the home was also unconstitutional.

Judge rules DC handgun ban unconstitutional. In this case, a federal circuit judged ruled that DC’s band on handguns outside the home was also unconstitutional.

Judge overturns federal interstate hand gun ban.  As part of federal gun control legislation, the federal government had ban hand guns in interstate commerce as part of their commerce clause authority. In this recent decision, a judge ruled that specific ban was unconstitutional.

The standardless Second Amendment This article argues that the Heller and McDonald decisions left the lower courts with little guidance as to what type of hand gun bans are unconstitutional. While Heller and McDonald clearly established that it was unconstitutional to ban handguns in the home, handguns bans in certain places and for certain types of individuals have been upheld.  The latter type of person/place restrictions create some Affirmative case ground without requiring the Affirmative to advocate overturning these decisions.

Miller, Colt .45s, and Natural Law.  This article opposes hand gun bans and supports the Heller decision, but I included it here because it points out that Heller only banned commonly used handguns in the home, creating opportunity for other types of bans.

Complete coverage of DC v. Heller, including all Amicus briefs

Complete coverage of McDonald v. Chicago, including all Amicus briefs

Amicus Briefs are “Friend of the Court” briefs that are filed to support respective parties in Supreme Court cases.  These briefs are a great place to find on-point evidence.


Gun control legislation in the 113th Congress. This is not about hand guns, but it covers all of the different gun control legislation that has been introduced in Congress. It is useful for counterplan ideas.

The People of the Second Amendment: Citizenship and the Right to Bear Arms Extensive criticism of Heller’s holding that the Second Amendment protects a right of self-defense.


Unsafe in Any Hands: Why American Needs to Ban Handguns Although dated (1999, pre Heller), this is a must read article for the Affirmative. It argues the extent of the handgun violence problem, including making a claim that, on-balance, handguns kill more than they save.

A Toe in the Water.  This post argues that the DC ban reduced handgun violence and that the insurrectionist theory of the Second Amendment is bad.

Brief of the American Public Health Association. This amicus brief argues that a handgun ban will reduces gun violence and answers Negative claims to the contrary.

Brief for the Brady Center to Prevent handgun violence et al.  This brief answers the claim that the Second Amendment protects hand gun ownership.

Brief of the American Jewish Committee et al. This brief argues the courts should defer to the state legislatures on issues of gun control.

Brief of the NAACP et al.  This brief argues that handgun bans are needed to reduce violence in minority communities.

Brief of the Violence Policy Center. This brief argues that handgun bans are needed to reduce violence.

Brief for the Southeastern Legal Foundation. This brief argues that individuals who are physically weaker need handguns to defend themselves against attackers.

Let us Talk Past Each Other for Awhile: A Brief Response to Professor Johnson.  This article makes a general case for a handgun ban.  This article also responds to the claim that gun bans are racist because they leave minorities defenseless.

Brief for the National Association to End Domestic Violence.  Argues that hand guns need to be banned due to the roll they play in promoting domestic violence.

Brief for the American Bar Association.  This brief argues that the courts should defer to the legislature in the area of gun regulation

Has the constitution fostered a pathological rights culture? The right to bear arms: ordered gun liberty: rights with responsibilities and regulation.  This article argues that asserting rights in the context of guns undermines needed community norms.

This is Gun Country: The International Implications of US Gun Control Policy.  This article argues that widespread gun availability in the US is responsible for gun violence in Mexico. It is not specific to hand guns.

New York’s not so “safe” act: the second amendment in an Alice-in-wonderland world where words have no meaning.  There is evidence in here that claims that most firearm deaths are from hand guns.

Regulations help stop handgun violence. This article argues that hand gun violence has a very negative psychological impact on kids.

Brown Rudnick files handgun ban brief This press release refers to a brief filed by Brown Rudnick in the McDonald Chicago cases that argues that the hand gun ban reduced gun violence in Chicago.

Nathaniel amicus brief. This amicus brief concerns a hand gun ban in Maryland that bans hand guns outside the home. It supports that ban.

To reduce suicides, keep the guns away. This recent New York Times article argues that gun availability makes suicide more likely.

Negative — Kritik Links

All of these articles blame capitalism, white supremacy, and underlying socioeconomic problems as the cause of gun violence. They argue that gun control will fail until these underlying problems are addressed.

Does America have a gun control problem?

To stop gun violence, shoot down capitalism

Capitalism as a Disease: Spreading Governmental Tyranny and Gun Violence

Who’s violent, really? A look at the real catalyst of gun violence: misogyny and white supremacy

Negative — Politics Links

What happened to the CDC’s courage on guns? This article argues that the gun lobby is very strong.


Murder and homicide rates before and after handgun ban This article argues that past handgun bans increased violence.

The fact that neither side wants to admit This article argues that hand gun bans do not reduce violence, and it also challenges the claim that they increase violence.

California gun laws: A model for the rest of the nation? While generally skeptical of gun control laws and totally opposed to a ban, this article does propose some new regulations that it argues will reduce gun violence.

The Human Right of Self-Defense.  This article argues there is a human right to self-defense that should be protected.

Has the constitution fostered a pathological rights culture? The right to bear arms: ordered gun liberty: rights with responsibilities and regulation.  This article makes a general case against hand gun bans and answers the general safety/child deaths argument.  The article also suggests many regulations.

How far will the strictest state push the limits: The constitutionality of California’s proposed gun law under the Second Amendment. This article argues that total bans are unconstitutional.

Modeling the Second Amendment right to carry arms (i): Judicial tradition and the scope of “bearing arms” for self-defense.  Argues that regulations but not bans are constitutional.

Gun Control Policy and the Second Amendment: Lead Article: Firearms Policy and the Black Community: An Assessment of the Modern Orthodoxy. This article argues that handgun bans fail and threaten minorities, particularly blacks, who rely on hand guns for protection.

Gun Control Policy and the Second Amendment: Response: Murder, Self-Defense, and the Right to Arms. Generally argues that gun control fails and that it violates the Second Amendment.

Brief of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association.  This brief argues that handgun bans fail and increase the threat of crime.

A “right” by another name; Will courts treat the right to keep and bear arms as a real right or a pretend one?  Generally argues that gun control fails.

The Future of Gun Control Laws Post-McDonald and Heller and the Death of One- Gun-Per-Month Legislation.  This article argues that we should regulate hand guns but that banning them is unconstitutional.

The right to bear arms: second amendment: not constitutional dysfunction but necessary safeguard. Defends regulations, argues bans are unconstitutional.

The Ineludible (Constitutional) Politics of Guns. Argues that bans are unconstitutional but that regulations can work.

Chicago’s pointless handgun ban This brief editorial argues that handgun bans, especially local hand gun bans, fail.

Restoring the Right to Bear Arms. The is a generally strong defense of the Second Amendment. It is not specific to hand guns.

The risks and benefits of handgun prohibition This older (1993) law review article contends that people will simply shift to other, more deadly guns if hand guns are banned.

The Second Amendment, Heller, and Originalist jurisprudence.   This article criticizes the decision in Heller for failing to protect constitutional orginalism.

Websites — Affirmative  This site doesn’t appear to have very high quality material, but given its focus, it may be worth a look.