The Instigator
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Pro (for)
Winning
23 Points
The Contender
Sweatingjojo
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

A debate on a Supreme Court Case

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/27/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,901 times Debate No: 5553
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (5)

 

LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

The case is DC v. Heller.

I contend that Heller had the constitution on his side.

The Second Amendment can be interpreted as thus "The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory clause and its operative clause. The former does not limit the latter grammatically, but rather announces a purpose. The Amendment could be re-phrased, "Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to
the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." See J. Tiffany, A Treatise on Government and Constitutional Law �585,
p. 394 (1867); Brief for Professors of Linguistics and English as Amici Curiae 3 (hereinafter Linguists' Brief). Although this structure of the Second Amendment is
unique in our Constitution, other legal documents of the founding era, particularly individual-rights provisions of state constitutions, commonly included a prefatory statement of purpose. See generally Volokh, The Commonplace
Second Amendment, 73 N. Y. U. L. Rev. 793, 814–821"

That from Scalia's opinion for the majority in above case. So the Second Amendment means that we cannot infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.

Dick Heller's complaint to the Federal District Court in DC was on three laws, and why he thought they were unconstitutional. The summary of the writ of certiorari in the opinion summarized it best: "He thereafter filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia seeking, on Second Amendment grounds, to enjoin the city from enforcing the bar on the registration of handguns, the licensing requirement insofar as it prohibits the carrying of a firearm in the home without a license, and the trigger-lock requirement insofar as it prohibits the use of 'functional firearms within the home.'"

According the syllabus the Court held:
"1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53. (a) The Amendment's prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause's text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.
(b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court's interpretation of the operative clause. The "militia" comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens' militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress
power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens' militia would be preserved. Pp. 22–28 (c) The Court's interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms bearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28–30.
(d) The Second Amendment's drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. Pp. 30–32. (e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court's conclusion. Pp. 32–47. (f) None of the Court's precedents forecloses the Court's interpre-
tation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264–265, refutes the individual rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54. 2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller's holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those "in common use at the time" finds support in the historical tradition
of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56. 3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District's total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of "arms" that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56–64."

The court held that the Second Amendment conveys and individual right to bear arms. This means that because the DC laws prohibit and inhibit the right to keep and bear arms, they are unconstitutional. I affirm.
Sweatingjojo

Con

NOTE: The Resolution has changed slightly, it is now "The Supreme Court was right to have ruled in favor of Heller in DC v. Heller."

I'll first be refuting, and then move on to my side.

While I agree that the first part of the clause is a prefatory statement, it is used to do just that, further explain the purpose of second part of the clause, which is to allow for the people to be a part of a State Militia. More on this to come...

"So the Second Amendment means that we cannot infringe on the right to keep and bear arms."
The Government cannot infringe upon the security of a State by taking away their right to a militia, is actually what it means; again, more to follow in my case.

I'll assume that all of this Court issued syllabus stuff is your argument.

(a)- Response will be one of my arguments
(b)- "The "militia" comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense." That's a militia, but not a well regulated militia, as the amendment specifies. A well regulated militia was one that included training and an organization as proscribed by the State's legislature. Heller was not a member of any well regulated State Militia when he first appealed his denial to own a handgun.

"...ideal of a citizens' militia would be preserved. "
This is false, citizens militias wouldn't have done anything, it would just be a bunch of dudes with guns with no idea whats going on. Anti-federalists realized this, and demanded the right for States to keep militias, militias that would abide to State and not national law.

(d) "unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms." Yes, but what did this mean back then, to bear arms?

I contend that it means "to fight. [in a military sense]" Versus what my opponent asserts, which is "to have weapons"
Lets look at the Declaration of Independence, where the term is used in one of Thomas Jefferson's castigations of George III.

"He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands."

Now, would it make sense for this to mean, "He has captured Americans and forced them to have weapons against the colonies."

Or, would it make more sense for it to mean, "He has captured Americans and forced them to fight against the colonies."?

In addition, in every Congressional debate from 1774 to 1821, all 30 uses of the term "to bear arms" were used to be synonymous with "to fight." -David Yassky, The Second Amendment: Structure, History and Constitutional Change

The Definition that I have provided was the one in use back then, which shows that the meaning of "bearing arms" was a different one than todays.

The only other thing I disagree with is "Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional."

A trigger lock can be disengaged in under a minute, and also, the DC Circuit court and DC Court of Appeals have both found that exceptions can and should be granted to the general law in exceptional circumstances, as seen in the DC Court of Appeals Case Emry v. US.
============================================================================My Case!

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

I will present 2 separate arguments, each of which can on their own merit justify the Supreme Court ruling in favor of DC.

1. The Second Amendment protects only militia related firearm rights.
As previously explained "bearing arms" meant to fight in a military sense when the founders wrote it.
""[T]he enlightened patriots who framed our constitution, and the people who adopted it, must be understood to have employed words in their natural sense,"-Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824.
Ergo, to fight in a military sense is the meaning of bearing arms. Shooting at an intrusive/tasty rabbit would not be described as bearing arms against it, so how could shooting at a person in a self-defense style be described as bearing arms as well?

The District does not contend that individuals may not "keep" their "Arms," but that they may keep them only if they have a well regulated militia-related reason for doing so, which Heller did not.

As my opponent already explained for us, the 2nd amendment was urged to be included by the anti-federalists, who demanded that there be a way for states to protect themselves of a national standing army. The DC laws do nothing to prevent this from happening.

Further proof that the 2nd Amendment is referring only to the usage of weapons in a military sense is that other amendments were proposed that did allow for the usage of weapons for personal defense, but were rejected.
"That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state..." read an amendment proposed by the Pennsylvania delegation. "that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress . . . to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms." read another proposition from the Massachusetts delegation.

2. The District's reasonable gun laws do not infringe upon one's right keep and bear arms.

As the Supreme Court explained in Robert v. Baldwin in 1897, the provisions of the Bill of Rights are "subject to certain well-recognized exceptions arising from the necessities of the case."
As my opponent pointed out, the Supreme Court accepts the idea of reasonable limitations on the second amendment.
The US Department of Justice argued in 2002 for laws that place "reasonable restrictions designed to prevent possession by unfit persons or to restrict the possession of types of firearms that are particularly suited to criminal misuse" in the case of Emerson v. United States.

The facts are in, handguns are particularly suited to criminal misuse, especially in the District of Columbia. There is no reason to own a handgun in the city for any other purpose than to shoot someone with, considering that it is 100% city. The Department of Justice reports while only 1/3 of the firearms owned in this nation are handguns, that Eighty-seven percent of all guns used in crime are handguns. The DC laws were enacted to prevent this. Furthermore, the DC laws allowed for people to still own and keep rifles and shotguns, shotguns especially, as described in Guns & Ammo, are more effective than handguns at stopping a home intruder.

I have more rounds, but I have no more time.

DC should have been ruled for in DC v Heller.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

"While I agree that the first part of the clause is a prefatory statement, it is used to do just that, further explain the purpose of second part of the clause, which is to allow for the people to be a part of a State Militia. More on this to come..."

No, it's not, there is no basis for that statement.

"The Government cannot infringe upon the security of a State by taking away their right to a militia, is actually what it means; again, more to follow in my case."

What? No. You ignore the Volokh card.

"hat's a militia, but not a well regulated militia, as the amendment specifies. A well regulated militia was one that included training and an organization as proscribed by the State's legislature. Heller was not a member of any well regulated State Militia when he first appealed his denial to own a handgun."

But he is a people. The amendment says people, not "states" or "militias." The people can keep and bear arms.

"This is false, citizens militias wouldn't have done anything, it would just be a bunch of dudes with guns with no idea whats going on. Anti-federalists realized this, and demanded the right for States to keep militias, militias that would abide to State and not national law."

Citizen's militias won the Revolutionary War, and besides, the people need weapons, that's why we need the Second Amendment.

"I contend that it means 'to fight. [in a military sense]' Versus what my opponent asserts, which is 'to have weapons'
Lets look at the Declaration of Independence, where the term is used in one of Thomas Jefferson's castigations of George III."

Ahh, but Black, the famous jurist, and publisher of Black's Law Dictionary defined "bear arms" as to have weapons, and as the framers were lawyers it is likely that this would be their legalese definition, and the one that would be used in say a law, or huh, the second amendment. A British Common Law case in 1707 definitively defined "to bear arms" as to have arms, not as to fight. As the founders used British Common Law until they established Common Law of their own, it is safe to say that this is their meaning. Also, it also said "keep...arms" So even under your definition, it would say "the right of the people to have weapons, and serve in a militia shall not be infringed."

"A trigger lock can be disengaged in under a minute, and also, the DC Circuit court and DC Court of Appeals have both found that exceptions can and should be granted to the general law in exceptional circumstances, as seen in the DC Court of Appeals Case Emry v. US."

And in that minute, you can be shot by the burglar. And, what's with the point about the Emry v. US case? There is no way of knowing when an "exceptional circumstance" will occur. This means that the law-abiding citizen would be screwed over by the less upright one.

"Ergo, to fight in a military sense is the meaning of bearing arms. Shooting at an intrusive/tasty rabbit would not be described as bearing arms against it, so how could shooting at a person in a self-defense style be described as bearing arms as well?'

As I have shown, the founders used legal terms, and as a legal term, "bear arms" meant to have them. Also, I have shown that the first clause is prefatory. Need further proof? The phrase is the Latin ablative absolute, and if properly used, the first part is explanatory, answering why (http://en.wikipedia.org...). As the founders were well versed in Latin, this is certainly the term they would have used.

"Further proof that the 2nd Amendment is referring only to the usage of weapons in a military sense is that other amendments were proposed that did allow for the usage of weapons for personal defense, but were rejected.
'That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state...' read an amendment proposed by the Pennsylvania delegation. 'that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress . . . to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.' read another proposition from the Massachusetts delegation."

They only needed one amendment, so, as multiples were proposed, they chose the best. Thomas Jefferson, probably one of the most influential people at the time, wrote the Second Amendment, so he had the most clout to get his version passed.

"The facts are in, handguns are particularly suited to criminal misuse, especially in the District of Columbia. There is no reason to own a handgun in the city for any other purpose than to shoot someone with, considering that it is 100% city. The Department of Justice reports while only 1/3 of the firearms owned in this nation are handguns, that Eighty-seven percent of all guns used in crime are handguns. The DC laws were enacted to prevent this. Furthermore, the DC laws allowed for people to still own and keep rifles and shotguns, shotguns especially, as described in Guns & Ammo, are more effective than handguns at stopping a home intruder."

However, handguns are the most convenient, and the Courts have ruled that a weapon in common usage by the people cannot be prohibited. 1/3 of all the guns is a pretty common usage.

Vote PRO.
Sweatingjojo

Con

Argh. I'm left with about 13 minutes to respond, so it'll be brief. Next round will be amazing.

"No, it's not, there is no basis for that statement."

Other than the words of the second amendment, and the context of its writing, which we both agree on.

"What? No. You ignore the Volokh card."

What? No. You ignore reality. It was explained by the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison that no part of the Constitution is to be ignored. You're advocating the ignorance of part of the amendment.

"But he is a people. The amendment says people, not "states" or "militias." The people can keep and bear arms."
The amendment says that people can keep arms for state militias. Heller wasn't in a state militia.

"Citizen's militias won the Revolutionary War, and besides, the people need weapons, that's why we need the Second Amendment."

Erm, state's militias comprised of citizens won the Revolutionary war. It wasn't just a bunch of 'dudes with guns' as previously described by myself. The 13 states were well aware that the 'dudes with guns' strategy is a terrible one, and so they designed laws to regulate their militias. A regulation of said militia could include not allowing handguns.

Part 2 of statement: I'm not arguing the necessity of the 2nd amendment, I'm arguing that the Supreme Court should have ruled for DC.

"Ahh, but Black, the famous jurist, and publisher of Black's Law Dictionary defined "bear arms" as to have weapons, and as the framers were lawyers it is likely that this would be their legalese definition, and the one that would be used in say a law, or huh, the second amendment. "

1. Less than half of the framers had any legal experience.
2. So you're suggesting that the Framers would write the constitution in an un-natural way, meaning that we should read it un-naturally to how words meant back then?

"it is safe to say that this is their meaning. "

Except for the fact that I showed a different meaning being used in the Declaration of Independence, which occurred a good 60 years after your common law case.

""keep...arms""

Keeping arms which may be regulated by the states as part of states having a well-regulated militia.

"And in that minute, you can be shot by the burglar."
Its not a burglar if he or she shoots you. I wouldn't recommend trying to pull a gun on someone that is right next to you anyway. But enough about macabre stuff. Back to the debate.

Oh snap, I have 50 seconds left. I will continue in comments section.
Debate Round No. 2
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

"What? No. You ignore reality. It was explained by the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison that no part of the Constitution is to be ignored. You're advocating the ignorance of part of the amendment."

What? No. You ignore reading comprehension skills. Volokh shows us what the amendment means, and the purpose of the first clause.

"Erm, state's militias comprised of citizens won the Revolutionary war. It wasn't just a bunch of 'dudes with guns' as previously described by myself. The 13 states were well aware that the 'dudes with guns' strategy is a terrible one, and so they designed laws to regulate their militias. A regulation of said militia could include not allowing handguns."

Erm... no. Concord, Lexington, ever heard of them?

"1. Less than half of the framers had any legal experience.
2. So you're suggesting that the Framers would write the constitution in an un-natural way, meaning that we should read it un-naturally to how words meant back then?"

1. James Madison wrote it. He was a lawyer.
2. No...check your history (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

"Except for the fact that I showed a different meaning being used in the Declaration of Independence, which occurred a good 60 years after your common law case."

See the link above.

"Keeping arms which may be regulated by the states as part of states having a well-regulated militia."

False, there is no basis for such a statement.

"Its not a burglar if he or she shoots you. I wouldn't recommend trying to pull a gun on someone that is right next to you anyway. But enough about macabre stuff. Back to the debate."

Whatever. All I'm saying is that the trigger lock inhibits your ability to defend yourself.

"This has nothing to do with the case of DC v. Heller anymore."

It does. What I'm saying is that the law abiding citizen who keeps the gun locked will be endangered if an exceptional circumstance occurs.

"Again, you are advocating the idea that the best way to read the constitution would be in an un-natural format. And you have no proof of anyone saying 'oh yeah, we wrote it like that because we didn't really mean the first part.'"

The phrasing was natural at the time. People who wanted to sound smart used it.

"Uhhh. Yeah. Thomas Jefferson was in France during the entirety of the Constitutional Convention. So This is completely false. You'd also need to prove that Pennslyvania and Massachusetts somehow didn't have enough clout."

Obviously I was suffering intense muscle spasms when I wrote Thomas Jefferson. I meant James Madison, who was equally influential.

"Most convenient for criminals that is. My facts have shown that handguns are in high frequency usage by those who wish to do another harm. Lets also not forget about the harrowing statistics regarding domestic violence and suicide when a handgun is in the home. If needed, I will present them."

The fact that they are very commonly used by people in general awards them constitutional protection.

"The courts have also ruled that a weapon in common usage by criminals can and should be banned."

Right now, or at least at the time of the Heller case, common law protected handguns.
Sweatingjojo

Con

Before I begin, I would like to offer a quote that I found in the wikipedia page on the 2nd amendment, and will certainly put us in good spirits for the rest of the debate.

"The importance of Bliss is also seen from the defense subsequently given against a murder charge in Kentucky against Mattews Ward, who in 1852 pulled out a concealed pistol and fatally wounded his brother's teacher over an accusation regarding eating chestnuts in class. "

Lets see what my opponent's been saying this go around..

He begins by re-asserting the all-truthiness of his Volokh card, which he used in his first aff. Basically, he says that the first part of the 2nd amendment was just a joke, and that only the second half really matters. I say, 'no way! You can't pick and choose parts of the Constitution to listen to!' and I use a quote from the Supreme Court to back it up. He still thinks it is correct, and so to further prove this wrong, I present a quote from US v. Miller, the last major 2nd amendment case before this one: "with obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of the state-regulated militias the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view."
It comes down to whether or not we should listen to the unanimous Supreme Court on two separate occasions, or Volokh.

"Erm... no. Concord, Lexington, ever heard of them?"

1. The Revolutionary War seemed to transpire over more than two battles.
2. Well regulated militias fought in both of those battles for the Revolutionaries. The minutemen were not just dudes with guns. They were the best of the Massachusetts militia, designed to be ready in a minutes notice. I will now quote Mr. Jared Sparks, author of a book on George Washington, who explains the Massachusetts militia in depth:

"They recommended to the militia to form themselves into companies of minute-men, who should be equipped and prepared to march at the shortest notice. These minute-men were to consist of one quarter of the whole militia, to be enlisted under the direction of the field-officers, and divide into companies, consisting of at least fifty men each. The privates were to choose their captains and subalterns, and these officers were to form the companies into battalions, and chose the field-officers to command the same. Hence the minute-men became a body distinct from the rest of the militia, and, by being more devoted to military exercises, they acquired skill in the use of arms. More attention than formerly was likewise bestowed on the training and drilling of militia."
As you can see, these men were well-regulated, and units similar to that of these brave men were what the Founders intended to protect.

My opponent continues with the idea of the authors writing the second amendment just to be confusing. He says that James Madison originally wrote it, which is true, however, it went through intense discussion in the House and Senate, which was not comprised of lawyers exclusively, or even primarily. To say that they all were ones who felt that an un-natural reading that not even most of them could understand was best is hogwash. My opponent then goes to the wikipedia page on the history of amendment number 2. Its quite a good bit to read, I'm not really sure if he expects me to read all of it, without him explaining what is relevant to this discussion at all. Until further explanation, that link should be discounted as evidence.

Again onto the next point, the link is discounted. I've shown how the declaration uses the term 'to bear arms' that refers to fighting in a military sense.

My opponent says that there is no basis to assume that the amendment should lead to the assumption that the states should have the power to regulate arms to be used in their militias. The basis is that only certain weapons were kosher for militia use, namely muskets and rifles. The rightfulness of certain weapons was determined in laws written by the states regarding the creation of their respective militias.

My opponent states that trigger locks inhibit one's ability of self defense. The purpose of a trigger lock is to prevent an accidental firing of said weapon, leading to unintentional deaths. I can prove this with statistics. Can my opponent find proof that trigger locks have led to more people being killed or robbed?

His next point regarding endangerment is refuted with my previous.

My opponent continues with the idea of an un-natural reading and writing of the Constitution being the way to go. I don't understand why anything would be written in a legally binding document if it weren't designed to have affect. This would be the result of accepting my opponent's premise, basically, you can pick and choose parts of documents as you see fit. This would lead to grave consequences upon the United States and the world as a whole, another reason to reject it.

"Obviously I was suffering intense muscle spasms when I wrote Thomas Jefferson. I meant James Madison, who was equally influential."

If you suffered intense muscle spasms then, I would assume that all of your writing would be a symptom of such a disorder.
The amendment originally provided by Mr. Madison was altered quite a bit throughout, obviously if he was Mr. influence 9000 then it would have flown through. The other amendments were rejected because Mr. Madison's was closest to correct, which proscribed that states shall be granted the right to have militias comprised of the people.

My opponent says that common civil use grants it protection, while I maintain that even more common criminal use makes it legal and reasonable to ban it, as evidenced by Miller. (Toss up?)
Debate Round No. 3
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

"Basically, he says that the first part of the 2nd amendment was just a joke, and that only the second half really matters. I say, 'no way! You can't pick and choose parts of the Constitution to listen to!' and I use a quote from the Supreme Court to back it up. He still thinks it is correct, and so to further prove this wrong, I present a quote from US v. Miller, the last major 2nd amendment case before this one: 'with obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of the state-regulated militias the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.'"

That lists the end. Basically, because state regulated militias are good, we need gun rights. Further proof needed? Uhh...how about the fact that the earliest commentator on the Constitution, a personal friend of both James Madison, the author of the amendment, and Thomas Jefferson, wrote in 1803 that it conferred an individual right to bear and keep arms.

"1. The Revolutionary War seemed to transpire over more than two battles.
2. Well regulated militias fought in both of those battles for the Revolutionaries. The minutemen were not just dudes with guns. They were the best of the Massachusetts militia, designed to be ready in a minutes notice. I will now quote Mr. Jared Sparks, author of a book on George Washington, who explains the Massachusetts militia in depth:"

The militias of that time were operating separate from the government, because it was the government they were fighting against. They were not state militias. Anyways, it is the right of the people to have arms, so just because it is to aid the formation of militias, people may still keep and bear arms. The definition of militia is not important.

"My opponent continues with the idea of the authors writing the second amendment just to be confusing. He says that James Madison originally wrote it, which is true, however, it went through intense discussion in the House and Senate, which was not comprised of lawyers exclusively, or even primarily. To say that they all were ones who felt that an un-natural reading that not even most of them could understand was best is hogwash. My opponent then goes to the wikipedia page on the history of amendment number 2. Its quite a good bit to read, I'm not really sure if he expects me to read all of it, without him explaining what is relevant to this discussion at all. Until further explanation, that link should be discounted as evidence."

I mean just the history part, it explains the common law background for the second amendment, the founder's views and commentators views. That gives us a clear view of the meaning of the second amendment. For example, the article said that NO ONE suggested that it conferred a collective right, not an individual one until the late nineteenth century. Yeah, it looks like the founders pretty clearly meant an individual right. Also, they weren't writing it to be confusing, they were writing the way people talked.

"My opponent says that there is no basis to assume that the amendment should lead to the assumption that the states should have the power to regulate arms to be used in their militias. The basis is that only certain weapons were kosher for militia use, namely muskets and rifles. The rightfulness of certain weapons was determined in laws written by the states regarding the creation of their respective militias."

DC is not a state, so it can't regulate its militia, but people can still have weapons. Also, like I said, the amendment clearly confers an individual right. States can regulate what is actually used in the militias, but nonetheless, people can keep whatever weapon they want.

"My opponent states that trigger locks inhibit one's ability of self defense. The purpose of a trigger lock is to prevent an accidental firing of said weapon, leading to unintentional deaths. I can prove this with statistics. Can my opponent find proof that trigger locks have led to more people being killed or robbed?"

I used common sense. In the minute it takes to disengage, all sorts of bad things could happen.

"My opponent continues with the idea of an un-natural reading and writing of the Constitution being the way to go. I don't understand why anything would be written in a legally binding document if it weren't designed to have affect. This would be the result of accepting my opponent's premise, basically, you can pick and choose parts of documents as you see fit. This would lead to grave consequences upon the United States and the world as a whole, another reason to reject it."

The preamble of the Constitution explains the purpose of the Constitution, yet it is not of legal bearing. You can't sue the government for not securing the blessings of liberty for you and your posterity, now can you?

"If you suffered intense muscle spasms then, I would assume that all of your writing would be a symptom of such a disorder.
The amendment originally provided by Mr. Madison was altered quite a bit throughout, obviously if he was Mr. influence 9000 then it would have flown through. The other amendments were rejected because Mr. Madison's was closest to correct, which proscribed that states shall be granted the right to have militias comprised of the people."

They were momentary muscle spasms. Anyways, if you have three of the same amendments, you only need to pass one.
The fact that two were rejected means nothing.

"My opponent says that common civil use grants it protection, while I maintain that even more common criminal use makes it legal and reasonable to ban it, as evidenced by Miller."

But the handgun is the most convenient gun on the market, banning it violates the people's right. I mean seriously, do you want to make room for proper storage of a bulky rifle, or for a compact handgun?

In conclusion, the second amendment was intended to be a an individual right, and the DC laws violate this individual right, therefore, you must vote Pro.
Sweatingjojo

Con

Jumping right into it:

You speak of a commentator that was not unlike the oracle of Delphi in his power to know all things. Unfortunately, you didn't provide a source, let alone a name, so there's really no proof that this person existed. My point stands then about not ignoring parts of the Constitution stands then.

"The militias of that time were operating separate from the government, because it was the government they were fighting against. They were not state militias."

The minutemen were militias of the Massachusetts bay Colony. Its a fact. "In the British colony of Massachusetts Bay, all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 30 were required to participate in their local militia. As early as 1645 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, some men were selected from the general ranks of town-based "training bands" to be ready for rapid deployment. Men so selected were designated as minutemen." -Gross [author name]

Yeah I have to stop now because I want to actually sleep/ unfair to refute everything without opponent's response.

I believe I won because of my point on the fact that they wouldn't want an un-natural writing to be in the Constitution, that armaments were regulated back then and so should still be allowed to reasonably today. Certainly its reasonable to limit weapons in a totally urban area, while still providing for other means of more effective self defense. I've shown with previous Supreme Court cases and quotes from notables that my position is more sensible.

Thank you and good night.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by magpie 8 years ago
magpie
Question for Sweat: What is the prefatory to the (amendment?) that guarantees the "right to abortion" ? In fact, where is the amendment?
The founding fathers demonstrated a profound ability to spell STATES. If the issue was related to states the directive would have read: "The states reserve the power to maintain a militia, and all facilities thereto. The states may at their discretion allow or disallow the people to own and carry firearms." In fact, the second amendment is an important part of the "Bill of Rights". These ten, enumerated rights are about the preexistent unalienable (natural right) of PEOPLE! States have NO RIGHTS - just enumerated powers, given to them by the people.
When a parent directs a child to stay off the street because he might be hit by a car, it would be ludicrous to suggest to the child that it is within the parent's intent to play in the street if there are no cars present.
Posted by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
Sweatingjojo
Again, I will provide a more in depth response next round, when time is not a factor.
Posted by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
Sweatingjojo
"There is no way of knowing when an "exceptional circumstance" will occur. This means that the law-abiding citizen would be screwed over by the less upright one."

This has nothing to do with the case of DC v. Heller anymore.

"As I have shown, the founders used legal terms, and as a legal term, "bear arms" meant to have them."

I have refuted the basis for this point, so it is untrue.

"Also, I have shown that the first clause is prefatory. Need further proof? The phrase is the Latin ablative absolute, and if properly used, the first part is explanatory, answering why (http://en.wikipedia.org......). As the founders were well versed in Latin, this is certainly the term they would have used."

Again, you are advocating the idea that the best way to read the constitution would be in an un-natural format. And you have no proof of anyone saying 'oh yeah, we wrote it like that because we didn't really mean the first part.'

"They only needed one amendment, so, as multiples were proposed, they chose the best. Thomas Jefferson, probably one of the most influential people at the time, wrote the Second Amendment, so he had the most clout to get his version passed."

Uhhh. Yeah. Thomas Jefferson was in France during the entirety of the Constitutional Convention. So This is completely false. You'd also need to prove that Pennslyvania and Massachusetts somehow didn't have enough clout.

"However, handguns are the most convenient, and the Courts have ruled that a weapon in common usage by the people cannot be prohibited. 1/3 of all the guns is a pretty common usage."

Most convenient for criminals that is. My facts have shown that handguns are in high frequency usage by those who wish to do another harm. Lets also not forget about the harrowing statistics regarding domestic violence and suicide when a handgun is in the home. If needed, I will present them.

The courts have also ruled that a weapon in common usage by criminals can and should be banned.
Posted by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
Sweatingjojo
Ah I always misplace the repeating sound.

In that case..

Its time to D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-d-d-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-DUEL.

As soon as I find my argument on my computer from times past, that is.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Posted by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
Sweatingjojo
ITs T-T-T-TIME TO DUEL
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Sure.
Posted by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
Sweatingjojo
I'd accept if the resolution were slightly altered to "The Supreme Court was right to rule in favor of Heller in DC v. Heller."
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Okay, if you insist.
Posted by knick-knack 8 years ago
knick-knack
Yes, why don't you post an argument first since this is the first round?

And you instigated the debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by tribefan011 8 years ago
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