The Instigator
michaelg
Con (against)
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0 Points
The Contender
ShaneM
Pro (for)
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Allowing assult rifles

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/17/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,568 times Debate No: 26283
Debate Rounds (3)
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michaelg

Con

Who needs an assult rifle?
Guns are a great thing, but they are also causing many unwanted and tragic deaths in the world. In aurora CO., the attacker used assult rifles to kill and injure dozens. Imagine if he only had a pistol or hunting rifle, much less damege would have been done. In the case of self defence, a home invader can easily be stopped with one pistol, or a shotgun, these can scare off or kill multiple people at once. So why do we need assult rifles? If by rare chance our government became controlling amd tyranical, there is always a way to get weapons either from overseas or from many who will still keep and hide assult rifles, and defecting militia members. So why do we need assult rifles?
ShaneM

Pro

Challenge Accepted!

First I would like to thank you for the debate. It appears that this will be a free-form debate as you didn’t give any guidelines. I will use this first round to define terms and make my argument.

Definitions:

Constitution in this debate will refer to the Constitution of the United States and its amendments.

Natural Rights are rights not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable. Natural rights are traditionally viewed as exclusively negative rights.

Negative Rights may include civil and political rights such as freedom of speech, private property, freedom from violent crime, freedom of worship, habeas corpus, a fair trial, freedom from slavery.

Assault Rifle - A military firearm that is chambered for ammunition of reduced size or propellant charge and that has the capacity to switch between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire. Assault rifles operate by using either propellant gases or blowback forces generated by a fired round to force back the bolt, eject the spent cartridge case, and cock the firing mechanism. A spring then pushes the bolt forward as a fresh cartridge is fed into the chamber, and the gun is fired again. Cartridges are fed into the guns from magazines holding as many as 30 rounds. Many assault rifles have attachments for grenade launchers, sniper scopes, and bayonets.
http://www.britannica.com...

Infringe – Act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on.
http://oxforddictionaries.com...

I only define infringe since it seems the meaning of this word has been lost when it comes to the Second Amendment of the Constitution:

“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.”

This means that the government cannot act to limit or undermine the right of the people to keep and carry weapons. Judging by the laws we have in place in the United States, I would say this has not been adhered to and this is because the Constitution is just a piece of paper at the end of the day. With or without the Constitution this right will always exist forever and in every country because it is a Natural Right. This is the thought behind the founders of the United States, that even if a government tells you something is illegal you still have the Natural Right because it is inalienable. I believe this is all that needs to be argued that assault rifles should be allowed.

You must prove that the Constitution allows for the ban or limit on assault rifles before we can debate any of the pros and cons of civilians keeping and carrying assault rifles. I would like to point out that any statistics that you try to bring up do not amount to constitutionality.

Another point I would like to make before I conclude is that you cannot use any Supreme Court rulings to back up your case to attempt to prove the Constitution allows for a ban or limit on assault rifles. This is for the simple reason that the Constitution does not delegate the right to interpret the Constitution to them, which means that the ninth and tenth amendments of the Constitution should be applied. This means the right to interpret the Constitution belongs to the States of the United States and to the people. This can be found in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson respectively. You can find current uses of this right, which is called Nullification, today which is used by California to override unconstitutional federal laws prohibiting the use or ownership of medical Marijuana and in 2005 when several states refused to implement the unconstitutional Real ID Act of 2005.

Now I would like to talk about a few of your points for the purpose of debate.

“Who needs an assault rifle?”

I answer this rhetorically with, who needs a gun, a car, a computer? Well most of the time we don’t need any of these things, but there are those occasions when we find it very convenient to have them. It can be used for many different purposes, such as killing, a source of entertainment (by going to the range)or it can be used to defend. Defending doesn’t necessarily mean killing, as just the sight of the weapon may make an intruder think twice. There are probably other uses that I can’t even imagine; not all uses are good and not all uses I approve of, but I will never approve of infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.


“Guns are a great thing, but they are also causing many unwanted and tragic deaths in the world. In aurora CO., the attacker used assult rifles to kill and injure dozens. Imagine if he only had a pistol or hunting rifle, much less damege would have been done.”

I think guns are a great thing too, and that they do cause many unwanted and tragic deaths. I also think cars are great and that they cause many unwanted and tragic deaths. A car is considered a deadly weapon and also has the potential to kill and injure dozens.

Should we ban cars or just punish people that do bad things with cars? I don’t mean to imply with this question that you want to ban all guns because you clearly don’t.

I would also like to say that even a pistol can kill and injure dozens seeing as a Glock handgun has a 30 round magazine option. I think it would also be fair to imagine if only one or more people had a gun in that theater, then they could have shot back. I think the big issue is gun-free zones, like that movie theater, which is where most of these tragic gun shootings occur. We can what-if this to death talking about him having body armor and a rifle, but I would like to make one point which I think we can all hold valid, which is most people don’t like to be shot back at and tend to take cover, even if they have body armor.

“In the case of self defence, a home invader can easily be stopped with one pistol, or a shotgun, these can scare off or kill multiple people at once. So why do we need assult rifles?”

I agree that in the case of self-defense most home invaders can be stopped with a pistol or shotgun, I suggest the shotgun, but maybe a riot breaks out or some rare situation occurs that it would be the best choice of weapon, then it’s better to have it and never use it then to not have it and need it. That is a statement about guns in general. It’s kind of like your spare tire for your car, you will almost never need it but it’s great to have when your tire blows out.

“If by rare chance our government became controlling amd tyranical, there is always a way to get weapons either from overseas or from many who will still keep and hide assult rifles, and defecting militia members. So why do we need assult rifles?”

I love this argument. If the government become tyrannical you are right the guns will be just as available as when they are banned. Then you move on to saying how people will have assault rifles even if they are banned because they will never give them up. Also the last assault weapon ban grandfathered in all current assault weapons so they were still on the streets any way. Last you say that we can get assault rifles from militia members but I think you mean military members that disobey unconstitutional orders, which is true they will bring a lot of goodies. Militia members are simply citizens like you and I that are called to arms as opposed to professional soldiers, it has nothing to do with the standing army.

Anyway I think history shows that this may be too late to start preparing to defend against tyrannical government. If it were possible for the Jews to have done this in Germany once they started going door to door rounding them up, I think they would have. Remember that Germany was a Constitutional Republic when this started happening. Anyway, I have the right to be prepared and I’d rather not take any chances, so “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Debate Round No. 1
michaelg

Con

Definitions:

Militia:
A body of citizens enrolled for military service, and called out periodically for drill, but serving full time only in emergencies.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Amendment: in government and law, an addition or alteration made to a constitution, statute, or legislative bill or resolution. Amendments can be made to existing constitutions and statutes and are also commonly made to bills in the course of their passage through a legislature. Since amendments to a national constitution can fundamentally change a country’s political system or governing institutions, such amendments are usually submitted to an exactly prescribed procedure.
http://www.britannica.com...

Article Five: of the United States Constitution describes the process whereby the Constitution may be altered. Altering the Constitution consists of proposing an amendment or amendments and subsequent ratification.
http://en.wikipedia.org...


The Second Amendment: It states: "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"
http://en.wikipedia.org...

What this means:

These definitions mean many things.

1
. This issue can depend on your definition of militia. Is a regular citizen a member of the militia? Some take it to mean those who are entered into the selected service, ( U.S army draft), which would mean that only men 18 years of age or older, and no older than 45 years old, are allowed to own weapons. Women, seniors, and people not registered would not be allowed to have any gun whatsoever.
2
. By the second amendment, any citizen would be able to obtain bombs, grenades, and WMD's.
3. Article 5 of the constitution says that the constitution can be changed at any time, following a few rules and votes.

The founding fathers of the united states lived in a time of muskets and small arms, none of which could do much damage. They never would have realized that automatic and dangerous weapons would one day exist, in there time it took over a minute to reload a gun, and the soldiers had a very limited supply of ammunition. They had no nukes and missiles, only cannons which had a very limited supply of ammo, and were hard to shoot and reload. So in the modern world, along with many other things, it seems fit for a change in the constitution.


You have made a very strong case, and as a new person on this website, I will use your argument a a guide for further debates. However , I want to argue against some points you have made.

"A car is considered a deadly weapon and also has the potential to kill and injure dozens.
Should we ban cars or just punish people that do bad things with cars?"
The thing here is that cars have become a neccesity, and we have become pretty much dependent on cars and motor vehicles. There really isn't an alternative to cars, but there is an alternative to an assault rifle, small arms.

"I think it would also be fair to imagine if only one or more people had a gun in that theater, then they could have shot back. I think the big issue is gun-free zones, like that movie theater, which is where most of these tragic gun shootings occur."

I completely agree with this statement. Gun free zones are becoming a problem, all though I believe schools and government building should always be gun free. But in the argument of assault rifles, would someone in the theater have needed and assault rifle to defend themselves? There would be no way someone could just carry in an ak-47 without being questioned, and there really isn't a way to conceal it. So I would like it if areas could allow guns, but have restrictions as to what you are allowed to carry.


You also say that in the case of a riot or something like that, it would be nice to have an assault rifle, and I agree. But I feel that people wont just give up their guns if a ban was in place, and just leave them at home. So, even with a ban, you would be able to defend yourself and your property, with the assault rifle at home, and a pistol in public.


This argument can take many forms, with gun free zones, magazine capacity limits, complete bans, and other things. But I feel that at least a public ban on assault rifles might be necessary.







ShaneM

Pro

Rebuttals:


1. I think your misreading the plain text of the second amendment. It clearly states the right of the people, not the right of the militia, to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Yes the founders write like Yoda, so in laymen’s terms it means the right of the people to keep and bear arms shouldn’t be infringed because it is important for them to assemble a Militia to protect a Free State. So it basically is just giving one reason why it is important for the people to keep and bear arms. There is no need to argue who is part of the Militia as that is not a requirement to keep and bear arms. My opponent has tried to prove that the constitution doesn’t protect every citizen’s right to keep and bear arms and I have disproved that here. My opponent must still prove that the constitution doesn’t protect the right to keep and bear arms or I will content to our judges that we should allow assault rifles, simply because it is a protect right.


2
. To understand what the founders meant by arms you have to look at the context of the time when it was written. This is what is known as original intent. If you look at it from that context then it would mean all weapons which are considered conventional for warfare; which during their time there was no such weapon that wasn’t conventional. So this would not allow for WMD’s. I’m going to finish on this topic by moving to your third contention as I am going to get on the topic of Article 5.


3. Yes this is usually where I refer all gun grabbers to go so they can attempt to make it constitutional to ban their guns. And it’s not a few votes. It appears that we agree then, as the constitution stands, Assault Rifles should be allowed since it would be unconstitutional to do other-wise. I do believe that an amendment should be passed to clarify the issue on arms when it comes to WMD’s. I believe having the term conventional arms would suffice.



“The founding fathers of the united states lived in a time of muskets and small arms, none of which could do much damage. They never would have realized that automatic and dangerous weapons would one day exist, in there time it took over a minute to reload a gun, and the soldiers had a very limited supply of ammunition. They had no nukes and missiles, only cannons which had a very limited supply of ammo, and were hard to shoot and reload. So in the modern world, along with many other things, it seems fit for a change in the constitution.”

I hear this one all of the time. It doesn’t matter what they envisioned the future of weapons to be, they wrote the second amendment to be able to keep up with the times. I don’t think it’s fair to bundle together automatic and dangerous since all weapons are dangerous. As I mentioned before I do believe we need an update to the constitution to make it clear that it applies to conventional arms only. The topic of missiles is a different debate, but I would contend that the manner of which you bear, not keep, these big arms could be regulated at the state level, but never at the federal level. I would note that this debate should be solely judged by the way the law stands currently, and not how either one of us would like to see it changed to.

“You have made a very strong case, and as a new person on this website, I will use your argument a a guide for further debates. However , I want to argue against some points you have made.”


Thank you, I have heard almost all of the arguments before. This is my first debate on this site, but usually the instigator sets up some rules or a frame work of what exactly is to be debated and how it is to be debated.

“The thing here is that cars have become a neccesity, and we have become pretty much dependent on cars and motor vehicles. There really isn't an alternative to cars, but there is an alternative to an assault rifle, small arms.”

A car being a necessity doesn’t make it not a deadly weapon. There are alternatives to cars; I tend to walk to the stores that are near me. I know in some areas of the country this may not be practical, which is why a one size fits all solution of an assault rifle ban would be just as impractical. There are alternative to just about everything.

“I completely agree with this statement. Gun free zones are becoming a problem, all though I believe schools and government building should always be gun free. But in the argument of assault rifles, would someone in the theater have needed and assault rifle to defend themselves? There would be no way someone could just carry in an ak-47 without being questioned, and there really isn't a way to conceal it. So I would like it if areas could allow guns, but have restrictions as to what you are allowed to carry.”


I will only touch on this briefly. You say you agree then but you still believe schools and government buildings should be gun free! If it is a public building let the people carry, if it is a private building that is a different story since it’s their castle and their rules. The theater is a private establishment which banned guns, which is well in their rights. They are also liable for everyone in the theater, since they have disarmed them. I’m not going to make a case for anyone to need an assault rifle in a theater. It is really that theaters call, I don’t believe this would erode my case since I believe in private property rights.

“You also say that in the case of a riot or something like that, it would be nice to have an assault rifle, and I agree. But I feel that people wont just give up their guns if a ban was in place, and just leave them at home. So, even with a ban, you would be able to defend yourself and your property, with the assault rifle at home, and a pistol in public.”

Okay so we agree there is at least one situation where an assault rifle has a potential civilian use. Wow, so let me get this right. You advocate banning assault rifles, but everything will be okay because most aren’t going to give them up and they can defend their home with their now illegal weapon. I’m sure this will go over real well with the police when someone actually does defend their home with an assault rifle. I find this logic to be self-defeating since you seem to be okay with the ban only because you don’t think it will truly be effective.

Debate Round No. 2
michaelg

Con

michaelg forfeited this round.
ShaneM

Pro

ShaneM forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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