The Instigator
RebornPatriot
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
charleslb
Con (against)
Winning
53 Points

Gun Rights

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
charleslb
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,364 times Debate No: 20241
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (10)

 

RebornPatriot

Pro

I would like to dedicate the opening argument as an acceptance round
charleslb

Con

Okeydokey, let's begin as all good thinkers should, by defining our terms. We all know what a gun is, it's of course a lethal weapon that fires a led projectile. However, the word & concept "right" is in need of a bit of defining. Have you ever noticed how some people will simply ask you if you believe in God, as if "God" is a universally shared theological notion requiring no clarification? Well, the same is the case with the word "rights", people carry on entire discourses about rights without ever bothering to define the word. Let's take at least a brief moment to parse this so glibly bandied word.

A "right", I would argue, is essentially an entitlement and a liberty that passes the test of Kant's categorical imperative, i.e. that is universalizable, that can and ought to be made an exceptionlessly generic precept, that can and ought to be granted to everyone, regardless of color, creed, or personal merit. For instance, freedom of speech and conscience isn't based on the content of one's speech or whether one has an enlightened conscience, it's deemed to be a universal good that each and every one of us is entitled to enjoy. It doesn't matter if you're a hatemonger, a scumbag, or a former felon, your claim to receive society's sufferance to speak your mind is recognized as a right, and the denial of this right is recognized as a greater evil than its indiscriminate bestowal.

Now then, can we say that this is the case with private gun ownership? That is, is the "right" of private individuals to possess a lethal firearm something that can and ought to be universalized? Would it be safe & sane to permit everyone, without exception – to allow the good, the bad, and the ugly, alike – to have a big ole phallic .44 Magnum or an AK? Come now, can we really afford, as a matter of public policy and safety, to categorically and indiscriminately bestow such a "right"? We can grudgingly acknowledge that a member of the Hell's Angels, the Bloods, Crips, and La Cosa Nostra have a right to free speech, but would we concede that an individual belonging to one of these organizations has an inviolable right to the firepower provided by the kind of artillery you can buy in an American gun store?!

Under our current laws, of course, if an individual hasn't yet been found guilty of a felony or certified to be mentally unstable, he can be a gang member or a maniac and legally own an assault weapon!!!; but how, I ask, is this universalization of the right of all non-convicted-felons and non-diagnosed-lunatics to own a gun working for our society? For an answer to that question one need only Google this country's homicide statistics. No, most reasonable people not raised in America's gun culture would say that it's obviously a rather bad idea to universalize the right to bear arms to all private citizens without a rap sheet or psychiatric history, which is why the citizens of most Western nations are okay with the fact that they can't easily obtain a Street Sweeper or an Uzi.

Ah, but if legal gun ownership is not such an unambiguously universalizable proposition, if it's perhaps not at all universalizable in an indiscriminate sense, if there certainly must be exceptions, people to whom it would be prudent and justifiable to deny the "right" to carry a piece, well, then ipso facto, by virtue of the universalizability standard of what constitutes a right, gun ownership is not, is most certainly not a right. It's more of a privilege, a privilege that one must earn one's eligibility to enjoy. That is, one ought to be a part of a well-regulated militia or the duly constituted constabulary on one's society to be armed with a dangerous, death-dealing weapon such as a gun.

Another definition of a human right would be that a human right is a sine qua non, something indispensably necessary for human beings to enjoy the well-being and flourishing, the actualization of human potential that is our raison d'etre. Freedom of speech, freedom of belief, freedom of assembly, for example, are all such sine qua nons, all quite arguably necessary for us to have a life worth living, this is why so many people are willing to fight and risk death to defend these fundamental entitlements. However, it's not at all so readily arguable that gun ownership is the same kind of sine qua non for our well-being and flourishing. And indeed, many of us don't really viscerally feel that it is.

Say what? Well, if someone gave a war that was exclusively about securing our right to bear arms, not any of our other valued liberties, but only our right to bear arms, I strongly suspect that a good many people wouldn't be too gung ho to sign up to fight in it the way they would be if freedom of belief and speech were at stake. This is because they rationally and intuitively know that the right to own a gat isn't really up there with real, I-wouldn't-want-to-live-without-them rights.

Yep, except for truly hardcore gun nuts no one is going to say "Give me my Glock or give me death". But of course "Give me liberty or give me death" has been said and reiterated a great many times. This suggests a significant difference between our Second Amendment right to own firearms and a true right, one that most ordinary citizens, i.e. non-gun-lovers seem to grasp on both an intellectual and an instinctive level. I.e. they grasp that our society being one in which millions of guns are floating around for every potentially postal Tom, dangerous Dick, and homicidal Harry to lay his hands on is not actually a part of what makes it a great society, hence the unlikeliness of them being very willing to enlist en masse to fight for gun rights. Gun rights are merely a social and legal construct of the American gun culture, not an authentic freedom that we're unalienably endowed with by our Creator, and deep down we all know this full well.

I know of course that Second Amendment types will rationalize that guns do enhance our well-being by affording us protection against crime. But if societies with severely restricted access to guns have much lower homicide and violent crime rates, then clearly deterring and being safe from crime can't be reduced to making guns easily available to the citizenry. Nor are guns merely neutral inanimate objects that have nothing to do with generating high crime stats. Certainly there's much more to crime & violence in America than the legality of guns (such as economic factors and the fact that American culture is quite violent!), but guns do make their contribution.

Well, guns obviously provide the means to carry out various crimes, such as drive-bys (there aren't too many drive-by knife throwings after all) and armed robberies (which in many cases are a good bit easier to pull off with a sawed-off shotgun than a club). But the role of guns in crime isn't merely a matter of being the means for the commission of bad acts. Having the means can contribute to motivation. That is, people are generally more motivated to attempt something when they possess the ideal means, and a gun is often the ideal means for perpetrating murderous mayhem. Although villains are still responsible for their choices, guns aren't mere passive participants in lawbreaking and gangbanging, they help to spur individuals having evil thoughts to act upon them and are therefore arguably not entirely conducive to our well-being and, once again, not sine qua nons of human happiness that would make their ownership a human "right".

To Summarize,
1. Gun rights are not universalizable and unconditional, therefore they're privileges, not rights per se.
2. Gun rights aren't necessary conditions of human freedom & flourishing, ergo they aren't intrinsic human rights.
3. Guns play too much of a supporting role, as it were, in crime for us to rationalize treating gun rights as an ideological sacred cow.

Ergo, gun rights are a consensual cultural fiction, not a fact.
Debate Round No. 1
RebornPatriot

Pro

RebornPatriot forfeited this round.
charleslb

Con

Since my opponent is MIA and hasn't posted an argument yet I'd like to begin by touching on a few points that I didn't have adequate space for in the first round.

Firstly, I'm aware that many true believers in the right to bear arms are of the view that this "right" is a sine qua non for a full and flourishing human life because it's supposedly de rigueur to ensure that we the people can defend our liberty, which of course is a necessary condition of man's spiritual well-being. Chicken Little-style, some 2nd Amendmentites suggest that if the citizenry is disarmed then the day after tomorrow the state will pounce and impose full-blown totalitarian tyranny! This fear is refuted by empirical examples of Western societies in which private gun ownership has been restricted for quite some time without it leading to the advent of Stalinism or anything of the kind. The peoples of Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, etc. are no worse off, civil liberties-wise, for not enjoying the same easy availability of guns that Americans have come to consider a "right". (And yes, Herr Hitler banned private ownership of guns as a part of imposing his dictatorship on the German people, but his ability to transform the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich had more to do with the politico-economic conditions of the time and with Deutschland's lack of a democratic tradition and values than with a disarmed citizenry.)

Moving on, for the adherents of the libertarian philosophy the right to own a gun is an absolute, and the social consequences be damned. Dyed-in-their-doctrinarianism libertarians certainly aren't going to be argued out of this mind-set any time soon, and so I won't undertake such an exercise in futility. However, I would point out that the rugged-individualists and rustic proto-libertarians of the American Old West that many modern libertarians admire had the good horse sense to not make an absolute of gun rights. For instance, many Western towns had an ordinance requiring anyone entering the town limits with a gun to deposit it at the sheriff's or marshal's office for the duration of his stay in town. Only someone dogmatically locked into libertarian ideology could fail to see the wisdom of adopting similar restrictions on gun rights.

There's something I'd like to take a brief moment to clarify here, as an aside. For some of you perhaps gun rights are a legal and constitutional issue; however, for me it's a social and ethical question, and that's how I'm approaching it. I'll leave constitutional quibbling about the meaning of the Second Amendment to lawyers and academics. I'll merely point out that the wording about a "well-regulated militia" is more significant than right-wingers who prefer a literalistic interpretation care to concede.

Guns have been a non-trivial part of this country's history and popular culture, and the law has simply taken the American tradition of private gun ownership and codified it into a legal "right". However, of course, no such right is written in stone, or in anyone's scriptures, or in the consensus gentium, nor is it even unambiguously written in the founding legal document of these United States. The "right" to own a firearm is merely a historical idiosyncrasy of our society, nothing more. Other societies don't recognize the right of their citizens to possess carbines and M-16s and .45s not because these societies are less in love with liberty, or less inclined to allow their citizens to possess a means of self-defense, but because they don't share the American historical experience. Anyone whose common sense and conventional wisdom hasn't been too profoundly molded by acculturation in the American love of guns can readily acknowledge that this is clearly the case.

Guns are instruments of death, anti-life objects that take a whole lot of legal & moral specious special pleading to be cast in the sublime light of a hallowed "right".

But then this is no problem for confirmed NRAers, who have a corner or their minds, a nook in their worldview where they religiously maintain a little ideological altar or shrine to that holy conservative icon, gun rights. It's a mental sanctum in which they venerate their own sectarian interpretation of the Second Amendment. And pretty much all of their thinking and passion on gun issues emanates directly from this psychological place of quasi-theological dogmatism, which is why it can't really be impacted or countered by rational argument. In other words, I'm speaking of Second Amendment fundamentalists.

It's of course notoriously difficult to sway people from the psychological stance of fundamentalism. When even a seemingly irresistible logical argument meets an immovable psychological stance such as fundamentalism head-on, well, logic will simply, quite often, be deflected by rationalization and/or denial. Gun enthusiasts are a case in point. They cognitively cling to and take rhetorical shelter behind their intellectually dishonest and defensive shibboleths, e.g. that a gun-control practicing society is doomed to succumb to statist tyranny and that the more guns there are floating around in society the safer you and I are from the bad guys, and if confronted with arguments and evidence to the contrary they glibly dismiss them.

Nevertheless, I've argued in round one (for the benefit of the reasonable and open-minded members of DDO) that gun ownership is not a universalizable entitlement, i.e. a "right", it's more in the category of a privilege, one that society should exercise all due caution in granting to its citizens. Also, gun ownership is not an essential requirement, such as freedom of conscience and expression, for human beings to maximize the potential of a human life, therefore it cannot be legitimately claimed as a human right. Nor have gun advocates demonstrated to the satisfaction of reasonable people that the proliferation of legal firearms in society is conducive to public safety. Nor is private gun ownership necessary to guarantee the survival of our democratic way of life (societies in which democracy persists without an armed-to-the-teeth electorate empirically refute such a notion).

And now I'll add one more argument, what I'll call my Rawlsian argument. Ask yourself, if you were standing behind a veil of ignorance and about to be born into a society without knowing for a fact whether you personally would be benefitted or harmed by the easy availability of guns, would you really choose to live in a society of radically deregulated gun ownership, i.e. a society full of guns that can find their way into virtually anyone's hands? That is, would you really reason that such a society, one with lax or no gun laws because gun ownership is viewed as a right, a society in which everyone therefore has license to go about strapped (which is what gun rights extremists advocate) would be the one most likely to guarantee your personal security? If your answer is no, then you can't very well consider gun ownership to be a genuine right.

Rationally restricting access to guns, rather than treating gun ownership like a fundamental and sacrosanct right, is certainly what most sane & sensible folks would choose if they approached the gun question in such a Rawlsian fashion.

Let me be blunt, the law is a form of social control. When the law and the powers that be grant the people any rights it's usually not a matter of benevolence and idealism but rather a matter of appeasement. The Bill of Rights is no exception, the Bill of Rights was one big bill of appeasement to get the Constitution ratified. Today our Second Amendment gun rights are still largely just a matter of appeasing conservative voters and the mighty gun lovers lobby. This is truly all that gun rights boil down to, political appeasement, not real, Rawlsian rights. It's time for such realpolitik appeasement to end, its cost in human lives has become too expensive.
Debate Round No. 2
RebornPatriot

Pro

RebornPatriot forfeited this round.
charleslb

Con

Let's get real, shall we. How, pray tell, dear gun rights advocates, is it, exactly, that private gun ownership is a plausible part of the solution rather than a fairly glaring dimension of the problem of violent crime in our society? For instance, the easy availability of guns allows drug-dealing gangs to dominate entire neighborhoods. How is it that the remedy for this situation is going to come out of the barrel of a gun? Should the "good people" in drug/gang-ridden communities form armed private militias to combat the gangs with firepower purchased at their local gun stores?!

Of course the real remedy for the scourge of drugs and drug-related crime lies in recognizing it as a societal, psychological, and spiritual ill, and treating it accordingly. Guns have no part in such an approach.

And please, spare me the old canard that if we disarm the law-abiding citizenry the guns in the possession of criminals will continue to proliferate. Most crime guns start out not as black-market items, but rather as legally bought & sold weapons. Shady individuals acquire them through straw-man purchases from licensed sellers in states with lax gun control laws and resell them on the streets New York and Boston; burglars steal them from our homes; and, of course, crooks & thugs buy them off-the-books from ethically-challenged dealers. Mm-hmm, it's an absolute myth that most illegal firearms were smuggled into the country by "gun runners". The black market is supplied mostly from legal sources, dry up these legal sources and you will significantly decrease the availability of guns to criminals.

Of course this is a hard sell to many folks, even when we have this information our fear of crime and its perpetrators distorts our common sense so that it tells us, quite counterintuitively, that the bad guys will always have just as many guns as they currently do, no matter how strict our gun laws are. There are fear-informed beliefs that quite convincingly feel like reality, and then there's genuine reality, telling the difference isn't always easy. In this case, reality is that the constitutionally-protected legality of private gun ownership in the United States is certainly a factor in producing a well-armed criminal element. Repealing and restricting gun rights is a necessary if frightening step in the direction of a safer society.

Ruggedly-individualistic gun enthusiasts, however, would still prefer to live in a society in which we all go about with a firearm on our hips, manfully inflicting summary justice on evildoers and making society safe one dead evildoer at a time. But is such a position logical or psychological, ethical or egoistic?

Moving on, let me set forth an argument that private gun ownership is seriously antithetical to democracy. The 18th century democratic philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau pointed out that the original sins that lead to social inequality are the excessive privatization of what should be community property, and that institution called the law. He argued that the only way to endow the law with some redeeming legitimacy is to make it codify and serve, in as equitable a fashion as possible, what he called the "general will" of the people, i.e. their general interests and common good. Now then, does the conservative laissez-faire approach to enhancing public safety, by in effect privatizing the community's role in maintaining it, i.e. delegating this role to heat-packing private citizens who issue on-the-spot death sentences to criminals, does this promote social equality or, potentially, the private power of the citizens with the most and the biggest guns; does it promote democracy or the street tyranny of gun-toting individuals and vigilante mobs?

Permitting private ownership of guns does indeed potentially promote the erosion of social democracy by privatized might that should, by all rights, belong to communities qua communities, not to rugged and vigilantistic individuals as such. The so-called right to bear arms, as many 2nd Amendmentites conceive it, arguably threatens our very democracy and all of our other democratic freedoms & values, and therefore cannot be considered to be a democratic right at all. It is, rather, merely an anti-democratic foible of the American Constitution, like the reserved powers clause of the Tenth Amendment that gave a wink to slavery. And, just like slavery, it delegitimizes our pretense of democratic government.

This democratic, Rousseauist argument recognizes that liberty is a socially-achieved state of human existence, not one that can be achieved and preserved by each of us existing as armed atomized actors on society's stage, as veritable Dirty Harry wannabes. This is something that staunch gun rights advocates, with their right-wing concept of freedom, often fail to grasp.

Alas, although gun rights proponents pride themselves on being common sense realists, somehow an ironclad-in-its-commonsensicality argument for their position remains something of a chimera. That is, it's claimed to exist but has never been substantiated – you might say that it's an intellectual bigfoot, like bigfoot all of its reported sightings prove to be hoaxes and all of its footprints fakes.

Nevertheless, gunniks remain rationalizingly invested in their arguments, so I'll conclude by briefly reviewing them, and in the process reviewing the arguments for my position.

Gun rights fetishists assert:

1. That a society full of private gun owners is necessary insurance for a free society. On the contrary, the sort of armed and loaded-for-bear individualism that some right-wing 2nd Amendmentites go in for is decidedly antithetical to the democratic communitarianism that is the ethos of a genuinely free and egalitarian society. How so? Well, not that the movies are generally a good source of accurate historical data, but simply rent a couple of Westerns from Netflix and you'll get an idea of how a gunslinging individual, or an overgreedy cattle baron with many guns at his disposal, can dominate a whole town and deprive its citizens of their freedom. Or think of the urban neighborhoods whose residents are terrorized and tyrannized by the guns in the possession of mercenarily individualistic gang members. Quite simply, the effect of guns can be destructive of community and of people's ability to enjoy their freedom.

2. That gun ownership is a right because self-defense against criminals is a right. Yes self-defense is a right, but I don't agree that the easy availability of guns promotes my personal security. Guns are indeed a factor in much of the crime that goes down in our society, and this fact can't be handily disposed of with glib platitudes such as "Guns don't kill people, people kill people". When it comes to crime, well, guns certainly aren't the whole problem, but they're more a part of it than they are a part of the solution.

3. That the Constitution of the United States grants & guarantees our right to own everything from a starter's pistol to a fully automatic AK-47. Sorry, but this is just a matter of interpretation (an extreme interpretation that many legal scholars would respectfully disagree with). And certainly there's no natural and universally-recognized civil right to privately own a gun. American gun rights are a quirk of American culture and history, and not much more. As soon as we start thinking along the lines of the Kantian categorical imperative we realize that it's ethically untenable and socially insane to unconditionally universalize gun rights; and that, ergo, gun ownership is more aptly thought of as a restrictable privilege and a heavy responsibility, not at all an uncurbed right such as freedom of belief. Moreover, gun ownership is not at all a sine qua non of human flourishing – people can and do lead very free and fulfilling lives without owning firearms – and thus not a human right.

I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by charleslb 4 years ago
charleslb
Lasagna wrote: ""Only charleslb would type up all three of his debate rounds and post five full-length Comments in response to absolutely nothing."

LOL. I bet there are a pile of broken keyboards behind his computer chair, with sparks flying out of them and keys with the letters long wore off."

Such wit dear Lasagna. Btw, nothing personal but I've always prefered capellini (thin pasta) myself.
Posted by Lasagna 4 years ago
Lasagna
"Only charleslb would type up all three of his debate rounds and post five full-length Comments in response to absolutely nothing."

LOL. I bet there are a pile of broken keyboards behind his computer chair, with sparks flying out of them and keys with the letters long wore off.
Posted by charleslb 4 years ago
charleslb
Some Final Thoughts on the Topic

Not to sound like a lawyer here, but let's say that I stipulate that the buck of moral accountability should not be passed from criminals and killers to the weapons they use. But this being said, guns are not just blameless shiny objects with no share in the wrongdoing and wickedness they facilitate. Rather, guns are like crack to individuals contemplating committing a crime. The send out a subliminal siren's song that further tempts him/her to perpetrate the despicable deed being premeditated. That is, the presence of guns in the equation most certainly does affect people's decisions and behavior. They are not passive items, they sometimes give us that little extra push to be bad and belligerent. Sure, being under the influence of drugs or desperate for one's next fix doesn't absolve one of responsibility for one's evil conduct, and neither does being under the influence of the availability of a gun. However, this doesn't mean that we should dismiss the reality that guns do assist, embolden, and encourage those so inclined to do violence and crime. Guns are a factor in much of our modern society's crime, even if only a secondary factor, and this is a fact gun lovers need to face with intellectual honesty and moral courage, not evade with ideological sophistry and a morally chickens*t retreat into denial. (continued below)
Posted by charleslb 4 years ago
charleslb
As for framing the issue of gun rights as a libertarian cause célèbre, a case of the private individual's rights vs. the government's putative propensity to become an overbearing big brother, well, that plays nicely to those with an ideological idée fixe about the state up their libertarian behinds, but since other societies in which the government enforces a greater measure of gun control (France, Australia, The Netherlands, etc.) haven't exactly gone totalitarian, it's hardly a realistic concern. A citizenry steeped in the values of democracy, not an armed-to-the-teeth populace, is the best insurance for the liberties we enjoy.

In most modern societies most sensible people realize that guns are dangerous items that shouldn't be too readily accessible to Jonh & Jane Q. Public, who may or may not be equipped with the mental maturity and moral conscience to be trusted with a lethal weapon. That so many otherwise levelheaded folks in this country can't seem to grasp this is a quite abberant bit of American exceptionalism, it would be quaint if it didn't cause so many tragic deaths.
Posted by charleslb 4 years ago
charleslb
Well, we can all remain up in the cloud-cuckoo-land of theoretical debate; we can speculate, in whichever direction we're ideologically inclined, about what the consequences of banning guns vs. making them easily available might be, and we can construct plausible arguments to support our speculative-ideological positions. But all of our rationalization and rhetoric on the issue of gun rights is rendered quite academic if we simply take notice of the fact that there are real-world social laboratories, as it were, countries in which unpermissive restrictions on access to guns are in place and have been for some time; and, conversely, in which easygoing regulation of private gun ownership is the law of the land.
Okay, and so what then are the results of these societies' social experimentation with strict vs. lax gun regulation? Well, firstly, Western countries that don't recognize any putative right of their citizens to bear arms do not have a higher crime rate than the U.S.; rather, they all have lower homicide and violent crime statistics. And secondly, a largely disarmed population has not led to the rise of statist repression of a Hitlerian intensity in Belgium, Britain, Australia, France, etc. Now then, if we look at the United States where of course we have the good ole Second Amendment blocking stringent gun control, we find a shockingly high incidence of murder and crimes involving the use of firearms. And we also find heavily armed right-wing militias whose members are currently taken to be harmless cranks who play weekend warrior in the woods with assault rifles, but who under the right circumstances would use their AK-47s to take over and establish their own tea party totalitarianism. So much for American exceptionalism! (continued directly below)
Posted by charleslb 4 years ago
charleslb
Well then, not treating private gun ownership as a right does not lead to catastrophic consequences, societies that don't have anything like the Second Amendment are in fact safer and more stable. This really ought to settle the question. Ah, but they many folks are more immersed in their subjective ideologies than they are in touch with objective reality, and not about to allow the facts to put a crimp in their conservative convictions.
Posted by charleslb 4 years ago
charleslb
Wnope wrote:
If it were shown that the second amendment was written specifically to protect an individuals right to own a gun, would you admit we have a right to bear arms?

Also, if the process of strict scrutiny were applied to challenged gun restrictions law (meaning, no bazookas), would you have a problem with a right to keep and bear arms?

My response:
1. From 1919-1933 the 18th Amendment constitutionally established the legal fiction that producing and consuming alcohol was something that the federal government had the right and authority to prohibit. But simply because this legal fiction was the law of the land, simply because Uncle Sam arrogated the authority to decree a dry nation, did NOT make the right to prohibit imbibing a genuine governmental right. Likewise, even if the Constitution actually grants private citizens the right to bear arms, well, this doesn't ipso facto make it a natural right that should be preserved for all time. It's still just another legal fiction given sacred cow status by being enshrined in the Constitution, and it's certainly my view that it, the 2nd Amendment, should be repealed rather than reverenced like some kind of holy writ.

I'll also add that, as I clarified in round two, for me gun rights are a social and ethical question, not a legal issue. I'll leave the constitutional chicanery to the legally trained hired guns of the gun lobby, and the constitutional quackery to the lay constitutional scholars of the right-wing.

2. As for the process of applying the strict scrutiny standard, it can of course be merely a process of lofty pettifoggery; of legal scholasticism, i.e. lawyers determining how many legal fictions can be made to dance to their tune in the heads of judges and Supreme Court justices. Quite simply, the 2nd Amendment should be repealed and communities should have the unhindered right to democratically decide what kind of gun control legislation they wish to enact.
Posted by Wnope 4 years ago
Wnope
If it were shown that the second amendment was written specifically to protect an individuals right to own a gun, would you admit we have a right to bear arms?

Also, if the process of strict scrutiny were applied to challenged gun restrictions law (meaning, no bazookas), would you have a problem with a right to keep and bear arms?
Posted by charleslb 4 years ago
charleslb
For whatever reason my philosophical foe in this forensic contest has been an absentee arguer. However, as I have no desire to win by default I therefore propose the following. I propose that I take on all comers, that any and everyone who disagrees with my position, who is pro-gun rights posts his/her arguments and attempted refutations of my arguments here in the comments section. And I propose that DDO citizens eligible to vote weigh my arguments against these contributions before doing so. This will make it a genuine and sporting debate, rather than a one-sided monologue, and therefore a good bit more intellectually engaging. Yep, consider it an open debate.

I'd like to add that although the spurious sense of security and the dangerously real sense of power that guns have to offer can make them quite desirable items, a deep desire for something =/= a right. (continued below)
Posted by charleslb 4 years ago
charleslb
But of course sometimes a visceral desire can facilely translate in our minds into a realistic-feeling sense of need and entitlement. And the subjective sense of entitlement to own & carry a firearm, validated by Second Amendment-based rationalizations and supported by this country's gun culture, certainly makes for a self-righteous and exceedingly hard-to-crack mind-set in gun rights proponents. Nevertheless, I hope that some of my arguments will get through to them. Hope springs eternal!

Oh yeah, btw, if some of you don't buy that allowing private citizens to legally and openly bear arms to defend themselves against their society's criminal element can lead to results that are seriously inimical to a democratic way of life and respect for human rights, well, consider the case of Columbia during the Pablo Escobar era. An armed paramilitary militia composed of right-wingishly anti-crime civilians (and covertly backed by the good ole USA), known as Los Pepes, went to work fighting the cartel, and promptly became just another domestic terrorist organization, perpetrating the exact same sort of terroristic repression that had been the signature of the drug lords.

What this illustrates is that although guns have euphemistically been called "equalizers" they're actually quite the opposite of equalizers, they empower domineering individuals and groups to exercise a distinctly undemocratic advantage and reign through fear and violence over their

continued below
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by SuperRobotWars 4 years ago
SuperRobotWars
RebornPatriotcharleslbTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro posted no arguments, forfeited, and forgot a period. Con wins by default.
Vote Placed by Chthonian 4 years ago
Chthonian
RebornPatriotcharleslbTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con does a great job of framing his position from an ethical and social standpoint. Unfortunately, Pro failed to offer any argument or rebuttal. Con clearly wins.
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 4 years ago
ConservativePolitico
RebornPatriotcharleslbTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: FF -.-
Vote Placed by OberHerr 4 years ago
OberHerr
RebornPatriotcharleslbTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.
Vote Placed by vmpire321 4 years ago
vmpire321
RebornPatriotcharleslbTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits.
Vote Placed by Rockylightning 4 years ago
Rockylightning
RebornPatriotcharleslbTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by brian_eggleston 4 years ago
brian_eggleston
RebornPatriotcharleslbTied
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Reasons for voting decision: There is no valid argument in favour of gun "rights", Pro proved that by not responding to Con's excellent arguments.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
RebornPatriotcharleslbTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made no case. Pro's forfeits lose conduct. Con's case is that gun rights cannot be universal and therefore do not exist. That's wrong, because no rights are universal. There are limits on free speech and on liberty in general. Limits derive from conflicting rights. Pro failed to make what should have been a winning case.
Vote Placed by mongeese 4 years ago
mongeese
RebornPatriotcharleslbTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Only charleslb would type up all three of his debate rounds and post five full-length Comments in response to absolutely nothing. I must admit that I did not read the arguments in detail, but this wasn't a debate so much as it was a really long forum post. I'll gladly read a future debate on the subject, though.
Vote Placed by Korashk 4 years ago
Korashk
RebornPatriotcharleslbTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Obvious