Gun ownership: Individual Right or Collective Right?
Debate Rounds (4)
Pro will argue that it is an individual right, con will argue that it is a collective right.
Individual Right: Is a right held by individual people.
Collective Right: Is a right held by group members, this case in the militia.
Despite recent court decisions which can change, the only way a person can read that and believe an individual has the right to bear arms is if they leave off the first four words. If one wishes to own a gun, there needs to be regulation. Like teaching how not to leave one loaded around your children.
I will start off by adding the 2nd amendment of the United 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." 
The debate comes into play from this, the amendment that all US states and territories must accept. Some people consider it to be a right that people have when they are apart of the militia under the authority of government, others see it as an individual right.
The wording leaves confusion to many as to what it means. There is one person whom feels there is no confusion to what it means. Roy H. Copperud, an expert on the English language.  He analyzed the structure of the sentence and his professional opinion stated that it was an individual right. , 
The people who wrote and ratified the Constitution. Where did they stand?
"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians." " George Mason 
"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves." " Richard Henry Lee 
"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms." " Samuel Adams. 
It would seem that the Founding Fathers felt it was something that all free people had a right to. There are many more. 
To the state constitutions, 45 out of the 50 has the exact same text as the US constitution or they have it like "The citizens of this State shall have the right to keep and bear arms for their common defense.", or " The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State.", or "Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state." 
The Supreme Court of the United States also states it to be an individual right. , 
I ask, how can the term "The right of the people" be construed as everyone in all of the other amendments except for the 2nd? I see no logical reasoning for it.
I ask, what harm has it done by allowing individuals the right to bear arms? Every other industrialized country on the planet has stricter gun laws. They're total gun deaths per year: around 200. US gun deaths per year: 11,000.
More still, an individual with a gun is 48% more likely to kill himself or a loved one than an intruder. So where is the benefit?
Doesn't a person's constitutionally protected right to live trump a person's right to own a gun unregulated?
The Founders wanted the people armed for the defense of themselves, a deterrent to an abusive government, as well as a deterrent to foreign governments. That doesn't mean that they wanted state governments to try to dictate what weapons the people may or may not have.
As far as my understanding, well regulated militia is the states' role in organizing and maintaining a fighting force for the defense of the states. That doesn't mean for every person in the state. Regulations also state that arms may not be kept and carried on school grounds, churches, theaters ect. How much good has those regulations done?
A person's right to life sometimes, may very will rely on that person's right to keep and bear arms. The estimated number of times guns have been used in self defense varies. Low estimates is from 50,000 to 4.7 million.  If 50,000 is right, then guns are used 4 times more often than they are used to kill another person, 2-3x more than it is when adding the death suffered from accidents. If the high estimate is true, guns are used 382x more in defense of oneself then it is used to kill. It also means that guns are used around 4x more in defense then it is used to murder, rob, rape, assault ect, which is numbered at 1.2 million . 
In the United States, there was 12,300 murders.  The question I ask is, what are the industrialized nations? Cause after I did the math, the nations I thought of as industrialized surpassed the United States in total number of murders, quite a bit. 
The Founders did not want what happened in Rwanda , Cambodia , Soviet Union , The Ottoman Empire , Germany , China , and so one to happen here. It is for that reason the Founders placed the peoples' right to keep and bear arms into the constitution, as an individual right.
Determining what the Founders were thinking when they originally wrote the Constitution is asinine and a waste of time. The only real argument is what is best currently for our country.
As you can see from this graph, in 2012 we had ten times the gun deaths of other industrialized nations. We have the same per capita murder rate as Estonia and Argentina- not a good sign.
It is 10 times LESS likely to be shot in the European Union, Australia, Japan, Korea and some African nations. Because they have reasonable gun regulations. We have none. It ain't rocket science: more guns means more gun deaths.
And your ascertion that guns save lives by some 300% is just nonsense. In 2012, the Violence Policy Center posted a study noting 259 Justifiable Homicides out of 14,827 Gun Murders.
Every citizen might have the right to bear arms, but regulation is needed. And I guarantee YOU agree. Should citizens be able to own nuclear weapons? No? That's a regulation. Fully automatic assault rifles? Should citizens have to go through a background check before buying a gun? 94% of Americans do.
The Founders wrote the Bill of Rights in order to begin the process of "amending" the Constitution. They expected us to make revisions to it. The Second Amendment was written as an add-on instead of being secured within the Constitution. The 18th Amendment outlawing liquor was overturned by the 21st Amendment. That's the only thing we know the Founders intended.
Also, your graph is saying that 29 people per 100,000 people are killed with a gun and its completely untrue. That means the murder rate in the United States is 29.7 per 100,000 people, that equates to over 95,000 gun murders in the United States in 2012 alone. The actual murder rate in the United States in 2012 was 4.7 per 100,000.  It went down in 2013 to 4.5 , it stayed at 4.5 in 2014 but the total number has continued to go down every year. ... Nice try.
Furthermore, my own statistics regarding the usage of firearms speaks of the fact that the low estimate of gun usage is around 4x more for self-defense purposes rather than to murder someone. That the high estimate of 4.7 million incidents of self defense of a person's life, property, and their happiness is over 300x more then when a gun is used to commit murder. That at 4.7 million it dwarfs the number of violent crimes committed in the United States by 4x. At the middle ground at around 2 million it still outnumbers the crimes by 2.
There are more guns in the United States then there are people . With this fact, it means that .00005% of the population used their gun to take a life. That leaves 99.99995% of the people went a year not murdering someone with theirs. What logical reasoning is there to attempt to regulate and deny those Americans the right to bear arms based on a fraction of 1% of the population whom has done wrong? The total number of violent crimes in the United States is 1.2 million that is .004% of the population. Does that mean we should do away with those laws cause so few commit them? Of course not, they are there to protect peoples' right not to be victimized like that. The peoples' right to keep and bear arms should not met with a ban like all of those other nations which gets compared to the United States cause a few people in comparison to the population in the United States commits a crime.
The Founders waged a war for freedom, there was and is ZERO reason to think that they thought that one day the rights they fought for including the right to bear arms should be done away with. That is precisely why the 2nd amendment was added to the Bill of Rights, to protect those rights from people who felt that it should be, why in the Declaration of Independence of the United States it says should the government become destructive towards the rights of the people that it is our duty to alter or abolish it. A constitutional amendment that denies Americans the right to do something was moronic, peoples' feelings toward it can be seen through the jury nullification when people were charged for committing that crime. However, that amendment has no relevance towards the 2nd Amendment.
Finally, the question as to rather a person may keep a nuclear weapon can be another debate it sounds a bit silly but since I have enough characters to speak on it I will. Meeting the safety regulations, safe handling, the maintenance cost, the safe zone from civilian centers as to not harm anyone from the launching of said nuke. Which would cost 10s of millions of dollars to make happen, meeting them an argument could be made in court with the legality of possessing one.
The 2nd amendment was added to keep the people on equal terms, or even an upper hand against both the US government and foreign ones should they endanger the people and our rights. A person with the means to safely handle a nuclear weapon could arguably be allowed to. My opinion of the reasonable or unreasonable regulations like background checks and the ownership of doomsday weapons that the world is trying to rid itself of are of little significance. A persons' right to keep and bear arm is at an equal footing as the rest of the world's armies is. People are allowed to buy tanks, artillery, canons ect. 
Back to the beginning of this round, saying its stupid to assume or determine how the Founders felt.. Here is one more quote.
"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them." - Zachariah Johnson  There are A LOT of them in , I just felt this one is one of the best in my opinion. Is it really asinine to say that he felt it an individual right?.. Hmm..
I feel I've thoroughly rebutted my opponents arguments and proving my own. I ask that voters vote pro. I thank my opponent for this fun debate.
" The Founding Fathers quotes on the 2A confirms my argument that its an individual right.
" Roy H. Copperud, an expert on the English Language came to the conclusion that the 2A was an individual right.
" The states' constitution as the exact same wording as the 2A or has it even more clear as to what the right is.
" The SCOTUS has ruled in favor of my argument over yours, that it is indeed an individual right.
" Statically, the number of occasions where the gun is used lawfully & in self defense for ones life, property, or
happiness overwhelming outnumbers the occurrences where the gun is used maliciously.
" The 2A being a deterrent to aggression from domestic and foreign governments. To prevent tyranny from returning to
the United States like the kind that they, the Founders, had just fought off.
I said it's asinine because there's no possible way to know what the Founders were thinking. You bring out one constitutional expert, I'll bring two with the exact opposite opinions. Waste of time.
But I can't debate someone who disregards facts. If you think the graph is wrong, you can take it up with the authors at the United Nations. You also still have not cited your stats on self defense. My studies are from federally funded researchers. Separate sources confirm only 259 justifiable homicides out of 14,000.
Again there are 14,000 gun deaths a year. Even if the perpetrators are only a small percentage of gun owners, regulation is still obviously needed. Background checks and gun registries would go a long way to countering those murders. The countries I mentioned before all have those strict laws and their murder rate is a fraction of ours.
Finally, your claim about defending yourself against the government is absurd. You may have a few rifles but you'd be fighting tanks, battleships and a well trained army. Ironically, I bet you have a Support Our Troops bumper sticker, right? How can you support the troops AND prepare for terrorist action?
And do you really think a normal citizen should be allowed to own a nuclear weapon?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TN05 1 month ago
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