Moral citizens in America should be allowed to own guns and use them judiciously.
Debate Rounds (4)
Round 1: Variables are established, terms defined, acceptance of topic, position, and format on both sides
Round 2: First argument
Round 3: Second argument
Round 4: Rebuttal
Also, please note that sources must be cited for everything said unless it is debate syntax, personal interpretation, or, at your discretion, considered to be common knowledge for an American citizen of average intelligence and scope. I accept the topic and will take the PRO side, debating for guns. I accept the format and intend on adhering to it throughout the debate.
Moral - "Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong" (1).
In the definition of moral, it is important to recall the Transcendentalist movement in Antebellum America, with an accent on Thoreau and his thoughts on civil disobedience; he believed that the "citizen has no duty to resign his conscience to the state, and may even have a duty to oppose immoral legislation" (2). Moral citizens are not necessarily law-abiding, but they do what is right based upon their conscience and sense of right and wrong.
Gun - "A weapon consisting from a metal tube that fires a projectile at high velocity" (1).
For our purposes, we will be debating about guns that fire bullets and can be transported and wielded with no mechanical assistance. No further constraints shall be put on what is considered to be a gun.
Judiciously is an adverb form of judicious - "Having or exhibiting sound judgment" (1). This connects to morality; Americans should be allowed to own guns and use them when they feel it is the right thing to do. When people go to prison for committing a crime, they lose rights (i.e. the right to vote) (3). From this, it can be concluded that when one takes away the rights of someone else, they enter into an implicit contract that by taking away said rights, they lose said rights as well. Thus, if a moral citizen feels as if his/her rights or someone else's rights are being taken away to the point where the person(s) taking away the rights deserve to be shot, the moral citizen will use a gun to shoot the person(s) taking away rights.
(1) - Webster's II New College Dictionary
(2) - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - http://plato.stanford.edu...
(3) - The Sentencing Project on Felony Disenfranchisement - http://www.sentencingproject.org...
Much of the substantiation for the justification of gun laws in America lies in the documents and philosophies which shaped the country's history. In the Bill of Rights, James Madison writes of the unalienable right of Americans in the Second Amendment, stating, "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" (1; 2). This is written to prevent a repeat of what happened shortly before the American Revolution. As seditious feelings became prevalent in the minds of American colonists, the Governor of Massachusetts realized that it would be hard to subdue an armed population (3). At that time, gunpowder was unstable, and it was kept at community warehouses (3). Because the right to bear arms stated in the British Bill of Rights was not clearly defined as a right of the Colonists, the Governor of Massachusetts legally ordered redcoats to go and seize the gunpowder from the warehouses, thus rendering the colonists' guns useless, disarming them (3; 4). This is pertinent because it shows how government is justifiably scared that it will be held accountable by an armed population if the said government does not act to protect the rights of the population. Furthermore, this shows that if a government does not like an activity of the people and the activity is not strictly legal or illegal, the government will exert force against the people with respect to that activity if it is not protected as a right.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson writes, "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government" (5). America was founded on the principle that it is the government's job to protect people's rights, and that it is the duty of the citizens to lead an armed rebellion against the government if the government does not act to protect and uphold the rights of the citizens. Thus, if an American legislature were to pass legislation which prohibited people from owning guns, this would be hypocritical, because that would go against the principles upon which America was founded, render the citizens unable to do their duty of removing an unjust government if necessary, and the legislator would be acting in direct contradiction to the implicit contract into which they enter when they take office: to uphold and protect the Constitution.
James Madison also made commentary on the issue of guns in the Federalist Papers number 46, in which he writes, "This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia . . . officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties" (6). People can use their guns, whether in self-defense or in a militia, in their best interest, whereas a government cannot. In fact, the Supreme Court ruled that it is not the police's job to protect people, but rather to enforce the laws (7).
(1) - Freedom of Religion, The First Amendment, And the Supreme Court: How the Court Flunked History by Barry Adamson
(2) - Bill of Rights Transcript from the National Archives - http://www.archives.gov...
(3) - The American Revolution Against British Gun Control by Professor David B. Kopel - http://www.davekopel.org...
(4) - British Bill of Rights Transcript from the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School - http://avalon.law.yale.edu...
(5) - Declaration of Independence Transcript - http://www.archives.gov...
(6) - The Federalist Papers number 46 Transcript from the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School - http://avalon.law.yale.edu...
(7) - New York Times Article on Supreme Court Ruling on Police - http://www.nytimes.com...
Shubhu forfeited this round.
When guns are legal, retailers and manufacturers can create jobs and contribute to the nation's economy. There are about 220,000 American jobs supported by the firearms industry, and it generates about $33 billion for the American economy (3). By illegalizing guns, the firearms companies and retailers would be punished for something they did not do. Thus, the economy would be hurt and everyone would suffer. In addition to violating Americans' rights, gun regulations would be superfluous and could contribute to other problems.
1 - U.S. Consulate in Tijuana Gun Warning - http://tijuana.usconsulate.gov...
2 - The Ninety Percent Myth by Fox News - http://www.foxnews.com...
3 - Gun Industry Employment from The Blaze - http://www.theblaze.com...
Shubhu forfeited this round.
It is in this round of the debate in which I am supposed to offer a rebuttal to my opponent's argument, but my opponent has failed to cite a difference from myself, the proposition, and has forfeited all other rounds. In fact, my opponent has actually agreed with me, and in Round 1, wrote in reference to Americans, "yes, they should be allowed to own guns and use them judiciously." Thus, I have no pertinent information to which I can offer a rebuttal. Please take my conduct and my opponent's conduct into consideration while voting. Thank you.
Shubhu forfeited this round.
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