The Instigator
TheMLGBloke420
Pro (for)
The Contender
CaptainShiny
Con (against)

New amendment to take the others away for a certain time of time for the good of the people

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Debate Round Forfeited
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/27/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 67 times Debate No: 96459
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

TheMLGBloke420

Pro

I Feel that the United States of America should have a new amendment to the Constitution. The reason why is because radical Islamic terrorists, such as Isis are using the news as a form of recruitment they want their stories on the news that is there whole campaign and strategy in getting what they want. and also for the 2nd amendment for example citizens could not purchase or carry firearms in places of where a suspected terror event will happen or if a riot is forming. Lastly if a Killer or a terrorist was hiding so that the police or FBI could not find him the police would not need a search warrant to look in a non criminal property for a criminal these would also go into effect for how big they would be if it was something small the city would decide to use the power of this amendment if it was large like a riot a state might want to use the amendment if it is large like shutting down news stories the united states president or someone of that power should put the amendment to action.
CaptainShiny

Con

Okay. This is an interesting and continually recurring topic so I'm gonna jump right on in. Haven't done this before, so be nice.

Now, upon reading the argument, the first thing that immediately comes to mind is the Reichstag Fire Decree, which was essentially exactly what you're suggesting. Passed by Adolf Hitler after a fire broke out at the Reichstag, it suspended all of the right guaranteed by the Wiemar Constitution, allowing Hitler to, "restrict the rights of personal freedom, freedom of expression, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications. Warrants for House searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed." The article was passed under the guise of, "a defensive measure against Communist acts of violence that endanger the state", and essentially ended up giving Hitler the dictatorial control over Germany he's now renown for. So if you want a historical precedent, there's a great one.

However, that's more of an anecdotal proof. The next biggest issue with that idea is that it defeats the purpose of having a documented constitution. The reason we create documents like constitutions, declarations, and bills of rights, is that the rights imposed by such documents are considered to be inalienable (Which, presumably, is why they're referred to as "inalienable rights"). The reason we consider amendments which provide for us things like free speech, public assembly, and privacy to be freedoms is that the government of the state bound by the amendments cannot, so long as they uphold the document, ever violate them. If an amendment was created which allowed, at the total authority of a governing body or individual, to suspend the freedoms provided, then they're no longer freedoms. They become mere privileges, available to the populace only through the trust of the leader. There isn't much of a point behind having a document guaranteeing inalienable rights if said rights are not guaranteed. If such an amendment existed, the citizen would have no guarantee whatsoever that their rights, even if suspended for what they considered a valid or morally good reason, would ever be returned to them once they were suspended.

There's a more strictly moral version of that argument as well. Would a journalist feel safe publishing an article about corruption in a legislation or illicit activities of a governor if that governor had the ability to suppress their media? That journalist is being protected by those rights, and without them, what's to stop the governor from having that journalist imprisoned? If the right to public assembly could be revoked on the authority of a leader, then what guarantee do protesters have that any public demonstration won't lead to mass arrests? More over, the populace has no control over what might constitute a valid reason for such suspension of rights. If an individual carrying a certain characteristic or following a certain practice was deemed a threat, any other person also a member of those groups would have their rights revoked, whether or not they had done anything threatening (See: Hitler and Communists). Even if there was some check on the authority deciding when to revoke rights, that authority could easily declare something obscure, like 'criminal activity' as the provocation, and giving no such specific details as to the threat or what would constitute it's elimination, the suspension could easily be justified in continuing indefinitely.

The last thing, probably, is whether it's actually appropriate to suspend rights at all. Should rights be guaranteed to everybody, regardless of how they use them? This one is rather difficult to answer.

Again, I've never been on here before, so people can feel free to rail on me for not using the proper etiquette.

Source for the Reichstag Fire Decree quotes: http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org...
Debate Round No. 1
TheMLGBloke420

Pro

What you are suggesting with your rebuttal is that the new amendment would be to turn this country into a dictatorship with unlimited power which is completely and utterly what i am not suggesting. it will be the peoples choice to start the question of weather or not to suspend the rights of some individuals temporarily, and the government to approve of it. so if the reason why a right is being temporarily infringed is due to your example of a reporter reporting on a government people would have to vote to have that person to stop talking about that subject, think of it like a report button on this website or any other the government doesn't automatically do it people have to flag or vote in order for the government to decide weather or not to take into consideration of shutting their right temporarily. people complain all the time on social media, games, etc. about admins and they don't get banned because no one flags them. lets say 20% of a people are going to get weapons to start an armed riot, the civilians do not want the riot so they start a vote to stop the 2nd amendment for all the people in the city until the threat of a riot is over.
CaptainShiny

Con

Your first statement is not actually true. You invoked, "The City", in your first example, "A State" in your second, and "The United States President or someone of that power" in your third. Phrased as it is, I would interpret that to mean those institutions/people specifically held that power, and nowhere in your previous argument was it clarified that they were merely consenting to the vote of the people.

Regardless, your intentions have now been clarified so we can assume from here out that the suggested amendment would operate on a popular vote by all who are involved. However, I would say that doesn't solve the problem. Indeed, not having the specific ability vested in a single authority would prevent the convenient rise of a dictator, however I don't think it would be able to prevent the rise of totalitarianism, were such an instance arise. What you're suggesting, the people of a region voting in majority to create and/or alter laws they deem necessary is essentially the foundational principle of democracy. If you're people aren't doing that, then something's gone wrong. I fully agree that it is within the hands of the people affected to create measures to protect themselves, and I think many do, which in the case of your example involving an armed riot, is generally why a good portion of democracies practice gun control. Not only do I not consider you incorrect in this thought, I think there's a substantial body of evidence to support this.

Issues of speech, however, are a different matter. While it seems entirely reasonable to prohibit armaments at a protest in order to protect those involved, prohibiting the right to protest at all is far more unreasonable. A "report button" for the freedom of speech and of the press is different in the case of a country than it is for a website. A website is really more of a private property. It is made by certain individuals for their own needs or the needs of their consumer and/or user base. If you as a critic are on someone's forum and you say something threatening, or demeaning, or otherwise disagreeable to the people who run/use it, it's well within their right to show you the door. It would be similar to having been invited to a party at someone's house, at which point you proceed to say something threatening, it's well within the right of the owner of the house, or even the other members of the party, to ask you to leave. A country, however, is not someone else's house, a country is a shared space. Asking, or forcing, someone to stop talking because you and others like you disagree with what they're saying would be more akin to a home where both you and the person in question are occupants, and in which you evict the individual from their own home. This country belongs just as much to the Muslim as it does to the Christian, just as much to the armed as it does to the pacifist, and just as much to the journalist as it does to the president whom they despise, and I don't think anybody truly has the right to say otherwise. It may be threatening, it may be ridiculous, it may be bigoted, but the reason we created these rights in the first place is so nobody has to feel forced to think or behave in the way that the majority wants them to.

I would also like to point out that even though the power would be vested in the people, it can still be abused. Let's say, for example, a region exists in which a large majority, (or unequally powerful minority) finds a certain subset of people to be undesirable, or threatening, or "all terrorists". This amendment would provide these people the ability to persecute and suppress these individuals, without them having ever actually done anything to provocate it. Do keep in mind that Hitler wasn't the only Nazi in Germany at the time.
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