The Instigator
Mangani
Pro (for)
Winning
44 Points
The Contender
Trismegistos
Con (against)
Losing
32 Points

Resolved- All legally and clinically sane citizens should have the right to keep and bear arms.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/17/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,071 times Debate No: 4429
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (16)

 

Mangani

Pro

Resolved- All legally and clinically sane citizens should have the right to keep and bear arms.

First of all, let me thank my opponent for accepting this debate, if in fact he does accept it.

The right to keep and bear arms is a right given by birth, not only a right protected by the laws of many countries. This isn't an issue about regulation, the amount of firearms allowed, munitions used, whether or not the firearm is auto/semi-auto, etc.- this is simply an issue of the right to keep and bear arms. No man- armed or disarmed- has the right to keep from another this right, which in some cases is essential to self defense, acquisition of food through hunting, and/or sport.

When criminality is taken into consideration, criminal elements are those who do not abide by the law. Lawfully acquired and stored weapons have little to do with this criminal element, and those who commit crimes with legally acquired weapons are nonetheless criminals. Because of this there is not question as to whether or not laws should be enforced, rather whether or not non-criminals should be afforded the same ease to acquire weapons that criminal enterprises afford other criminals. If the right to bear arms is not respected by the government, and law abiding citizens are disarmed, there is a legal disparity between criminal elements and law abiding citizens- not to say that armed citizens are a deterrent to crime, rather they should have the right to defend themselves from these criminals if a situation should arise.

As gun rights advocate Jeff Snyder states, we cannot condition the liberties of regular citizens according to the actions and desires of criminals. There is a fundamental error in the school of thought that tries to save society from itself by identifying a problem, and rather than treating the personality of those causing the problem, the instrument is attacked. You cannot get rid of crime by getting rid of guns, and you cannot treat maladies and ethics issues in society by attempting to control the minds of the citizens by restricting access to some and allowing access to others (in this case).

The "individual rights vs collective rights" argument is irrelevant when you consider the above paragraph and other statements I have made, so I will not argue that route. I don't believe this is a right afforded to us by law, rather a right that should NOT be taken from us by law- however, it is only a recent argument that the right afforded to Americans under the Second Amendment of the Constitution is a collective right. Through part of the 20th century, and throughout the 19th and 18th century before then, any mention of the Second Amendment was viewed as an individual right. Not one Court or commentator argued that this was a collective right, rather than an individual one until the 20th century.

Thomas Jefferson stated that the right to bear arms is necessary for the citizenry to protect itself from the "tyranny in government". Now, I know these are different times, and people have different views of the world, and it would be considered undemocratic and even terroristic for a disgruntled minority to rise up against the majority supported government, but were the government in a position of unchecked and unregulated power, and the majority of the people, towns, and states in opposition to the Federal government this right would be essential to carrying out a proper uprising as nations have done in the past when their governments have become oppressive. Were a legal means of access to firearms not available, these people would have to resort to molotov cocktails, stone throwing, and criminal elements who in fact are armed… say like Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. These groups are fundamentally opposed by the people in philosophy- especially Hezbollah in Lebanon- but because these groups are armed, equipped, and organized they have the power of opposition.

I will close with the following statements. One from the Declaration of Independence, and one from Abraham Lincoln respectively:

"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"

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."
Trismegistos

Con

I would like to begin my argument by stating that I am Australian and as such can state that a permissive culture of firearm ownership never existed before gun control legislation was enacted in 1996.

I would also like t state that I understand that whilst Australia and the United States of America share a lot of cultural bonds, there is a vast disparity between the two countries in terms of gun ownership.

Now with that stated I would like to address the last arguments of my opponent first.

The statement from the Statement of Declaration:

"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 the statement of Abraham Lincoln are two paragraphs of great importance to my argument:

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."

Now I will argue that the above statements entrench the democratic rights of an individual to disagree with the decisions of their government and seek change through a majority of like-minded individuals to remedy the faults of their government.

I will also argue that the two statements offered by my opponent are as relevant in Australia as they are in the United States of America and that there is no mention of a right to bear arms, but more a commitment to the principals of democracy and good governance.

Therefore I present ‘The Orange Revolution' as a recent example of one possible scenario that is partially an embodiment of the very intention that is implied in the above statements and will also argue that a peaceful revolution of civil disobedience, rolling strikes and sit-ins can be as effective or more effective in achieving change than would an armed revolt.

I will also argue against my opponent in regards to his statement that the "right to keep and bear arms is a right given by birth". I would argue that this is a right that is governed by the people and supported by the fact that it is ensconced in the constitution of the United States of America. This is in effect a right that is given by the people of the United States of America but not by the people of Australia. Therefore whilst my opponent may argue that it is a birthright I will argue that it is a right that is granted to the citizens of a particular country and not necessarily a birthright in a global sense of the word.

I would also argue that my opponent's statement that "no man- armed or disarmed- has the right to keep from another this right, which in some cases is essential to self defense, acquisition of food through hunting, and/or sport" is an affront to the principles of democracy as it is the people that decide the validity of the Second Amendment. If a majority of people in the United States of America grew weary of all the violence and misery caused by firearms then it would be their democratic right to seek change; and if the end result was a referendum on the complete abolishment of firearms then that would be the right of the population to express their voice and intent.

I will also argue that whilst my opponent believes that gun ownership is a birthright there are a number of factors that were enacted in the Gun Control Act of 1968 that impede on the perceived birthright that the Second Amendment afforded to citizens of the United States of America. I would seek clarification from my opponent as to whether the Gun Control Act of 1968 was attack on the Second Amendment right?

I would also like to seek clarification as to what constitutes an arm, and what arms my opponent believes a person is entitled to due to there inherent birthright.

Where do we draw the line and what justification do we have to impose such a restriction if it indeed actually does impede upon a persons Second Amendment right. Are fully automatic weapons included in this birthright such as an AK-47 or M-16? Is someone entitled by his or her birthright to bear a rocket launcher or chain-gun? What about armor-piercing rounds or high-powered sniper rifles?

I would also seek clarification as to what my opponent deems to be clinically insane and how, if at all, this differs from being legally insane. Also what mechanisms are in place to prevent someone that is deemed to be clinically sane at the time of the issue of the firearm from using their firearm in the event that they have encountered a period of temporary insanity? And are these mechanisms sufficient to ensure the safety of individuals that choose not to exercise their Second Amendment right?

I will end my first round at this point and would urge my opponent to address the questions posed in my opening argument and I would also urge others to consider the validity of living by the assumption that a "right to bear arms" is an unchangeable philosophy that is greater than democracy itself.
Debate Round No. 1
Mangani

Pro

Again, thank you sir for taking on this debate.

I will begin my second round by pointing out that though my opponent has asked some good questions, he has not provided a rebuttal to my premise. A rebuttal based on established laws is not a rebuttal against ideology. I will, however, address your concerns with my argument:

My opponent responded that my quotes "entrench the democratic rights of an individual to disagree with the decisions of their government and seek change through a majority of like-minded individuals to remedy the faults of their government". I agree- but he fails to acknowledge the context in which these statements were written. The statements are, within their context, fully supportive of the right to bear arms, and are used in arguments in favor of the right to bear arms in court, and have set precedence in their being mentioned in nearly every case, though they are neither the main argument nor the exclusive arguments.

My opponent implies that the "Orange Revolution" of Ukraine amounts to something similar as the above statements, but they are not even close. The Orange Revolution was concerning election fraud, was supported by the parliament, and resolved by the Supreme Court. There was no change in government structure, no threat to the dismemberment of the government, and the disenfranchisement of the people was perpetrated by someone SEEKING power, not someone in complete control of the country.

My opponent tries to oppose my position that the right to keep and bear arms is a birthright by stating it is a right afforded by law. Yes- legally it is a right afforded by law, but laws are written to reflect a natural consensus. At the time of the writing of the Bill of Rights- to which the Second Amendment pertains- there was a natural consensus that there were a few rights given to each person at birth that should be protected by the government. The Bill of Rights by it's very existence supports this position, unless my opponent would also argue that the the freedoms of speech, press, and religion, the freedom of assembly, the freedom to petition, the right to due process of law, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and/or the freedom from being compelled to self incrimination are also not birthrights protected by law, rather rights give by man to man under the law.

My opponent would also have you believe that rights are democratically given, and can be democratically taken away. First let me inform you that the Constitutional process in the US requires for an amendment to go through various levels of law, and a constitutional amendment rescinding an amendment contained in the Bill of Rights would be almost impossible to pass. However I would like to point out that the people have constantly ratified the validity of the Second Amendment, and those who oppose it do not generally do so in it's entirety. Regulation of the law is not abolition of the law, and this debate is not about regulation. Furthermore my opponent tries to bring up issues of violence and misery as a reason for the people to oppose the law, but does not provide any statistics, references, or any reason other than his statement as to why we should believe violence and misery in the US is associated in any degree to the right to keep and bear arms. I refer the reader to my initial argument which denounces the ability and willingness of criminals to break the law. I will provide statistics:

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) in 2005, 477,040 victims of violent crimes stated that they faced an offender with a firearm.

Incidents involving a firearm represented 9% of the 4.7 million violent crimes of rape and sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault in 2005.

According to the 1997 Survey of State Prison Inmates, among those possessing a gun, the source of the gun was from -

a flea market or gun show for fewer than 2%
a retail store or pawnshop for about 12%
family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source for 80%

During the offense that brought them to prison, 15% of State inmates and 13% of Federal inmates carried a handgun, and about 2%, a military-style semiautomatic gun.
On average, State inmates possessing a firearm received sentences of 18 years, while those without a weapon had an average sentence of 12 years.
Among prisoners carrying a firearm during their crime, 40% of State inmates and 56% of Federal inmates received a sentence enhancement because of the firearm.

This is from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Clearly there are laws in place to control gun violence, which has dropped drastically within the past 13 years, and it is clear that at least 80% of these criminal acquired a firearm illegally. Rescinding the law might decrease the number of legal gun owners, but it will only increase the amount of illegal gun-owners.

My opponent mentions the 1968 GCA, and asks if this is an affront to the Second Amendment, but I see no wording in the GCA that contradicts my premise. The right to keep and bear arms is not rescinded by either the GCA or the Brady Bill, rather regulated. Again- this debate is not about regulation.

My opponent asks what is an "arm", but I specified within context- firearms. What kind of firearms is an issue of regulation.

There are different levels of clinical vs. legally insane, and that is irrelevant to my premise, as that determination is for the courts to make and falls under regulation. I will, however, cite the GCA's specifics on this issue:

These people are prohibited or restricted under the GCA to posess firearms (among others):

Anyone who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.
Anyone who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution.
Anyone that is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner.

My opponents question following the above answered one has already been answered in my first argument, as I stated "we cannot condition the liberties of regular citizens according to the actions and desires of criminals. There is a fundamental error in the school of thought that tries to save society from itself by identifying a problem, and rather than treating the personality of those causing the problem, the instrument is attacked. You cannot get rid of crime by getting rid of guns..etc". If a sane person purchases a gun, and later goes insane and commits a crime with a gun, how is the right to keep and bear arms at fault? The person is INSANE, and my opponent implies it was their insanity that led to the crime- not the gun. The gun was the instrument, and I have already responded to that.

My opponent brings up the issue of democracy, and appeals to democracy as the right of the people to rescind rights. Earlier in his argument he asks "where do we draw the line"? I ask the same question- where do you draw the line on the right of the people to rescind their own rights? The right to keep and bear arms, amongst other things, protects democracy by ensuring that the government does not overpower the people by arming itself. My opponent brought up the Orange Revolution as an example of government tyranny, but that is the weakest example. Democracy was founded in America under the right to keep and bear arms. Democracy, and the end of apartheid in Africa was due in large part to the Armed Resistance Movement. One of the leaders' sons later became Secretary of State for Work and Pensions under Tony Blair in the UK. During WWII armed resistance movements played a large part in fighting off the Nazi occupation. Armed resistance, and the RKBA played a major role in the American Civil Rights Movement with groups like Deacons for Defense, Black Panther Party for Self Defense, and others. The right to keep and bear arms, readers, is not the enemy of democracy.
Trismegistos

Con

Firstly I would like to address my opponent's contention that the ‘Orange Revolution' was the weakest example of government tyranny and would like to rebut that argument by stating that the example was by no means an argument of government tyranny but was merely an a fitting example of ‘the people' exercising their democratic right to bring about change in a peaceful manner. I would also argue that the implication that the act was "perpetrated by someone seeking power, not someone in complete control of the country" is misleading. The government of the day, which was in control, was supporting the candidate seeking power and it was actually a mechanism of preserving power by keeping the status quo. Now I do not want the debate to divert from the topic at hand, but I will state that the ‘Orange Revolution' was an excellent example of people exercising their democratic right to ensure change through peaceful means in current times.

I will also argue that my opponent has confused the issue of whether the Second Amendment entitles everyone to bear arms for the purpose of their own protection or whether the initial wording was intended to maintain a right to bear arms for the purpose of a militia. This is evidenced by the fact that my opponent has used fighting Nazi Occupation as an argument to support his case in support of the right to bear arms. I would then like to contend that my opponent has stated that "what type of firearm is an issue for regulation" and I would argue that if my opponent is arguing for the right to bear arms to fight off a tyrannical government, then isn't the regulation of weapons undermining that ability?

I would also like to argue the point that my opponent stated that I raised "issues of violence and misery as a reason for the people to oppose the law, but does not provide any statistics, references, or any reason other than his statement as to why we should believe violence and misery in the US is associated in any degree to the right to keep and bear arms". I would argue that misery is not a quantifiable measure that can be easily be represented by a statistical presentation. Any person that has lost someone and experienced the misery associated with such a loss would agree that it is undefinable in terms of numbers. I would also argue that my opponent has in fact provided the evidence. The stated "477,040 victims of violent crimes" in 2005 is evidence that firearms are a tool used to perpetrate crimes in the United States and furthermore that any reduction in the number of violent crimes would provide immeasurable benefit for the people and the community as a whole.

I would also argue against my opponents assertion that "clearly there are laws in place to control gun violence, which has dropped drastically within the past 13 years" as the statistics that my opponent provided prove that gun related crime is far from "controlled". I acknowledge that ultimately it is the person that commits a crime that is responsible for their act, however measures and mechanisms to reduce the availability of firearms is the responsibility of the people as whole.

In response to my opponents desire to see statistics I will state that the United States has the highest rate of child deaths by firearms of any industrialized nation and in addition to that over 90,000 children and teenagers were killed by firearms between 1979 and 1991 (1). This is evidence that something is fundamentally wrong with the current system in the United States and I would argue that the 90,000 children that died never got to the age where they could decide if they wanted to exercise their Second Amendment right or to exercise their democratic right to try reduce the availability of firearms in the United States.

In addition to the horrendous amount of child deaths the number of firearm suicides in the United States is a matter of great concern. In 2005 there were 17,002 firearm suicides. Now whilst firearms are not always the underlying cause of suicide they are a quick means to an end and it is highly likely that of the 17,002 people that did suicide that there would be a significant proportion that would not have resulted in a fatal outcome if firearms were not so readily available.

In 2005, a total of 822 young Americans ages 10-19 committed suicide with a firearm. Unlike suicide attempts using other methods, suicide attempts with guns are nearly always fatal, meaning a temporarily depressed teenager will never get a second chance at life. Nearly two-thirds of all completed teenage suicides involve a firearm (2).

I would argue that regulations that forbid people that are an "unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance" or "anyone who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution" are mechanisms that prohibit gun ownership but are not mechanisms that provide community protection from someone that has lawfully purchased a firearm. I would also argue that these regulations do nothing to protect the community after a firearm has been legally purchased.

So I will again rebut my opponent's original claims:

1)The right to bear arms is a right allowed by the government and is the consensus of the people. In Australia the consensus is that we do not need firearms to protect ourselves. In the United States the bearing of arms is still allowed by law, this does not make firearms ownership a birthright but merely a right allowed by a democratic government with the consensus of the people.

2)All clinically and legally sane people may have the right to bear arms but that does not provide a safe mechanism for preventing the usage of firearms by people that are in legal possession of a firearm in times when that person is experiencing a period of (temporary or permanent) clinical and legal insanity. My opponent's argument that "If a sane person purchases a gun, and later goes insane and commits a crime with a gun, how is the right to keep and bear arms at fault?" I would argue that having firearms so easily and readily available increases the likelihood of firearm fatalities at times of mental instability.

3) The right to bear arms is not a birthright but merely a legal right that is given by some countries and not others. I would also add that whilst some people believe that gun ownership works in their country others can counter that argument by showing that the virtual abolishment of gun ownership works better than the system in the United States.

I would like to close out my second round argument by addressing my opponent's comments on democracy. My opponent agrees that in regards to gun ownership that "legally it is a right afforded by law, but laws are written to reflect a natural consensus" but then my opponent goes on to state that "My opponent would also have you believe that rights are democratically given, and can be democratically taken away. First let me inform you that the Constitutional process in the US requires for an amendment to go through various levels of law, and a constitutional amendment rescinding an amendment contained in the Bill of Rights would be almost impossible to pass". This is a contradiction of immense proportions. It is basically saying that even if the people of the United States of America were to decide that they no longer wanted people to be able to buy firearms that they virtually have no choice because the process to rescind such a right is virtually impossible to navigate, yet initiate change.

(1) http://www.neahin.org...

(2) http://www.ichv.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Mangani

Pro

My opponent, again, dedicates an entire paragraph to the "Orange Revolution", and still fails to prove it's relevance to this discussion. This debate is not about whether or not "change can be brought about peacefully". He has failed to prove any parallels between the Orange Revolution, and any armed struggles I have mentioned, and he has failed to prove how this affects the human right to keep and bear arms.

My opponent would have you, again, believe that my premise is based on the US Constitutionally afforded right to keep and bear arms, and tries to turn the debate into one about the Second Amendment. I would like to remind the readers, and my opponent, that though I used the Second Amendment as an example of a government backed right to keep and bear arms, my premise is based on this right being a birthright. My examples of Jews fighting the Nazi occupation in an underground rebellion is a perfect example of the human right to keep and bear arms, and the human right to defend yourself. Also, my opponent attempts to distract the reader by bringing to their attention the issue of regulation which I believe to be another debate entirely. You can't argue about regualation when you first have to accept the right. Regulation is acceptance of the law, and imposing other laws with the intent, amongst others, to protect citizens. The level of regulation is a state issue, and should be debated by the individual citizens of each state. This is a different debate we can have at a later time.

My opponent argues that "misery is not a quantifiable measure that can be easily represented by a statistical representation", and fails to provide any relevance of his previous statement, as well as this new variation, to this debate. I don't see the connection between "misery" in the US or any other country and "the right to keep and bear arms". My opponent attemtps to use my own statistics against me, but fails to address the complete statistics which imply that #1- most violent crimes in the US do not involve a firearm, #2- 80% of violent crimes involving a firearm were perpetrated with firearms acquired illegally, and that #3- I originally argued that stripping law abiding citizens of the right to keep and bear arms will not reduce crime, rather it will raise the number of firearms acquired illegally in many ways- including (though not limited to) formerly law abiding citizens opposed to the law will now be criminals.

My opponent attempts to turn my argument and statistics proving the recent reduction in violent crimes in the US involving firearms into an attack that violent gun crimes are not "controlled" because they have not been prevented. Do I have to point out the difference betweent he definitions of "controlled" vs. "prevented"? You cannot prevent violent crime by stripping law abiding citizens of the right to bear arms because violent crime is commited by criminals- 80% of which acquire firearms illegally to begin with. Reducing the availability of firearms is not a noble cause, rather reducing the availablity of firearms to CRIMINALS is- THIS is the responsibility of the people as a whole.

My opponent points out statistics implying firearms is the problem in the US, yet does not provide statistics from other countries with the same laws. In implying it is the right to keep and bear arms that is responsible for these statistics, you ignore the fact that other countries with similar population sizes also provide for the right to keep and bear arms, but do not have those same high statistics. Again, my opponent in providing statistics in favor of his position ignores the already pointed out statistics regarding illegally acquired firearms in violent crimes in the US. He points out the high amount of suicides committed in 2005 in the US, but fails to address recent problems in the US, whether or not these firearms were acquired legally or illegally, how many of these suicides were committed by people under medication for depression- some of which have been blamed for suicidal thoughts, how many of these people were related to military members in Iraq and Afghanistan (which has affected the number of suicides in the US drastically), and other factors. I will oppose these statistics with the same sources:

Whilst 52% of suicides committed in 2005 involved a firearm, 39.8% were caused by suffocation or poisoning.

63.7% of suicides by children ages 10-14 were by suffocation. How do you prevent suicide by suffocation by limiting and/or illegalizing the right to bear arms? 81 deaths compared to 186 who killed themselves through other means. If 81 is a problem, 186 is much worse, and getting rid of firearms won't alleviate the issues these children are facing. The problem here is suicide, not firearms.

46.6% for young adults (15-24), totalling 1,962 deaths out of 4,212, the problem is still suicide and not firearms. More than half of these young adults and more than two thirds of children committed suicide in 2005 by means which cannot be controlled. My opponent claims that "nearly two thirds of all completed teenage suicides involve a firearm", yet I have provided evidence to the contrary.

The numbers are similar throughout the age demographics, but are lowest amongst children and young adults, and jump dramaticall to 58.7% for people aged 55-64. Again, this is obviously a problem of suicide rather than firearms as there is no way- if any of you know people over 55- to prevent people of this age demographic from doing what they have made up their minds to do. Can a person regret having killed themself after doing so? No, that is impossible. Can a suicide be prevented by removing access to firearms? Yes, and there are laws in place to HELP prevent this, though my opponent would have you believe that a complete repeal of the law will actually completely prevent this. Will these people find another way to kill themselves if they did not have access to firearms? Of course, and this is backed by the statistics.

My opponent, again, fails to note that suicide rates in the US had dropped by about 30% from 1990-2003, and jumped by about 9% from 2003-2004, the year the US invaded Iraq. During the period of 2002-Present many factors have contributed to the rise in suicide rates, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and all associated family/friend deaths, injuries, or lack of presence), drastic job loss during this period, the rise in prices of commodities, etc. MANY factors not involving firearms have contributed to this rise during this period, but the right to keep and bear arms has only been more restricted during this time period, not less.

My opponents next statement is redundant, and so is my response. So I will not address it.

My opponent, again, tries to claim the the right to keep and bear arms is a government afforded right in the US, and not a fundamental right, yet fails to acknowledge the significance of the "Bill of Rights", where the Second Amendment stands. The "Bill of Rights" was amended into the Constitution in response to claims that "the Constitution should not be ratified because it failed to protect the BASIC PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN LIBERTY". It was based on George Mason's "Virginia Declaration of Rights", the 1689 English Bill of Rights, works of the Age of Enlightenment pertaining to natural rights, and earlier English political documents such as Magna Carta (1215).

My opponent goes on to discuss regulation, which I have already addressed. He misinterprets my statement of the difficulty of rescinding an amendment because he does not understnad the process. I was not saying it was virtually impossible to amend the Constitution because it was a difficult process, rather because it is a democratically controlled process- as he himself claims- and a Zogby poll showed in early 2007 that 66% of the American public were opposed to new gun control measures. I ran out of room...
Trismegistos

Con

Firstly, I'd like to thank my opponent for the debate. My opponent has provided a very strong argument.

I would like to reiterate the following

1) Misery is not quantifiable by numbers or words. The mere fact that there is "gun violence" and "death by firearms" is proof that guns do bring misery to the human race. I find it surprising that my opponent has stated that "why we should believe violence and misery in the US is associated in any degree to the right to keep and bear arms" and also stated that "I don't see the connection between "misery" in the US or any other country and "the right to keep and bear arms". I will once again reiterate that gun violence and death by firearms do result in misery and argue that the statistics on child deaths is proof of such misery.

2) The right to bear arms is not a law and can only be considered a law when trying to claim it as a "birthright". The right to bear arms is only a right, regardless of how my opponent would like to argue the matter. My opponent tries to argue that "the right to bear arms is a basic human right" well I would have to rebut that argument by stating that the right to bear arms was not included in the 'Universal Declaration of Human Rights' and the United States was at the time of signing the strongest power in the world.

3) The right to bear arms is a law that is open to the consensus of the people. At the moment that consensus says that the right should remain in the United States of America. In other countries the consensus is towards creating an environment that is free of arms. It is not unchangeable and nor should it be seen as such.

4) The Orange Revolution was raised as an example of how peaceful civil disobedience can shape governments. If people believe that their government may turn tyrannical and still feel the need to harbor weapons then that is their choice and they can chose to bear arms regardless of whether it is legal or illegal. I would argue that people need to voice their opinion early on and hopefully not get to the stage where they are having armed conflicts with their government (especially in the United States).

5) Restricting arms to the sane is a good idea in theory however in practice there are a multitude of problems. The Virginia Tech Massacre is one such example and is the deadliest single shooting rampage in US history (1). Also the number of people taking their lives is evidence that people that are sane at purchase are experiencing periods of instability.

I will finish off by arguing that my opponent did raise a lot of good points in this debate, however I would like people to consider the following. Would there be a need for firearms beyond policing and military use if no other civilians had weapons; if governments were completely transparent; and people pursued a course of civil disobedience every time their rights were undemocratically eroded.

I would ask people to consider my points before voting.

(1)http://www.washingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
Thanks... and believe me, I understand every one of your points, but it's not my "American" upbringing that makes me pro RKBA. I was raised in Puerto Rico where I have personally witnessed the RKBA save people from police brutality. My first week in Puerto Rico after moving back when I was 15 a friend and I got a gun pointed in our face by a cop, and a bunch of old men who were in a bar with holstered weapons came out and basically saved us from the cop. I've also lived in the Southwest US which have very laxed gun laws, and though there is violence, I have also been in situations where I have a gun legally and have to use it against people who have illegal guns. Without my RKBA I'd have been robbed several times, shot, or who knows what else.

You are right- if there were NO guns there would be no gun violence, but before guns there was violence- it was just more barbaric.

I look forward to our next debate!
Posted by Trismegistos 8 years ago
Trismegistos
"I think it's funny you think I won the debate, and I'm losing in votes. For your last comment I would say- yes. People still hunt, and firearms have always been essential (whether guns or bows and arrows) to hunting."

I thought you provided a fairly solid argument and I also think that a lot of people are already decided when it comes to the firearms debate. I still think long-term if I can pull 1/3 of the votes it is a small victory.

I look forward to our next debate. I'm sure we'll stumble upon something at the other forum.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
You are simplifying my premise childishly, that's why I asked my question. It is a God given right that "all citizens have the right" to have sex, but we know there are laws in place to protect those who have been deemed by society in general to not be able to make an informed decision on their own. Drinking is regulated to adults 21 and over- that is not to say every citizen does not have the right to drink. Every citizen has every right to do so- within the restrictions of the law- and as I stated, this is not a debate about restrictions. That is for an entirely different debate. But if you didn't understand that from reading my arguments, I don't expect you to understand from this answer either.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
If the resolution of the debate is that "All citizens should be allowed to keep & bear arms"
then it is legitimate that we ask if it's OK for kids to do so.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
Resolution to what? You didn't answer my question...
Posted by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
That's the resolution baby.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
That's as childish as asking if it's ok for children to have sex. Do you think a child of 14 should have sex with an 18 year old??? How about a 21 year old with a 16 year old? Why/why not?
Posted by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Would it be OK for kids to have firearms? (Or are they not citizens?)
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
I think it's funny you think I won the debate, and I'm losing in votes. For your last comment I would say- yes. People still hunt, and firearms have always been essential (whether guns or bows and arrows) to hunting.
Posted by Trismegistos 8 years ago
Trismegistos
All complete. I could not see myself winning this debate even if your argument was half as strong as what it was. I'll be happy with 30%.

I'm a bit short on time at the moment, but I'd like to debate again.
16 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
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