The Instigator
ghsdebater09
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
chevy10294
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Resolved: The United States Supreme Court should not apply the Second Amendment to American citizens

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/2/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 581 times Debate No: 4304
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (10)

 

ghsdebater09

Pro

Everyone is born with a set of rights in America. These rights include freedom of religion, right to due process, and even a right to bear arms. In a recent Supreme Court case, Heller V. District of Columbia, the second amendment, the right to bear arms, has become a complicated issue. No one knows the actual definition of the second amendment, so human rights activists and the government have interpreted the right to their own liking. With this at hand, the Supreme Court needs to decide that the second amendment is meant for individuals who are part of a "well-regulated militia."

One area of analysis as to why the Supreme Court should define the law as so is simply because the amendment is confusing to American citizens and lawmakers. In the Heller V. District of Columbia case, the law is being interpreted as to the liking of individuals. Civil right activists say that the law states that citizens have a right to conceal guns even if they are not part of a "well-regulated militia." The law clearly says "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms, shall not be infringed." This is basically saying that the people of a well-regulated militia shall not have this right infringed upon. It does not say that those individual citizens have the right to carry and own arms.

Another area of analysis would be the time frame that this amendment was first applied to the Constitution. The second amendment was adapted in 1791 amongst the Revolutionary Period. When looking at this time frame, one can see that America's founding fathers were looking out for American citizens. However, the citizens they were trying to protect were those in a standing army. These were not just regular citizens. The amendment being adapted in 1791 shows that the time frame was completely different from that of today, in which we have peace officers protecting Americans. Citizens today have several ways of keeping themselves safe from others. They don't need to have any form of arms on them.

A final way to analyze this topic would be the defining of words in the amendment. The amendment does not define what "to bear arms" means, so individuals have come to the conclusion it means to be allowed to carry guns. According to dictionary.com, "arms" means to equip or prepare for any specific purpose or effective use. This definition does not say that weapons are a specific word for arms. This is where activists have run into a standstill. They cannot say that arms means guns or even weapons for that matter. "To bear," means to have and be entitled to. When combining these two together, it's basically saying one can be allowed to equip and/or prepare for any specific purpose or effective use. Nowhere in those two definitions does it define guns and/or weapons.

The second amendment is a controversial subject that has been in effect for over a hundred years that should be decided to only benefit those in a military. The areas of examination have proven that the amendment was meant for individuals in a militia. It would be beneficial for the Supreme Court to define the second amendment to address only individuals in a "well-regulated militia" solely for the purposes of clearing up any confusion, considering the time frame it was written, as well as the defining of the amendment.
chevy10294

Con

Hello ghsdebater09

First, do you if and when the case's (dc v heller) results will be released, I can't find anything about it. Now on to the debate.

Fist, the 2nd Amendment is, "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."

"This is basically saying that the people of a well-regulated militia shall not have this right infringed upon. It does not say that those individual citizens have the right to carry and own arms"

I do not agree with this. If you read it a couple times, you notice a comma then it says the right of the people to … This could mean that it is saying a Militia is the right of the free state, and people have the right to have and use guns.

"The amendment being adapted in 1791 shows that the time frame was completely different from that of today, in which we have peace officers protecting Americans."

If we have peace officers today, then where are they when hundreds of people get murdered, houses get robbed, and people are raped. Where are they when that happens? The police can't be there at the right time all the time, so people would need a safe help incase something did happen.

"Citizens today have several ways of keeping themselves safe from others."

Please explain this. I would like to know the several ways people could be safe without guns.

"According to dictionary.com, "arms" means to equip or prepare for any specific purpose or effective use"

Yes that is true, BUT THERE ARE OTHER DEFINITIONS THAT CONTRODICT YOUR BELIEF. It seems that you picked out the best definition for your argument. The whole definition from dictionary.com is-
1.Usually, arms. weapons, esp. firearms.
2.arms, Heraldry. the escutcheon, with its divisions, charges, and tinctures, and the other components forming an achievement that symbolizes and is reserved for a person, family, or corporate body; armorial bearings; coat of arms.
–verb (used without object)
3.to enter into a state of hostility or of readiness for war.
–verb (used with object)
4.to equip with weapons: to arm the troops.
5.to activate (a fuze) so that it will explode the charge at the time desired.
6.to cover protectively.
7.to provide with whatever will add strength, force, or security; support; fortify: He was armed with statistics and facts.
8.to equip or prepare for any specific purpose or effective use: to arm a security system; to arm oneself with persuasive arguments.
9.to prepare for action; make fit; ready.
—Idioms
10.bear arms,
a.to carry weapons.
b.to serve as a member of the military or of contending forces: His religious convictions kept him from bearing arms, but he served as an ambulance driver with the Red Cross.

11.take up arms, to prepare for war; go to war: to take up arms against the enemy.
12.under arms, ready for battle; trained and equipped: The number of men under arms is no longer the decisive factor in warfare.
13.up in arms, ready to take action; indignant; outraged: There is no need to get up in arms over such a trifle.
(http://dictionary.reference.com...)

Then when you add bear, it means you are entitled to the use of guns.

"Nowhere in those two definitions does it define guns and/or weapons"

Take a look at number 10-

10.bear arms,
a.to carry weapons.
b.to serve as a member of the military or of contending forces: His religious convictions kept him from bearing arms, but he served as an ambulance driver with the Red Cross.

Now with your title you say that the 2nd amendment should not be applied to us. The Bill of Rights was meant for the citizens of this great country, and it can and will never be touched. To say that is far left of democracy and possibly communist.
Debate Round No. 1
ghsdebater09

Pro

I love how you mentioned it sounded more communist. I find that quite hilarious since there is someone on my debate who believes that communism is the best thing ever. now, to the debate at hand.

"I do not agree with this. If you read it a couple times, you notice a comma then it says the right of the people to … This could mean that it is saying a Militia is the right of the free state, and people have the right to have and use guns."

I do notice there is comma, however, no where within the space of the comma does it say the people of the united states. no where in the second amendment does it say this.

"If we have peace officers today, then where are they when hundreds of people get murdered, houses get robbed, and people are raped. Where are they when that happens? The police can't be there at the right time all the time, so people would need a safe help incase something did happen."

People kill people with guns. That solves for argumentation with murder and as well as crossing that over to homes being robbed, and even being raped. If citizens did not possess "guns" then they would not be able to do this.

I'm going to also add that I never stated anything related to guns. I used the words "arms" quite frequently. The definition you do provide do NOT relate to the use of guns. For clarification reasons im going to define the word firearms "A weapon, especially a pistol or rifle, capable of firing a projectile and using an explosive charge as a propellant" (http://dictionary.reference.com...)
i do concede that this definition speaks of guns but it also speaks of a weapon. Could you not say that a cannon could be capable of firing a porjectile and uses an explosive charge as a propellant? or possibly a firework?

Going back to your question of how citizens can protect themselves without the use of guns.
Police officers. I showed above that citizens who do not posess these "guns" we can rely more on those who are there to actually protect and we as citizens not become vigilantes. (citizens who take the law into their hands) This is how more people are murdered which increases our population in prisons.

Now to rebuild my case up:
The second amendment says "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."
A well regualted militia can be translated into a force that protects the citizens of a free state. Can we say that police officers, troopers, rangers, and highway patrolmen are a form of a well-regulated militia? Yes we can. Simply because the protect the citizens of a well-regulated militia.

The second amendment was produced during a time frame in which there was battle on american citizens front yards, quite literally. Majority of those people in the United States were part of the military, at leat the men were.
If the second amendment was to be applied to the citizens of america they would have put that in the clause when it was written. It wasn't, therefore citizens do not have the right to "bear arms" unless they are part of a "well-regulated militia."
chevy10294

Con

Hello

Sorry for the delay. I've had baseball and it's hard to find time to respond.

"People kill people with guns. That solves for argumentation with murder and as well as crossing that over to homes being robbed, and even being raped. If citizens did not possess "guns" then they would not be able to do this"

That is interesting. So if you look at the U.K. (they have a gun ban) there would be know crime involving a gun, right? Well 2 years after the ban in 1997, crime involving a hand gun rose 40%. Also, the U.K. has a higher crime rate than the US and not by a little too. The U.K., crime rate per 100,000 people is 1,831 people higher than the US. And, the city with the highest restrictions (D.C.) somehow manages to have the higher murder rate than any state.

Sources- http://wheelgun.blogspot.com...
http://www.gunowners.org...

I am confused by the 6th paragraph (starts w/ I'm going to...) It sounds like you are just further proving my point. The definition I provide does relate to guns. It says "carry weapons" then you provide a definition of firearms and, "concede that this definition speaks of guns but it also speaks of a weapon." A gun is a type of weapon, so I don't know what you are talking about.

"Going back to your question of how citizens can protect themselves without the use of guns.
Police officers."

I already said that police officers couldn't be there all the time. And if you contradict, then where were they in 2005 when 16,692 people were murder in 2005. The police can't be there every second. The only solution you provided was peace officers, and where were they? In fact, I have never seen a peace officer in my entire life. The only safe haven for people is guns.
If you say karate or self defense classes that could take months to master, with guns it would only by days or weeks.

"The second amendment was produced during a time frame in which there was battle on American citizen's front yards"

Have you thought that maybe we got the 2nd Amendment to keep us safe from the British soldiers? As you said, they fought n front yards, back yards, fields, everywhere, but maybe the government wanted a way to keep the citizens safe if they are alone. The whole point during the late 1700's was less government. So why would they leave it up to the government to protect the citizens?

My arguments-

You seem to think that if we ban guns the whole country would be safe. Let's just look at some of the other things that have been banned before. The 18th amendment banned liquor, did people still drink it? Yes. There are drugs illegal in this country, but for some reason you could find them at most if not all of the high schools in this country, or even middle schools. Banning just wouldn't work, crimes would still happen.

Readers, my opponent keeps on saying "well regarded militia." Please take into consideration that he hasn't talked about the 2nd part, "the right to people to keep and bear arms." Please ghsdebater09 what does this mean?
Debate Round No. 2
ghsdebater09

Pro

ghsdebater09 forfeited this round.
chevy10294

Con

Hello

Since my opponent has forfeited the round, this will be short and sweet.

My opponent is saying that the 2nd amendment doesn't apply to US Citizens. When our founding fathers made this Bill of Rights made, it was meant for the Citizens of this great country, not states having a "well regarded militia." The 2nd amendment means that, but it also gives, "the right of people to keep and bear arms."

Once again, drugs are illegal, but they still manage to get onto street corners and in people mouths. Does my opponent think that if we ban guns a fairy will come stopping every crime? No. There are tons of crimes where the guns wasn't in the hand of its rightful owner, or it was unregistered.

VOTE CON!
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by tangerineman91 8 years ago
tangerineman91
There were arguments by both sides as to the context of the Bill of Rights. The Constitution was put into effect in 1983. It was a document which strictly limited the government. It did not literally provide for any rights for the citizens (the authors assuming that the government would not extend so far as to try and encroach upon basic human rights). It was a very short time afterwards where many citizens and delegates to the Continental Congress asked for a document which outlined the basic and assumed liberties of citizens (not just the limitations on the Government found in the Constitution). What followed was the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.
The State/Federal system of government had existed before in history, but not in this size. There were still kinks in the State to State and State to Federal relationships early on in U.S. history. In fact, almost every state had different currency and tariffs on trade from other states. In New England, soon after the Revolutionary War, a war almost started between two state (Maryland was one of them). So, the representatives of the people decided that there must be checks and balances between not only the three branches of the Federal Government, but also between the Federal Government and State Government, as well as between the Government and the individual. Hence is the provisions for individuals to bear arms, and the right for each state to have a militia. The militia protects the State from the Federal Government, and the individual protects what is his from the Government.
The founders were meticulous in their study of past governments (particularly James Madison), and they found that the start of almost every tyrannical government came from a restriction on an individual's right to keep and bear arms (More recently think of the Nazi's).
These ideas are all outlined in the letters and treatises written by the founding fathers.
Posted by kcirrone 8 years ago
kcirrone
I'm very conservative, so I agree with the Con, but that wont influence my debate vote. Good luck both =)
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
When the constitution was authored, a "militia" was defined as "The entire able-bodied male (and perhaps female) population of a community, town, county, or state, available to be called to arms."

Thus, the law as it is written applies both literally and metaphorically to individual citizens.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by chevy10294 8 years ago
chevy10294
ghsdebater09chevy10294Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Deviant71 8 years ago
Deviant71
ghsdebater09chevy10294Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
ghsdebater09chevy10294Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Oolon_Colluphid 8 years ago
Oolon_Colluphid
ghsdebater09chevy10294Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
Sweatingjojo
ghsdebater09chevy10294Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by tangerineman91 8 years ago
tangerineman91
ghsdebater09chevy10294Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by BeatTheDevil89 8 years ago
BeatTheDevil89
ghsdebater09chevy10294Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by LakevilleNorthJT 8 years ago
LakevilleNorthJT
ghsdebater09chevy10294Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by CP 8 years ago
CP
ghsdebater09chevy10294Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
ghsdebater09chevy10294Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30