The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Should US citizens be allowed full gun privileges?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/27/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 527 times Debate No: 65928
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




I believe that all US citizens have the right to bear arms, as long as precautions are taken and mandatory legal paperwork is filed.
First round is for accepting this debate.


I accept, but since my opponent did not set definitions in round 1, I would like to propose these definitions from Merriam-Webster's dictionary:

arm noun, often attributive
Definition of ARM
1a : a means (as a weapon) of offense or defense;

Full Definition of FIREARM : a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder
Debate Round No. 1


Apologies for not specifying.
The Founding Fathers created the Second Amendment with the intentions that all US citizens have the right to bear arms, meaning the right to own firearms/guns. This must not be disregarded in respect to this argument.
Many political issues today are defying the origins of the Constitution. Amendments have been made in some cases, but in justifiable and reasonable instances. This is not one of those situations.

The reason behind allowing US citizens to own firearms is purely for defensive purposes. Although it was more of an issue in the late 1700s, America still needs to keep up its defense and security. For example, ISIS is a huge threat to the safety of our country today. What happens if they bombard us in our homes, and there is no way for us to defend ourselves besides our fists? Will we allow ISIS and other threats to have that control over us? If the US decides to outlaw the right to bear arms, there is no doubt that ISIS etc. would use that to their advantage. Although our military is extremely strong, it does not have the capability to defend every single human in America. We must have the ability to fight for ourselves.

As for school shootings, police complications, and so-called "racial issues," these problems would not occur nearly as much if each and every citizen filled out the mandatory legal paperwork associated with buying a firearm. This would provide records of each individual who owns one, and provide necessary background checks to insure that a weapon is not sold to a criminal. These problems will never and cannot ever be completely eradicated; however this method will without a doubt reduce the present complications.

In addition, banning the right to own a firearm will only create more criminal activity associated with the shooting of innocent people. The mindset of many delinquents is just like that of a rebellious teenager - they want whatever is forbidden. Banning guns in America would only generate a greater desire to own one. Also, when was the last time you heard of a criminal obeying the law? "Oh darn, guns aren't legal anymore. I guess I'll give up on trying to get one." This is absurd. Offenders will continue to go through with their disturbing plans. Filling out paperwork through the government and getting a background check prior to obtaining a gun will make it very difficult for the completion of these plans.

Please enlighten me on why the United States should ban firearms.


"meaning the right to own firearms/guns"

My opponent cannot prove that "arms" means exclusively "firearms". In fact, it has until 2008 never been held "that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to possess a gun".[1, page 3] The Second Amendment is ambiguous and vague, or else this debate would have been resolved long ago.
Following the 2008 ruling many court rulings in favor of gun control have been issued. [1, page 3] So, the majority of judges, who are better versed in the law than my opponent or myself, oppose unrestricted possession of firearms.
It is obvious that not ALL weapons are to be allowed in the hands of civilians. Rocket launchers, atomic bombs, tanks - all these must also be considered ARMS, and there's no dispute about them being restricted. So, a line has always been drawn. The framers of the constitution excluded cannons, obviously.
Arms control has thus always been up to the government, by WAY of the Second Amendment! "While they did not care to completely disarm the citizenry, the founding generation denied gun ownership to many people: not only slaves and free blacks, but law-abiding white men who refused to swear loyalty to the Revolution." [1, page 1]
At the same time, there was no ruling to deny mentally ill people possession of arms, then. [1, page 3]

Where does this leave us?
Some firearms have always been kept from the people. Which ones was seen as a decision of the ruling government BY THE FRAMERS THEMSELVES. That's the spirit of the Constitution.
Denying people SOME firearms (automatic machine guns, e.g.) has never been contested, even by the NRA.
So, banning SOME ARMS is not in conflict with the Second Amendment.
What weapons would the framers have wanted in the hands of the people? All they knew were single-shot rifles and pistols, needing between 30 seconds and one minute to reload. With firearms like these, school shootings would not have been possible. A single man could use those only for the intended self-defense, and only a well organized militia could oppose an oppressive government with them. Which is why both are noted side by side in the Second Amendment.
That is what was intended: all arms - not only firearms - suitable for self-defense only, unless used in organized fashion by a militia. Thus, armed violence could be kept in check, and no insane criminal could kill dozens of our children before being overpowered.
Those guns are not common anymore today, we commonly have overkill guns with 6 to 16 rounds. The six-shooter was, however, initially designed for the military. It was not meant for civilians. It shouldn't be common.

The 2008 ruling says: only guns common in self-defense ONLY should be protected, unless they are restricted for military use. Hence, all guns we have today oppose the spirit of the Constitution. People are free to use other arms.
That's my argument, I will rebut in the next round.


Debate Round No. 2


According to in response to the case Heller v. DC, "The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home" (Pp. 2-53). This in fact does prove that the Founding Fathers intended for this amendment to be for all individuals. In addition, the Supreme Court ruled that "Arms" means any type of weapon used for defensive purposes. Firearms fall under this category. However, notice the key word DEFENSIVE. Atomic bombs are incontrovertibly OFFENSIVE weapons. If a thief steals your bag, are you going to pull an atomic bomb out of your pocket and detonate it to defend yourself? No. If someone is trying to break into your house, are you going to pull out a grenade and launch it at him? Obviously not! Tanks, grenades, atomic bombs, etc. are used specifically for OFFENSIVE purposes. Guns/firearms are as well, but are much more practical used as defensive weapons.

If the Second Amendment's terminology cannot be updated to include modern technological advancements, then why does the First Amendment allow for freedom of speech on social networking sites and internet blogs? Why does the Fourth Amendment allow for officers to search people's cars, if cars were not existent until the 1900's? If some amendments are adapted to account for modern technology, then they ALL should be.

The Second Amendment also was created in order to enable the citizens of the United States to overthrow an unjust government. What would happen if our government turned to tyranny and we could not do anything about it? Sure, we can revolt and hold riots, but that rarely solves anything, especially with the power our government has today. America is slowly turning into a socialist country, and when our right to bear arms is taken away, we'll be that much closer to being just like Nazi Germany.


It is now time to rebut.
From Round 2:
"What happens if they bombard us in our homes"
"Tanks, grenades, atomic bombs, etc. are used specifically for OFFENSIVE purposes."

Which is a clear contradiction. What good are GUNS in defense against a terrorist bombardment? For decades, atomic bombs have kept terrorists and other governments from using atomic arms in fear of retaliation. Atomic bombs defend the United States and World Peace. Tanks and grenades are used to DEFEND the US against opposing forces. The USA do not lead offensive wars!

"besides our fists?"
False dichotomy fallacy. There aren't only guns and fists. From knives to clubs to bow and arrow - there's a range of arms eligible that helped the Roman and Persian empires rise to power.

"Although our military is extremely strong ..."
So, you're talking about giving civilians the privilege to use military power after all! It is impossible to defend against a terrorist army with civilian handguns. ISIS has access to military equipment, with greater range and power, also explosives. Handguns are useless against that, so you want military weapons legalized. That's clearly unconstitutional.

"The mindset of ... a rebellious teenager"
Uncorroborated assumption. Source, please?

"Filling out paperwork"
Nonsense. Criminals buy guns on the black market, for "when was the last time you heard of a criminal obeying the law?" Criminals don't buy guns in stores. Most school shooters had no criminal background prior to their collapse. Paperwork only keeps innocent people from having as many guns as the criminals do. It's an arms race the good people cannot win. So, guns need to be radically banned, so that armed police has the easy task of spotting a gun and arresting or stopping the perpetrator, instead of checking the paperwork.

Round 3:
"This in fact does prove"
No, it only proves that we have to INTERPRET the Constitution, and the Supreme Court did just that. So may we, that's the reason for this debate.

"modern technology"
It's not the technology, it's the use thereof! Multiple-shot guns are used in alleged self-defense because we made multiple-shot guns available in the first place. Which were military-grade offensive arms. From there, it got out of hand. A mistake that needs to be corrected.

"cars were not existent until the 1900's"
A lie. See Merriam-Webster's Dictionary
1: a vehicle moving on wheels: as a archaic : carriage, chariot"

"socialist country ... just like Nazi Germany."
Again, no proof. Except, the Nazis outlawed Socialism in 1933. You have no idea how politics work.

"unjust government"
You say that only guns intended for self-defense belong in civilian hands. To defend against the government, we are guaranteed the right to "A well regulated Militia". But against their tanks and grenades, rifles are totally useless! Unless you give people the same military-grade weapons, which is unconstitutional as you claimed above! Your entire argument hence falls flat.

Round 4 is recap.
Debate Round No. 3


I don't believe you're understanding my argument.
The United States does not START wars. We defend ourselves and defend ourselves, until it becomes a necessity to use our most powerful weapons to stop the enemy. What do you think the goal of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was? Merriam-Webster defines 'defense' as "the act of defending someone or something from attack." Dropping the atomic bombs on Japan was simply not defense! The US took action on an ongoing problem, without which we would not be speaking English at the moment.

"Besides our fists." Yes, that is an exaggeration. Have you ever heard of a hyperbole? Sure, knives and bows may be helpful, but to a certain extend. If the enemy has modern weapons such as a submachine gun, are you going to want to protect yourself with outdated weapons? Go right ahead.

Again, a CAR. Not a chariot or a carriage. I believe you've misinterpreted my argument.

Do I honestly need a source to "prove" how the mind of a criminal works? Or that the Nazis were socialists? The word "Nazi" came from the longer word "nationalsozialist," used early in the 1900's according to your security blanket. Happy?

My recap is that the citizens of the United States have the right to bear arms. Arms as in firearms, knives... any weapon that is practical in the use of self defense. Banning machine guns and semiautomatic pistols etc. is exactly like outlawing the freedom of speech on Facebook - the Amendments of the Constitution are updated alongside our nation's technological advancements, just like I said about the Fourth Amendment! During the time it was issued, it included chariots and carriages. Since the Amendment did not SPECIFY the right to search citizen's cars, does that mean they can't? No! The Amendments update alongside society's technology!

Although I will not be able to talk some sense into your preconceived opinion, the First Amendment gives me the right to publicly state my belief --- or should that be revoked too??


It has become obvious that my opponent has no idea what she's trying to say.
She is for full gun privileges - yet says that law-abiding citizens need to be impaired in obtaining guns by paperwork. While not rebutting that criminals don't fill out paperwork and are thus ahead in a civilian arms race - if she had her way.
She claims that only weapons for self-defense should be allowed, yet HERSELF admits that guns are NOT only used in self-defense.
She somehow arbitrarily draws a line between allowed weapons and forbidden weapons, in round 4 going so far: "Dropping the atomic bombs... was simply not defense!" Which means that in turn there must be a way of using atomic bombs defensively? While she says that's impossible in round 3? She sees no contradiction there.
Just as she would now put "machine guns and semiautomatic pistols etc." in the hands of civilians. Well, an ASSAULT RIFLE HAS the ability to fire like a machine gun. ASSAULT is definitely NOT an activity of self-defense.
Yet she opposes grenade launchers, while flash grenades serve only defensive purposes.
The arguments my opponent proposes are one thing only: ARBITRARY.

I haven't used the usual arguments so far, like the UK, Switzerland and Germany having the least gun violence and gun crimes in spite of stricter gun legislation (see: ), which turns all points in favor of gun possession moot. I haven't because they are not necessary.

My opponent claims to know about the Constitution and its framers, but can't even tell that socialism is different from Nazism. "National socialism" is a deliberate misnomer. Socialism derives its ideas from Karl Marx, the Nazis were totally opposed to those. (see: ). My opponent is just not competent to offer political solutions.

My opponent demands the Second Amendment to be updated, unless that means restricting gun possession. I repeat that the 2008 ruling was stricter than gun regulations among the founders' generation, finally declaring that "felons and the mentally ill" should not have guns. (see page 3 of above source: ) And yet she welcomes the ruling, but only the part about people having the right to own a gun, arbitrarily.

She's highly selective about her arguments, to the point of always wanting everything both ways.
But she also drops many of my points, which remain unrefuted:
- that guns are no use in a fight against her proposed terrorist bombardment
- that criminals do not fill out permits to obtain guns, but buy them on the black market
- that some weapons have always been restricted and the line has always been drawn by the government
- that a total gun ban would make it easier for police to fight illegal gun possession.

So, her stance has no arguments in its favor, and my points stand.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
All Americans should have and carry guns, it is part of our culture and something to take pride in.
We are a nation of war, a nation of warriors. We have been a country for 235 years and have only been at peace for 21 years. We have a surplus population, so 30 to 40 thousand gun death every year is just a drop in the bucket. A large portion of our economy comes from weapons manufacturing. We are a nation of warriors, it is what we are , it is what we do. To deny it would be wrong, it's in our nature and it makes us money. DON'T MESS WITH U S.
Posted by KEMBORG 1 year ago
I'm a firm believer in our right to keep and bear arms. An armed society is a polite society.
Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and others all believed in gun control, and tyranny ran rampant in their countries.
referring to a previous comment, the question was worded the way it is because it is open for DEBATE. The title should be a non-opinionated sentence.
Posted by jmanuola 1 year ago
Very poor question and even poorer arguments.

The Constitution does not afford us "privilege" merely recognizes an unalienable right. So in that regard the questions is foolish. I would NOT wanted my unalienable right to bear arms to be even be considered a 'privilege'.

Second, the question also poses the point of "should"...not "do we". In that regard, both participants fell into the trap of using court cases to support their though the question was "do we". A court case has nothing to do with "should" only with "do we"
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Gabe1e 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Caught some grammar errors against Con, but an overall better argument, and Con was the only one to use sources.