The Instigator
kbrown96
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Nimbus328
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

Should the 2nd Amendment be amended?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Nimbus328
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/1/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,237 times Debate No: 31983
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

kbrown96

Con

As this is a very pertinent topic nowadays, I decided to go ahead and start a debate.

Obviously, the first and foremost argument against amending the Constitution is the overall negative American attitude towards changing tradition. Though tradition is fallacious argument, I would like to point out that all elected federal officials took an oath before office to "defend the Constitution of the United States of America," and nobody likes a hypocrite.

Another rather cliche yet powerful argument is the "guns don't kill people; people kill people" slogan, which also includes the idea that even if guns are taken away from the "good guys," the "bad guys" are still just as likely (if not more likely) to murder. An analogy is most useful to depict this: If a lion chases after a gazelle, it is considered fair for the gazelle to use its horns in defense (I assume here, though assuming is not politically correct, that my opponent excepts this manifest statement). As with gun control, proponents of new legislature would suggest to saw off the horns of the gazelle in hopes of somehow birthing in the lion a less-likely motif to attack the gazelle. Alas, this is obviously not the case, and gazelle without horns would only make them more vulnerable and increase the attacks.
Nimbus328

Pro

The complete text of the 2nd amendment is as follows:

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.

The emphasis is on the militia, not the individual.
Debate Round No. 1
kbrown96

Con

It is impossible to determine which parts of the 2nd Amendment have the greatest emphasis, but I would like to note that "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms" is clearly separated as a clause.

Even so, say that the "emphasis on militia" is of greatest significance; this does not, by any means, infer that the right to bear arms is of little significance. I mean, it's in the US Constitution, so the founding fathers were obviously meaning to put that in there.

My opponents argument, "The emphasis is on the militia, not the individual," is thus an uneducated opinion (not trying to be offensive here). Uneducated opinions are, by definition, fallacious. Since no rebuttal was attempted at my previous arguments, I will assume they stand firm for now.
Nimbus328

Pro

My statements are based on a study of the Common Law of England, the Federalist Papers, the Constitution, and the current situation. I had assumed that my opponent had an equal level of knowledge of the issues.

>> Uneducated opinions are, by definition, fallacious

I state for the record that my opponent's opinions are uneducated, which by his standard makes them null and void. He has yet to present a case.

I quote my source as the United States Constitution, and my opponent cannot read.

Intent of the Founders

In Federalist No. 29 Alexander Hamilton wrote the following:

This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority. It is, therefore, with the most evident propriety, that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by congress
...
If a well regulated militia be the most natural defence* of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security...confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority...(and) reserving to the states...the authority of training the militia

*this was before howitzers, helicopters, and bazookas were invented.

Fall of the Founders Ideal

In 1794, a militia numbering approximately 13,000 was raised and personally led by President George Washington to quell the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania. From this experience, a major weakness of a States' based citizen militia system was found to be the lack of systematic army organization

As a result, George Washington wrote: "The establishment of a Military Academy upon a respectable and extensive basis has ever been considered by me as an object of primary importance to this country; and while I was in the chair of government, I omitted no proper opportunity of recommending it in my public speeches, and otherwise to the attention of the legislature

Federalization of the Militia
In 1802, the federal military academy at West Point was established, in part to rectify the failings of irregular training inherent in a States' based militia system.

Responding to criticisms of failures of the militia, Adjutant General William Sumner wrote an analysis and rebuttal in a letter to John Adams, May 3, 1823:

"The disasters of the militia may be ascribed chiefly to two causes, of which the failure to train the men is a principle one; but, the omission to train the officers is a so much greater, that I think the history of its conduct, where it has been unfortunate, will prove that its defects are attributable, more to their want of knowledge or the best mode of applying the force under their authority to their attainment of their object than to all others. It may almost be stated, as an axiom, that the larger the body of undisciplined men is, the less is its chance of success;..."

During this inter war period of the Nineteenth Century, the States' militia tended towards being disorderly and unprepared.

Current state of the Militia
Each state has two mandatory forces which are: the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. Many states also have state defense forces and a naval militia, which assist, support and augment National Guard forces.

Sources are referenced inline or from Wikipedia.
Debate Round No. 2
kbrown96

Con

Let me just start by pointing out the fallacies in your main arguments:
"I had assumed my opponent had an equal level of knowledge of the issues." -Ad hominem
"I state for the record that my opponent's opinions are uneducated..." -Ad hominem (also, how?)
"I quote my source as the United States Constitution, and my opponent cannot read." -Ad hominem
"The emphasis is on militia, not the individual." -Argument from ignorance (assuming that a claim is true because it has not been proven false.)

Since your ENTIRE argument is based around "The emphasis is on the militia, not the individual", which is, by definition, ARGUMENT FROM IGNORANCE, which just so happens to be a LOGICAL FALLACY, your ENTIRE argument is invalid. However, I will, for now, excuse this fact, and continue to oppose your rebuttal.

First and foremost, Alexander Hamilton. Your quote is entirely accurate; Hamilton did, as a devout Federalist, support a "well regulated militia." However, HE ALSO SUPPORTED THE RIGHT OF INDIVIDUALS TO BEAR ARMS.
Here are some quotes (from the Federalist Papers, of which you said your statement was based upon) by ALEXANDER HAMILTON:
""The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." Federalist Papers at 184-188
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government." Federalist Papers No. 28

As for your argument about a "major weakness of a States' based citizen militia system", I have no idea what you are going at. This major weakness of states' militia is why America now has a national army, and why Washington so strongly recommended a "Military Academy upon a respectable and extensive basis."

I guess the last two sections of your argument, "Federalization of the Militia" and "Current State of the Militia" are also based upon the need for a national militia...which has absolutely nothing to do with this debate. National militia is, as you copied from Wikipedia, "the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard"...thank you for reminding me. So, as for the last half of your argument, it appears to also be fallacious- a "red herring" (if you are also unaware of this term, it is, essentially, throwing in irrelevant information for the sake of re-directing the argument.)

Since we have already clarified that your main argument, "The emphasis is on the militia, not the individual", is fallacious (once again, argument from ignorance), Alexander Hamilton (and the rest of the founding fathers* supported BOTH a well regulated militia AND the individual citizens' right to bear arms, and that the rest of your argument was a red herring, VOTE CON.

*Though I cannot prove that EVERY founding father supported this right, I will provide a quote from Thomas Jefferson, a man COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in political ideals (who actually hated Alexander Hamilton), to provide support from both ends of the political spectrum.
""No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -Thomas Jefferson
Nimbus328

Pro

Argument by satire. Response:

>> Since your ENTIRE argument is based around "The emphasis is on the militia, not the individual", which is, by definition, ARGUMENT FROM IGNORANCE, which just so happens to be a LOGICAL FALLACY, your ENTIRE argument is invalid. However, I will, for now, excuse this fact, and continue to oppose your rebuttal.

My opponent clearly holds disregard for opinions contrary to his own.

>> ALEXANDER HAMILTON: "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." Federalist Papers at 184-188

This is not a quote from the federalist papers.
Rebuttal 1. The Federalist Papers end with 85, complete text is here:
http://www2.hn.psu.edu...

Rebuttal 2. A search of the Federalist Papers does not reveal this quote.

Rebuttal 3. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 46
Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. 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 amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops

In summary, my opponent has clearly involved in cherry picking quotes that do not exist.

>> ""No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -Thomas Jefferson

That wasn't Jefferson, that was a draft of a political document made to appease the people. In fact, those words never made it to the Virginia constitution. Draft phase is a poor source.

If my opponent continues to cherry pick quotes, I can, and will, refute in the comments section.

>> "red herring" (if you are also unaware of this term, it is, essentially, throwing in irrelevant information for the sake of re-directing the argument.)

I know what a Red Herring is. Poor conduct to my opponent.

Clearly my argument is falling on deaf ears.

I hope that my summation of the evolution of the history of the intent of the founders has piqued the interest of the reader.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
kbrown96Nimbus328Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: countering masterchiefs vote since his allocation of points is unexplained and appears to be biased
Vote Placed by masterchief12 4 years ago
masterchief12
kbrown96Nimbus328Tied
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Total points awarded:61 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate, it's not the guns, it's half of the buyers fault, and half the sellers fault, they shouldn't sell guns to unstable people.
Vote Placed by eastcoastsamuel 4 years ago
eastcoastsamuel
kbrown96Nimbus328Tied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a very ugly debate. Pro used ad hominems repeatedly, which Con correctly called him out on. However, Con spent a little too much time calling him out on these, and in the end lacked effective rebuttals, which Pro provided. Conduct goes to Con, but Arguments go to Pro.