The Instigator
rodgerthatjerry
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Should the Second Amendment be removed from the Constitution?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/16/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,597 times Debate No: 40680
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

rodgerthatjerry

Pro

The Second Amendment states the following: "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."

Most people tend to ignore the first bit, and focus on just that last part. "A well regulated Militia" meaning military. The point of this amendment was to ease citizens at the time who were afraid of powerful government military similar to Great Britain. It gave people the right to defend themselves against militia by being equally armed. If this were still true today, it would mean that people should be allowed to purchase unmanned drones, and arguably nukes, in order to be equally armed with the military. Obviously, this would be absolutely ridiculous considering the amount of damage these weapons produce.

Therefore, I believe the Second Amendment should be removed from the Constitution because it is no longer relevant to modern day weaponry.
imabench

Con

"The point of the second amendment was to ease citizens at the time who were afraid of powerful government military similar to Great Britain"

The Second Amendment, along with all the other Amendments and the Constitution itself, are all open to interpretation, meaning that there isnt any one way to read or accept it..... The point of the Second Amendment could easily have been a backstop to the US protecting itself from invasion by having its people be armed to fight if the government could not adequately do so, it could have been implemented as a means for preventing an American dictator from making the public a non-threat by removing their arms, and it also just as easily could have been made because the founding fathers believed that the people have the right to defend themselves.

Your idea of what the second amendment is for is wrong simply because there are multiple reasons why the second amendment was implemented.



"Therefore, I believe the Second Amendment should be removed from the Constitution because it is no longer relevant to modern day weaponry."

Your justification for why it is irrelevant is based entirely on your one extremely narrow and biased interpretation of why the Second Amendment was made in the first place...... The writers of the Bill of Rights could have easily believed that people have the right to bear arms for their own self defense, but simply justified their reasoning with maintaining a militia instead..... Just because maintenance of a militia was the reason they initially decided to go pass the Amendment, it doesnt mean thats the ONLY reason in existence for the Second Amendment......
Debate Round No. 1
rodgerthatjerry

Pro

While it is true that the Constitution in general can be interpreted in many different ways, I favor strict construction of the Constitution, or A close or narrow reading and interpretation of a statute or written document. (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...).

As most of us know, the Constitution was not the first form of written government in American history. Before the Constitution was the Articles of Confederation, which in simple terms, sucked. Granted it did get us through the Revolution and it created the Northwest Land Ordinance, but it sucked because the federal government could not collect taxes. The State could collect taxes, which destroyed international trade (Britain was still cranky about us kicking their butts in the war, which meant they didn't want to trade with us). No trade meant that farmers went bankrupt which eventually caused a small uprising from farmers who wanted to keep the state from foreclosing their farms that was led by Daniel Shays called Shay's Rebellion. This led everyone to decide that the Articles of Confederation wasn't such a hot idea so 55 delegates from the thirteen states at the time decided to meet in Philadelphia and draft up a new idea: the United States Constitution. The Constitution needed approval from all of the thirteen states, so in order to rack up approval from the people, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison wrote Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution or commonly known as the Federalist Papers.

Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison wrote the Federalist Papers to calm the American peoples' fear of tyrannical governments, which made sense. They had just broken free from a tyranny, why would they want another one? This fear is what allowed the Articles of Confederation to be passed, but, as previously mentioned, it sucked which was why it only lasted ten years. These Federalist Papers were written clearly to get the American people to actually like the Constitution and to assure them that big government isn't always a bad thing. How do I know? Well the answer is in the title of the document: Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution.

In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton wrote, "If circumstances should at anytime oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist." (http://nerdfighteria.info...)

In Layman's terms, if at anytime the government decides to harm the rights of the American people through the use of military action, the people have the right to defend themselves and their fellow citizens by being equally armed. Alexander Hamilton, the guy who helped write the Constitution, clearly states here that the idea of the Second Amendment was so that the people could be equally armed against a standing army. Which, these days, should mean not that citizens should buy assault rifles, but unmanned drones. In Hamilton's defense, he had no way of knowing that weaponry would one day advance past the musket. (What's ironic is that Alexander Hamilton actually died from a gun shot wound. Heheh)

"The Second Amendment, along with all the other Amendments and the Constitution itself, are all open to interpretation, meaning that there isnt any one way to read or accept it."

We know that this isn't true because there were presidents (presidents who wrote the Constitution we are currently discussing) who believed the Constitution should be viewed as literally as possible. As I stated before, I'm a strict constructionist and I believe the Constitution should be interpreted literally, as did Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who were key writers of the Constitution. (http://www.studymode.com...)

"Your justification for why it is irrelevant is based entirely on your one extremely narrow and biased interpretation of why the Second Amendment was made in the first place."

Nothing about my argument is biased. This isn't an argument about gun control or anything like that. It's an argument about the Second Amendment and its relevance in modern day weaponry. I've said it already, but the Second Amendment is irrelevant because there is no possible way for an American civilian to be equally armed against the military because weaponry in today's society is far to advance to be held in a common household.

This type of debate over how the Constitution should be viewed has shown up plenty of times through out American history, (see:http://www.historyplace.com...). The point of my argument is that I believe the Second Amendment should be removed because when it written, it was written to reassure the American people that they have the right to defend themselves by being equally armed if the government to decided to, for example, force them to let soldiers just live in their houses, as did happen under the British rule (http://civilliberty.about.com...).

"The point of the Second Amendment could easily have been a backstop to the US protecting itself from invasion by having its people be armed to fight if the government could not adequately do so, it could have been implemented as a means for preventing an American dictator from making the public a non-threat by removing their arms, and it also just as easily could have been made because the founding fathers believed that the people have the right to defend themselves."

We must note that there is no sure fire way to determine the purpose of the Second Amendment (unless you want to call up Thomas Jefferson, but I'm pretty sure he's busy being dead). But, we can infer that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to reassure Americans that they have the right to be equally armed against the military by examining the context in which it was written (see: the Federalist Papers, honestly, people it's a great read. Without it, the Constitution probably wouldn't have been passed). The examples you gave were not relevant to the time period in which the Constitution was written. People were not afraid of invasion or inadequate military, why would they be, they just won a war! They weren't afraid of the government marching in and taking their weapons because, even though that did happen under British rule, they were reassured by the Federalist Papers that it would never happen under the Constitution. Finally, I do believe that you have the right to defend yourself by owning a weapon, I believe the Second Amendment doesn't pertain to fellow civilians, it pertains to being equally armed against the military, which nowadays, is impossible.

There is no way an American citizen can be equally armed against the military unless they have a drone or nuke. There's no way that the government's just going to start allowing nukes and drones to be purchased by civilians, therefore, the Second Amendment is no longer relevant.
imabench

Con

"I favor strict construction of the Constitution, or A close or narrow reading and interpretation of a statute or written document"

Well tough sh**..... You dont control how the Constitution can/should be interpreted and just because you do think it should only be closely interpreted, it doesnt mean thats the correct way to do so. The Constitution is open to interpretation different from yours, and people + the government are allowed to hold a looser interpretation of the Constitution and its Amendments and pass laws based on those different interpretations.





"In Layman's terms, if at anytime the government decides to harm the rights of the American people through the use of military action, the people have the right to defend themselves and their fellow citizens by being equally armed"

That was according to the writers of the Constitution, and they clearly lacked the foresight to see how 'equally armed' would one day become problematic to enforce and uphold. Their mistake shouldnt be enforced to the maximum degree nor flat out ignored and discarded simply because the founding fathers who inserted that right didnt consider how 150 years later weapons would evolve to such a degree of lethality that people shouldnt have that kind of power......

The Founding Fathers screwed up if they believed that citizens should be able to be equally armed as the government, but by loosely interpreting the Constitution we can make sure that citizens dont have that potential power, yet still have the right to self defense and the right to bear arms.





"We know that this isn't true because there were presidents who believed the Constitution should be viewed as literally as possible"

And there were just as many presidents + other politicians who believed it should be interpreted loosely..... Hell the people who wrote the Constitution even disagreed on whether or not a national bank was constitutionally legal, and these were the same people who wrote the damn thing! Some sides favored a loose interpretation, others favored a strict interpretation....

The point is that the writers of the Constitution fell on both sides of the strict/loose interpretation stance, and neither of them are necessarily in the wrong for doing so.




"Nothing about my argument is biased."

You believe that the Constitution should only be closely interpreted, and you filter your opinions of the rights of Americans based purely through that artificial lens/bias and accept it as fact even though its not wrong nor not allowed to interpret the Constitution loosely.




"We must note that there is no sure fire way to determine the purpose of the Second Amendment"

Pro concedes that there isnt a surefire way to determine the purpose of the Second Amendment, therefore all of his own interpretations of role the Second Amendment are nothing more then skepticism and his own opinion and nothing more then that
Debate Round No. 2
rodgerthatjerry

Pro

rodgerthatjerry forfeited this round.
imabench

Con

Extend all arguments
Debate Round No. 3
rodgerthatjerry

Pro

rodgerthatjerry forfeited this round.
imabench

Con

You whore
Debate Round No. 4
rodgerthatjerry

Pro

rodgerthatjerry forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
rodgerthatjerryimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfiet, don't know why this happens so much...
Vote Placed by TheAntidoter 3 years ago
TheAntidoter
rodgerthatjerryimabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: WHAT.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
rodgerthatjerryimabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF