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

The 2nd Amendment Gives Citizens the Right to Bear Arms

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 300 times Debate No: 84232
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




I would like to thank you for accepting this argument. My position is that the 2nd amendment in the US Constitution does not provide any rights for anyone to bear arms in the US. This is a hot button issue that few people understand, but many think they understand it.

If you think you can prove the 2nd amendment, commonly referred to as 2A gives you the rights to bear arms, then accept the challenge and prove it. It is really that simple. If you think I'm wrong, crazy, or just ignorant, then challenge me.

No rules.

Main argument round 2
Rebuttal and conclusion round 3.

This is my first attempt at creating a debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Privileges are immunities grated to specific people. Privileges are those things one is given permission to have or use. You have the privilege to drive a car, the privilege to go to school, even the privilege to fly an airplane. These are special privileges given to certain people which raises their class membership value. For example, you have the right to own a home, you do not have the privilege of sleeping in the white house. In short a privilege is something one group can do while another group cannot.

Rights on the other hand such as the "BILL OF RIGHTS" cannot be granted, nor can they be removed. Rights such as speech and religion are things you are born with and the freedom to do. When one talks about a right, they are discussing a natural right as found in the constitution and Delecration of Independence. All rights are unailiable rights. No person needs to ask for permission to exercise such rights, nor does any government have the power to remove such rights.

The federal government does not give or grant such rights. Governments are a creation of man. These rights existed before the government. How could a newly created order of government bestow upon its creator the right to possess something he already owned? These rights are bestowed upon the person at birth. The right to defend oneself as written in the 2nd amendment is as primal as the right to speak. And, no person nor any amendment ( with the exception of the 21st )gives anyone rights.

For evidence of the above, the 2nd amendment does not even state it gives the people the right to bear arms. It states "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". There is no granting of rights here. The right already existed prior to the 2nd amendment. The second amendment clearly is putting up safeguards in the framework to prevent the federal government from infringing on that right.

Furthermore, in 1876, the SCOTUS ruled in US V Cruikshank "The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence". It concluded these are natural rights.
One of the main archetects of the constitution, James Madison, felt the Bill of Rights was unnecessary. The constitution was constructed to form a limited government. The purpose of the constitution was to create a legal framework of how government should function. A limited government is not congruent with rights granting.

Lastly, even if one were to take the hard line position that these rights were granted through the US Constitution, such a strict reading one must realize the rights as outlined in the bill of rights were only protecting citizens from federal laws and regulations. Such a view does not grant anyone the right to have gun ownership should the state feel otherwise. The 10th amendment clearly gives the states the power to make laws as they feel fit. Such a rights granting amendment would only protect an individual from federal government infringement.

It was not until the 14th amendment that incorporated the bill of rights to the states. As the 14th amendment clearly states "it forbids states from denying any person "life, liberty or property, without due process".
If one were to truly believe gun rights were granted by the US Constitution, then the 14th Amendment, not the 2nd Amendment is the one to call upon for the right to gun ownership. Life " the right to self defense. Liberty " the freedom to own a gun. Property " the gun. is much more a positive rights up in the 14th amendment, whereas the 2nd amendment only prevents the federal government from infringing on those rights.

Lastly, Madison believed the United States should be an ocean of liberty with islands of regulations. It is illogical to believe the scope of a limited government would be granting rights, natural rights. In Madison's view, this country was just created on the backs of individuals who used their natural rights to take up arms against a tyrannical government. Any government that can grant rights such as gun ownership could also remove such rights. In view of our early history, it is illogical to conclude the 2nd amendment was a rights granting amendment.


The_American_Conservative forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Vote pro.

Thank you.


The_American_Conservative forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by SirMaximus 10 months ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
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Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had better conduct, because Pro forfeited 2 rounds, but Con didn't forfeit any rounds. I understood both of them well, so they tie for spelling and grammar. As for arguments, Pro didn't make any arguments, as all that Pro said was "I accept", so I can't really judge who had better arguments. Therefore, they tie for arguments. Neither side used any sources, so they tie for reliable sources.