The Instigator
Harlan
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
Toored
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/21/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,339 times Debate No: 778
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (6)

 

Harlan

Pro

"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."

Let us first speculate on the purpose of the founding father's addition of this to our constitution, to be part of what is known as "the bill of rights". They say, quite clearly: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State", and therein lies the true necessity of the right to bear arms to the securing of liberty to all peoples. When we hear, "gun rights", our minds jump to far-right NRA enthusiasts, who use their right to bear arms for hunting dear. The founding fathers, of course, had a completely different reason for adding this amendment to the constitution. There, of course, is the immediate answer to the question of the reason for the second amendment's necessity is personal protection from people who have the intent of harming you or you're family. While I would like to stress the importance of this, there was a more important reason that the founding fathers had:

The reason we need guns is to protect ourselves from our own government. WE need to have the silent ability to riot. Having this, we keep our government in check. While it may seem far-fetched that it would ever be necessary to have guns to protect you from the government (especially for patriots), we can look back to history:

200 years ago there was a war known as the revolutionary war, which was what made "America" possible. In this war it was Great Britain vs. a bunch of colonists. The government, at the time, was Great Britain. The colonists, on the other hand, were a bunch of regular citizens. They had absolutely no organized army. All it was was a bunch of citizens who happened to own guns.

The founding fathers more than anyone understood the need to have the power to rebel, and keep your own government in check. Without, the 2nd amendment, the government could do anything they wanted, and their citizens could do nothing to stop them. Do not think that our government doesn't know, either, they are very well aware of the fact that many of the citizens own guns, and what that means for them, and the limits to their power.

In other words, if the government is the ONLY one to own guns, than they are the only ones with power, contrary to the concept of democracy.

Another reason that the founding fathers put this in was to have citizens that could protect the nation from invaders, but this is obviously not as prominent a danger today, as we have not had war on the homeland in a long time.

Now, do not get me wrong, guns are sad things…They are killing machines…in reality it would be better off if they did not exist in the first place…But since they DO exist, and since the government will have guns whether we like it or not…we might as well have guns as well.

So, in conclusion, owning fire arms is very necessary to the securing of liberty to each and every individual in the US. It would be very wrong, and bureaucratic to allow our government to be the only party to own fire-arms. This is a democracy, in which the people rule.
Toored

Con

You have already made the point that in the U.S. we no longer have a need to form militias to fend off foreign invaders. This is in comparison to 1788 when the Constitution was ratified. At that time the U.S. barely had an army and we were still incredibly vulnerable to invasion. So we both agree on that.

You also made the point that guns are bad killing machines. I also agree with you on that count. You also made the point that the founding fathers wanted citizens to have the ability to protect themselves from tyranny at home. To quote you "Without, the 2nd amendment, the government could do anything they wanted, and their citizens could do nothing to stop them," You make it sound like the people of this country can do no wrong but we are as inherently bad and flawed as the people in government. You should read a little thing called "Leviathan" by Thomas Hobbes. Just look at the death and destruction that guns cause and I don't mean a gun belonging to a corrupt member of the army or some CIA operative, I am referring to guns owned by average U.S. Citizens:

-Between 1979 and 2001, gunfire killed 90,000 children and teens in America.

-In one year, more children and teens died from gunfire than from cancer, pneumonia, influenza, asthma, and HIV/AIDS combined.

-Every day, more than 80 Americans die from gun violence

Furthermore, countries like England that have far more gun control laws suffer less gun related deaths and last time I checked their government has not fallen into a state of tyranny.

p.s.

This is my first debate on this site and I don't participate in many online debates so I apologize for any mistakes I may make. Also, I will gladly share my informational resources upon request.
Debate Round No. 1
Harlan

Pro

Hello,

-"You make it sound like the people of this country can do no wrong but we are as inherently bad and flawed as the people in government"

We live in a democracy, do we not? In this democracy, the government can not be a ruling, ultimate party, with complete sovereignty…In this democracy, the PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER, because regardless of "wrong" they may do, it is only fair to allow the people to have power.

-"Between 1979 and 2001, gunfire killed 90,000 children and teens in America"

Well I am sure that we are both very sorry to hear that, and we do have regulations for owning a gun…but criminals do not seem to care what the law says…and thus it would probably make little difference without the right to bear arms.

-"Furthermore, countries like England that have far more gun control laws suffer less gun related deaths and last time I checked their government has not fallen into a state of tyranny."

England WAS in a state of tyranny, and the 13 colonies would not have escaped it, IF THEY DID NOT HAVE GUNS. Where would every single one of us, in America, be…if those regular citizens did not own guns? Answer me that.

I will also refer to one of the most horrific events in the history of mankind, the holocaust and the events leading up to it, the following is from a biography of Adolf Hitler:

"Of the 380,000 Jews crowded into the Warsaw ghetto, all but 70,000 had been deported to the killing centers in an operation devoid of resistance. By this time, however, those left behind had come to the realization that deportation meant death. With this in mind, Jewish political parties within the ghetto finally resolved their differences and banded together to resist further shipments with force.... At three in the morning of April 9, 1943, more than 2000 Waffen SS infantryman — accompanied by tanks, flame throwers and dynamite squads — invaded the ghetto, expecting an easy conquest, only to be met by determined fire from 1500 fighters armed with weapons smuggled into the ghetto over a long period: several light machine guns, hand grenades, a hundred or so rifles and carbines, several hundred pistols and revolvers, and Molotov cocktails. Himmler had expected the action to take three days but by nightfall his forces had to withdraw. The one-sided battle continued day after day to the bewilderment of the SS commander, General J�rgen Stroop, who could not understand why ‘this trash and subhumanity' refused to abandon a hopeless cause. He reported that, although his men had initially captured ‘considerable numbers of Jews, who are cowards by nature,' it was becoming more and more difficult. ‘Over and over again new battle groups consisting of twenty or thirty Jewish men, accompanied by a corresponding number of women, kindled new resistance.' The women, he noted, had the disconcerting habit of suddenly hurling grenades they had hidden in their bloomers...."

Would you wish to take the right to bear arms from them? Do you see now, there have been many instances "in the course of human events" in which it has served the people very well to have fire-arms in revolting against the government. If EVERY Jew had had a gun in Germany, or at least many more of them, the holocaust might never have happened. Governments are very capable of doing horrific things when their citizens do not have guns with which to fight back. IN the instance of the several other Jews, who did not have guns, and thus could not revolt, they were caught in a situation, in which the SS (the government) had guns, and they didn't, and as a consequence went to the holocaust.

But then again, maybe you agree with Hitler:

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing"

-Adolf Hitler

An insane lunatic, a complete raving hateful, lunatic, an evil genius, who was well aware of the people's ability to riot, when owning fire-arms, and worked against it, being the authoritarian, Nazi ruler that he was.

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."
-Thomas Jefferson
Toored

Con

Toored forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Harlan

Pro

We live in a world where guns mean power.

The party with guns will always be dominant over the party without guns.

Therefore, we can not remove the people's right to take arms, in the name of democracy.

There are several, several examples from history to support this.

To allow the government to be the only ones with guns, would be to forfiet all the principles of democracy...and another step foward to a centralized government.

The people keep their government in check with the silent ability to riot.
Toored

Con

You put up a good argument and unfortunately I really needed that turn I missed. I humbly concede and this debate has been a pleasure. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
Harlan

Pro

Thank you for the debate, it was very fun.

I need one 100 characters. I need 100 characters. 123456789.
Toored

Con

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito!

Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them!
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
Once more using fire-arms against tyranny is a last resort...after all peacefull protest has fasiled...and it is the only viable solution.

Governments CHANGE. Democracy is dying. If we have guns, wwe can postpone it's death. Please look at what has been going on in America for a while. Little by little, it changes. and the removal of guns would be yet another change; another progression towards a centralized government.

It is laughable that you can not imagine any corruption in the US government. We must be PREPARED.

Sometimes guns are necessary to reform governments.

It is a natural right of people in ALL governments to have the determining factor in whether they have any power whatsoever: fire-arms. Without them...we are at the mercy of those who DO have guns: the government.

"so get over yourslef"

Sir, I am truly wuite inclined to abruptly end this argument, with you're belligerent and hostile remarks.

It has been done SO MANY times in history, that it is silly to say that a corrupt leader may find ways to mess up the system of democracy. Rigged electios and what not can shatter the fragile system that we know as democracy.

The government does not have the right to be the sole party with guns. Would you take the guns from the small group of jews who DID have guns, and who DID fight...made s stand.

The holocaust may not have happened...ora t least would be alot less succesfull if one half or all of the jews had guns in their homes.

We can not rely on the system so much to think that it will always work out on it's own. We must be PREPARED...for democracy is a fragile system...and might as well not exist without guns.

I agree that there shoud be requirements for owning a gun.
Posted by alexthemoderate 9 years ago
alexthemoderate
Furthermore, if 1/2 of the Jews had guns, do you think that this simple possesion of a weapon would have freed them?

The German Army was, at the time, the best-trained and most elite in Europe. They were better funded and more disciplined than any other force. If ALL of the Jewish citizens would have had guns, do you think that Hitler, so filled with hate, would have stopped his pursuit? NO, he would have killed them till they surrendered. In fact, HE DID KILL THEM UNTIL THEY SURRENDERED and submitted themselves to the will of the S.S.

The military law of Nazi Germany would be the equivalent of the U.S. Armed forces turning on New Jersey.

Bottom line, I don't care if you have 40 AK-47s and 100 50 Caliber rifles, you won't be able to hold off the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals, D.E.A., C.I.A., F.B.I., N.S.A., but good luck anyways.

By the way, we have a civilian controlled government and an absolute chain of command, so the military won't be ordered to take over the American people unless directed to by the Commander-in-Chief, and even then, he has to be funded by Congress's approval after 60 days of conflict.

And if we keep having citizens running for office, as we will always have, then we will continue to have a check.

We have a system that is made to protect the people.

I've never said that we shouldn't allow people to have guns.

I've been saying that we need to follow what our Constitution says and have a "well-regulated" system in which we know who has got a gun.
Posted by alexthemoderate 9 years ago
alexthemoderate
That's ludicrous to say that the ability to riot comes from the barrel of a gun. We've got the ability to protest regardless of our guns! THe government gives us the right to protest. It's their gift to us. The framers didn't want people to have guns to enforce that rule. They wanted a hust system in which it was guaranteed and upheld by the courts, which it has.

A you seem to glorify riots. The L.A. riots, for example, were a time for criminality, not the correction of social justice. Riots have people acting like beasts.

It is much better and much more effective to reform a system rather to revolt and start anew. The American Revolution was a war built upon people rebelling against an empire that was greatly unjust. We do not have the same system as the former British Monarchy. We can't approach that tyranny in our system. It just does not work. If you think that we could progress towards that if our system remains true (which you observe about the last 50 years), then you really are mistaken.

The government is OF the people. Citizens are part of the government. That means that these people have friends and relatives that they do not want to oppress, so get over yourslef with the idea of guns being the reason for just government.

And please don't insult me by saying "Do you understand, now?" I don't play well with those who attempt to belittle me.
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
I agree that there should be SOME requirements for possesing a gun.

"Name one riot in the last 50 years where guns protected the rights of citizens. You claim that this is something that we do in this coutnry"

We haven't needed to. The government does not give us the need, because they KNOW that we have guns. We keep the government in CHECK, with the ABILITY to riot. Do you understand, now?

"How do these numbers work out to more guns being a better thing?"

If ONE HALF of the jews in german ghettos had guns...one of the most horrific events in the history of man kind, the holocaust, would probably never have happened.

But they did not. The SS had guns...they didn't. Tis' as simple as that. They did not have any power.
Posted by alexthemoderate 9 years ago
alexthemoderate
And I've never said anything about 'asking nicely'.

Who said you can't riot without a gun? Who said you can't protest without a gun? I sure as hell didn't say that.

You can burn the flag in this country. It is fully legal and protected by the Constitution. Would I ever burn a flag? Hell no, I'd probably get arrested trying to stop someone from burning the flag, but I sure as hell would rather live in a country where I could burn it rather than live in an oppressive government.

Name one riot in the last 50 years where guns protected the rights of citizens. You claim that this is something that we do in this coutnry.

Now I will name 5 shootings in the past 10 years in public high schools or college campuses.
1) Columbine (12 killed)
2) Virgina Tech (32 killed)
3) Red Lake High (10 killed)
4) Amish School (5 killed)
5) Delaware State (1 killed)

These are just the ones in schools.

I'm from Illinois and in 2004 there were 573 killings in one year.

In 2003, the ENTIRE United Kingdom has 163 gun deaths. (Handgun ban in 1997)

Approximate Population of U.K.: 60,776,238
Approximate Population of Illinois: 12,831,970

Let me ask you something: How do these numbers work out to more guns being a better thing?
Posted by alexthemoderate 9 years ago
alexthemoderate
...And if you look at the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson said that the Revolution would never have to happen again if the spirit of the Revolution lived on in the new government and in the spirit of liberty and democracy.

He felt, when writing that document, that a government that was truly by the people would never suffer the torment of another bloody revolution.

And by the way, let me reiterate, I am not anti-gun. I am pro-gun control. I think that we should be putting tracers in bullets, and make those bullets only able to fire out of that gun. I think that we should be providing FREE classes on gun safety for anyone that wants a gun. I think that you should not only have a gun license, but a license to shoot that very same gun. I think that we should be making guns available to anyone who is willing to register with the police.

Guns are murder weapons. Animals, humans, whatever. They are used to kill. People are still what kill people, but guns make it a whole hell of a lot easier, don't they?

If you want to have a gun for target practice, go ahead. You want to hunt, more power to you. You want to keep one in your home, do it. But don't claim your freedom is being taken away when we tell you that you have to let us know that you have a weapon like a gun in your possesion.

The pro-gun camp seems to think that ANY restriction put on guns is a violation of freedom.

Frankly, it's harder to buy a car than a gun, and I'm not talking sticker price. What kind of sense does that make?
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
Ah yes, rioting with fire-arms is definitely a last resort...but it is sometimes deemed necessary in the course of human events to do so.

What do you do when asking nicely does not work?

You take arms. Just like the colonists did. Just like a few Jews did in the warsaw ghetto.

It is a completely American thing. Look to the American revolution that made this country possible. Look to the declaration of independance.

This government may be made of/for the people, but the constitution is, in relaity, a fragile thing. DEmocracy is dying, Alex! It would die alot faster of we did not have the ability to riot.

What would Secure the lbierties of the people, if they did not have guns?

The removal of the right to bear arms would just be another series of steps towards complete centralized government and beauracracy.
Posted by alexthemoderate 9 years ago
alexthemoderate
I think it is funny to say that we need guns to protect us from our own government. It is 'sort of' true, though I still think that the most powerful weapon in a democracy is YOUR OWN VOTE, but what does that matter, right? I'm not against the right to have guns, but shouldn't we make it a little harder to purchase a murder weapon? Doesn't that make a little sense? Shouldn't we check that you don't have an unstable personality (the kid from Virginia Tech)?

It seems to me that there is a better way to redress the government than by saying 'I have a gun'. It seems to me that there is a better way to show them your displeasure than by saying 'I have a gun'. It seems to me that there's got to be a better way to tell a government, one that is OF the people and FOR the people and BY the people, that you disagree or that you need to be protected. It seems to me that there's a better way, but until you realize that too, you can keep your guns, and I will keep my faith in the structure of the system that was set up to create this great nation in the first place.
Posted by aphid 9 years ago
aphid
"... Last time I checked their [England's] government has not fallen into a state of tyranny."

On the contrary, Blair put in a lot of surveillance (they already has cameras all over London, for instance) ...
Posted by aaeap2 9 years ago
aaeap2
I am with Harlan!
I am with Harlan!
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griffinisright
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