The Instigator
B_evans00302
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
joze14rock
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

The right of individuals to possess and maintain firearms is protected by the 2nd Amendment?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,123 times Debate No: 558
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (10)

 

B_evans00302

Pro

The following year after ratifying the Bill of Rights, which was originally rejected without a "gun rights" provision, the US Congress enacted the Militia Act of 1972 which required all recognized citizens to own and maintain a firearm and ammunition for the purposes of remaining prepared to be called up to defend the State.

Several Framers of the US Constitution argued that citizens ought to be trained and armed to prevent government abuse of power including lose of freedoms otherwise secured by the remainder of the Bill of Rights.

The right of an individual to possess a sawed-off shotgun was not upheld because the weapon was said to have no use within sanctioned military equipment, therefore individuals who follow the first amendment ought to have access to only equipment that is servicable in the US Armed Forces.

Though we create governments to protect us from ourselves and others, ultimate responsible for ones own security is one's own self, thereby to ensure the individual has the ability to protect themselves against a criminal with a firearm, individual citizens ought to have the right secured by the 2nd Amendment to own and maintain firearms.

Excessive gun-control legislation often proceeds mass-oppression and even genocide.

Studies show that more guns in a liberal society does not equal more gun crime.
joze14rock

Con

First off, I would like to put the second amendment down in front of us:

"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."

As the con position I will argue against the above topic "right of individuals to possess and maintain firearms."

The stance that I will take in opposing this viewpoint is that of most people who oppose firearms:

Interpreting the second amendment this way- Right to possess arms are not meant for the individual, but meant for the states to grant such a right to the individual.

According to the second amendment, only when a "well regulated militia" is necessary for security, shall the states have the right to allow citizens to bear arms.

Looking at our modern age, it seems that the "milita" has been replaced by law enforcement (police) and our armed forces- so no such right to bear arms exist.

The state tells individuals when to prepare, and that is when Gun rights are in force. But since the armed forces protect us, their is no need to for gun rights.

Under the social contract the government has the obligation to protect ALL its citizens. It only makes sense that in protecting all its citizens, the government should outlaw universal rights to bear arms, for the possibility of citizens turning against each other is an infringement of the social contract.

Studies also show that in Japan, where its half the population of the U.S and where owning of a firearm is against the law, they have fewer than 20 deaths a year as compared 10,000 deaths a year in the U.S
Debate Round No. 1
B_evans00302

Pro

I'll begin to rebut your argument by reminding you what the Bill of Rights is. The Bill of Rights was written to protect the rights of individuals. The individual's right to free speech, not only the collective right to free speech though that be the benefit of protecting the individual. The fourth amendment for instance also is meant to protect an individual right to security in ones home and property. Even amendments like the 15th which was mean to being a whole people into our society, the 15th amendment doesn't protect the rights of a group of people, but protects the individual. The 2nd Amendment was put into place by a suspicious people of centralized power. They chose to ensure that the checks and balances set within the power structure were also balanced by the citizenry. If not for protecting each citizens right to keep and bear arms, the US Constitution would never have been ratified. I believe we are going to inevitably argue two different points.

There are two clauses here which have nothing to do with each other. The first clause that a well regulated militia is necessary. The second that the right of the People will not be infringed. At the time the debate surrounding creating a centralized federal government over not for the purpose of standing up an army for national defense. Though establishments like the national guard and the reserves are not as old as the US Army herself, at the same type the federal government was standing up an army to secure the land, they also empowered each citizen to stand up to protect there own state of freedom, but also make themselves available for conscription as evidenced by the Militia Act. Militias are quiet because the country is moving towards a police state in which 2nd Amendment was primarily added to prevent. If you hadn't noticed, since 2002 there are cameras everywhere, they pull the plug on your speeches if they don't like what you're saying, and they're reading your email. That's a police state that is really only getting warmed up. Jefferson and others invited patriots of freedom to wage war against this (every 20 years according to Jefferson if necessary), guaranteed that it would be lawful under the 2nd Amendment. So while one may feel more secure with the guns in the hands of only the military and police, what will you do if ever those guns are turned on you because you disagree?

Considering your argument on the State offering and taking away rights as necessary, that is simply incorrect. The state does not have the right to take away a single individuals right to free speech any less than as it suites the states they may take away any other right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Where would we be considering the 15th Amendment if States had the right to enforce or decommission the people's right to vote? Short answer is no where. The States do not have the right to take away your federally protected rights. When they do take it away, that doesn't make it lawful, it just means you're one step closer using the 2nd Amendment to protect your remaining rights. Hypothetically, what if the federal government said, "since we can't fix the social security or medicare deficeits so we're just going to kill everyone over the age of 65. In such a case an oppressive government would have broken the social contract, hitherto the 2nd Amendment would be an absolute necessity to cast off the oppressive government. Much like we've always encouraged other states to do who are under tyranny.

Revoking an ownership right to firearms by law-abiding citizens won't prevent 1 murder, in fact if its known that only cops and crooks have guns, the crooks are more likely to violently attack their victims because their victim is known not to possess sufficient means to repeal a knife or gun attack. There are 10,000 gun deaths per year with over 240M guns in the US (ATF). This figure has also been pretty constant for a long time as the number of murders involving guns has also been pretty stead at 6.1% for a long long time. What the data tells us is that at any given point, there are a percentage of criminals who have it in their heart to kill, whether we're talking about 50 years ago when there were less than half the gun stock to now.

Criminals who choose to disturb the peace and shoot at people cause far greater damage against those not armed to defend their lives in contrast to those criminals who face a nation full of friendly guns. A guy walks into a church around here the other day and starts shooting the place up. What prevented a greater tragedy than the 4 that got killed, regular citizens preparing themselves for the worst also in contrast to the massacre at Virginia Tech.

the weapons that should be made available to the population contingent to Emerson v. United States (sawed off shotguns); weapons were eliminated from being considered legal because they did not conform to any "useful" weapon in the military.

You would like to speak on what the law should be instead of what it says, and means.
joze14rock

Con

1) I would like to state Dictionary.com's definition of what a "bill of rights" essentially is:
"a statement of the rights belonging to or sought by any group."
Notice how the definition explicitly states a "group." Now, don't get me wrong, a bill of rights, especially our Constitution's Bill of Rights, does also include the rights of an individual. But the definition of a "bill of rights" also states a "group."
Now if we consider that states of the U.S, as a group of individuals, it make complete sense in relation to the 2nd Amendment.
We also must keep in mind, that the most effective political groups that influence policy making are not individuals, but special interest groups. (Dr. Kimi Lynn King, University of North Texas).
Groups of People are the most affective groups in the political realm. The states represent groups of people.
I will restate my criterion of this round once again:
The second amendment is aimed for the states to grant the right to bear arms to its citizens (through inference of states right to organize militia in second amend.), not the right for ALL individuals of the American to bear arms.

2) I'm actually kind of confused with your second argument here about our armed forces and the police. I don't deny that the States have the right to organize a militia…. So I guess I agree with you here.
I want to point out that the only connection that an individual has to government, is to their representatives (senators, congressmen) and to the state (local and regional level). There is a distinction between the federal government and our individual state governments. Individuals only have control of their state government, and not necessarily to our federal government. The Founding Fathers understood that the thing that would counter the power of the federal government where the states- which of course was one of the reasons of the Civil War.
I think you misunderstood what I meant with a state. A state (Texas, Virginia, etc) is a collection of organized individuals with their own similar mindset. The Nation (America, federal government, etc) is a collection of states, thus conflicting mindset. That's why the most affective policies are passed in state government rather than federal government.
When the Founding Fathers were framing the Constitution, they were thinking of the states and not every individual in the colonies. Trying to satisfy every single individual is not pragmatic!!
The founding fathers believed that the way to overthrow an oppressive federal government is not through the individuals, but through the states.
Thus the 2nd amendment gives the states the political right to bear arms or not.

And I do believe all the examples fit perfectly to my analysis of states rights.

Please read your history book and learn more about the interrelation between Federal Government and State's rights.
Debate Round No. 2
B_evans00302

Pro

I'll give you the definition, however the term group is there instead of indvidual because we were and continue to be under a representative government instead of a true direct-democracy because of logistics. When making judgments on law, one must also consider the intent or "spirit" of the law to prevent unjust use of the law through misinterpretation; for instance, EVERYONE give up your guns right now except the people who aren't going to listen, the crooks, the cops, and the military. I do believe that violent crime rates would increase if "criminals" who don't care about your laws, believed that the person(s) they intended to victimize 99.9% of the time was unarm. What I do know is every major genocide in the past 100 years was proceeded by civil legislation to take the guns out of the hands of the citizens. These were the two main concerns of the Anti-Federalists at the time of the framing. The first concern was preventing government from "infringing" on the rights of people to defend their own lives. I know I have a God given right to defend my life, and that right is buttressed by some 34 states in the union. The second concern was the potential of their creation: big, spying, corrupting, oppressive, brother. I won't remind you that this was the rhetoric at the time of the debates, but I will state that they didn't let guns run around here for sport.

I apologize for my argument about militias not being clear, let me clear that up. The year following the ratification of Bill of Rights, the Federal Government offered up the clearest guidance on their intentions for firearms in the hands of people, groups, or whatever you would like to call it. The law, Militia Act of 1792 was signed into law which stated all individuals considered citizens must possess a firearm and ammunition and remain prepared to aid the federal government in defense of liberty from foreign invaders. So though you may contend that the 2nd Amendment was written as a love letter to the states, it was not. It was written to secure the individual signers of our most precious documents life and liberty in context of the survival of the great experiment or without.

Your point of special interest groups influencing politics is well taken, that doesn't mean thats how its supposed to be, or thats the way it was at the beginning. Much like virus infect your computer, so does money negatively impact our politics. Special interest groups infact have damaged our process. Biased groups spend time and money getting their corrupted ideas into our decision makers minds instead of our educated. That is primarily why representative government was choosen of some other form of democracy, to avoid bad moves made by the whims or feelings of the people based on there current feelings instead of the big picture. The very ambivalence of republicanism requires an armed citizenry to perserve liberty as the framers described thoughout there rhetoric.

I again state that we are arguing two different points, I am arguing what the law was meant to be at the time of its inking, and you're talking about some sort of best use stuff. Well my friend I would love if everyone else on earth put down their guns. Heck melted em and made me something nice instead, but thats not the way the world is. Where the rest of nature has been driven back, smarter, faster, and stronger predators have emerged in our cities and suburbs. Everywhere in this land and all over the earth people commit gun crimes and the cops are usually there to prevent it, and so as part of our social contract we were given the right to protect our own interests including our lives and our property, with deadly force if necessary against all comers. People that believe we should all just yield to what the government shall do are not friends of liberty, but are friends to the communist party. It is not only our individual right to keep weapons, but a social responsibility in our social contract to bear arms as a community against tyrannical federal power.

I'll save the pitch to the peanut gallery, but I will mention my friend, we've lost our full rights and whats left is continuing to be eroded. We don't realize we are frogs being boiled because it is the norm. Guns on TV kill someone BAD, therefore guns are bad, while the 100 occasions per night or so(for example, pick your petre dish) guns prevent a criminal from committing a crime, that goes unreported. Long way from little 5 yr old Timmy getting dinner for the family while pawh was at war. See what "they're" doing? No, we had this right and they've been chipping away at it since sawed-off shotguns.

I'd say I won, but stay positive! I would love to be the last person on Earth to put down a firearm, ever.
joze14rock

Con

I'm going to point out my main argument and its points, arguing why its superior than my opponents

Then I will refute some of my opponents points.

First,

My argument is that of most advocates against gun rights- the second amendment gives rights to the STATES and not the INDIVIDUAL.
By mere implication of reading the second amendment, in which militias can be formed for such right to be granted, the framers of the constitution were focused on state rights and only ostensibly does it infer to the individuals rights due to the inclusion of the right in the Bill of Rights.
Like I said in an earlier round,
the founding fathers where concerned on the distribution of powers between the STATES and the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, and not necessarily the individual- for just like my opponent conceded - the United States is a Representative Democracy, not modeled over the direct democracies of Ancient Greece. So the Founding Fathers believed that the STATE represented the right of the individual foremost, instead of analyzing every single individual's views, which would be a futile and foolish attempt to do

The Second Amendment grants the right to bear arms to the STATES and is not a universal right to bear arms for all INDIVIDUALS.
Furthermore, their is a reason to WHY the Founding Fathers included the stipulation in the Second Amendment only in accordance of "milita" forming.
If the Founding Fathers wanted to give the right to bear arms to all individuals in the United States, they would have explictly given such right in the Bill of Rights- "All Citizens have the right to bear arms"
But the fact of the matter is that the Amendment is not fashioned in such a way.

Now to refute some of my opponents points:

1)I think it's unfair for my opponents to speculate with statistics. First off, I quoted a statistic in Round 1 where Japan, who outlaws the right for any citizen to bear arms, suffers less than 20 gun-related deaths with a population only half the size of the U.S, but with a population that is alot more condensed in urban locations, where pressumably, Gun deaths should be high- but their not in Japan. I think alot of variables, like social mindsets and cultural differences, apart from gun right psychology, play in the role of such statistics- which my opponent does not mention or speculate on.
Thus is statistics are biased to negligeable biasness.

2) After close analysis of the Militia Act of 1792, that indeed, the President has the right to organize the state militias in case of foreign attack. But my opponent fails to point out how the President has to the right to force the STATES, and not the individuals, to organize militias for the defense of the United States. It's is the STATES obligation to organize the militias. Thus the right goes to the STATE. I obnoxiously emphasize this point because it leads back to my main argument- the Founding Fathers were concerned with the rights of the STATES, which represented the individual, and not the INDIVIDUAL specifically.
My opponent also fails to point out the Second Militia Act passed in 1792- which specifically gave the rights for the states themselves to organize state militias, without the direct consent of the President.
We must also keep in mind that these almost ancient Acts passed by Congress are outdated considering our modern day and age. Unlike the Constitution, which is insoluble, the Acts passed by Congress are only followed by the arbitrary consent of a time, if such acts are not overturned by Congress later on (e.g. Sedition and Alien Acts of the Early U.S). An example of what I mean is the War Power Acts (1972) which required the President to tell Congress all secret and non-secret military plans going proceeded in a specific conflict (at that time the Vietnam War). Presidents ever since have been disgruntled such Act as a violation of their constitutional rights as Commander and Chief, and so thus usually ignore Congress' War Power Acts- which is not unconstitutional since the War Power Acts has never been overturned by Congress or taken to the Supreme Court.
Legislation passed by Congress are not insoluble like the Constitution.
Besides, like I repeatedly say, we have no need for militias in our day and age and have our Armed Forces to protect the United States- the Militia Act of 1972 deserves to be arbitrarily ignored for its irrelevance to our era

3) My Opponent is Right, Special Interest Groups were not intended by the Founding Fathers to be the dominating force in American Politics. But the fact of the matter is that they are. And unless some drastic change happens in politics, which is unlikely going to happen, they will remain to be a dominating force in politics. My opponent talks about normative politics, in "theorizing" how things OUGHT to be. I'm talking about EMPIRICAL POLITICS, in which things REALLY are like. We can speculate all we want, but the fact of the matter is that U.S legislation and policies are organized by GROUPS (Special Interest Groups) and not individual voters.

4) My opponent claims that he has the right interpretation of the Second Amendment. I disagree and offer a more logical and precise interpretation of the Second Amendment, outlined in the beginning of this round. It would be nice if everyone in the world put their guns down.
But i'm not arguing for how the world and America ought to be.
I'm not arguing to change how the United States enact policies.

I'm arguing for no Gun Rights.
Which is not my own personal view
but the debate topic outlined for me as the Con side, which I believe I have effective argued against.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by duke-one 9 years ago
duke-one
I think a clue to the winning side here can be taken from the proposition itself. That the Constitution and Bill of Rights protect rights from government intrusion Individuals are born with rights and unless they give those rights up voluntarily or by force of arms ie: the government takes them; those rights stay with you forever. Anyone familiar with the history of the founding period, and the bright lights who wrote our documents would never question the individual right inherent in the second amendment. As an aside the current second amendment was first in the original twelve part first draft of the Bill of Rights.
KDM
Kenneth Duke Masters
The Bill of Rights
December 15 1791

Suggested reading; The Second Amendment Primer from Palladium Press
Posted by joze14rock 9 years ago
joze14rock
Pardon Me,
Their are spelling, grammatical, contextual errors in my final reply.
I apologize, but I got hooked on the History Channel while reading this.

Some errors include:
1) Commander and Chief- which I meant "Commander in Chief"
2) Militia Act of 1972- Which I mean "Militia Act of 1792"

My Bad
Posted by B_evans00302 9 years ago
B_evans00302
One may interpret the 2nd amendment to mean that it is a right granted only to states to preserve the freedom of the state, that is incomplete. The other part, and most desired by the framers was individualism which occupied much of the political rhetoric at the time. They were too busy creating a document that brought the states together while still perserving life, liberty, and property; I mean pursuit of happiness for the individual. Speaking of life, at the time the land was wild and not subdued as it largely exists today. People didn't have a choice in whether they were going to carry a gun or not. If you didn't have a gun, you were doing a lot of praying and that only works in the movies or by the hand of God? No the 2nd Amendment was meant to prevent first the federal government from infinging on the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms, but also by virtue of ratification by the states, all state law is hereby superceded by federal laws, ie though a state may legalize some criminal activity, the feds could still come get you and sanction the state. So, like I said, "keep and bear" against bears, cougars, and other threats to the first clause: life, but also a right to happiness such as deer and other meats for food. What is happening on this issue is what is happening on most of them. The people are going soft over time and don't even know what their rights are and that's why you're losing em.
Posted by kylevd 9 years ago
kylevd
i just want to know how this got into a debate of states' rights and federal rights. the second amendment was put in place to protect us from becoming like england. to protect us from both the federal government and state governments. "Interpreting the second amendment this way- Right to possess arms are not meant for the individual, but meant for the states to grant such a right to the individual."

we have gun rights in case the government infringes upon our rights and attacks/threatens us. this is more likely to occur in federal governments, because they have more power and are therefore more intent on keeping it. however, just because the states are less likely to become corrupt, doesn't mean that they never will. i dont think the founding fathers would have trusted any type of larger government other than their immediate communities. therefore, i would just like to contribute by stating that i disagree with that interpretation. and i apologize if i took away from anything that B evans00302 wishes to discuss.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Mharman 1 week ago
Mharman
B_evans00302joze14rockTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Skanarchy 9 years ago
Skanarchy
B_evans00302joze14rockTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by moderate84 9 years ago
moderate84
B_evans00302joze14rockTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by capfreak367 9 years ago
capfreak367
B_evans00302joze14rockTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Vendetta 9 years ago
Vendetta
B_evans00302joze14rockTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by duke-one 9 years ago
duke-one
B_evans00302joze14rockTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by g_of_tongues 9 years ago
g_of_tongues
B_evans00302joze14rockTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by jlholtzapple 9 years ago
jlholtzapple
B_evans00302joze14rockTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Demosthenes 9 years ago
Demosthenes
B_evans00302joze14rockTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by joze14rock 9 years ago
joze14rock
B_evans00302joze14rockTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03