The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
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The Contender
lovecandy365
Con (against)
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the right to bear arms means the right to be in a militia, not right to a gun for self defense

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/8/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 502 times Debate No: 82254
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
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dairygirl4u2c

Pro

the supreme court recently said there is an individual right to a gun versus the state for the purposes of self defense, irregardless of the miltia.

historically the phrase "bear arms" is a military term, and taken altogether, the second amendment protects militia rights, not individual rights.


"A fraud on the American public.” That’s how former Chief Justice Warren Burger described the idea that the Second Amendment gives an unfettered individual right to a gun. When he spoke these words to PBS in 1990, the rock-ribbed conservative appointed by Richard Nixon was expressing the longtime consensus of historians and judges across the political spectrum"

Read more: http://www.politico.com.........

"Though state militias eventually dissolved, for two centuries we had guns (plenty!) and we had gun laws in towns and states, governing everything from where gunpowder could be stored to who could carry a weapon—and courts overwhelmingly upheld these restrictions. Gun rights and gun control were seen as going hand in hand. Four times between 1876 and 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule that the Second Amendment protected individual gun ownership outside the context of a militia. As the Tennessee Supreme Court put it in 1840, “A man in the pursuit of deer, elk, and buffaloes might carry his rifle every day for forty years, and yet it would never be said of him that he had borne arms; much less could it be said that a private citizen bears arms because he has a dirk or pistol concealed under his clothes, or a spear in a cane.”

"The NRA was founded by a group of Union officers after the Civil War who, perturbed by their troops’ poor marksmanship, wanted a way to sponsor shooting training and competitions. The group testified in support of the first federal gun law in 1934, which cracked down on the machine guns beloved by Bonnie and Clyde and other bank robbers."

"For more than a hundred years, the answer was clear, even if the words of the amendment itself were not. The text of the amendment is divided into two clauses and is, as a whole, ungrammatical: “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 courts had found that the first part, the “militia clause,” trumped the second part, the “bear arms” clause. In other words, according to the Supreme Court, and the lower courts as well, the amendment conferred on state militias a right to bear arms—but did not give individuals a right to own or carry a weapon."

http://www.newyorker.com.........


"Enter the modern National Rifle Association. Before the nineteen-seventies, the N.R.A. had been devoted mostly to non-political issues, like gun safety. But a coup d’état at the group’s annual convention in 1977 brought a group of committed political conservatives to power—as part of the leading edge of the new, more rightward-leaning Republican Party. (Jill Lepore recounted this history in a recent piece forThe New Yorker.) The new group pushed for a novel interpretation of the Second Amendment, one that gave individuals, not just militias, the right to bear arms. It was an uphill struggle. At first, their views were widely scorned. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, who was no liberal, mocked the individual-rights theory of the amendment as “a fraud.”

"But the N.R.A. kept pushing—and there’s a lesson here. Conservatives often embrace “originalism,” the idea that the meaning of the Constitution was fixed when it was ratified, in 1787. They mock the so-called liberal idea of a “living” constitution, whose meaning changes with the values of the country at large. But there is no better example of the living Constitution than the conservative re-casting of the Second Amendment in the last few decades of the twentieth century. (Reva Siegel, of Yale Law School, elaborates on this point in a brilliant article.)"

"Until recently, the judiciary treated the Second Amendment almost as a dead letter. Many courts concluded that citizens have no constitutionally protected right to arms at all, and the federal courts never invalidated a single gun control law"

"As America grapples with a relentless tide of gun violence, pro-gun activists have come to rely on the Second Amendment as their trusty shield when faced with mass-shooting-induced criticism. In their interpretation, the amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms—a reading that was upheld by the Supreme Court in its 2008 ruling in District of Columbia. v. Heller. Yet most judges and scholars who debated the clause's awkwardly worded and oddly punctuated 27 words in the decades before Heller almost always arrived at the opposite conclusion, finding that the amendment protects gun ownership for purposes of military duty and collective security. "

lovecandy365

Con

According to our second amendment right to bear arms, guns can be used for self defense. What if it is in the case where you are being gunned down? Do you now how many murders or assaults will happen if we just have no right to own a gun? I do not entirely disagree, there should be tighter guns laws, like a special permit, or a gun training class every six months or so.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "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." Such language has created considerable debate regarding the Amendment's intended scope. On the one hand, some believe that the Amendment's phrase "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" creates an individual constitutional right for citizens of the United States. Under this "individual right theory," the United States Constitution restricts legislative bodies from prohibiting firearm possession, or at the very least, the Amendment renders prohibiting and restrictive regulation presumptively unconstitutional. On the other hand, some scholars point to the prefatory language "a well regulated Militia" to argue that the Framers intended only to restrict Congress from legislating away a state's right to self-defense. Scholars have come to call this theory "the collective rights theory." A collective rights theory of the Second Amendment asserts that citizens do not have an individual right to possess guns and that local, state, and federal legislative bodies therefore possess the authority to regulate firearms without implicating a constitutional right.

In 1939 the U.S. Supreme Court considered the matter in United States v. Miller. 307 U.S. 174. The Court adopted a collective rights approach in this case, determining that Congress could regulate a sawed-off shotgun that had moved in interstate commerce under the National Firearms Act of 1934 because the evidence did not suggest that the shotgun "has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia . . . ." The Court then explained that the Framers included the Second Amendment to ensure the effectiveness of the military.

This precedent stood for nearly 70 years when in 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court revisited the issue in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290). The plaintiff inHeller challenged the constitutionality of the Washington D.C. handgun ban, a statute that had stood for 32 years. Many considered the statute the most stringent in the nation. In a 5-4 decision, the Court, meticulously detailing the history and tradition of the Second Amendment at the time of the Constitutional Convention, proclaimed that the Second Amendment established an individual right for U.S. citizens to possess firearms and struck down the D.C. handgun ban as violative of that right. The majority carved out Miller as an exception to the general rule that Americans may possess firearms, claiming that law-abiding citizens cannot use sawed-off shotguns for any law-abiding purpose. Similarly, the Court in its dicta found regulations of similar weaponry that cannot be used for law-abiding purposes as laws that would not implicate the Second Amendment. Further, the Court suggested that the United States Constitution would not disallow regulations prohibiting criminals and the mentally ill from firearm possession.

Thus, the Supreme Court has revitalized the Second Amendment. The Court continued to strengthen the Second Amendment through the 2010 decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago (08-1521). The plaintiff in McDonald challenged the constitutionally of the Chicago handgun ban, which prohibited handgun possession by almost all private citizens. In a 5-4 decisions, the Court, citing the intentions of the framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment, held that the Second Amendment applies to the states through the incorporation doctrine. However, the Court did not have a majority on which clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the fundamental right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense. While Justice Alito and his supporters looked to the Due Process Clause, Justice Thomas in his concurrence stated that the Privileges and Immunities Clause should justify incorporatio.

Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

maybe i should give con more credit for good writing but it reads as if she just copy and pasted something. and it wasn't even on point. the point is what does "bear arms" mean and she just gave a history of the supreme court's ruling on the matter. as i cited above, bear arms connotes militia, therefore the people have a right to militia membership.

lovecandy365

Con

lovecandy365 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

dairygirl4u2c forfeited this round.
lovecandy365

Con

lovecandy365 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by zipper68 1 year ago
zipper68
I still don't think the supreme court would fully agrees on what it means. Yes they already have came to a conclusion, however; the amendments do technically say that civilians have the right to bear arms.
Posted by Lexus 1 year ago
Lexus
The Supreme Court has the right to declare what an amendment means ... your past anecdotes and past court rulings are useless.
Posted by zipper68 1 year ago
zipper68
Exactly. The amendment says civilians have a right to be in a militia, and militia's have the right to bear arms, meaning that they have the right to bear arms if they refer to themselves as a militia, because anything can be one.
Posted by BlackFlags 1 year ago
BlackFlags
Mhykiel, the millitias are reserved by the state governments. They were meant to be the states way of resistance against the federal government if it were to abuse its powers, but even the federal government has nationalized the state militias.
Posted by BlackFlags 1 year ago
BlackFlags
This interpretation isn't actually uncommon
Posted by Mhykiel 1 year ago
Mhykiel
And who runs this "militia"? If you think the government is meant to run it that is against the intent of the amendment as well.

The right is for the private citizens to assemble and arm themselves.
Posted by DATXDUDE 1 year ago
DATXDUDE
Also, not trying to be that guy, but your grammar could use serious work.
Posted by DATXDUDE 1 year ago
DATXDUDE
You said that the supreme court only supported the ownership of guns recently. This doesn't mean anything. Does the fact that the supreme court only addressed gay marriage recently mean it's unconstitutional? No. (I personally don't think that the 14th amendment covered gay marriage, although I do support it. Congress should have dealt with it though.)
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 1 year ago
dairygirl4u2c
you gave your opinion of why guns should be allowed. i could give you an ear full too on the con side of gun rights. you didn't give academic support for what "bear arms" means, or tackle the history and context of the second amendment. so it's basically pointless to the debate.
Posted by DATXDUDE 1 year ago
DATXDUDE
I only do troll debates now because viewpoints like these piss me off so much I can't stop myself from insulting my opponent (as I just did). However, here's a brief paragraph on why I believe what I do.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. This doesn't matter though, because even if guns did kill people, people still have a right to use them. Cars cause more deaths than guns do, and when a car accident happens, nobody is talking about the car. Instead, they are talking about what they should be talking about: The tragedy. What also irks me is that most people who want to ban or overly regulate guns has no knowledge of how they work. This is less true of people are on my side of the debate, since many of them own and/or have used guns.

That was longer than I meant it to be, so it should explain why owning guns is a right.
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