The Instigator
TigerThePredator
Pro (for)
The Contender
ConserativeDemocrat
Con (against)

Gun control is unconstitutional

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  
Debate Round Forfeited
TigerThePredator has forfeited round #3.
Our system has not yet updated this debate. Please check back in a few minutes for more options.
Time Remaining
00days00hours00minutes00seconds
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/20/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 603 times Debate No: 114102
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

TigerThePredator

Pro

The second amendment very clearly states "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." By implementing gun control, we are infringing the rights to bear arms, and therefore, we are implementing an unconstitutional law.

Con can go first.
ConserativeDemocrat

Con

I have two main arguments, plus a rebuttal.

Argument 1: The Wording

The full text of the Second Amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Notice the first two phrases. "Well regulated militia" means the amendment only refers to an organized militia, and "being necessary for the security of a free state" means this militia can only exist if the sovereignty or security of the United States is threatened. This does not mean anyone has the unlimited right to own a weapon.

Furthermore, when the amendment was written, the country had a very weak army, and a virtually nonexistent navy. We relied on militias to protect from foreign invaders, to put down Indian attacks, and to put down rebellions. The country needed militias, and protected the right for them to exist. We no longer need militias, because we have, by far, the strongest military in the world. Which brings me into my next argument.

Argument 2: Amendments/Living Document

The founders included amendments for a reason. They would want laws to be changed if it proved necessary. This is why the right to vote, which only used to exist for white men, were expanded to black men in the 15th amendment, and to women in the 19th amendment. The old laws were outdated, and had to be removed, so new amendments were passed to change the laws. The founders knew this, and included a system to change the constitution if needed.

If they saw the current state of the country, in regards to gun violence, they would be asking us why we haven't changed the laws. They would see that the current gun laws are woefully inadequate, and would need to be strengthened.

Rebuttal:

Pro states this in Round 1: "By implementing gun control, we are infringing the rights to bear arms, and therefore, we are implementing an unconstitutional law."

Pro, does this mean you believe I have the right to own a bazooka? Or a nuclear bomb? Or a fully automatic machine gun? By Pro's argument, the rights to own those weapons would be protected under the Constitution.

If Pro believes the regulations regarding those weapons are good laws that should be protected, then they concede the debate, as they agree that gun regulations are not unconstitutional.

If Pro believes the laws regarding those weapons are unconstitutional, then go reread my second argument. The founders most certainly would not want the average citizen to have dangerous, military grade weapons, hence the reason why they included the amendment system. They would see the danger of letting anyone obtain weapons that could kill thousands of innocent people with the push of a button or the click of a trigger.






Debate Round No. 1
TigerThePredator

Pro

Your argument is good, but there are several flaws in your argument.

In your first argument, you talk about how the wording of the 2nd amendment specifically pertains to a "well regulated militia." While at first glance, it may seem as though they were referring to a militia organized by the state government, we must also take into account the definition of the word "militia" during the time that the Constitution was being written. According to District of Columbia v. Heller, the term "militia" should not be confined to those serving in the military, because at the time the term referred to all able-bodied men who were capable of being called to such service (Source: https://www.oyez.org...). Even though the word "militia" was being used at that time, it had a different denotation back then and did not necessarily refer to a militia that was organized by the state. Therefore, the 2nd amendment allows men to obtain firearms.

Next, you mentioned the words "being necessary for the security of a free state," stating that the militia can only exist if the United States is currently being threatened. Since I have already established the fact that the "militia" that they were referring to was the people, are you implying that the people are not being threatened right this very moment? Are you saying that there aren"t terrorists out there who believe that they should kill Americans in the name of Jihad? Are you saying that there aren"t countries who burn the American flag and chant "death to America"? Even if you"re going to argue that the military takes care of most of those threats, I would still argue that within the country, there are significant threats. A few examples: terrorists who have made it into the country, robbers who break into your home, school shooters who kill students, and mass shooters who aim to kill off everyone they see. Are you implying that we do not have a right to defend ourselves from these threats inside the country? Just because we had a weak army and navy when we first wrote the Constitution does not mean that we still don"t have people threatening our lives today. Despite the U.S. having the best military in the world, there are many people out there waiting to attack us, and we have a constitutional right to use guns to defend ourselves from these threats. I argue that allowing people to own firearms is very necessary for the security of a free state because it allows individuals to defend themselves in the case of an attack or emergency.

The dictionary definition of the word "unconstitutional" is "not in accordance with a political constitution." Yes, you are right when you say that it is possible for us to change the constitution by adding an amendment. However, just because there is a possibility that somebody could add an amendment doesn"t mean that it is constitutional. Whatever amendment that you are trying to add is technically unconstitutional right up until that amendment is ratified. If I create a hypothetical amendment that states "it is illegal to say the f-word," that amendment would be unconstitutional (because of the first amendment) right up until the amendment gets ratified (which will probably never happen, but this is just a hypothetical situation). It is only constitutional after the amendment gets ratified because then and only then has the constitution actually changed. Therefore, gun control is unconstitutional unless there is a new amendment added to the constitution that negates or changes the second amendment.

You also asked whether the second amendment applies if you wanted to obtain a nuclear bomb. The second amendment states, "right of the people to keep and bear arms." Notice the word "arms." Arms is a short word for "firearms." A firearm, at least during the time that the second amendment was written, is defined as a portable device that shoots a bullet at a target, and since a nuclear bomb is obviously not a firearm (because it is not portable and it doesn't shoot bullets), you cannot use the second amendment to obtain a nuclear bomb.

Also, you cannot prove that the founding fathers would be pro gun control because they are dead. All we can do is to analyze the document that they left us: the Constitution. So please don"t state that "the founders most certainly would not want the average citizen to have dangerous, military grade weapons, hence the reason why they included the amendment system" because you cannot prove that statement. Furthermore, when you follow up this statement with the phrase "hence the reason why they included the amendment system," it makes it seem as though you are claiming that the only reason that the amendment system was created was so that the founders could create an amendment that would allow gun control laws. If that were the case, why didn"t the founders just write that in the second amendment? Why didn"t the founders explicitly state in the Constitution that the nation was allowed to implement gun control laws? Your argument that the founders wanted gun control is flawed because the founders never stated that in the second amendment, and since they are all dead, you cannot pretend that you know what their opinions would be if they were alive today.
ConserativeDemocrat

Con

Rebuttals:


"According to District of Columbia v. Heller, the term "militia" should not be confined to those serving in the military, because at the time the term referred to all able-bodied men who were capable of being called to such service (Source: https://www.oyez.org......)."

Pro has forgotten to mention the first part of this phrase: Well Regulated. Even if we accept Pro's interpretation that any male is a member of the militia, this militia must be well regulated, meaning gun regulations are constitutional.

Secondly, Pro is ignoring the fact that the founders would have wanted to modify the Second Amendment as time went on. We don't need a civilian militia anymore, as we have a police force, an army, and a National Guard.

"are you implying that the people are not being threatened right this very moment?"

I see no threat that justifies an existence of a militia. I have a higher chance of becoming the first 15 year old President of the United States tahn Iran has of invading America.

As for your examples of robbers or school shooters, please explain why a militia is needed to deal with those threats when we have a police force. Nor do you need a militia to protect yourself from threats.

"we have a constitutional right to use guns to defend ourselves from these threats."

As Con has shown above, the founders would have wanted the Second Amendment to be amended as it proved unnecessary. It was written during a time when militias were used to fight the United Kingdom, and to put down rebellions, like Shay's Rebellion. Even if we accept your definition of militia, that was defined in a time where militias were needed to keep the country alive. As I have shown earlier, that is unnecessary now, as we have a military and police force.

The founders would have wanted the amendment changed.

"gun control is unconstitutional unless there is a new amendment added to the constitution that negates or changes the second amendment."

Pro is basing their arguments off of their interpretation of a 200 year old amendment, so it is perfectly fair for Con to do the same thing. The founders wrote the Second Amendment to protect militias, because we needed them. We no longer do, and they would see the damage caused by the Second Amendment would justify a change rebuttals:


"According to District of Columbia v. Heller, the term "militia" should not be confined to those serving in the military, because at the time the term referred to all able-bodied men who were capable of being called to such service (Source: https://www.oyez.org......)."

Pro has forgotten to mention the first part of this phrase: Well Regulated. Even if we accept Pro's interpretation that any male is a member of the militia, this militia must be well regulated, meaning gun regulations are constitutional.

Secondly, Pro is ignoring the fact that the founders would have wanted to modify the Second Amendment as time went on. We don't need a civilian militia anymore, as we have a police force, an army, and a National Guard.

"are you implying that the people are not being threatened right this very moment?"

I see no threat that justifies an existence of a militia. I have a higher chance of becoming the first 15 year old President of the United States tahn Iran has of invading America.

As for your examples of robbers or school shooters, please explain why a militia is needed to deal with those threats when we have a police force. Nor do you need a militia to protect yourself from threats.

"we have a constitutional right to use guns to defend ourselves from these threats."

As Con has shown above, the founders would have wanted the Second Amendment to be amended as it proved unnecessary. It was written during a time when militias were used to fight the United Kingdom, and to put down rebellions, like Shay's Rebellion. Even if we accept your definition of militia, that was defined in a time where militias were needed to keep the country alive. As I have shown earlier, that is unnecessary now, as we have a military and police force.

The founders would have wanted the amendment changed.

"gun control is unconstitutional unless there is a new amendment added to the constitution that negates or changes the second amendment."

Pro is basing their arguments off of their interpretation of a 200 year old amendment, so it is perfectly fair for Con to do the same thing. The founders wrote the Second Amendment to protect militias, because we needed them. We no longer do, and they would see the damage caused by the Second Amendment would justify a change.

"Arms is a short word for "firearms.""

No, it isn't. The definition of arms means a weapon, not just restricted to a firearm. If the founders were referring to guns, they would have written firearms. The Constitution isn't a notes sheet, where you can shorten words for convenience. Pro's interpretation of the Second Amendment would protect the right to own a nuclear bomb, which is certainly not what the founders would have wanted.

Also, even if we accept Pro's definition of arms, to only refer to firearms, than Pro would have to agree to the unrestricted access of any citizen to military-grade automatic rifles. The founders most certainly would not have wanted this, especially after seeing the amount of damage that would do to the country.

"you are claiming that the only reason that the amendment system was created was so that the founders could create an amendment that would allow gun control laws."

Not the reason, but a reason.

"If that were the case, why didn"t the founders just write that in the second amendment? Why didn"t the founders explicitly state in the Constitution that the nation was allowed to implement gun control laws?"

They did. That's the point of the amendment system. Why not specifically state it? They didn't need too, or at least they thought they wouldn't need too. They thought that the leaders of the country would have modified the Second Amendment, after seeing the damage allowing weak gun laws to exist. They made the document with the intent that amendments would change it as seen fit.

How do I know this? The National Road. Congress never was appropriated powers in the Constitution to construct infrastructure, but they built the road anyway, with the founders supporting it. They recognized that the constitution wasn't working, and they reinterpreted the "regulate commerce" clause to allow the building of the road. They would have supported, if not an outright change to the Second Amendment, but a non-amendment change.

"Your argument that the founders wanted gun control is flawed because the founders never stated that in the second amendment, and since they are all dead, you cannot pretend that you know what their opinions would be if they were alive today."

An ironic statement for Pro to make, considering their argument and rebuttals are built off of interpreting the founders beliefs and the time period when the Second Amendment was written (200 years ago).
Debate Round No. 2
This round has not been posted yet.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by zorbathegreek 3 years ago
zorbathegreek
As someone who doesn't live in the USA, i view all this as a long-standing debate that's been going on since the 2nd Amendment was added to the US Constitution, safe in the knowledge that I won't ever become another statistic of the high---and unenviable---US gun murder rates(that make the USA stand out a mile, in comparison to other nations of the free world). What you have to keep in mind is, the gun lobby and arms and movie industries have vested interests in ensuring significant arms control and legislative reform never see the light of day. Question is: how long will the American peoples' patience hold out, and be contained?
Posted by John_C_1812 3 years ago
John_C_1812
The 2A grants a state of militia, and fire-arm, it does this as a specific description to a common defense to the general welfare, all the people who can use this principle, as a right, already had this liberty not just the States of the union. Again the basic principle of argument is that a Fire-Arm is a tool of independent liberty, and not granted by the 2A. It comes from the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution, this state of the union is not resolved or abolished by ratification of the 2A.
Posted by Varrack 3 years ago
Varrack
The 2A grants state *militias* (which no longer exist) the right to bear arms.

Even if we assume that the above isn't true, how does gun control takes away the right to bear arms? One can still bear arms if one has to attend a mandatory training sessions for gun usage, for instance.
Posted by John_C_1812 3 years ago
John_C_1812
What may be important to understand is that self-evident united state that shapes fire-arm ownership as right does not come from just one place, the constitution"s 2nd Amendment. This is placing the burden incorrectly by use of bias to effect the idea of constitutional principle.

No offence meant.
Posted by John_C_1812 3 years ago
John_C_1812
I had written something way to long""""""".. I opted for this.

We become intellectual smart thieves with not immunity to law. By accusing people of murder before the crime of murder takes place. Some-one else"s crime is substituted. There is the formation of a public pattern

The 2nd Amendment is not the law which allows the people to build, keep, purchase, and collect fire-arms. This power is granted by law under the introduction of self-evident truth by preamble of the declaration of independence. Then set by preamble of the United States Constitution. A constitutional amendment effects only basic principle and legal precedent and not the state of independence that can be cast on democracy for judicial separation. It knows limitation.
This debate has 0 more rounds before the voting begins. If you want to receive email updates for this debate, click the Add to My Favorites link at the top of the page.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.