Instigator / Pro
Points: 7

The 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution should not be changed

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 1 vote the winner is ...
OoDart
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Politics
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Con
Points: 3
Description
Please read the full description before accepting.
The 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads as follows:
"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."
Pro: The 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution should not be changed.
Con: The 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution should be changed.
Due to the nature of this debate, there isn't a full-on Burden of Proof for this resolution. It is more of an opinion than a fact.
Debate Format:
Round 1: Pro and con provide their arguments.
Round 2: Pro and con provide their rebuttals.
Round 3: Pro and con provide their concluding statements.
No trolls and no kritiks, please.
Rules:
- Do not forfeit
- Be respectful
- No new arguments in Round 3
- For all relevant terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the rational context of this resolution and debate
Round 1
Published:
Thank you, RationalMadman, for accepting this debate.

As PRO, I will be taking the stance that the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution should not be changed.

Abbreviations I May or May Not Use Throughout The Debate:
2A - 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
RM - RationalMadman
USC - U.S. Constitution

As said in the description above, the 2A reads as follows:
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's get on with the debate!

I. Interpretations Of The 2A
  • Verbatim Meaning Interpretation
    • The 2A states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. This is, however, in regard to a well-regulated militia under the belief that such a militia is necessary to the security of a free state. This interpretation of the 2A suggests that it is important to have a well-regulated militia in which people can bear arms. This militia would henceforth be responsible for ensuring the Government does not become tyrannical.
  • Legal Use
The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
  • Prefatory Clause and Operative Clause
    • A common interpretation is that the prefatory clause and operative clause are separate, as explained by Cornell Law School[2]. Essentially, they claim the "well-regulated militia" was protecting the states' rights to a well-regulated militia and the "right of the people" was to protect the individuals' rights to bear arms.
II. Some Notes About The 2A and the USC
  • The 2A never specifies if certain types of guns should or should not be illegal, therefore it is possibly not unconstitutional to ban certain guns.
  • Certain people such as criminals may be prevented from having guns. This is not unconstitutional because, in the event of lawful incarceration, certain rights and privileges may be taken away when necessary.
III. The 2A Should Not Be Changed
  • The 2A is perfectly fine. It is important that people have access to guns, even if the type of gun is restricted, background checks are required, or any other restrictions are implemented. Most such restrictions are not violating the 2A.


Sources:

Published:

I am copy-pasting myself from an identical debate on the subject matter. Next Round and onwards will use original argumentation and rebuttal content.


==

The second Amendment is actually a call for terrorist arms against the State. There is no single sane way to interpret the Amendment as anything other than either corrupt, traitorous Mercenaries that want to terrorize the country, or 'freedom fighters' with some ethical zeal to find fault with the government that feel they cannot use words and media to expose the state and legally prosecute the corrupt within it.

While the pacifist approach can't always necessarily 'free' a people against a fully corrupt state, the point is that if/when the Federal Government is ever so powerful and tyrannical that people can't even talk and expose it, it most certainly will be at a stage where it can brainwash enough people to hate the freedom fighters and will militaristically annihilate these fools with semi-automatics, with literal bombs, grenades, machine guns, rocket launchers, bioweapons and much else. The government is no joke, it will not 'fight' you unless it absolutely has to. It mostly will outplay you by media control, meaning everyone hates you and thinks the government is good or is too terrified to say otherwise, so that everyone is peer pressured to snitch on the freedom fighters and even actively pursue and hurt them.

The only example of the second Amendment ever actually being used was when racist slaveowners wanted a racist apartheid confederacy to become independent of the US (not that Lincoln was an angel, at all). The problem here was that it just perfectly highlighted how you can't win a war against the US government, even less today than then, because of how they gain intel, use media and make you the villain in the eyes of even those who love you. 

The sole practical application of the second Amendment in this day and age is about something entirely different to it; defending oneself against rogue (or organised by non-governmental) criminal agents. This has become the sole reason it is brought up in conversation. People do not want to literally shoot the government (if they do, they are terrorists and keep their mouths shut as possible), they want to shoot people invading their homes, running gangs in their neighbourhood or whatever. Due to police incompetence in the US, it seems they struggle to do something that all other well-developed and 'civilised' nations have done; control guns. Every single other nation than the US that is considered a well-developed nation has been able to do this thing that the US says is impossible; take guns out of the hands of criminals. Only in the US do you hear the biggest nonsense ever; that only criminals have guns if you control them. Using sting operations, surveillance and much else that the US already is fully capable of (NSA is the most sophisticated spy agency and data harvesting centre on the entire planet), it would be extremely feasible for the US to rid its people of guns. You see, the irony is that even though the sole reason people say they want guns is to defend against criminals, they actually then will call their government tyrannical for spying on them and ensuring the guns get out of the hands of criminals if/when they try their best to. 

So the US government has a nation full of sheep that ironically are so enslaved to its agenda that they'd sooner let criminals be armed and ready to hurt them without any legal provocation, than have the democratically elected government have the major advantage (which is has, regardless, just with more brainwashing and bloodshed required when the civil war does ensue).

==

Pro-Gun-Rights Reasons to oppose current wording of Second Amendment


The problem with Pro's entire case from the pro-gun-rights angle is that it forgets that defending against criminals who invade one's house, school or wherever, is actually not at all covered by the Second Amendment in its current wording. The only Constitutional reason why you're actually legally allowed to own guns in some US States is that the gun is supposed to be used by a well-regulated militia that wants to fight the State's government, army etc. An anarchic, united militia to tear apart the government is the only use of weapons that falls under the 2nd Amendment as it's currently written:

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.

Unless people literally interpret this to mean the army and police, it would follow that the only alternative would be a terrorist or Mercenary militia. Thus, from a pro-gun-rights perspective, there's no logical reason left to not support changing the Second Amendment to be much more clear about why average citizens should have guns to defend their homes, schools and such.
==



Pro-Gun-Control Reasons to change the Second Amendment

The nations to truly showcase just how attainable a goal this is are UK, Norway, Japan, Australia, South Korea and Germany (NZ too now).

Japan
Japan, which has strict laws for obtaining firearms, seldom has more than 10 shooting deaths a year in a population of 127 million people.

If Japanese people want to own a gun, they must attend an all-day class, pass a written test, and achieve at least 95% accuracy during a shooting-range test.
Then they have to pass a mental-health evaluation at a hospital, as well as a background check, in which the government digs into any criminal records or ties and interviews friends and family members.

Finally, they can buy only shotguns and air rifles — no handguns — and must retake the class and the initial exam every three years.

UK

The UK's approach combines elements from Norway, Australia, and Japan's policies.
Around when Australia adopted its gun regulations, UK Parliament passed legislation banning private ownership of handguns in Britain and banned semiautomatic and pump-action firearms throughout the UK. It also required shotgun owners to register their weapons.

$200 million buyback program led to the government's purchase of 162,000 guns and 700 tons of ammunition from citizens.

GunPolicy.org estimates that in 2010 there were 3.78 guns per 100 people in the UK, while the US, meanwhile, is estimated to have 101 guns per 100 people.
The result has been roughly 50 to 60 gun deaths a year in England and Wales, which have a population of 56 million. Compare that to the US, a country about six times as large that has more than 160 times as many gun-related homicides.
- Weller, C. and Luce, I. (2019). Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke says 'hell yes' he will forcefully take back assault weapons from Americans — here are 5 countries that have taken radical steps to eliminate firearm deaths. [online] Business Insider. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/gun-deaths-nearly-eliminated-in-countries-what-us-can-learn-2017-11

All the nations are covered by this brilliant source's article but be sure to know it is not just one, biased source.

See these:
Japan

UK

^ This source also looks into other developed nations, focusing on Canada, Switzerland and of course Japan, to highlight how ridiculous it is that the US can't keep up with nations that are basically equally developed to it in all other categories.

South Korea
^ this also look at other developed nations
^I know, it's also Business Insider but it's an article dedicated to SK alone, in fact they have an article dedicated to each nation that's great with gun control if you would care to Google it.

The rest are covered by a simple Google search, let's get on with debating.

The fact is that only in the US is this utter nonsense of 'oh no, if we take guns away then all the criminals have it and only the law abiding citizens don't!' This stems from a culture that would rather enable mass shooters, be they bullied-in-childhood adults seeking revenge or an angry domestic dispute ending with the family dead... Sometimes with the perpatrator killing themselves afterwards out of guilt and shame. American culture, espeically in Republican-heavy States, see what I just mentioned that as simply a 'necessary evil' and loathes that the government dares take away the weapons that indeed are used in a way that knives aren't, both in terms of how blatantly fast you can kill people with it vs just injure them and the inability of the others around you to fight back and stop the murder.

It's honestly sad, not just ridiculous. They think the police are so incapable of stopping criminals getting guns but then think these same police are capable of inescapable tyranny if the people were ever to lose the guns that they never use to 'fight tyranny' in the first place. Shooting a police officer for arresting you is a crime unless it was in self-defence to the police officer shooting at you first. How often is a 'well-regulated militia' that's fighting tyranny ever seen in the US? Literally the only time it was used was when the slaveowners in the Confederate States wanted to fight to have their own nation where blacks would be kept as pets and slaves serving the Elite white race. What a truly ironic way to use it; being on the side of oppression and tyranny.


Round 2
Published:

Thank you, RM, for the response. I look forward to this debate.

All of the box-quotes here are copied and pasted from your R1 argument. I will provide a rebuttal after each box-quote. (I have added "..." in place of some words to meet the character limit)

The second Amendment is actually a call for terrorist arms against the State ... and media to expose the state and legally prosecute the corrupt within it.
The 2A is not a call for terrorist arms. In fact, it is still illegal to be a terrorist, and our 2A rights are not being infringed. As I said in R1, there are many ways to interpret the 2A. I personally believe the Prefatory Clause and Operative Clause interpretation is the correct one. A well-regulated militia is necessary for the states to defend against the Federal Government if it becomes tyrannical. It is also important that citizens be allowed to be armed for self-defense, hunting, etc.


... and tyrannical that people can't even talk and expose it, it most certainly will be at a stage where it can brainwash enough people to hate the freedom fighters and will militaristically annihilate these fools with semi-automatics, with literal bombs, grenades, machine guns, rocket launchers, bioweapons and much else.
As the 2A suggests, a well-regulated militia of the state would defend the citizens against the tyrannical Federal Government. The state would also use semi-automatics, literal bombs, grenades, machine guns, etc.

The only example of the second Amendment ever actually being used was when racist slaveowners wanted a racist ... perfectly highlighted how you can't win a war against the US government, even less today than then, because of how they gain intel, use media and make you the villain in the eyes of even those who love you. 
Most citizens in the North agreed with the North and most in the South agreed with the South. People go where they want. This may be the only time the 2A was "used" but I would argue that the Government has not become tyrannical because they know the 2A would put an end to that.


The box-quote ahead has parts that are paraphrased to meet the character limit. Paraphrased parts are in brackets [].

[The only practical use of the 2A is]; defending oneself against ... criminal agents. People do not want to literally shoot the government (if they do, they are terrorists and keep their mouths shut as possible), they want to [defend themselves]. [U.S. Police cannot control guns due to incompetence]. [All non-U.S. developed countries have been able] to do this thing that the US says is impossible; take guns out of the hands of criminals. [Basically the argument that the U.S. claims they cannot get guns away from criminals]
This is not true. The 2A has potentially prevented our Federal Government from becoming tyrannical. 

==

RM's Claims About Pro-Gun-Rights Reasons to oppose current wording of Second Amendment


The problem with Pro's entire case from the pro-gun-rights angle is that it forgets that defending against criminals who invade one's house, school or wherever, is actually not at all covered by the Second Amendment in its current wording. The only Constitutional reason why you're actually legally allowed to own guns in some US States is that the gun is supposed to be used by a well-regulated militia that wants to fight the State's government, army etc. An anarchic, united militia to tear apart the government is the only use of weapons that falls under the 2nd Amendment as it's currently written:
"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."
There are many ways to interpret the 2A. What I would argue is the correct one is the Prefatory Clause and Operative Clause. This absolutely protects one's right to defend themselves within their own home, and even in public.


Unless people literally interpret this to mean the army and police, it would follow that the only alternative would be a terrorist or Mercenary militia. Thus, from a pro-gun-rights perspective, there's no logical reason left to not support changing the Second Amendment to be much more clear about why average citizens should have guns to defend their homes, schools and such.
Half of the 2A is for the state's militia and the other is for the citizens.

==


RM's Claims About Pro-Gun-Control Reasons to change the Second Amendment

The nations to truly showcase just how attainable a goal this is are UK, Norway, Japan, Australia, South Korea and Germany (NZ too now).
We can take lessons from these nations, except the UK (which has almost an entire firearms ban, as far as I am aware). With the exception of the UK, we could implement these laws without violating the 2A. The 2A does not specify which guns should/should not be allowed, just that some level of freedom must be given to citizens to own a firearm.

While the UK may have fewer firearm deaths, their crime rate is significantly higher than America's. In fact, the UK's crime per 1,000 people is approximately 3 times higher than in the US[1]. This could be due to the firearm ban.

See these:
Japan

UK

^ This source also looks into other developed nations, focusing on Canada, Switzerland and of course Japan, to highlight how ridiculous it is that the US can't keep up with nations that are basically equally developed to it in all other categories.
Again, we could learn some stuff from Japan, but not the UK (see above). Canada is in a similar boat as UK, also with a higher crime rate than the US.

South Korea
^ this also look at other developed nations
^I know, it's also Business Insider but it's an article dedicated to SK alone, in fact they have an article dedicated to each nation that's great with gun control if you would care to Google it.
Again, gun control is not violating the 2A. Only an all-out gun ban or measures preventing the state from having a well-regulated militia would violate the 2A.

The fact is that only in the US is this utter nonsense of 'oh no, if we take guns away then all the criminals have it and only the law abiding citizens don't!' This stems from a culture that would rather enable mass shooters, be they bullied-in-childhood adults seeking revenge or an angry domestic dispute ending with the family dead... Sometimes with the perpatrator killing themselves afterwards out of guilt and shame. American culture, espeically in Republican-heavy States, see what I just mentioned that as simply a 'necessary evil' and loathes that the government dares take away the weapons that indeed are used in a way that knives aren't, both in terms of how blatantly fast you can kill people with it vs just injure them and the inability of the others around you to fight back and stop the murder.
Gun control is not the topic of the debate. Whether or not the 2A should be changed is the argument. If implemented correctly, gun control does not violate the 2A.


It's honestly sad, not just ridiculous. They think the police are so incapable of stopping criminals getting guns but then think these same police are capable of inescapable tyranny if the people were ever to lose the guns that they never use to 'fight tyranny' in the first place. Shooting a police officer for arresting you is a crime unless it was in self-defence to the police officer shooting at you first. How often is a 'well-regulated militia' that's fighting tyranny ever seen in the US? Literally the only time it was used was when the slaveowners in the Confederate States wanted to fight to have their own nation where blacks would be kept as pets and slaves serving the Elite white race. What a truly ironic way to use it; being on the side of oppression and tyranny.
I have faith in my local police to defend my city, county, and state should the federal government become tyrannical. They are the well-regulated militia. I also support citizens having guns, because a gun on my hip can respond a lot faster than a cop across town. Also, you said "How often is a 'well-regulated militia' that's fighting tyranny ever seen in the US?" I think it is important to realize the fact that there is a well-regulated militia, and it is quite possible that the Government is not tyrannical simply because the aforementioned militia exists.

I look forward to your response!

Forfeited
Round 3
Published:
My opponent has forfeited. Due to my opponent's lack of rebuttals, I have no defense against them.

I extend my arguments from R1.
Published:
I said what had to be said.
Added:
--> @DynamicSquid
No problem. Sorry about that. I would recommend glancing over the voting guidelines and CoC. In any case, welcome to Dart!
#11
Added:
--> @blamonkey
Ah okay. Gothca. I'll try not to vote until I have debated 2 times. Thanks for clearing that up for me!
#10
Added:
--> @Christen
Yeah, thanks for catching it. It is 2.
#9
Added:
--> @blamonkey, @DynamicSquid
3?
You mean 2.
Only those with 2 non-forfeited non-troll debates, not 3.
#8
Added:
--> @DynamicSquid
*******************************************************************
>Reported Vote: DynamicSquid // Mod action: [Removed]
>Points Awarded: 4 points awarded to OoDart
>Reason for Decision: "Oh wow, tough decision guys. This was one of the better debates that I have seen. Well done to both of you. But in the end, sadly I would have to go with Dart on this one. He provided much more sources and facts, and organized too. Madman, you actually also did great, but forfeiting a round did you no good. If you were to continue, you might of just won this debate, or at the very least tied it up. Don't get me wrong here, you did fantastic, but Dart just did an overall better job. Thank you to both of you, and I wish you guys the best of luck in the future! Later."
>Reason for Mod Action: Under the voting guidelines, only those with 3, non-forfeited, non-troll debates are eligible to vote. At this time, the user is precluded from voting. I apologize for the inconvenience.
************************************************************************
#7
Added:
--> @Harleygator
The Gun Lobby's interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American People by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies - the militia - would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires.
Retired Chief Justice Warren Burger, "The Right to Bear Arms," Parade Magazine, January 14, 1990.
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2012/12/25/1171716/-The-Second-Amendment-Has-Nothing-to-Do-with-Gun-Ownership
#6
Added:
states can form militias well regulated means the government runs them end of discussion and that's they wat the supreme court interpreted the constitution till 2008 and that bogus heller travesty
#5
Added:
--> @PaulVerliane
That is simply wrong. A militia is, by definition, an entirely circumstantial and non-codified collection of citizens, so it cannot be claimed that the 2nd Amendment granted the states a right which their citizens could not exercise as individuals. What you also seem to be forgetting is that the 2nd Amendment does not confer privileges, rights, protections et al upon individuals, as such, not does it grant such authority to the state, but instead sets out what the government is not to do, not what its citizens can do.
#4
Added:
it should be ablished its obsolete in the most dangerous wat and and all it ever said was states could form militias
#3
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
I forgot to cite my sources for R2. Whoops. Here they are:
https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/United-Kingdom/United-States/Crime
https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Canada/United-States/Crime
Instigator
#2
Added:
Even though I'm pro-2A, if I had absolute power, I would change it just to correct the bad grammar.
"Because a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
I'm aware that this is Kritiking, but even so, it would be nice to apply modern grammar to make it more clear.
#1
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Con loses conduct point for forfeited round then trying to justify it with "I said what had to be said."
Con argues that "The second Amendment is actually a call for terrorist arms against the State."
If this is true, why haven't terrorists taken up arms against the State yet, even though the Second Amendment has existed for at least 200 years now?
Con argues that "when the Federal Government is ever so powerful and tyrannical that people can't even talk and expose it, it most certainly will be at a stage where it can brainwash enough people".
It's going to be extremely difficult for the government to do that since we also have the First Amendment, which protects peoples' right to free speech, and allows them to criticize the government and un-brainwash those people by giving them the real truth.
Con argues that "Every single other nation than the US that is considered a well-developed nation has been able to do this thing that the US says is impossible; take guns out of the hands of criminals."
This is an exaggeration. There are many places that "take guns out of the hands of criminals" and still have mass shootings, like the one back in March 15 2019 in New Zealand Christ Church. Not only that, but Con needs to be careful of Survivorship Bias, which is, in this case, when you focus only on places that banned guns and were successful, while ignoring the places that banned guns and were not successful in having less crime. There is more to crime than just guns alone, and Con is ignoring that.
Con argues that "Using sting operations, surveillance and much else that the US already is fully capable of (NSA is the most sophisticated spy agency and data harvesting centre on the entire planet), it would be extremely feasible for the US to rid its people of guns."
If that's true, why haven't we done that already? Why haven't we already used "sting operations, surveillance and much else" to get rid of the bad guys' guns in high-crime areas like Chicago?
Con argues that "defending against criminals who invade one's house, school or wherever, is actually not at all covered by the Second Amendment".
Yes it is. The Second Amendment refers to the "security of a free state," which means the security of a free state from people like criminals and tyrannical governors. A militia "is composed of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service." http://archive.ph/eW2Z4
Finally, to answer Con's question about "How often is a 'well-regulated militia' that's fighting tyranny ever seen in the US?" It's not about how "often" we fight tyranny. It's about being able to protect ourselves in case of tyranny. It's like a vaccine. It protects you from pathogens in case you get infected in the future. The same thing goes for a well-regulated militia. We don't care about how "often" it's ever seen. We care about making sure it never happens, and making sure we have a chance to fight back.