By Patrick O’Neill, Staff Writer
On Friday February 15, Regis’ Debate Team held a public debate on the steps of the Dayton Memorial Library. The debate focused on two sides of the infamous gun control argument. One side which featured debate team members Nicholas Aranda and Sally Andarge argued that the 2nd amendment ought to be changed to promote gun control. The other side of the debate featured debate team members Amadia Al-Amin and Timothy Smith, arguing that the 2nd amendment was a fundamental human right that should not be taken away.
Debate team member, Amadia Al-Amin, kicked off the argument that the 2nd amendment was a fundamental human right by elaborating on that side’s perspective on the purpose of the government. She continued, saying that “freedom of action” was fundamental to an American citizen’s right and that action includes protecting oneself. She claimed that repealing the 2nd amendment would make the U.S. an authoritarian and oppressive regime. There would be, she elaborated, a fundamental flaw in the system if the right to protection is taken away; and, the intentions of the government would become obscured. She finalized her argument by saying that American rights must be ensured by regulating guns, not taking away the right to bear
To counter, debate team member, Nicholas Aranda stood at the podium, claiming that there is already a fear of state sanctioned violence in America—that the authoritarian regime that Amadia claimed would develop already existed. He elaborated that Americans already live in a system of tyranny with police brutality, gun violence, and school shootings. The Constitution, he claimed, is in no way a moral document. It is necessary to change and develop the Constitution to uphold human rights and prevent the mass-murder of people. To further his argument, Nicholas utilized mentions of the Abolition of Slavery and the Women’s Suffrage movements. He made the outstanding claim that America will become synonymous with violence if changes are not made to the Constitution. Nicholas also elaborated with examples of how the government might handle the repealing of then 2nd amendment by using buy-back programs such as those in the U.K. and Australia. Nicholas concluded his arguments with mentions of the outdated policies of the 2nd amendment and that changing the Constitution effectively represents what ought to be legal—gun violence, he said, is largely if not completely avoidable.
Two other debate team members, Sally Andarge and Timothy Smith spoke on the issues at the beginning and at the end of the debate, furthering the riveting gun control argument. Sally Andarge kicked the debate off but I unfortunately missed that part of the event.
The debate lasted about thirty minutes and gave attending Regis students and faculty a look at what the debate team really does.
The event went to promote Social Justice Fridays, which occur on the 3rd Friday of every month.