Members square off on right to possess arms
Posted on Monday, November 02, 2015
The British are coming, and they're planning a verbal assault on one of the most contentious issues in Maryland and the United States: The Right to Possess and Bear Arms.
The British National Debate team visits Chesapeake College in Wye Mills on November 9 to showcase their skills and opinions in a verbal square off that is free and open to the public. The program begins at 1pm in the Todd Performing Arts Center. Public parking is available.
Chesapeake College is one of several U.S. campuses the debate team is visiting on its U.S. tour that includes stops at Colgate, Cornell, Oregon and Penn State universities.
While the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms, similar guarantees are no longer legally or constitutionally protected in the United Kingdom. Possession of arms is restricted, and handguns, automatic and semi-automatic weapons are illegal to possess.
Debate team members Chessy Whalen and Matthew Wilmore will take sides and present their views on this timely topic leading up to the U.S. 2016 presidential elections.
The format will be a parliamentary-style debate, which gives each individual a set amount of time to speak with interruptions allowed from the opposing debater. The audience will be able to vote for the winning team.
"This is the fifth year, that Chesapeake College has hosted the British team," said David Harper, associate professor of English and Honors Program head. "It's always a lively event that offers some fresh and unique perspectives on issues important to our country and culture."
Raised in Yorkshire, Whalen recently completed a BA in history from Balliol College of the University of Oxford. She was an active member of the Oxford Union Debating Society and represented the university at numerous national and international competitions, including the European Championships in Vienna in August.
Wilmore recently completed an LLM in human rights from the University of Edinburgh and previously received First Class Honours from the University of Sheffield in Politics and Philosophy. He has worked extensively as a debate coach and judge since 2013 and won the European debate championship in 2014.