The Instigator
spencercrat123
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
SJM
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Gun Control Is Necessary In Light Of Orlando Shooting

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
spencercrat123
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/20/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 757 times Debate No: 92919
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
Votes (2)

 

spencercrat123

Pro

For my first debate, I would like to challenge a conservative with a strong commitment to the 2nd amendment.

Opening Arguments in first round.

In the wake of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting (in which the gunman legally obtained weapons that granted him the means to murder 49 Americans and injure 51 more) and other mass shootings in recent years that seem only to intensify in frequency and damage, I will argue that gun control, at least its consideration in Congress, is a necessity. What type of gun control is needed? I believe the federal government should implement a universal background check system, close gun-purchase loopholes, and ban the purchase and sale of assault rifles. Only providing prayers to the victims of these tragedies is no longer an acceptable response. We cannot preserve absolute gun purchasing freedom at the expense of innocent American lives and our inaction in preventing mass shootings is shameful as well as complicit in their occurence.
SJM

Con

My opponent is arguing that gun control is a necessity, meaning it is required because of the orlando shooting. So if we can exist at all without it, then it would not be considered a necessity, also regarding whether discussing has to be proven a necessity. This burden of proof all lies on pro.
Next my opponent says that just praying isn't enough, that's not all that we are doing. We are teaching people about safety, and other methods. We are instilling things and discussing things which can help stop gun violence without having gun control.
Now, I would ask my opponent if he wants to ban assault rifles, then why not ban all guns? By your logic if the thing that kills a lot of people should not be allowed no matter what at the expense of lives, then handguns should have been on your list of what you wanted to ban before assault rifles. "It turns out that big, scary military rifles don"t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do. In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows"

http://www.nytimes.com...
Debate Round No. 1
spencercrat123

Pro

Regarding my opponent's very literal interpretation of my argument:

As clarified in the comments prior to the debate "I'm arguing gun control laws, including but not limited to the examples provided, should be passed by Congress. I made an additional point that there is a refusal in Congress to even discuss these possibilities at the moment."

I do not argue that gun control legislation is necessary for our day to day existence, I argue that gun control legislation is necessary to improve our country's safety from mass shootings and gun violence. Furthermore, necessity was the word of choice to imply the urgency, importance, and passion I feel for this issue. Now that this clarified I am happy to debate the actual issue.

My opponent argues that "We are teaching people about safety, and other methods. We are instilling things and discussing things which can help stop gun violence without having gun control." While I have no problem with educating people about guns there is no indication that it is effective by itself at curbing gun violence and preventing mass shootings. I contend that in addition to prayers that education, "other methods", and "things" are not enough.

My opponent asks why I would ban only assault rifles as opposed to all guns since they represent a relatively small number of gun murders. First, an assault rifle ban would be a policy specifically intended to combat the mass shooting epidemic the US is undergoing seeing that they are the weapons most commonly used in mass shootings: http://www.motherjones.com...

In addition an assault weapon ban is obviously a more realistic proposal than banning all guns. This is corroborated by the article provided by my opponent that cites a poll in which "59 percent of likely voters say they favor a ban." I am not trying to ban all guns and strip Americans of a Constitutional right. But seemingly all other rights are subject to regulation and adaptation and the refusal to implement anything or even discuss implementing anything sort of regulation for this particular right is costing innocent lives and that is unacceptable.
SJM

Con

My opponent claims to not argue what the resolution says but to argue what is said in the comments. Then what is the resolution for? Since the resolution is not to be ignored, my opponent is arguing that it is necessary. He also says that I'm taking it too literally. What else is it suppose to mean when you say necessary? If you meant to say that we SHOULD have gun control laws, then in that case the resolution should have been changed to ought or something of that sense.

My opponent then says that he used to necessary to mean urgency, importance, and passion he feels for the issue, but in that case it is pro's fault for framing the resolution in that way. It is obvious how someone can not see my opponent's deeper meaning, but take it to actually mean required.

Therefore the debate should stick to what the resolution stated.

My opponent says that I have no evidence that programs that teach people about gun violence is effective, which is true I don't have empirical evidence, however it's logical to say that if we have people teaching others why gun violence is bad and what happens to offenders, that less people are going to commit such things.

Then my opponent says that we need to ban assault rifles to stop mass shootings. The concept behind mass shootings is that it ends life which is why it's bad, so by that logic if banning handguns saved more lives, then why wouldn't you ban handguns. And that poll that is cited is meaningless considering it's not that high of a percentage, and that more people does not dictate what is right. And my opponent later says he's not trying to strip people of their constitutional rights, but doesn't my opponent agree that lives are more valuable than a rule that is written on paper? So why not ban the more killer weapon if what my opponent's goal is to save lives?
Debate Round No. 2
spencercrat123

Pro

Seeing that there is no way to edit my resolution or title and that I have now clarified the meaning of the word "necessary" and "necessity" in its context multiple times to multiple people (including my opponent), my opponent is going to have to accept that the fact that I am not going to debate if gun control is a necessity for basic human existence. As far as I know, those are only water, food, and oxygen.

Therefore the debate should stick to what the resolution means, which I have clarified. Hopefully we can now solely debate the real issue.

My opponent's only proposed alternative to gun control is education about gun violence, not necessarily gun safety but the violence itself. He conceded he has no evidence of its effectiveness but argues instead "teaching others why gun violence is bad and what happens to offenders, that less people are going to commit such things." In my opinion I think it is common sense and well known that gun violence is "bad". I think it is also safe to assume that people who commit or who are looking to commit gun crimes are well aware that there are consequences.

My opponent claims "The concept behind mass shootings is that it ends life which is why it's bad, so by that logic if banning handguns saved more lives, then why wouldn't you ban handguns. " This is misguided. The concept behind mass shootings is that masses of people are shot in a short period of time. Assault rifles with high capacity magazines enable these type of shootings far more than handguns do and my previous article showed they are the weapon of choice far more often than handguns are for these specific crimes. The assault rifle ban is intended to combat the specific problem of mass shootings not prevent all "ends of life". Proposed universal background check systems, closing of purchase loopholes, etc, would be policies that would better address the handgun problem realistically without stripping Americans of their rights by ensuring only responsible citizens are able to legally purchase guns.

As said before, a ban on all handguns is not realistic at all. I cited a poll in my opponent's article (that shows 59% public support for an assault rifles ban, a clear majority) not to prove that it is necessarily the right opinion but to show that it's clearly a reasonable proposal to discuss. Polls do not even exist for a handgun ban in the U.S. It is an utterly pointless policy to pursue. Furthermore, our constitutional rights are absolutely vital to our country's function and survival. But, the 2nd Amendment enjoys a protection and immunity from any sort of regulation or review that no other constitutional right enjoys. My problem lies in that people are dying because of this extra protection and immunity not because of the right itself. I am not debating whether or not rights are worth dying for. Countless soldiers throughout U.S. history have admirably fought and given their lives to protect our rights. And that is an admirable and voluntary sacrifice they make, but when civilians, kindergartners, and schoolteachers are dying because we refuse to assess the boundaries of this particular right when we do with all others, it is unacceptable.
SJM

Con

My opponent refuses to argue the resolution but instead wants to argue something that was clarified in the comments, which does not matter. The only thing that are suppose to be taken into account when arguing is clarifications in the acceptance round, but my opponent argued that round. Therefore he has started arguing about the resolution. The resolution is the exact statement which we are suppose to argue about, if there aren't any clarifications in the acceptance round. My opponent clarified it after the debate has begun, which is not at all fair considering he changed topic after the debate has started, thus arguing something I didn't sign up for.

Now to the false issue pro wants to debate.

My opponent starts off by arguing that it's common sense that gun violence is bad, but not really. There are people who think that gun violence is a demonstration of how much of a man you are, like fighting. They feel like the higher up they are in gangs, that better of an individual they are. Regarding mass shootings, the people who have done mass shootings don't do it with the mentality gun violence is bad, but that they are fulfilling something religious, or some other reason. Maybe they are like that because they haven't gotten how bad gun violence is, instilled into their mind.

My opponent then makes no sense in his point, because he essentially says he doesn't want to eliminate the bunch of people that die, but rather "eliminate" only the small portion of deaths. It's like someone say he rather eliminate poverty in Africa, rather than eliminate poverty in the world. And my opponent fails to provide evidence that this would be the solution to ending school shootings significantly. For example, (Mark Gius, "An Examination of the Effects of Concealed Weapons Laws and Assault Weapons Bans on State-Level Murder Rates," Applied Economics Letters, www.tandfonline.com, Nov. 26, 2013) shows that banning assault rifles did not decrease the violence, but actually increased it. "The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on state-level murder rates. Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level." The only thing that this would achieve is infringing on the rights of the 2nd amendment advocates. Also by taking away the weapons of choice for people who go hunting, small game control, personal defense, and target shooting.

My opponent then makes the point because there is no poll that suggests for handguns to be banned, then that means it isn't plausible which is not true. This could just easily mean that the people are just so fixated on trying to ban assault rifles because emotion misguides their judgement when they see schools shootings, but they don't now the facts. And if my opponent wants to argue that when children are dying, school teachers, and etc. My opponent refuses to accept the fact that some of these people mentioned, die due to handgun violence, in fact over time they die more in number than who die in assault rifle violence.
Debate Round No. 3
spencercrat123

Pro

I'd first like to thank con for engaging in this debate.

At no point have I made the argument that gun-control is a basic requirement of life like food, warmth, water, and oxygen. That would be a ridiculous and pointless debate to have. I am sorry that my opponent interpreted it that way but the context and title (using necessary in its adjective form) of my debate made the meaning clear. Just as he has clarified his points, I have clarified mine. The conversation about gun control is a pressing one that needs to take place in the U.S. and that is the one I intended to have. It seems my opponent was looking to sign up for an easy debate win by arguing about wording and interpretation. I insisted to debate the real issue and that is something he clearly didn't want to do.

Now to the real issue that impacts all Americans that I do indeed want to debate:

It is common sense that gun violence is bad. My opponent argues "there are people who think that gun violence is a demonstration of how much of a man you are..." If there are people sick enough out there to look at the gun violence committed by people like Omar Mateen at the Pulse Nightclub and admire him for being manly, they are mentally unfit to own guns and no amount of education or telling them "No actually what he did was bad. Gun violence is bad" will change that. They are the exact type of people who should not be able to purchase guns legally and they are the exact type of people that would be unable to do so after the implementation of a background check system and closing of purchase loopholes. Gang mentality exists independently of gun violence and nothing my opponent has proposed will change that. If there are people who cannot naturally comprehend that using guns to murder or inflict damage on innocent people is "bad", no amount of education will change that and they should not have guns.

My opponent claims I don't want to "eliminate the bunch of people that die, but rather '"eliminate"' only the small portion of deaths". Since his wording is erroneous in that I cannot "eliminate people that die" I'm assuming he means combat all gun violence as opposed to just mass shootings. I am absolutely for combating all types of gun violence. But gun violence in America is multifaceted. It encompasses homicides, accidental shootings, suicides, mass shootings, gang-related shootings, etc. There is no one solution to eliminate all these problems. Different types of gun violence demand different solutions and my proposed assault rifle ban is intended to curb and deter the specific problem of mass murder attacks not the general state-wide murder rates for which my opponent provided statistics. The AWB was successful in exactly that. "From September 1994 to September 2004"the duration of the Assault Weapons Ban"there were 15 mass shootings over 10 years; again, an average of 1.5 a year...since the Assault Weapons Ban there have been 28 mass shooting events in eight short years." ("The Assault Weapons Ban: Did It Curtail Mass Shootings? - The Century Foundation." The Century Foundation. N.p., 11 Jan. 2013. Web. 20 June 2016.) The assault rifle ban is one policy of many that I have proposed that will combine to address the different types of gun violence. Background check systems and the closing of purchase loopholes will help combat problems outside of mass shootings for example. My opponent makes the analogy that by not proposing to ban all guns I am "like someone say he rather eliminate poverty in Africa, rather than eliminate poverty in the world". In actuality, my logic is analogous to "What causes and eliminates poverty in Africa, is different than what may cause or eliminate poverty in other parts of the world." By combining specific, distinct, and different policies targeted at specific, distinct, and different problems will help us reduce gun violence.

My opponent has reported no evidence that assault rifles are the weapon of choice for "people who go hunting, small game control, personal defense, and target shooting." whereas I have reported evidence that they are the weapon of choice for mass shooters (http://www.motherjones.com...). He alleged that an assault rifle ban is an infringement of the 2nd Amendment right (he does not allege that my other proposed policies are) but our freedoms of speech, religion, etc, are all subject to boundaries and restrictions. There is no reason the 2nd Amendment should be immune to these. Furthermore, the Supreme Court by extension has upheld the constitutionality of an assault weapons ban by repeatedly rejecting challenges and upholding lower courts' decisions (most recently https://www.washingtonpost.com...)

I have proven an assault rifle ban is a plausible proposal. I have claimed a handgun ban is not plausible and my opponent has disputed this only with speculation.

Conclusion:
I ask you to vote Pro because gun violence has grown out of control in America. The Orlando Nightclub shooting and the countless other mass shootings in the past decade have highlighted how current gun laws are enabling horrific crimes by granting criminals legal and easy access to weapons that can inflict massive damage on American civilians.

I have demonstrated that all constitutional rights are subject to boundaries, regulations, and discussion but the 2nd Amendment enjoys an immunity from these that is unfounded and costing innocent lives.

I have clarified that my policy proposals specifically target different aspects of the gun violence problems and that no one policy is capable of stopping all cases of gun violence. The assault rifle ban is a plausible policy intended to curb mass shootings. Handguns are not the predominant weapon of mass murder nor is there any evidence to suggest a handgun ban would be a plausible policy to propose. Background checks and closing of purchase loopholes would help combat other types of gun violence.

My opponent has repeatedly tried to debate wording and claim that the debate should be whether gun control is a basic requirement for life as opposed to having a conversation about the real issue at hand despite my many clarifications. His incorrect interpretation does not bar us from having a real debate over a real issue.

My opponent has addressed only one of my proposed policies (assault rifle ban) and has provided a vague and unsupported alternative (gun violence education).

Thank You
SJM

Con

My opponent starts off by saying that the resolution was clear given the context, when it was not at all. Necessary has a very strict and clear meaning, and using necessary to convey passion in a website for debate is ridiculous. It may work in some literary website, but in a debate website how did my opponent not know to type what he meant to say. Then pro says that I"m arguing wording, well yes wording does have a part to do with resolutions, that"s why things are commonly defined. Then pro accuses me of going around picking easy debates, which is not what I"m doing at all just because I think that words should convey what someone is saying, not what they are not saying. He clarified his point after the debate had started, and I have gone along with it as a false debate, but want the voters to judge based on whether or not pro proved the resolution, "Gun Control Is Necessary In Light Of Orlando Shooting".

To the false debate

My opponent makes the point that the people are who see these mass shootings as manly, are out of luck of getting treatment and will never change. First off, they don"t see every type of gun violence as being manly and I thought it was pretty clear when I said it. What I meant is that when they someone stepping over them, they will see someone that uses gun violence as manly, but for example if they go to a bar to kill people for their sexuallity, they won"t They think violence is the answer to conflicts so they take it. As Denzel Curry was saying "Don't need a gun to get respect up on the street". What my opponent is essentially saying is that if someone thinks, for example back then, that a duel is a manly thing to do for a lady, then they find it manly if some cowboy shoots five children, which is not true. Then my opponent has made a point with nothing supporting it saying that if someone thinks this way, that defending something or yourself with a gun is the answer, no such education will change that. But there is no reason to believe that education can"t change someone unless pro is saying gun safety or gun violence has never changed someone.

My opponent makes the point that gun violence is multifaceted which is true, but shouldn"t matter considering that handgun violence is the majority of ALL shootings. And pro is right when he says that we can not eliminate all gun violence, but we can greatly reduce it, much more than if we had just ban assault rifles which has proved to not be effective and if pro wanted to be consistent with his stance, he would have to explain why not handguns but just assault rifles. Also this assault rifle ban is not effective in reducing gun violence and all it does is take away rights. Gun makers will have no problem with the ban because even though my opponent wants to close loopholes, it"s impossible to close certain loopholes, for example, "Lawmakers have instead focused on cosmetics. The federal ban applied to all semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines and two or more military-style features, like flash suppressors and a bayonet attachment. California law tightens the rules a bit; even one of the military-style features is prohibited. But gun makers have been able to easily skirt these laws. They just sell the same semiautomatic rifle, with the same lethality, but without the military-style features." My opponent also claims that assault rifles are the weapons of choice in mass shootings, "but little wonder then that a 2004 study commissioned by the Department of Justice found that the federal ban didn't lead to any decrease in gun crime or gun deaths. For starters, rifles, assault or otherwise, are rarely used in gun crime. Notwithstanding the two rifles used in San Bernardino (and a few other memorable mass killings), rifles account for only about 3% of criminal gun deaths. Gun crime in the United States, including most mass shootings, is overwhelmingly handgun crime." This is a direct counter to pro"s points. Pro"s link that was provided is a website with hillary clinton all over it, which illustrates its bias, whereas the link I provided is La Times which is rated liberal.

My opponent then says that I have provided no evidence that rifles are the weapon of choice when hunting, yes I didn"t provide evidence because I thought it was obvious, but ok since I don"t have evidence let"s say it"s not the main weapon of choice, but it"s a significant part. If my opponent disagrees with this I"d be shocked. Then my opponent says that other rights have restrictions, so should the 2nd amendment. But this is not a good reason why we should put boundaries on the 2nd amendment only because others have them too. I already took her mother jones evidence down. My opponent later on says that she has proved an assault rifle ban to be plausible, although I had just refuted pro"s whole case, and pro says that a handgun policy isn"t plausible, but if the voters look all throughout his previous argument you will see he proved no such thing.

Extend all my other arguments.

Conclusion:

Voters surely should vote con since I have shown that his assault rifle ban policy is ineffective. And the only thing that it will do is remove part of the rights of americans. The country which established that law to protect themselves from tyranny. Also I have proven that pro is inconsistent with his stance on the gun issue, and it makes no logical sense to not pass a handgun policy if it"s the biggest killer. There is no reason why a handgun policy is not possible, the only things pro has given to say an assault rifle ban is possible is a poll which doesn"t really mean anything considering it"s a poll. Things aren"t plausible just because people say so.

My opponent talks about how the 2nd amendment shouldn"t be immune because the other amendments aren"t, what about the 13th amendment? Voters on this point should go to con because legal slavery does not exist.

Now, I agree not all violence is going to be stopped, but I have proved my point about handguns and mass shootings.

Back to the wording of this debate, yes it is true that I have tried to debate what the resolution actually means and says, but voters look at how pro tries to change the situation on me by saying that we shouldn"t let MY wrong interpretation get in the way, but it"s not my interpretation that was wrong, but my opponent"s wording. No one says that gun control is necessary, they say ought, should, or something along the lines of that.

Finally, I thank pro for this debate, and all the voters who I hope votes con.

Sources- http://www.latimes.com...
Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 11 months ago
whiteflame
Much of what's actually debated here is a distraction from the overall issue. I'll get into that as I go through the overarching arguments.

By the end of the second round, the debate is basically constant. There are three arguments that continually repeat through rounds 2 to 4: the meaning of necessary, whether education suffices as a means to decrease gun violence, and whether Pro's case goes far enough to address gun control.

The first of these is really the only one that matters. It establishes what Pro's burden is, and I think Con was right to make a big deal of this word and its meaning. Unfortunately, Con takes such a hard-line stance on the issue that he puts me off of voting on it. Necessary doesn't imply required for the basic existence of all humans. You had the opportunity to stress what kind of barrier necessity is, and explain that there are numerous other options that could be explored before we touch gun control. Necessity does imply "this specific policy is needed and others won't cut it", and so that could have been a big sticking point. As it stands, Con harps too much on the skewed definition. He implies that there's some abuse that results from the definition being shifted after the first round, but it's only potential abuse, as even Con argued the issues pertinent to the debate in R1. I don't buy that as a reason to prefer Con's definition.

The other two issues are simply mitigation. Education may affect change, but Con has no evidence supporting this and it's pretty clear that there's no reason to expect more education to change things. It might help, but it doesn't outweigh gun control, which is established to have some effect. Con argues that Pro should just ban all guns, but all that tells me is that Pro could be doing more, not that his current case isn't meeting the threshold for "necessary" given the effects on life lost. I don't feel like Pro did a lot to support his case being necessary, but Con's strategy undermines that analy
Posted by whiteflame 11 months ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 2)

Overall, while I think much of Pro's case is threadbare, he does establish that life lost is a reason to change the laws we enforce in order to ensure that some people can't get guns that currently can. It's not the greatest argument, and there are a lot of other issues to consider when it comes to whether or not such a change is necessary and, moreover, whether or not it's even beneficial. Nonetheless, Con's focus in the debate steers away from contesting Pro's case on this level, and as such he leaves pretty much all of Pro's benefits untouched. He tells me that Pro's case could have been better and that there are ineffective alternatives that still could potentially, maybe work if something unknown changed, but neither of those arguments have any effect on whether or not Pro is affirming the resolution. And based on how a reasonable person could interpret the word "necessary", Pro clearly is affirming it. As such, I vote Pro.
Posted by rross 11 months ago
rross
Yeah, okay. No worries. Thanks for clarifying, whiteflame.
Posted by rross 11 months ago
rross
Since I'm here, if I was voting properly, I would probably give sources to Con, because I think he/she used them more effectively. And S&G to Pro for rhetorical effectiveness and structure of argument, especially R1. Yeah, see, I might go the wrichcirw route and never vote officially again. But it's fun to vote in theory. :)
Posted by whiteflame 11 months ago
whiteflame
The standard for S&G is pretty binary - either the arguments of one side are really poorly written and the other side gets the point for writing in a way that can be understood easily, or it can't be awarded. That's the way it's structured currently.
Posted by rross 11 months ago
rross
Ok cool. What about S&G for coherency and structure? No, right?
Posted by whiteflame 11 months ago
whiteflame
rross, you realize that if you posted an arguments vote right now with the line "RFD in comments," that this would be upheld, right? What you just posted is sufficient under the standards.
Posted by rross 11 months ago
rross
This was a really interesting debate. I would vote for Pro on arguments, but I can't be bothered putting together an rfd that would meet requirements. The reason is, most of Con's arguments were trivial. Necessity obviously means necessity to protect lives in R1, from the context, and not necessity for existence to continue, and this the sense in which it is often used. Also, the argument that gun violence might be a good thing for some people is really weak. Con did have some good arguments, but I recommend cutting out the weak arguments because overall it affects your credibility. I think Con's strongest argument was that rifles are only involved in a minority of crimes and bans on assault rifles have not significantly affected the crime rate. Pro did not really address these arguments effectively. However, Pro's overall argument about gun control, including more checks on people etc., was not really addressed and so stands. Also, I kinda liked Pro's rhetorical style. Compelling. I thought the line about prayers not being enough was really persuasive and effective in R1. It was a good rhetorical device, and when Con took issue with it, he seemed a bit nit-picky.

Yeah, a really interesting debate. Overall, Pro had a clear line of argument. I think Con would have been more effective if s/he'd taken a strong line himself/herself. Maybe unnecessary government control, ineffective laws in the absence of any real change, or something - to bring it all together. Even without burden of proof, it would have been stronger. Just my opinion.
Posted by whiteflame 11 months ago
whiteflame
Busting through. It's slang for pushing through, in this case through a set of arguments.
Posted by SJM 11 months ago
SJM
bust?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 11 months ago
whiteflame
spencercrat123SJMTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by rross 11 months ago
rross
spencercrat123SJMTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: rfd in comments