The Instigator
idkmybffbill
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
1994bookworm
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points

Resolution: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/20/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,894 times Debate No: 7916
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

idkmybffbill

Con

I would like to debate in LD format. Also, can we finish the debate by Friday? I'm trying to get as much practice as possible for my tournament. Thanks a bunch!
Since we're using LD format, the affirmative should go first...
1994bookworm

Pro

I affirm the resolution. Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

For clarity, I propose the following definitions:

Vigilantism: Neil Jarman, author of Vigilantism, Transition, and Legitimacy, writes: vigilantism...involves actions that can be characterized both as forms of policing and as forms of justice...vigilante activities are primarily a response to a perceived failure of the criminal justice system to suitably punish offenders and are therefore described as a form of popular or informal justice. In other cases vigilantism involves more public forms of policing activities that are designed to act as a deterrent or to prevent something happening...Recent work by Ray Abrahams and Les Johnston [many] have noted that it is not necessarily illegal or unlawful nor is it carried out as a challenge to the state or the formal criminal justice system. Instead both authors highlight the fact that vigilantism involves activities carried out because of a real...failure of the state to deliver on its claims to hold a monopoly in managing law and order and delivering justice.

Justified: To prove or show to be reasonable

The law: the collective rules established by the government including those of due process

For this resolution, the affirmative would value Justice, which is here defined as giving each their due. Each person's due would be their rights. Therefore, this value can be upheld by the value criterion maximizing protection of rights. Protection of rights is the best value criterion for justice because when we are protecting the rights of people, we are achieving justice.

Contention 1. Vigilantism is justified in the situation outlined by the resolution.

Subpoint A: When the government has failed to enforce its laws, it has broken a social contract.
By failing to uphold the law, the government has also failed to uphold its duty to its citizens. When a society comes together and forms a government, they are doing it so that they would gain three things: the law, judges to adjudicate laws, and the executive power necessary to enforce these laws. By forming a government, the people of the society give up their individual right of protection to the government. However, because the government is failing in its duty, citizens have the right to take the law into their own hands and enforce the law.

Professor Edgar C. Polome of the University of Texas explains this clearly when he writes: "Vigilantism itself is based on the social contract, specifically, that government is obligated to protect life, liberty, and property, in exchange for loyalty and obedience from its citizens. If, however, government fails to provide those protections, the citizens…can invoke the age-old law of private justice."

In cases where the government has failed to enforce the law, it is often the poor, the minorities, and the people on the margins that tend to bear the brunt of this failure. Because these people lack the resources to bring change within the government, vigilantism must be justified as an allowable response to government failure in order for these people to protect the rights that the government has denied.

Subpoint B: Vigilantism promotes popular sovereignty, a fundamental facet of any government.
Andrew Taslitz writes in the Ohio Criminal Law Review,

Vigilantes are rooted in an ideology of popular sovereignty: the people or communities are the real sovereigns; whenever those to whom they have delegated authority fail. It is the people's right to take back that authority into their own hands. This ideology is the generally not anti-state, for: vigilantism commonly thrives on the idea that the state's legitimacy at any point in time depends on its ability to provide citizens with the levels of law and order they demand." Vigilantism is thus "often a vote of no confidence in state efficiency rather than in the concept of the state itself."

In upholding the law themselves, vigilante groups are reinforcing the ideas of popular sovereignty, while simultaneously upholding the law of the land and backing up the government.

Contention 2: Vigilantism benefits the society.

Subpoint A: The actions of vigilantes deter crime.
When vigilante groups are actively enforcing the law, they put a check on the criminal activity happening. The Guardian Angels, a vigilante group formed in February 1979 by Curtis Sliwa in response to New York City subway crime, is a non-violent group. These vigilantes are unarmed but are trained and capable of physically intervening. The aim of the Guardian Angels is to enforce the law by being present and visible. The Chebucto Community Net clarifies, "All Guardian Angels have an extensive three month training program…the goal is not to instigate physical altercations, but to try to prevent crime in the first place. The angels are trained in how to mitigate situations so they don't escalate." Clearly, when vigilante groups effectively organize themselves, they are able to deter crime and thus protect rights.

Subpoint B: Vigilante groups fill in the "hole" in society that is left by the failing government.
When the government of a society fails to uphold its duty in enforcing laws and maintaining order, a gap is left in the society. Vigilante groups are able to step in and fill in this "hole" left by the government. These vigilante actions would be directed at a particular goal. When most governments are trying to a variety of issues, vigilante groups are aimed at fixing particular issues, and consequently their actions are directed and have definite goals.
In the Eastern Cape of South Africa, the government has neglected to care for the township of Port Elizabeth because of the few people who live there. The vigilante group, the Amadlozi, have organized themselves to use a quasi-courtroom style of vigilantism. This group is able to gather together and determine whether or not a suspect is guilty of a crime, as well as how the suspect should be punished. The community at large is also present at these gatherings and view the Amadlozi as legitimate, and effective.

The Negative may try and paint a picture of anarchy and chaos that feeds a media driven and fear based concept of vigilantism. However, actual study of vigilantism around the globe paints a much different picture. True vigilantism embraces the law and social order…it strives for justice.
Debate Round No. 1
idkmybffbill

Con

"I find the idea of vigilante justice very attractive. I like the idea that the murderer decides that this person has gone too far, and nothing will happen to him unless she does something to stop him." It is because I agree with Donna Leon that I negate the resolved, vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.
For clarity I offer the following definitions:
Vigilantism: occurrence when a person violates the law in order to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals, because they think that the criminal will not be caught or will not be sufficiently punished by the legal system
(I accept the rest of your definitions.)
My value for the round shall be that of justice. Justice can be defined as the maintenance or administration of what is just based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, fairness, and equity. Negating achieves the value of justice because of the word justified in the resolution as this word is a derivative of just or justice so this value is explicit in the resolution and any other value would be irrelevant to answering the question of the resolution as no other value would ensure people are receiving their due. Justice is a key feature of a well-based society because justice concerns the proper ordering of people and things in a society. In order to achieve justice in the resolution, it is only just that vigilantism is unacceptable in the case that the government fails to enforce the law.
The value criterion for the debate is protecting rights. Vigilantism offers no protections of due process rights, no checks on cruel or unusual punishment, no liability to any outside force. We are born with certain natural rights, and we are guaranteed that these rights will be respected. Vigilantes may undermine these rights, which is unjust. Suspects--or even known criminals--are still humans, deserving of fair trials and humane treatment.
My first contention is John Locke's Second Treatise of Civil Government. In John Locke's Second Treatise he clearly states that vigilantism is not just and a civil government is the way to punish criminals. Locke said, "...it is unreasonable for Men to be Judges in their own Cases, that Self-love will make men partial to themselves and to their Friends. And on the other side, that Ill Nature, Passion and Revenge will carry them too far in punishing others. And hence nothing but Confusion and Disorder will follow.... I easily grant, that civil government is the proper remedy for the inconveniencies of the state of nature, which must certainly be great, where men may be judges in their own case, since it is easy to be imagined, that he who was so unjust as to do his brother an injury, will scarce be so just as to condemn himself for it..." Thus, it leads us to believe that justice cannot be achieved through vigilantism, and vigilantism is not justified when the government fails to enforce the law.
My second contention is that vigilantism is not justified because of the harms it does to a society.
Sub point A: Vigilantes act based on perception.
A vigilante does not have the necessary resources to determine who is guilty, and who is innocent. All a vigilante can do is punish those they suspect to be guilty of a crime. In addition, vigilantism often results in an unbalanced response. The American Chronicle states: "Vigilantism has taken root in Latin America over the past decade…angry crowds are increasingly taking the law into their own hands, meting out physical punishment for crimes real and imagined. Vigilantes often lynch common criminals who, in their view, have escaped justice." In Responsibility and Punishment, J. Angelo Corlett explains the cause of unbalanced punishment: "What makes vigilantism morally wrong is that it violates a fundamental fairness that relies on a due process system to determine…guilt from innocence…But the vigilante cares not about such fairness…Justice and fairness dictate that due process rights ought to be upheld for the accused so that a determination of her guilt or innocence…might be determined…Even should the vigilante capture and "punish" a genuine offender…it would most likely be…out of luck, rather than as the result of careful and diligent investigative trial process…" As John Locke states, "Men cannot be judges of themselves", which shows that unfairness exists in personal views and would lead to injustice when trying criminals. This clearly shows that vigilantism is biased, and vigilantism is not justified when the government fails to enforce the law.
Sub point B: There are no checks on a vigilante.
Within a government, there are checks to prevent injustice. However, the vigilante has no such checks. Even if a vigilante group started out well, the lack of checks would eventually allow the vigilantes to abuse their power and become corrupt. In Managua, Nicaragua, in 1997, the Luis Fanor Hernandez group, a vigilante committee formed to protect the citizens from violence that was happening. At first, they were just and fair. However, just 5 years later, fighting occurred within the members of the group and innocents died as a result of this violence. It turned out that drugs had corrupted these vigilantes and as one vigilante put it, "We couldn't care less about the people. What do they matter to us?" Clearly, the lack of checks will allow vigilantes to eventually abuse their power. So vigilantism is not justified when the government fails to enforce the law.
My third contention is that vigilantism cannot be justly used to enforce unjust laws. In the United States between 1876-1965 there was something called Jim Crow laws. These state and local laws separated all public facilities between lack Americans and members of other non-white racial groups with a "separate but equal statue". If the United States failed to enforce that law the vigilantes would try to enforce it themselves. That law was not just, and if the vigilantes tried to make sure that the law was enforced their vigilantism was not justifiable. Another example is China's One-Child Policy. If a couple had more than one child and the government allowed an exemption to their case, the vigilantes would try to fine, give pressure to abort, or force sterilization upon the couple. That law also was not just, and if the vigilantes tried to make sure that the law was enforced their vigilantism was not justified. Thus, this leads us to believe that vigilantism is not justified when the government fails to enforce the law.
I reject your definition of vigilantism. You failed to say how vigilantes violate the law to achieve what they believe to be justified. You also said that vigilantes try to achieve justice, but you cannot trust their judgement because they have a skewed view of justice.
I accept your value and criterion.
Contention 1: My problem with the Social Contract and popular sovereignty is that there is no guarantee that the vigilantes will be just. The government has things like due process, the Constitution, etc. that limit its ability to do unjust things, but with normal citizens in charge, there's no telling what they'll do. Vigilantes have a skewed view of justice, so they may think that killing a hundred people is just. If you want to protect people's rights to attain justice for them, you need the government to enforce the law instead of vigilantes.
Contention 2: Vigilantism quickly exceeds the benefits by creating escalating cycles of violence and injustice. Vigilantism can rapidly become worse than the crime itself. Punishments tend to be unfair; the innocent have little protection; and quasi-criminal elements are attracted to the movement as a semi legal road for the expression of their antisocial tendencies. In addition, when law enforcement officials participate in the acts of violence, whatever moral legality the formal system of laws retained may be undermined. Vigilantes cause injustice which only cause bigger "holes" in society.
1994bookworm

Pro

My opponent offers a definition from no source. We should clearly prefer Neil Jarman's definition definition because he has written numerous books on the subject of vigilantism and would know about the subject better than any debate student or dictionary-writer. Jarman also provides a broader range of vigilante activities (both punishing and policing) and offers a more in-depth view of vigilantism. Therefore, this definition would be most educational in this round. Skewed view of justice or not, justice is still their aim.

Furthermore, my opponent provides no evidence for why vigilantism is against the law, and since you cannot bring up new information in LD in later speeches, we must accept that my opponent's definition is invalid.

Both my opponent and I have the same Value and VC, so there will be no debate over that. Instead we shall be seeing who better meets their Value/ VC.

In my opponent's first contention, she brings up John Locke's second Treatise of Civil Government, which state that men cannot be judges in their own cases. However, vigilantes are NOT judging their own cases, but are instead judging the cases of criminals, much like the judges in today's judicial system. Though bias DOES exist in vigilantes, the same holds true for judges of the judicial court. To say that vigilantes cannot judge criminals would be equal to saying that judicial court judges cannot judge criminals. This clearly is faulty. Furthermore, My opponent states that a civil government is the remedy to the state of nature. Yet, in this resolution, the government has clearly FAILED. Therefore, vigilantism must be allowed as an response for people to protect themselves. We must see that self protection and vigilantism CAN be the same thing, for, in the process of self-protection, the person often harms the criminal. Therefore, this is equal to vigilantism where vigilantes punish criminals.

In my opponent's subpoint A, she states that vigilantes act based on perception. Yet, as I stated in my definition, a vigilante upholds the laws of the previous government (Not ice the "not carried out in opposition to the former criminal justice system". Therefore, true vigilantes DO use due process because due process is part of "the law" (which my opponent accepted) that vigilantes are trying to uphold. A true vigilante group would be the Amadlozi in Port Elizabeth who uses due process to properly try and punish criminals. Furthermore, I would argue that bias exists everywhere and there is no one alive who does not carry a bit of bias in them. This makes my opponent's subpoint A irrelevant because she is basically also saying that judicial court judges are not justified because they carry bias. Clearly, vigilantes DO use due process to punish criminals and ARE justified when the government has FAILED to protect its people.

In my opponent's subpoint B, she states that vigilantes have no checks.
However, I would argue that vigilantes do not NEED checks as vigilantes are a form of popular sovereignty. Vigilante groups are the voices OF THE PEOPLE trying to protect themselves form the failing government. And because the PEOPLE are the true sovereigns in any society, there is no need to place a check on the people. Furthermore, in my opponent's Nicaragua example she brings up the example of a group of "gang vigilantes". If my opponent actually read that chapter of Global Vigilantes in depths, she would find that the gangs aren't actually vigilantes because they NEVER properly enforced the laws that the government set up. They "protected" the people by fighting other gangs who were on their territory and never properly tried them with due process. They also killed innocents which does not make them vigilantes. Remember that a vigilante's aim is justice, not revenge or protection of "territory" which is what the gang was doing.

In my opponent's 3rd/2nd contention (do you have a 2nd contention?!!?), she brings up unjust laws. However, we must see that there were different moral views in that time period. What is immoral then is moral now, and vice versa. (For example, a girl who showed her ankles would be supposedly "enticing" a man). Furthermore, the "One Child policy" Law in China states that the government will not force parents to have abortions (I have lived in china for 7 years before I came here). My opponent is misusing information. In addition, the aim of the vigilantes is to establish JUSTICE. By upholding immoral laws, these people are not vigilantes but are instead criminals for they have violated the rights of innocents. Since my opponent does not use a CORRECT present day example of an immoral law, we must see that her example does not pertain to the resolution, which takes place in the present.

My opponent's responses to my contentions (in order)
1. Social contract.
-my opponent fails to argue the CRUX of my contention. My contentions states that vigilantism is a RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE. my opponent provides no evidence or arguments against this, meaning that she agrees. She only brings up due process, the Constitution, etc all of which do NOT relate to my contention. My opponent states that vigilantes may think that killing a hundred people is just. This is clearly flawed because she provides no analysis for why vigilantes would think this way. Furthermore, my opponent seems to be missing a key phrase in the resolution "when the government has FAILED to enforce the law." My opponent keeps on assument that the government will somehow miraculously fix itself and uphold laws when the fact is, that it is UNABLE to enforce these laws. Therefore, my opponent has essentially dropped my first contention and she cannot bring it up again. My contention still stands.

2. Vig benefits society
-My opponent does not refute my first subpoint under this contention, stating that vigilantes deter crime. In LD, silence is consent and my opponent has agreed to my first subpoint. She can never bring up this supboint again, and it will always stand in this round.

Moving onto my second subpoint, my opponent believes that vigilantes will only "add fuel to fire" and escalate the chaos. This, however, is only a media-fed image of vigilantism that is based on fear. If we study vigilantism in depths world wide, we find the Amadlozi, the Guardian Angels, the Aghadi, etc who ENFORCE LAWS and PROMOTE justice. My opponent offers no REAL vigilante groups that support her point so her arguments are empty and untrue. (The Nicaragua one was not about real vigilantes). My opponent states that law enforcement officials my participate in vigilante activities. This clearly is false. If law enforcement official participated, it would no longer be vigilantism because vigilantes are private citizens with no connection to the failing government. Law enforcement officials would make it an act OF THE GOVERNMENT, not vigilantism. Clearly, vigilantes can only FILL the hole that the government has left as it is the only thing left upholding the law.

As Spiderman once said, "Great power, demands great responsibility." Because the Government has clearly FAILED in its responsibility, we must affirm the resolution, and allow vigilantes to uphold the law since the law is only as strong as those who enforce it. Without vigilantes, the law would be an empty, meaningless piece of paper that few obey and follow.

Clearly, in cases where the government has FAILED, vigilantism is justified because the aim of the vigilantes is justice. And when we negate the resolution, nothing is done, criminals will only learn to not fear the government, and will commit crimes without anyone to stop them. This does not uphold rights and does not achieve justice, both of which my opponent value. However, in the affirmative world, criminals are being properly punished, the law is respected, and rights are protected, ensuring justice.

Therefore, I urge an affirmative vote, thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
idkmybffbill

Con

idkmybffbill forfeited this round.
1994bookworm

Pro

1994bookworm forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
idkmybffbill

Con

LD debate is philosophy debate; sources don't matter. If you are looking for a valid source, Neil Jarman's definition cannot be used. People are biased, his definition would not be applicable in this round. Vigilantes do not aim for justice because they don't achieve it at all with a skewed view of justice. My definition is valid because I believe that vigilantism is illegal, so we must use my definition in the debate. My definition still stands.

You clearly do not understand the Second Treatise. When Locke says that man cannot judge himself that means that a normal man, such as a vigilante cannot judge another man. Judges and the judicial system are not biased because they go through a series of checks to make sure they are not biased. Even if the government failed once, that doesn't mean they're not a civil government. One mistake doesn't define how the government will always be. Also, there is no guarantee that the vigilantes will never make a mistake. My first contention still stands.

First of all, vigilantes do not use checks. As I stated earlier, your definition is invalid, and we must use my definition. According to my definition, the Luis Fanor Hernandez group is a vigilance committee, and they definitely do not use checks or go through due process. Even if the Amadlozi in Port Elizabeth uses due process now, that doesn't ensure they will in the future. Legal authorities may be biased, but they have to go through checks to make sure they are still just. Thus, my sub point A is relevant, and vigilantes do not use due process to punish criminals and are not justified when the government has failed to enforce the law. My sub point A still stands.

Even if vigilantes are a form of popular sovereignty, they still need checks. People are biased, so they need checks to make sure they are still just. That is the reason we have a government. The Luis Fanor Hernandez group was still a vigilance committee because they were trying to protect the citizens and enforce the law. Fighting gangs is a form of vigilantism because you are punishing criminals that break laws. When you said that the Luis Fanor Hernandez group was not trying people with due process that refutes the point you've been trying to make all along. Vigilantes do not use due process and therefore they are unjust. The fact that they killed innocents strengthens my point and shows how vigilante committees can become corrupt and are therefore unjust. A vigilante's aim is not justice because it is not just. My sub point B still stands.

My second contention is the contention made up of the two sub points. Even though you attacked my sub points, you never attacked my actual contention. In LD, this means that you agree with my second contention. Since no new arguments may be brought up, you have dropped my second contention and you agree with it. My second contention still stands.

The resolution has no time frame, so the Jim Crow law example was valid because it showed a time where vigilantism would not be just. China would force abortion on parents who have more than one child. That is why the law is called "China's One-Child Policy". I am not misusing information, clearly my opponent is the one that is misusing information. Vigilantes do not aim to achieve justice because they are unjust. Vigilantes uphold any law that has failed to be enforced, and if they enforce an unjust law they are unjust. My third contention still stands.

I completely disagree with my opponent's first contention, and it was never dropped. My attack on her first contention still stands because my opponent's response was completely invalid. Popular sovereignty is unjust because there are no checks on the people. I brought up due process, the Constitution, etc. up to show that the government is just. Unlike popular sovereignty, there are checks to make sure the government is just. Again, I do not need to provide any analysis. LD debate is philosophy debate. I am not missing the phase, "when the government has failed to enforce the law." I have noticed the fact that the government has failed to enforce the law. The government will uphold these laws. One mistake isn't always a mistake. And, I'll point out again there is no assurance the vigilantes won't ever make a mistake. My opponent's first contention fails.

I attacked the entire second contention and this included both your sub points, so your first sub point does not stand. Vigilantism does escalate violence. You can't fight crime with crime. Your examples of vigilantism are not valid because they only create a sense of competition with actual government officials and this causes violence between government officials and these groups. That is unjustified. I brought up an example of the Luis Fanor Hernandez group and as I said before they are an example of vigilantism that is unjust. If a law enforcement official participated in a vigilante activity it would still be vigilantism. Law enforcement officials do not make something an act of the government because they do not include everything that makes up a government such as laws, the Constitution, due process, etc. Thus, vigilantes only cause more violence, which is unjust. My opponent's second contention fails.

The affirmative is clearly unjust and does not protect rights which is what my opponent and I both value. Vigilantism undermines human rights, which leads to injustice. The negative ensures protection of rights and justice for everyone because it goes through checks to make sure the government is just.

Thus, for all these reasons I urge a negative ballot.
1994bookworm

Pro

My opponent states that sources do not matter in an LD debate. This is, however, a ridiculous statement because, without sources, any debater can make up random arguments and be able to get away with it. The only debate where no evidence is required is Parliamentary debate, not LD. By not providing evidence, my opponent is admitting that her definition of vigilantism is invalid because she cannot find a single place within the law of the United States where vigilantism is illegal. Furthermore, by saying that Neil Jarman's definition is flawed, she is admitting her own flawed reasoning. My opponent's definition comes from herself, not a dictionary or any other source, meaning that it is also biased. Jarman's definition, however, is the least biased in this round because he states that vigilantes SEEK to promote justice (something my opponent agreed upon) and are not illegal. Since Jarman is an expert on vigilantes, we must accept his definition.

My opponent then defends her first contention by stating that judicial systems are not biased. However, in the US, the supreme court judge is the one who determines the outcome of the case. Thus, segregation was made legal for many years. In this resolution, the government has failed many times, not just once, because my opponent agreed with my definition of "the law" as a whole. Though the vigilantes may make mistakes, their goal is Justice, which is the same as the government. And since they are the only ones enforcing the law, my opponent's contention does not stand since all legal systems have one person judging the case.

Gang fighting is not vigilantism. Gangs often see themselves as "the law" meaning that they do not respect governmental laws. They actually didn't protect the citizens because they cared for the citizens, they regarded the citizens as "their property" and other gangs as people who violated their property. Thus, that gang was not a true vigilante group. In my OPPONENT'S defiinition of justice, she herself agreed that vigilantes try to achieve their own perception of justice. She then goes against it by saying that a vigilante's aim is not justice. Now, vigilantes try to uphold the law, and I defined the law as those including due process and my opponent accepted this. This means she also accepts the fact that vigilantes use due process. Therefore, vigilantes do NOT act based on perception.

Your second contention was your claim, and your subpoints are your warrants. If I attack your subpoints, which are your analysis for your claims, than your claim falls apart because you have no analysis left. Therefore, I have NOT dropped your second contention.

My opponent then brings up Jim Crow laws again to defend her third contention. However, she dropped my argument where I stated that there are different moral values between then and now. Therefore, back then, it was morally acceptable even though we look at it with distaste now. So that example falls. My opponent also does not know anything about China. the government does not force people to get abortions, they fine the families that have more than one child. in the more rural areas where there are different ethnic tribes living, these laws are not even enforced so that the ethnic tribe will survive. Since vigilantes aim to seek justice, they would not enforce any immoral law (that is immoral in the given time period).

My first contention still remains unrefuted as I state that vigilantism is a right of the people. Saying that it is unjust does not prove how it is not a right of the people. Furthermore, since the people are the true rulers in a democracy, they do not need checks. In this resolution the only unjust thing would be the government because it has failed to enforce laws showing that it is useless and corrupt. LD debaters DO need analysis or everything will be empty claims. My opponent could say that vigilantes will always burn houses down, and if LD does not need warrants, we would have to accept that as a valid point. This would lead to chaos in a debate as every argument needs to be backed up by logical reasoning. Since my opponent agreed a long time ago that "the law" equals laws as a whole, the government has committed many mistakes and is corrupt. Thus, power to govern falls on the people and my first contention stands.

Furthermore, in my second contention, opponent did not refute my first subpoint and she can't bring it up. My first subpoint was that VIGILANTES DETER CRIME. She as never proven why this is not true so my second contention stands. Remember, the contention is the main argument and subpoints are smaller arguments backed up by logical reasoning that support the main argument. Therefore, since my first subpoint was not refuted the fact that vigilantes CAN deter crime is true. Therefore, extend my Guardian Angel example as well as the fact that vigilantes do deter crime. Now, she states that my examples create a sense of competition between the government and these groups. HOW IS THIS TRUE? The government has failed in both these cases meaning that is is incapable of doing its job. Vigilantes stepping up and doing the job for the government would NOT create competition because the government has already FAILED. The Mexico gang was not a vigilante group did not enforce laws or even try to enforce laws. It was only, protecting its own territory and acting for itself, not for justice. Law enforcement officials would only make the group of the government because the officials are government appointed, meaning that it is an act of the government, not of the citizens. Vigilantes ARE citizens who are trying to enforce laws. Since enforcing laws means giving due process, vigilantes can only make the situation better.

So lets take a step back and look at the big picture. In the negative world, we have a useless and possibly corrupt government that is failing to enforce laws as a whole, This includes the laws that are designed to protect human rights. Therefore, how can we possibly achieve justice in a world where criminals are given free reign and no one is able to stop them? The truth is, we can't.
Therefore, we must look to the affirmative world, where vigilantes are diligently enforcing the laws that the government has failed to enforce. This only creates a sense of order in the society. The law is only as strong as those who enforce it, and since the government is clearly weak and useless, vigilantes ARE the only ones strong enough to enforce these laws.

Therefore, I urge you to affirm because I have shown you why vigilantes can only make this situation better.
Furthermore, since vigilantism IS a right of the people (which my opponent has dropped) affirming is the only way to make sure that the people are able to use this right when the government has failed. Since vigilantes are trying to achieve justice, whereas the government is corrupt or useless, vigilantes are the ONLY way to protect rights and achieve justice.
Therefore, I urge an affirmative vote.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
idkmybffbill

Con

Even though I believe that LD debate is philosophy debate I will provide the source of my definition since my opponent is so intent on knowing. I found my definition of vigilantism in Black's Law Dictionary. This is definitely far more accurate the Neil Jarman because it is used by lawyers and judges all around the world. Again, I'd like to state that Neil Jarman is a human and he is biased when defining vigilantism. Since Jarman is biased we must reject his definition. My definition still stands.

The Supreme Court judge also goes through a set of checks to make sure he/she is unbiased. Segregation has nothing to do with the government being biased. Even if the vigilantes try to enforce the law, they may also fail to enforce the law many times. Again, the one person that judges a case goes through checks to make sure that he/she is just. Therefore, we must resort to the government to enforce the law because they are legal and just. My first contention still stands.

The Luis Fanor Hernandez group wasn't even a gang; they were a vigilante committee fighting against gangs. They were trying to enforce the law and punish gangs, but then they became corrupt. Thus, the Luis Fanor Hernandez group was a true vigilante group. Vigilantes do try to achieve their own perception of justice, but their aim is not justice. They are not achieving true justice, but they are achieving their skewed view of justice, which isn't really justice at all. Vigilantes do not use due process. In my definition of vigilantism I state that vigilantism is illegal. Due process is following the law and being legal. Since I rejected your definition, we must follow my definition in the fact that vigilantism is illegal and does not use due process. Thus, vigilantes do act based on perception and my sub points within my second contention still stand.

You have dropped my second contention because you did not attack my actual contention. My second contention still stands.

I did not drop your argument about the different morals between then and now. I earlier stated, "The resolution has no time frame, so the Jim Crow law example was valid because it showed a time where vigilantism would not be just." My example still stands since you haven't responded to it, and you can no longer attack it in your last rebuttal. My example still stands. In my research it clearly said that the government fines, gives pressure to abort, or forces sterilization upon a couple with more than one child. And even if you believe that the government just fines the government, that is still unjust. When the vigilante fines the family, it is unjust. In the more rural areas, when the government fails to enforce the law, the vigilantes will then punish those families for having more than one child. Since vigilantes aim to seek their skewed view of justice (which isn't really just), they would enforce an immoral law. Also, in the resolution states that the vigilante is enforcing the law when it has failed to be enforced. This means that the vigilante will enforce it even if it is unjust. Thus, my third contention still stands.

Again, I will state that are people carry bias, and they all need checks. It is not the right of the people to do something unjust. That is why there are checks within a government. According to the LD Debate Handbook, LD is philosophy debate and there are no need for analysis, sources, evidence, warrants, etc. Therefore, my point is not an empty claim and it still stands. When the government fails to enforce the law, that does not mean that it is corrupt. It may fail to enforce the law due to lack of resources, but in the future the government will be able to enforce the law. One mistake is not always a mistake. Thus, the power to govern still belongs to the government. They will eventually enforce the law. So, my opponent's first contention falls.

I did attack my opponent's first sub point. She just failed to notice it. In the second round I clearly stated, "Vigilantism quickly exceeds the benefits by creating escalating cycles of violence." This shows that vigilantism does not deter crime, but only causes more crime. I did prove why this is not true, so my opponent's second contention falls. I attacked your actual contention and both sub points. Since I did address my opponent's first sub point, the fact that vigilantes cannot deter crimes is true. The fact that the government has failed to enforce the law does not mean that the government is incapable of doing its job. Again I state, one mistake is not always a mistake. In the future, the government will enforce the law. Vigilantes would create a sense of competition because when the government tried to enforce the law they would have to compete with vigilantes to try to enforce the law. The vigilantes would only cause commotion, and in the end no one would be able to enforce the law. The Luis Fanor Hernandez group was not a gang, but a vigilante committee; they did try to enforce the law. Again, law enforcement officials do not include all the aspects of the government. They are citizens, and so when they commit an act that does not include every single part of a government (such as the Constitution, checks and balances, etc.) they are committing an act of citizens, not the government. Vigilantes only escalate crime, so my opponent's second contention fails.

The affirmative is clearly unjust and does not protect rights which is what my opponent and I both value. Vigilantism undermines human rights, which leads to injustice. When vigilantes are trying to enforce the law, they are completely hypocritical because they are illegal. Vigilantism only creates a sense of commotion in a society. The negative ensures protection of rights and justice for everyone because it goes through checks to make sure the government is just. The negative is the only way to protect rights and achieve justice, since vigilantism clearly doesn't protect rights or achieve justice.

Thus, for all these reasons I urge a negative ballot. Thank you.
1994bookworm

Pro

1994bookworm forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Sky_ace25 7 years ago
Sky_ace25
Gah! I despised this topic >.<.
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Vote Placed by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
idkmybffbill1994bookwormTied
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Vote Placed by Nails 8 years ago
Nails
idkmybffbill1994bookwormTied
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Vote Placed by idkmybffbill 8 years ago
idkmybffbill
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