The Instigator
Ruperttheg
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Rob1Billion
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Skateboarding should be banned

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Rob1Billion
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/28/2009 Category: Sports
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 29,383 times Debate No: 8453
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (5)

 

Ruperttheg

Pro

Hello. My name is Keenan Harris. Before I start my debate I would like to thank my opponent for taking time out of his/her day to debate me, and I would like to thank the judges for taking time out of their day to read this debate and make intelligent decisions on who should, or should not be, the winner. It is because of you that Debate.org functions. Now onto my debate.

Skateboarding should be banned. After you think about it, this statement couldn't seem any more true. As we all know, Urban Skateboarding, especially on handrails and curbs, causes irreversible damage to the surrounding community. Skateboarders do a thing called "grinding", which involves one scraping the axles of their board against metal, concrete, or wood, causing not only cosmetic scaring, but structural defects as well. Even when a business, or the city for that matter, puts up a "No Skateboarding" sign, or even goes so far as to make their curbs "un-grindable" by fixing pieces of metal at intervals along the curb, skaters still seem to disregard the law and vandalize whatever they see as a good "skate spot". As you can see, Skateboarding causes vandalism in the community.

Another Point that further emphasizes that skateboarding should be banned, is that it's just plain dangerous. According to the American Academy of pediatrics < http://aappolicy.aappublications.org... > an estimated 51,000 people get injured enough while skateboarding to get hospitalized. These aren't counting moderately severe scrapes that could be gauzed up at home or pulled muscles that weren't serious enough to be hospitalized for. These are 51,000 severe injuries, such as a broken arm, leg, or neck. According to the AAP a whopping 25% of all the skateboarding injuries involved a collision with a motor vehicle, 31% involved injuries to joints or bones. Like broken arms, dislocated shoulders, or detached ligaments. But what's most shocking, is that 5% of these children got a severe mental injury because of this. 5% might seem like a small number, but thats 2,550 kids. If we continue to allow the youth of America to do this to themselves we could have an even larger number by next year because of increased popularity in the sport.

So as you can see. For the reasons I have stated in this short prelude, and the reasons that will come in my 2nd and 3rd construct. It is obvious that you should vote for the proposition and save not only our citys' streets from vandalism, but our children's well being from the atrocity of skateboarding. Thank you.
Rob1Billion

Con

Pro's contentions:

Contention 1: Skateboarding is linked with vandalism.
Rebuttal of Contention 1: Kids will vandalize anyway

Skateboarding can definitely be associated with vandalism in the ways you described. I would argue, however, that it is not the skateboarding itself that is responsible for the vandalism. It is the teens that do it. When I was your age, I used to do a lot of stuff. My favorite was shoplifting at the local stores. I also enjoyed spray painting my "tag-name" everywhere I could, throwing objects at passing cars and running away, throwing rocks at and destroying any sort of public property I could find, killing small animals (especially frogs) in the woods... The list goes on. Unfortunately, kids are just high maintenance. I was probably one of the worse ones, because I had "bad" friends, but the point remains that kids get a kick out of causing trouble. I remember shoplifting the most vividly. That nervous feeling as I rip off the security tag, that mounting paranoia as I step out the door and I don't know if there is a burly security guard on my tail ready to nab me or an alarm ready to go off, and then that monumental rush of excitement as I get out with my prize into the real world and scamper off on my bicycle... You can't ban the feeling of excitement that kids are seeking by causing trouble; kids are going to do these things because they are kids; not because they have access to a skateboard, or rocks to throw at things, or cans of spray paint, etc. Banning everything a kid can use to cause trouble is ridiculous. Many kids enjoy skateboards responsibly (for example at skating parks) and these kids would be stripped of civil liberties that they have no right being stripped of. The children that use it irresponsibly will invariably find some other way to cause entropy to their surrounding environment.

Contention 2: Skateboarding is dangerous.
Rebuttal of Contention 2: Slippery slope argument

Would you really consider banning everything that is dangerous? This is a pretty steep slippery slope. One that leads to absolute tyranny, among other things! Imagine a country where the government says "you are forbidden to engage in that activity; it is dangerous". Might as well ban rock climbing, roller skating, bicycling, walking outside with no shoes, running in the recess yard... You can't "protect" children this way. Children need to be guided by a responsible adult to make it through life and survive. Every person has the chance of getting hurt doing an infinite number of things, and trying to find and ban them all is not sound. Only proper upbringing and supervision by parents is going to save children from the inescapable hazards of human life. If the parent makes the call that "my child will not skateboard" then that is up to the parent; you have no right to make that decision for them.

My contentions:

Contention 3: Abridgment of civil liberties

This ban would go against everything this country stands for. Our civil liberties are very important, and such a careless abridgment would be incomprehensible. If we aren't allowed to have a piece of wood with four wheels on it, what other rights do we stand to lose?

Contention 4: Skateboarding is a generally positive activity, with only a marginal chance for being abused.

There would have to be a MAJOR reason to ban an activity like this. The chance to scrape your knee is not a major reason. The chance to vandalize property is not a major reason. If these were major reasons, then there would be an incomprehensibly huge list of items that would need to be banned, including everything from hammers, knives and bicycles, to spray paint cans, toilet paper (in Wisconsin the high school kids have this thing where they "TP" peoples houses; they throw rolls of toilet paper up into the trees in front of your house and it is almost impossible to get it all down without a mess, especially if it gets wet) and anything that can be used as a projectile and cause damage. Guns are not banned, yet they are FAR more dangerous than skateboards, and offer much less of a general way to be used recreationally.

Contention 5: Injustice to skateboard manufacturers and distributors.

There is an entire industry set up around skateboarding. This industry includes local manufacturers who deal exclusively with skateboard production, some of which have only tiny skateboard shops. The businesses involved would be crippled and forced out of business overnight if your law went through. We have a local shop here in Green Bay called "Surfin Bird" that makes most of its profits off of skateboard sales. I would wonder what the employees there would have to say about your proposition. Countless retail stores also sell skateboards, and would also be adversely affected.

Contention 6: Injustice to professional and amateur enthusiasts.

There are lots of people who consider skateboarding a major hobby of theirs. Responsible adults who are well informed of the risks of using a board and have accepted them a long time ago (in fact the risk is almost surely part of the fun). I would like you to consider what a conversation with one of these people might be like for you, as you contemplate your ban. Would you be able to look the skateboarder in the eye when you told him or her about your idea? Would you even have the gaul to approach them?

Contention 7: Injustice to the diversity of the country.

Our country is a melting pot of different cultures, ideas, activities, etc. We are such a great country, for the most part, because of the liberties we enjoy as citizens and the diversity of the activities we engage in. The mosaic which is America would lose one of its facets if your ban was a reality, and it would be a very sad day in the history of the country.

Contention 8: Enforcement would be a disaster.

How would you enforce this ban? Would you have officers on the street arresting skateboarders? Would you have the officers giving tickets to parents who are walking beside their children on skateboards? If an officer finds a skateboard in someone's car while searching it, would they be subject to confiscation and a fine? Would this be a federal ban that bans skateboards across the country, or are we going to just keep it legal in Nevada like prostitution and make them travel there to do it? Are you proposing to set up skateboarding rehabilitation centers to help people who can't kick the habit? Will they get unemployment benefits if they can show they are addicted and can't perform their basic job functions?

Contention 9: More danger would come from banning skateboarding then letting it stay legal.

People who wish to dodge the ban (I doubt you would even try to argue that there wouldn't be untold thousands of individuals that would) would have to rely on home-made skateboards which are much more unsafe then professionally made ones. This would increase injuries.

Contention 10: A skateboard underground would form after this ban was passed.

People who already skateboard would most likely not stop after this ban. They would be forced into hiding, much as modern recreational drug users are now. They would continue to skate despite the ban, and risk their freedoms as human beings if they are caught. We are talking about their most basic freedoms here, my friend. The freedom not to be put in a cage like an animal, for one. Many of them would probably not ever stop, even after being caught several times, and end up in jail. People who otherwise would never know what the inside of a cell looks like would be rotting inside a steel prison if you have your way. It costs roughly $22,000 a year (Bureau of Justice Statistics) to house criminals in jails, and this would add to the already overpopulated situation we have today with detention centers.

1) http://www.ojp.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
Ruperttheg

Pro

Ruperttheg forfeited this round.
Rob1Billion

Con

Rob1billion forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Ruperttheg

Pro

Before I start by refuting Con's contentions I would like to thank him for excepting this debate.

My opponent's first point was that, even if we do indeed ban skateboarding, Kids will continue to vandalize property, and my opponent is probably right. But the type of vandalism I'm talking about is the type directly caused by skateboarding. Most tricks done on a skateboard involve sliding or "grinding" on a ledge or handrail, and this causes the ledges and handrails to loose their shape and become less sturdy, along with loosing their initial nice look. Skateboarders do this so much, that stores sell signs to put in your window saying "No Skateboards Allowed", and since this obviously did not work some places have even had to spend money out of their own pocket to put studs along their ledges and handrails to keep the skaters away. If we have to go to such lengths to stop people from vandalizing our property via skateboarding, I say we take it a step further and ban it all together.

My opponent's second point was to rebut my initial point that skateboarding is dangerous. He merely brushed this off as "A slippery slope argument" not only did he call it that, but he called it "absolute tyranny, among other things". He seemed to think that a government should not have the right to save lives by banning a completely dangerous sport. Well if this is the case, why is base jumping and elevator surfing illegal. Both these sports have far less deaths and injures per year than skateboarding, and yet, skateboarding remains legal. In fact, Santa Barbara has been considering banning skateboarding for quite a while because of how skateboarders not only endanger themselves while recklessly swerving all over the road, but skating also endangers car drivers. According to study I brought up before from the AAP 25% of all skateboarding injury's and deaths involve an automobile as well. If skaters continue to endanger not only their own lives, but the lives of people around them, then I say we do have the right to make a decision for them. Because if we don't who knows who the next victim of one of these accidents will be?

The next point brought up by my opponent was that banning skateboarding would go against all we stand for as Americans. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is nothing in the constitution about dangerous extreme sports. We may stand for liberty, freedom, and apple pie, but we also stand for something a lot bigger. The knowledge that our American citizens can be safe. And if we stand idly by while skateboarders continue to make our roads unsafe, then we have forsaken our greatest belief as Americans. For we originally didn't rebel against the British because we wanted to be free, we Rebelled against the British because we didn't want the Lobster backs endangering the lives of everyday Americans, like what happened during the Boston Massacre.

My opponent's next point regarded an un-cited, opinionated statement claiming that Skateboarding is "generally" a positive activity. According to the AAP, 90% of skateboarders skate outside of a skateboarding park in an urban area, and I don't know about Green Bay, but in Sacramento, and any other big city in my area, skating is already illegal in urban areas. And upon searching for a while, I found out that it is also illegal in most of New York and DC. If most of the skateboarders out there are already breaking the law, then I say we should crack down a little more.

The next 3 points brought up by my opponent were saying, it is an Injustice to the skateboarding professionals, manufacturers, and everyday enthusiasts to ban skateboarding. I will first start out with the professionals point by saying that it will be no more of an injustice to the skateboarding pro's than it was to the Base Jumping professionals, and when base jumping was banned the professionals just found another country in which to base jump in, and I'm sure skateboarding pro's will find a similar way to follow their career path. And just a side note to this point, a law is passed not by bringing up emotional scenarios ie "would you look them in the eye", laws are passed in legislators, in other words, they are passed by the government, and no amount of black eyed stares could ever change that, and in fact I have looked a skater in the eye and told him that I would want skateboarding banned. He looked back and started cursing like a sailor and almost punched me in the face, that skater was 11. That is the sport you are defending... Anyways, on to my next point regarding the skateboard manufacturers. Skateboarding, as I'm sure you know, is a derivative of surfing, and most skateboarding companies have surfing products as well, like sector 9. Though banning skating may hurt them a little bit, it's not going to make that much of a difference. And finally, everyday enthusiasts are what ruined skating to begin with, we wouldn't have any of the problems we have today if people had just followed the law.

And finally, skateboarding enforcement wouldn't be that hard. We already have cop cars patrolling the streets and catching a skater would be as easy as giving him a ticket. We wouldn't put a skater in jail, we would merely fine him a large amount, which would actually help the state more than it would hurt it, and if a skateboarding underground actually forms, the amount of money formed by the tickets may actually help pay for the 22,000 a year for our jails.

I hope you consider my point's greatly and vote con. Thanks for reading :)
Rob1Billion

Con

Contention 1: Skateboarding causes vandalism -> kids vandalize anyway -> vandalism specific to skateboarding can be avoided by banning it

My first contention is rather tangented and anecdotal, so I will concede most of it. I wanted to create a backdrop for the issue and explain my perspective. On to a more logical version of the first contention:
Shop-owners paying out of pocket costs to fix rails and such that vandal skateboarders have damaged is troublesome. This does support your argument, however your argument was not refined enough to withstand scrutiny. Your thesis is simply: "Skateboarding should be banned". It does not read "Skateboarding should be banned on city streets", or "skateboarding should be banned on private property", or anything else that would be more specific and logically sound. Your definition, as broad as it is (you may not have intended it to be), would ban me from skateboarding in my own driveway. It would ban me from being able to open a skateboard park where the activity could be enjoyed without much concern at all. Here is an even more exotic example. I take a piece of wood, and put four wheels on it (the apparatus resembles a skateboard, for the most part). I stand on top of it. Should I be fined if the apparatus starts to roll? It's a pretty silly example... However the fact that a silly example is extrapolated from your idea "skateboarding should be banned" means that the idea itself is essentially silly.

Contention 2: Skateboarding is dangerous -> slippery slope -> base jumping ban is justified, so it is not slippery slope

Base jumping and elevator surfing have less injuries than skateboarding, but are illegal. Therefore, skateboarding should be illegal. You are making about as bad a statistical fallacy as any person could hope to make. You have two VERY big problems with this argument:
A) Base jumping and elevator surfing have less deaths than skateboarding. OK, that shouldn't surprise anyone. I bet brushing your teeth has more deaths than these activities as well, because almost NO ONE does them. I haven't ever even heard of elevator surfing before. If you mentioned activities that a sizable amount of people do, like rollerblading, bicycling, skiing, etc., and then compared it to those, you would have a point. In fact, a very good argument would have been to compare deaths of skateboarders to deaths of users of one of those activities, and you would have had a solid point. The fact that you didn't means that you were avoiding something. Since you didn't, allow me:
"700 bicyclists died on US roads in 2007. Over 90 percent died in crashes with motor vehicles (Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute)". "On average 2006 had nearly one person killed per week while skateboarding; a total of 42 skateboarding youth died while recreating. Of these 42 deaths, 40 occurred outside of skateparks." This last one comes from a skateboarding website, which isn't that reputable, but the statistic they used was from the Skaters for Public Skateparks, which is... slightly more reputable :). I googled these and took the very first statistic I found for each; I didn't keep searching to find stats that helped me out. The years aren't exactly the same, but given the vastly larger amount of bicycling injuries, the relevance of that is minimal. So. Bicyclers die more than 15 times as much as skateboarders. Furthermore, the quote includes a reference to skateparks, and how that 42 would have only been two if we only counted skateparks. Even if you hadn't forfeited your second round, it is difficult to believe you could have formulated an argument to defend banning skateboarding in skateparks (which your resolution clearly includes) given only 2 deaths a year.
B) Base jumping and elevator surfing are inherently deadly. Skateboarding is not. If I go skateboarding today, I can enjoy it safely with little to no chance of being hurt. If I go base jumping today, or elevator surfing, there is a huge chance I will be dead. In fact, I would be too scared to try them (that is an incredible understatement). The difference lies in the concept of potential energy. Potential energy of a person on a skateboard ~ 0. Potential energy of a person on top of a building or elevator (the former being the gravitational potential energy, the latter being both from the motor of the elevator and gravity) ~ LOTS OF ENERGY. The only reason anyone gets hurt with the skateboard is because they push it. Much like a hammer is not deadly, but if I go nuts I can kill myself with it. Your logic would be like comparing a hammer to a hand grenade based on some dubious statistic that hammers are involved in more deaths than handgrenades.

Contention 3: Pro: "And if we stand idly by while skateboarders continue to make our roads unsafe, then we have forsaken our greatest belief as Americans." WOW. This kid has a future as a politician :)

Contention 4: Pro: "My opponent's next point regarded an un-cited, opinionated statement claiming that Skateboarding is "generally" a positive activity." Again, WOW. Let me check some peer-reviewed journals, backed with scientific studies, endorsed by at least 2 Nobel prize winners that skateboarding is generally a positive activity. Let's see... It is a form of exercise, in a nation that is becoming more and more morbidly obese every year. It is a source of good, clean fun. It can be abused, of course, but is there a single thing on this planet that can't be abused? It is a great hobby. I personally can't do it, but I really admire those who can. I try to snowboard, and I can't, and I wish I did a lot more skateboarding when I was younger because now I can't even go faster than 2 mph on my snowboard and I spent $500 on snowboarding equipment 3 years ago that hasn't got more than 5 or 6 days of usage since I got them. Asking for citations and calling me opinionated on this matter can only be an act of desperation... "And upon searching for a while, I found out that it is also illegal in most of New York and DC". It would have been nice for you to post your citation here, since you obviously had it right in front of you when you wrote that (while we are on the subject of citations) but I will assume you are 100% correct since a quick Google search indicates there are in fact skateboarding bans active in certain places and we don't have to cut hairs here. Again, a flat ban on skateboarding is ridiculous. Does this ban include skate parks? Does it include your private property? With no reference to your data and no third round to synthesize the information (due to your forfeit) we really can't settle this. Again, I find it ridiculous that a skatepark would be banned from opening up due to your data, since there is no chance for vandalism and little chance for injury. A flat ban would prohibit both skateparks and private property skating which is simply ridiculous.

Contention 5: damage to skateboard manufacturers
"Though banning skating may hurt them a little bit, it's not going to make that much of a difference". Well this is only hypothetical so neither of us is going to produce hard data, but I would not agree that a ban on skateboarding would only hurt skateboard manufacturers "a little bit" just because they can make surf boards or other things.

Contention 6: I concede this contention; not necessary to make my argument.

Contention 7: diversity. Not addressed by Pro at all. Although I will admit it was my weakest point :)

Contention 8: enforcement. Pro addressed this generally (my arguments were kind of silly anyway). I made contentions 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 simply to overwhelm Pro with contentions, and since he at least attempted to make rebuttals to most of them I will concede them.

1) http://www.bhsi.org...
2) http://www.silverfishlongboarding.com... (To see the article, google "skateboarding deaths" and hit the very first link. I couldn't get the final link to work after pasting it).
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by thisisstupid 5 years ago
thisisstupid
watever you can make ur own props
Posted by Rob1Billion 7 years ago
Rob1Billion
didn't even realize you put a limit on the time.
Posted by Ruperttheg 7 years ago
Ruperttheg
Lol! Typo, my bad. I always type the intro really quickly.
Posted by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
"Before I start by refuting Con's contentions I would like to thank him for excepting this debate."
*accepting* lol i couldn't resist ;)
Posted by Rob1Billion 7 years ago
Rob1Billion
my debates are notoriously unpopular... not sure why.
Posted by jorge 7 years ago
jorge
There are lots of ways to have fun without cost. Fun without cost is something that many of us used to have when we were children – times when laughter was easy, we didn't worry about personal loans or what many other people thought. Even going to the movies has become an expensive proposition, but there are ways to have fun without spending money. Card games are always fun, taking a walk, riding a bike, or you could dust off the equipment and start skate boarding again. (You still have one, admit it.) Hey, you can always pull out the old Monopoly game. You don't need a cash advance for entertainment, as you can have http://personalmoneystore.com... fun without cost.
Posted by Ruperttheg 7 years ago
Ruperttheg
Okay. Thank you. I expected to get back earlier.
Posted by Rob1Billion 7 years ago
Rob1Billion
There I will forfeit with you. Go ahead and post the final round.
Posted by Ruperttheg 7 years ago
Ruperttheg
Aww. I was out of town!
Posted by Ruperttheg 7 years ago
Ruperttheg
You like Star Trek though, so I respect you.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
RupertthegRob1BillionTied
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Vote Placed by Ruperttheg 7 years ago
Ruperttheg
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Vote Placed by sherlockmethod 7 years ago
sherlockmethod
RupertthegRob1BillionTied
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Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 7 years ago
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RupertthegRob1BillionTied
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Vote Placed by Rob1Billion 7 years ago
Rob1Billion
RupertthegRob1BillionTied
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