The Instigator
warren42
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
TBR
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points

Snipers are cowards

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
warren42
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,295 times Debate No: 68898
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (52)
Votes (5)

 

warren42

Con

This debate was inspired by director Michael Moore's tweet calling snipers cowards who will shoot you in the back.
*Note, the "shoot you in the back" part is not a part of the resolution, but rather used to provide some more context. The full resolution is "Snipers are cowards."*

http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

Round 1: Acceptance (and any definitions Pro would like to make)
*If Pro wishes to start arguments here, push each other round forward one and for the final round put something to the effect of "Left blank as agreed upon"*
Round 2: Contructives
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Conclusions
No new arguments in the final round!

No trolling. Only accept if you actually want to debate this topic.
TBR

Pro

Thank-you for opening this debate to me.

definitions

standoff weapon
A weapon which may be launched at a distance sufficient to allow attacking personnel to evade defensive fire from the target area.


coward
noun
      1. a person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things

adjective


      1. literary
        excessively afraid of danger or pain.
Debate Round No. 1
warren42

Con

Thanks to TBR for accepting this controversial topic. I will prove my position that snipers are not cowards through the following three points.

1. When deployed, snipers are still in a war zone.
2. Snipers are often made targets.
3. Snipers suffer more outside of combat.

1. When deployed, snipers are still in a war zone. This is pretty obvious. War zones are chaotic, unpredictable environments, and snipers aren't necessarily safe in such situations just because they use long-range weapons. Circumstances are unpredictable, and the fact that they would put themselves in such a high-risk situation proves that they aren't "lacing courage to do dangerous or unpleasant things." Go to 2:50 in the attached video, snipers don't have long after making a shot before the enemy hones in on their position. [1]

2. Snipers are often made targets. Snipers are extremely lethal, as about 70% of sniper targets are killed. [2] It makes sense, then, that snipers are made targets by the enemy. For example, if you start at 4:20 on the video [1] you will see Chris Kyle tell Conan that the Iraqi insurgents put a $20,000 reward on the head of all American snipers. When you've got a $20,000 reward offered for your death, but keep fighting, again this disproves that snipers lack courage to do dangerous things.

3. Snipers suffer more outside of combat. Snipers obviously use long range rifles with powerful scopes so that they can accurately aim at their target. This also means that snipers can watch as their bullet kills the enemy soldier, up close and personal. Snipers oftentimes were unable to dehumanize their enemies like common foot soldiers did, calling them humans rather than targets. [3] It's harder to feel justified killing a human than a target.

Short and sweet. Snipers go through both dangerous and uncomfortable situations, and therefore are not cowards. Thank you.

[1] http://totalfratmove.com...
[2] http://www.captainsjournal.com...
[3] http://www.bbc.com...
TBR

Pro

"Zaphod did not want to tangle with them and, deciding that just as discretion is the better part of valor, so was cowardice is the better part of discretion, he valiantly hid himself in a closet." R13; Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything

I start with this quote for several reasons. Zaphod, as a character in the classic Douglas Adams novel"s, exhibits bravery and cowardice throughout. He is neither always one nor the other. Also, cowardice, while undeniably a negative term, is not necessarily always a poor choice given a situation.

Any individual that voluntary goes to war can be described as brave. They are moving closer to danger, enduring "dangerous or unpleasant things". However, every action they take may not be brave, many may be acts of cowardice, and may be a good choice.

The story of war post World War II is primarily a story of asymmetrical war. The western world possessing technical and tactical superiority, with the United States undeniably the leader. We deploy to battlefields with monstrous advantages over almost any foe. The response to our superiorities is unconventional tactics and weapons. IED are a current example.

IED are often described as cowardly[1][2][3][4], and I agree. Often the weapon is triggered by a combatant some distance from the device with enough visibility of the situation to know when best to detonate the device. The IED as I have described, I find disturbing close to the action of the sniper. Each can be said to be not a "fair fight", or just not cricket.

"The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy." - Sun Tzu. Let"s stare down the scope of the snipers rifle, or the binoculars of the combatant holding the trigger for an IED. Each has attempted to remove himself as best as possible from danger, he has done this to lay in wait. The only way for his tactical advantage to be useful is to remain as far away, and as unseen as possible. The enemy, his target, may be involved in almost any activity when they move within range of his weapon. He may be preparing to attack my fellow men, or eating a cheeseburger. He is my enemy, and any attempt to discuss morality of killing someone eating a cheeseburger is folly in something as generally horrific as war. If I identify him as an enemy, killing him is part of my job description. It may not be a "fair fight" but war is hell and sometimes cowardly. The enemy has no chance to defend himself, or even know the attack is coming. Lacking the courage to endure the danger of what might be described as a "fair fight" is smart and cowardly.

"The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else." R13; Umberto Eco. It is natural and smart to remove yourself from danger " even in war. It is human to fear danger and pain.

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
[2] http://www.breitbart.com...
[3] http://rationalselfdefense.com...
[4] http://blog.al.com...
Debate Round No. 2
warren42

Con

Again thanks to Pro for accepting the debate.

Now for my rebuttals.

I'll be dividing my opponent's case into major ideas in order to try to organize my responses.

1. Comparison to use of IEDs.
My opponent, throughout his case, references this concept many times. I'll have three major responses.
- IEDs are a guerrilla tactic. This response isn't really specific, but a response to the comparison in general. IEDs are a hit-and-run tactic, meant to cause chaos and inflict a large amount of damage in a fraction of a second. If you refer back to my constructive, you will see how I said "snipers don't have long after making a shot before an enemy hones in on their position." with an IED, detonation is wireless [1], and the user can be anywhere within a certain radius of the IED. In fact, they can even be an automatic detonation, via trip wire, pressure plate, etc. [1] Sniper fire, meanwhile, is more precise, and it is easy to locate the approximate area from which the shot was fired. Snipers usually also have more of a precise, selected target endangering the unit the sniper is tasked with protecting, or an enemy preventing infiltration. The two are completely different in nature.
-Snipers are put into greater danger. As I just stated, IED detonations can be triggered remotely or automatically, meaning the user isn't easily located. Sniper fire, meanwhile is easier to trace back to a source, and once the source is found, the sniper is in extreme danger (in essence my second point.)
- Snipers view their target up close and personal. Again refer to my constructive. I proved that snipers are described as having personal, even intimate contact with their targets due to the nature of the weapon. They see the horror they cause once they take the shot. Now the Pro could argue an IED user could experience the same thing through their binoculars, but I'd say an IED user is more likely to hit the button and run, whereas a sniper must defend their position. On top of that, again, IEDs can be triggered automatically, so in some cases, the IEDs aren't even being watched by a user. Snipers are more likely to watch their targets die up-close, which is an extremely "unpleasant thing."

2. Long-range weaponry.
To this concept I will have two major responses.
-This debate is not comparing snipers to infantry. My opponent argues that removing oneself from close-quarters combat would make an individual more cowardly than other soldiers, however I'd first like to point out that we aren't debating whether snipers are more or less cowardly than their infantry comrades, but rather whether they are or are not cowards. My opponent essentially already conceded the debate by saying "Any individual that voluntary goes to war can be described as brave." As snipers voluntarily go to war, they can then be described as brave. Brave is an antonym of cowardly[2], so snipers are therefore not cowards, and the resolution has already been negated.
-Sniper rifles do not make snipers cowards. This claim made by my opponent is essentially contrary to my entire constructive, in which I proved that just because a sniper isn't in close quarter with his target doesn't mean he is a coward. Cross-apply all three of my points.

Thank you!

And sorry for using "lacing" in my constructive's first point. I meant "lacking."

[1] http://www.britannica.com...
[2] http://www.thesaurus.com...
TBR

Pro

I rebut my opponent’s points not without empathy for the individual sniper. Before addressing each, I would like to reiterate a point I have made. Cowardice is not consistent state, neither is bravery. Actions within a war or battle can be brave or cowardly. One minuet a coward may behave bravely, or the brave man behave as a coward. These are human reactions, often smart and understandable.

1) When deployed, snipers are still in a war zone.
The bulk of section 1 of my opponent’s argument is not denied. War is a chaotic dangerous place. Snipers, like any other combatants is not safe at all times. That, however, doesn’t change the fact that cowardice exists in a war zone, or that a sniper operates from relative safety when working.

The second point, which is after firing a sniper becomes vulnerable to detection and must move. Why must he move? He must move from increased danger to safety again. It’s smart to move, I don’t ask that he stay to prove bravery, but say it’s not bravery either.

2) Snipers are often made targets.
In a warzone, every combatant is a target. If the enemy puts a “bounty” on the head of sniper, or every helicopters downed, that may provide incentive for additional bravery on behalf of the enemy, but also proves that the sniper or helicopter are difficult to kill because of their relative operational safety.

3) Snipers suffer more outside of combat.
On first read of this point, I couldn’t make any connection with it to the subject at hand. As I read it fresh today, I think I understand better what my opponent is saying.

Let me start with my initial confusion on this point. I have no doubt that snipers suffer from watching unsuspecting victims fall through their long-range scope. Killing is a terrible thing. In a fury battle a regular infantryman may not even know it was his shot that hit an enemy. There can be little doubt with the sniper.

How this aligns with bravery or cowards at first eluded me. Now I see it more as my point. A sniper killing at distance, seeing his kill from distance, is cowardly. He knows that he is NOT in danger from his victim. That he sees the grizzly results may affect his mental health more, a byproduct of killing people who have no knowledge they are about to die.


I will save most of my praise of my opponent for the summary round, but I can’t help but offer that this has been the best debate today for me on this site and I look forward to the conclusion round.


Debate Round No. 3
warren42

Con

To start off, thank you to Pro for a great debate.

Now for my conclusion. I will provide three key voting issues as to why the voters should go Con.

1. Snipers endure danger.

As proven in my constructive and agreed to by Pro, snipers are placed in an unstable warzone. The situations are unpredictable and snipers may be in danger at any moment. After they take a shot, they are targeted almost instantaneously, and therefore endure a dangerous situation. Though Pro brings up how the snipers are removed from the situation, as soon as their bullet leaves their rifle, the enemy knows exactly where the sniper is hidden, and a $20,000 incentive is put for the enemy to kill that sniper. the sniper is put into danger.

2. Snipers endure unpleasantries.

I'd like to refute my opponent's claim that my third point flows to his side of the debate. Watching your enemy die, up close, without any doubt that it was in fact you bullet that ended his or her life, is without a doubt unpleasant, as the inherent mental health effects conceded by Pro in the previous round. All of these are unpleasant.

3. IEDs are dissimilar.

As proven in the previous round, IEDs are too different from snipers due to the fact that IED users utilize more of a hit-and-run tactic, and some IEDs are automatically detonated. They are different, and shouldn't be considered similar enough to compare.

Additionally, consider the fact that Pro admitted that anyone who goes to war voluntarily can be described as brave. We aren't comparing snipers' bravery to that of their comrades. We are merely debating whether they themselves are brave.

The resolution has been negated. Thank you again to my opponent for an excellent debate, and to the voters for their time.
TBR

Pro

First, I truly thank con for opening the debate.

I have been sitting on this conclusion for some time now. Rethinking, questioning. The entire debate made me rework points I wanted to included, jettisoning what was overly argumentative, or inflammatory. This happens with subjects that are perceived as insulting. Charging people as "cowards" sure seems insulting.

The main points discussed have to do with anyone attempting to remove themselves as completely from danger as possible. I have stated that is behavior is very natural. It is understandable. It is also cowardly. An attempt to kill another person without risking one"s own life. Putting oneself in the most removed position possible and killing without any ability for my foe to defend.

IEDs are a good example of this, a good parallel with snipers. We feel comfortable calling the use "cowardly" with good reason. It is cowardly. From the perspective of the force using the tactic, it is understandable, wise, and cowardly too. That some IEDs are triggered by other means is not entirely relevant. Others, most, are very similar to the tactic of the sniper.

Cowardice is based on actions and behavior. It has a nasty feel to call someone a coward. It"s hard to argue this point knowing people reading might have served, and feel personally insulted. My effort is not to insult. My position is, cowardice as defined is a natural action. War is no game. Taking a life, or losing your own. If saving one"s life included cowardly behavior, then be a coward.
Debate Round No. 4
52 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
Warren42 - Always a gentlemen.
Posted by warren42 2 years ago
warren42
Plus I see no reason for either of us to win conduct, it was a very civil debate without forfeit on either side. Anyone reading this please report oldeskoolgamer's vote, as there's no logical reasoning for me to win S&G or conduct, and he gave no legitimate RFD.
Posted by warren42 2 years ago
warren42
TBR I'm gonna report it as a vote bomb because his RFD was bad and S&G should either be a tie or go to you. It's a biased vote. I urge you to do the same because I'd rather lose than win with votes such as that one.
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
Well, see. Now I am conflicted. oldeskoolgamer votes with only this "better all around" giving all points to con".
Posted by LittleGnomeChomsky 2 years ago
LittleGnomeChomsky
Snipers like Chris Kyle who spend extended amounts of time in the field use diapers to avoid revealing their position. Many adults in society are forced to use diapers for medical reasons, these people are often mocked for it and experience lowered self esteem. Undoubtedly, some of these people come from the service and were perhaps injured in the line of 'duty'. If diaper snipers are so courageous why don't they stand up for their fellow adult diaper users back home?
Posted by MitchV 2 years ago
MitchV
Every position has it's inherited risk. For a sniper to be effective, he must hold a position as long as possible even if he is detected. This is because moving to another location would loose the tactical advantage for that location, i.e., a bell tower. Other locations a sniper takes are less concealed, such as in an open field. This makes changing locations more risky as it would be more visible. If their position is compromised and the enemy is too close, the sniper bolt action is far slower than a the standard full auto machine guns they will be facing. Seeing that here tends to be only two, sniper and spotter, their odds of survival fall quickly.
On a personal note; My father was aboard an aircraft carrier in WWII. Though his ship would be protected by many other ships, this was only because a carrier is always the prime target.
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
1) Thanks
2) "but I also didn't understand why he called me a coward for "hiding behind snipers.". I scratched my head at that a bit too.

As I said in a private with lannan13, generally getting me to care about a point system is tough work. However, I am starting to like the site enough that I may care at some point. I don't want people avoiding my debates because of some low ranking, or not being able to accept debates, or whatever.

Regardless, I like the voting concept. If there are politically bent votes, I could ignore or not care. Attach points, and win/loss stats, it starts to have meaning outside the debate.
Posted by warren42 2 years ago
warren42
TBR same to you. Great job.
The only point I didn't understand from MettaWorldPeace was conduct, but I also didn't understand why he called me a coward for "hiding behind snipers."

And if that's the case I think DDO needs to resolve that issue. I think they should revoke votes from voting-period debates because of the stuff you said about spam voters.
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
@Warren42. I have messaged with lannan13. No problem. Its frustrating for a number of reasons. If you had a chance to see it, I don't believe it was political voting only, but... well its gone, and I'm not that concerned.

The other part, that suspending the account deletes the vote is not true. I had a voter spam my debates, get axed, and the votes remained.

@Warren42 - it was a good debate. The vote count is not going to hurt me regardless. I honestly look forward to more debates with you.
Posted by warren42 2 years ago
warren42
TBR votes can be reported if poor reasoning is given for them, etc. lannan13 said he reported the other vote. But I checked on the guy's account and it had been closed so I think that's why it got removed not because of the reporting. I assume if you close your account it removes votes you have on "voting period" debates.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Mariodude34500 2 years ago
Mariodude34500
warren42TBRTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con used better sources and pro shot himself in the foot with the IED comparison. Very good debate overall credit to both pro and con
Vote Placed by NoMagic 2 years ago
NoMagic
warren42TBRTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm not even sure what a coward is. If I flee a battle I'm certain to lose, is that cowardly or smart. When an military force is in retreat, is that cowardly or a smart tactical move? I think Pro's argument that IED's are similar to snipers is a valid point. However, I don't consider an IED to be cowardly. It is a tactical move. "how can I attack my foe most effectively?" In the end, I wasn't convinced that a sniper is a coward from Pro's arguments. Con has a tactical advantage in this argument. He didn't have to make a case that snipers are brave. Con had a much easier path to the debate win then Pro. Con only had to make a case that snipers aren't cowards. He made that. This doesn't mean they are brave though. It only means they aren't cowards. Argument to Con. Well argued by Pro though. He had a much harder position than Con.
Vote Placed by 2001bhu 2 years ago
2001bhu
warren42TBRTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: even
Vote Placed by Jingle_Bombs 2 years ago
Jingle_Bombs
warren42TBRTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con proves that snipers are put into war zones and that they volunteer to serve. Pro admits that "war is no game." Snipers therefore do not meet the definition of a coward "a person lacking the courage to do or endure unpleasant things." However, Con is wrong to believe that snipers are not hit and run experts. A better argument could be made in a different debate that "sniping tactics" are cowardly. Though Pro did try arguing that, he made the mistake of acknowledging that snipers were still targetable on the battlefield.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
warren42TBRTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.