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# The News Media Is Biased Against the Positive Aspects of Gun Ownership

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 Started: 9/12/2011 Category: Politics Updated: 2 years ago Status: Voting Period Viewed: 2,675 times Debate No: 18315
Debate Rounds (4)

19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 11 through 19 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
Bluesteel, I think you are on to something in saying that I use prior knowledge in judging debates. I was ready to give you the debate after the first round, because your opponent had not provided statistics. When statistics are presented, I think it takes knowledge to know how to interpret them. I have a degree in statistics and I'm very familiar with Lott's work. You are correct that the average reader is not going to have that as a basis for judging the debate. I think that enables better sorting out of valid and invalid arguments.

Let me use a recurring debate topic as an example. Resolved, "0.9999.... = 1" It is. The proof is that x = .999 ...; 10x = 9.999 ...; 9x = 9; x = 1. But wait, is that a valid proof? Many people who have studied math know that it is a valid proof. Ar those who know how math works allowed to bring that knowledge to the debate, or must they judge the debate supposing that they have no idea of what is good proof and what is not? I think debate is about knowing and recognizing what is true.

Another example is the use of complicated formal logical arguments. Should a judge pretend not to know what is valid and what is invalid? I say not.

The debater's job is present the correct argument. If he doesn't do that, he loses. However, if he does present the correct argument, it is the judges job to recognize it. It may be buried among other things, but the correct argument is made and it is not refuted adequately, then it should be given the point.
Posted by DoctorZhiva90 2 years ago
Definitely a good first debate, and honestly the reason I didn't address a lot of bluesteel's arguments was due to the character limit. I pretty much got hung up on a couple of the points and tried to address them in depth while neglecting the other ones and not providing specifics. Plus, it was the closing round so I wasn't able to cite specific evidence on some of those points I made. One final note: I was motivated to start this whole topic after reading Lott's book, specifically the Appalachian Law School part. That's most likely why I ended up wasting my whole R2, since I was so attached to that one issue. But oh well, good debate and we'll have to see what the voters say.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
Debating you would have been interesting though.

I don't get your argument; you claim this isn't a debate about intentional bias, but the word bias implies something intentional, not accidental. In surveys, as you're saying, people rate plane crashes, hurricanes and tornadoes as FAR MORE LIKELY to kill them than more mundane things, like disease, because the prior are reported on more. But no one would claim the media is biased against planes, or natural disasters. If the topic were "the media biases people" rather than "the media is biased," then yeah, I would have lost this debate, as you're suggesting.

Honestly Roy, I really don't think the gun crimes vs. DGU thing is intentionally done by the media. The media is biased against guns - my opponent should have cited the Lott studies about Op Ed and informational pieces in Newsweek, Time, etc that argue more against guns than for. Those are much more compelling examples to me. The DGU vs. gun crime thing is just sensationalism, not intentional bias. It does bias people, but that's not the topic. And the media likely is biased against guns, but nothing presented by my opponent truly convinced me of that, although I am convinced of it now after reading some of his sources in more depth. He just unfortunately did not present the most compelling case based on that evidence.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
In the two examples that Hemenway cited, the guns weren't even used against bad guys, but against two people talking outside a car and an inquiring acquaintance, respectively. I don't think gangs shooting at each other "defensively" should be counted either. It is perfectly legitimate for me to question the base rate in Lott's study for both gun crimes and DGU's, which is missing, and my opponent never defended against this argument.

I'm glad I did this debate; I didn't know that there was such extensive evidence from Lott, but now I do, which is useful not just for my own opinion on the matter but for future debates.

I appreciate that you call me a good debater, but having come from a debate background and having been a debate coach, I can usually tell when a debate was close or not, based on my opponent's abilities and what arguments were dropped. I knew I lost my debate to Maikuru long before it finished, for example.

I think the trouble with you, as a judge, is you hold me to the standard of convincing YOU, including your prior knowledge. I'm sure if I debated you, this debate would have been very problematic for me. But I didn't. And that's the weird thing. Every argument you make why you were unconvinced was an argument my opponent never made and didn't respond to. I dunno, most judges would say they appreciate the technical ability of questioning the base rate of gun crimes vs. DGU's and using the Hemenway study to refute the Kleck study, but instead you just say you were unconvinced because of an argument that you have about DGU's and hostile gun displays. I think if you suspend your own beliefs on the issue and don't give my opponent credit for things he didn't argue, you'd reach a different conclusion.

You did this to me once before, on a debate about the War in Afghanistan, where you voted for a 13 year old over me. fml

anyway, I'll let other voters decide. I suppose you could be right, but I doubt it.
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
One feature good debaters share is the belief that they have never ever lost a debate.

Lott's article was cited, and it contained the necessary evidence supporting most of Pro's claims of bias, but not a rebuttal to the argument against Kleck.

The "hostile display of a gun" argument was unconvincing. If a bad guy runs away upon witnessing a "hostile display" of a gun, that counts as defensive use in my book. Marshall Dillon rarely had to actually shoot someone, ya know. Consequently, while Kleck may or may not have overstated the numbers, the objection presented to Kleck was not convincing on the face of it.

Consider: Is there a bias in the news media for reporting stories about rescuing animals? I'd say they are clearly over reported, and the reason is that it is natural to do so. No one cares about that bias, because there is no contrary viewpoint claiming that animals are rarely as stupid as portrayed. Similarly, planes crashes are featured a lot more than car wrecks. That's natural well, because the news media like sensationalism. Doing so makes people irrationally frightened of air travel whether it's natural or not.

I think the media bias against guns is a product of reporters being liberals at about the 90% level, but whether it is deliberate or not was not the subject of the debate.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
lol, withstood endless attacks? I love you roy, but you can be a really biased judge. It seems all my opponent had to do was mention Lott's name to win your vote. If DGU's are uncommon, reporting them less is natural. I'm sure there are defenses of Kleck's methodology but none was offered here.
Posted by DoctorZhiva90 2 years ago
Will do F-16. And also, a note for the voters on this debate: in round 2, in the part about the OKC bombing and all, I meant Jeffrey Dahmer even though I put only Jeffrey.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 2 years ago
This is an interesting debate that I'm going to keep track of. Debaters: feel free to PM me if I forget to vote on this.
Posted by DoctorZhiva90 2 years ago
Just a note to bluesteel, but due to time conflicts I will not be able to post my third round argument today. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, as I'm sure you appreciated the quick-replying nature of the debate as much as I did. That being said, I will be sure to get it up sometime tomorrow, and we will be able to continue our debate then.
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