The Instigator
Pro (for)
2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

The U.S. is not prepared for the next terrorist attack which will kill or injure 10 or more people

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/13/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 394 times Debate No: 68276
Debate Rounds (3)
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In in wake of what happened in Paris and similar past events, the U.S. is not prepared to prevent or adequately respond to a similar event on U.S. soil.
"Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn said that Border Patrol officers have told her illegals of 75 different nationalities have been arrested after crossing the Rio Grande."
We do not have adequate border control.
We celebrate in large groups where people can come and go freely. (Boston marathon)
While these where not terrorist
"The ineffectiveness of the standard police patrol pistols and shotguns in penetrating the robbers' body armor led to a trend in the United States (including cities such as Miami) toward arming selected police patrol officers, not just SWAT teams, with heavier firepower such as semi-automatic 5.56 mm AR-15 type rifles. SWAT teams, whose close quarters battle weaponry usually consisted of submachine guns that fired pistol cartridges such as the Heckler & Koch MP5, began supplementing them with AR-15-based assault rifles and carbines."The ineffectiveness of the standard police patrol pistols and shotguns in penetrating the robbers' body armor led to a trend in the United States (including cities such as Miami) toward arming selected police patrol officers, not just SWAT teams, with heavier firepower such as semi-automatic 5.56 mm AR-15 type rifles. SWAT teams, whose close quarters battle weaponry usually consisted of submachine guns that fired pistol cartridges such as the Heckler & Koch MP5, began supplementing them with AR-15-based assault rifles and carbines.


The U.S. is already prepared.

The U.S. has shown time and again its willingness to respond quickly and terribly to acts of war or 'terrorsim' in its territories.
During WW2, the U.S. has largely stayed out of the war until Japan attempted that strategic bombing on Pearl Harbor to dissuade the U.S. from effectively interfering with Japanese conquest. Sadly for the Japanese, this attack was just what the United States needed to justify a war of attrition on Japan. That single strike, a strategic misplay by the Japanese, had the U.S. putting millions of dollars and hoards of troops, fighters, and subs into the Pacific arena along with the dropping of two entire atomic bombs on Japan's city's.
The terrorism act of 9/11 was very similar in that those trying to dominate the middle eastern stage were trying to dissuade the Americans from interfering since the United States really has had a long history of intervention in country after country, conflict after conflict.
Guess what happened? President George Bush easily attained Congress's war declaration and the U.S. The attack on the twin towers was just what the U.S. needed to justify directing trillions into annual war operations. The world trade center was damaged and a number of people died, but that is nothing compared to the terrible retribution the U.S. visited onto the Middle Eastern radicals.
The U.S. is already prepared. No sane terrorist strategist would attack American soil because every single act of terror on American soil meant thousandfold comeuppance from the largest military power in the world. The United States far outspends all other nations in terms of military, even a country that is mostly military such as North Korea has spent less than the United States. Think about that.

What is prepared to you?

Howd do we know when we are prepared enough? Military gear is expensive, and we don't have either the support or the funds to pay for military level protection in all areas of the United States. We've already spent trillions on the military. We're in a debt of about 20 trillion dollars. When does preparedness outstrip practical application of preparedness? I think based on your standard on comparing our SWAT gear with military gear, the U.S. can never be prepared enough. There will always be some part of the United States that is vulnerable to attack. That's why I say that we are as prepared as we can probably be.

Debate Round No. 1


The examples you gave are reactions to events, which is not "prepared" and forward thinking. Most of our schools have no better security and are still easily accessed. After 9/11 they decided to reinforce cockpits, added security etc. things Israel had been doing since the 70's. Recall the Olympic park bombing in Atlanta and yet what measures (reactions) came from that? I would say none, hence the Boston marathon. How many sleeper cells have entered the U.S. through our southern border? What have we done to stop this? These people are ready and willing to die in order to kill us too, bombing is a set back at best not a deterrent. Why where (and probably in most places still are) the police so horribly unprepared? Are the police receiving updated and better training for such possible events? I would say no as not a single source has report such. However I will admit that Texas (I believe) is arming their teachers with guns that fire non lethal bullets. If that was country wide that would be prepared based on a reaction, however that is not the case. Even recently the news are reports of new ways terrorist may get bomb making materials onto planes without detection. Does anyone think they weren't already trying years ago? After the Oklahoma bombing, barriers were placed by Federal buildings to prevent a similar event, but not schools and hospitals. Why? Do you call that prepared? Has the cabin access to planes been re-evaluated? If we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.


The U.S. is already prepared
The reactionary events aren't the preparation. They are what creates the preparation. The United States has a shield that deters attacks that says: "If you attack us, we are going to either continue attacking or start attacking you back, and we will do so with hundredfold vengeance."
My point is that the U.S. has that shield. I think teh intervention history of the United States is a preparatory shield of its own.

What is prepared?
So your first complaint about preparedness is that the SWAT and police equipment is worse than those of threatening attackers and some terrorists. Based on this, teachers getting armed with handguns and stuff like that won't do anything for preparedness. If the SWAT and police equipment is worse, then the handguns are definitely useless. Based on your first example, to be prepared every 'responsible adult' should carry military grade weapons. That's impossible.
And handguns are useless because handguns are worse than SWAT and police stuff. SWAT and police stuff in turn are worse than military grade and terrorist stuff, based on what you said in the first place.

We can't possibly 'prepare' every single vulnerable part of the U.S.
How many buildings do we have in the U.S.? My guess is that we have millions. There is about 10 million kilometers of land in the U.S. with people spread all over it. We literally do not have the resources or capital to fund 'preparing' every spot or even every facet of populated areas. Our economy would collapse. Congress will not pass such a stupid bill.
We are as prepared as we can get.

So basically, the handgun suggestion doesn't make sense since the problem you were talking about is that of lacking weapon technology of SWAT and police when compared to that of military & terrorists.
The U.S. already has a layter of preparation and I think it is enough.
Plus, it's impossible to really be prepared.
Debate Round No. 2


You are correct in that we can't possibly prepare for every eventuality. That much is true. Despite all the strict laws of California the bank robbery still happened and the police were not prepared for it. In light of that event what has changed to prepare law enforcement should something similar happen again? I would very little if anything at all. We are prepared against another country attacking us, but I am specifically talking about individuals or small groups. Placing concrete barriers for security would be a local expense, one I'm sure most tax payers would gladly pay. The cost would not be that great. But these measures have not been offered, proposed or discussed.
What would be the response time to an event like California? Are they better prepared? I would say no, as I have not seen or heard evidence from any states to indicated and preparedness. I have not seen any real evidence of being proactive for when (not if) the event (whatever it may be) happens. I would love to be wrong but given what our leaders have and have not done I don't believe I am wrong, sadly.


In the wake of Paris shootings

The opening of the discussion asked me to consider our preparations in the wake of Paris shootings and similar past events, namely terrorist attacks.
I'm glad you agree with me on that we have some preparation against assaults from terrorist attacks.

Adequate Preparations

If the ability to prevent any and all civil attacks is what you mean by adequate perparations, then we can never have adequate preparations.
Banks get robbed, stores get held up, these things happen. We have the police force for a reason, but there's no way the police stationed at every locale. That's impossible. And since we're talking about preparation as in weaponry preparation, if the SWAT and police guns aren't effective, why should we arm every civilian with even less effective guns?
I think putting up concrete is nice and all, but I really don't know how that helps. We could sit around making random suggestions of defence that might or might not work, but in the end, security is probably as good as its going to get. We have bank vaults for a reason. Let the people know the ins and outs of security measures propose and place the security measures. People like me and you are not equipped with enough knowledge to delve into such a thing. We aren't security architects or anything.

I think there's no way to prepare for preparing for 'if' an even happens. Every situation is different, but we do have police, fire departments and hospitals. We also have the civilians, alarms, cameras and security to call these forces into action. I think that the versatility that this provides is much more practical than building concrete walls everywhere.

I also think that if someone really wants to hurt someone else, nothing can really stop them. Right this very instant, I am very much capable of walking up to my neighbors, greet her and then stab her. I have no reason to do so nor do I want to do so. I would probably get caught too, but I could do it and there's nothing to stop me. Same goes for every single one of us. Perfect defense would mean having everyone walking around in sheets of steel prepared for all eventualities. That's impossible.

What we have is practical, versatile and as good as it gets.
Every single case of a standing force reacting to civil situations such as the arrival of police, medics and whatnot is real evidence of proactive response to such occurrences, is it not?

I've successfully argued that the U.S. is prepared for terrorist attacks by nature of its military policies and history. I think I also sucessfully argued that the preparation we have is enough.

THanks for the debate and thanks to the readers for reading!
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bsh1 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: I think both debaters raised good arguments. I buy Con's argument that the U.S. is as prepared as it is reasonably going to be able to get, and I think that this is sufficient to negate the topic. Args to Con. But, as the only one to provide sources, I am awarding those points to Pro.