The Instigator
heyitsjay
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Charlie_Danger
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points

vigilantism is justified when the government fails to enforce the law

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Charlie_Danger
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/2/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,960 times Debate No: 7997
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (2)

 

heyitsjay

Con

To clarify any concerns about the following debate, here are the instructions/rules:
-must be in LD (Lincoln-Douglas formatting)
-no use of personal attacks
-no debating in the commenting box (many people do intend to do that and it gets really out of hand)
-well, and to simply have a fun and exciting debate, good luck to my opponent

Now, I will proceed with my opening statement....

I will be presenting the side CON, which is against the justification of vigilantism when the government fails to enforce the law. The main subject we are discussing is vigilantism. The term vigilantism refers to someone who is a "vigilante".

vigilante: someone outside law enforcement who takes the law into their own hands.

A vigilante is an ordinary civilian who attains the idea that they will enforce the law. This person might have taken this path for various reasons that usually include revenge, passion, or compulsion. Regardless for why they are doing it, they have absolutely no jurisdiction, code, rules, or any restrictions to follow. As for a police officer, they have a jurisdiction and code to follow and enforce the law by any means necessary. For what ever they might do, they are authorized to do it, for they are trained and knowledgeable of the law. Vigilantes are not authorized and, chances are, not aware of the dangers it can cause.

My main point here is trust. Can we trust a vigilante? By the definition of a vigilante, no we cannot. A person who is a vigilante can cause good and yet they can cause havoc. Therefore, their intentions are unpredictable. That makes it dangerous for the community since vigilantes cannot be trusted.

I will provide more evidence in the second round....
Now, my opponent will proceed with his opening statement for why he is PRO....
Charlie_Danger

Pro

I accept the rules and thank my opponent for this debate opportunity.
I don't know if you want me to refute your "Opening arguments" since LD goes AC, 1NR, 1AR, 2NR, 2AR.
Would you mind if I just presented my case and then let you present yours (officially) in the next speech? I don't care if it means copy/pasting, I just wanna follow the rules.

Apparently my case I was going to use at State has been deleted, so I guess I'll be running an Ed-Style case.

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

I offer the following definitions:
Vigilantism: the act of a citizen who takes the law into his or her own hands by aprehending and punishing suspected criminals
Justified: to prove or show to be just, right or reasonable
Government: the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit that exercises authority and performs functions and which is ussually clasified by the distribution of power within it
Enforce: to carry out effectively
The Law: a systemic collection of principles based on the predictable consequences of an act, condition, etc.
Crime: an unlawful activity that breaks social norms and results in the harm of another actor in society

Observation 1: The resolution states that vigilantism is justified ONLY when the government has failed to enforce the law. This means that we are discussing vigilantism in the exact case of law enforcement. Furthermore, the resolution poses the clause "the law" which means that we are only debating on law as a whole, not any specific instance or law.

Observation 2: Because the negative represents the status quo, it is the negative's burden to prove that the affirmation of the resolution will result in decreasing the welfare of the society, therefore the affirmative simply needs to prove that the chance of vigilantism's justification increasing society is beyond that of 50%.

I propose the following framework to measure the round fairly.
The value is social welfare. This is anything and everything that is overall benificial to the society and its citizens. This includes, but is not limited to, human rights, social productivity, balance of power and human dignity.
The criterion is popular soveregnty. This is the set of values that society has generally accepted. Also, the belief that the legitimacy of the state is created by the will or consent of its people who are the source of all political power. The value and criterion collaborate because every society wants social welfare. We must accept this V/C because anything that the negative can possibly propose falls under social welfare, thus acheiveing less than we could.

Contention 1: "Vigilantism's means are just, therefore we must justify its ends"
Vigilantism as at its core was created to prevent crime, which is aimed to improve the welfare of the society. This also upholds to popular sovereignty as clarified by social contract theory. John Locke and Tomas Hobbes explain that the lowest form of living that humans can reach is a "state of nature". Hobbes expands on this in "Leviathan": "...during the time when men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man..." In this state any person has the natural right to do anything to preserve his or her own liberty and safety, and life is "...solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." John Locke considers progression from this "state of nature" in his "Second Treatise on Civil Government". "The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it...", and that law is reason. Locke believes that reason teaches that "...no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possesions"; and that transgressions of this may be punished. He also describes how societies are formed which is by the people uniting to form a government in order to protect themselves from this anarchic "state of nature". Since crime is an unlawful activity that harms another citizen, it is an attack against the welfare and sovereignty of the society to commit a crime. By contrast, an act that prevents crime is inherently good as it upholds to all of these values. At this point, we can see two uniqe impacts:
1) Affirming upholds to popular soveriegnty and the most values improving the society through the ability to prevent crime,
2) Negating leads citizens toward an anarchic state of nature fraught with crime due to its lack of civil protection

Contention 2: "Vigilantism is a governmental fail-safe"
As we can determine from the evidence presented in my first contention, this state of nature is bad. So obviously, we want to achieve the highest level of civilized society as possible because it allows for the greatest safety and comfortability of its citizens as opposed to the lowest. When interpreting the resolution as we have, we can see that the status quo is in a state of nature because law is not being enforced effectively or even at all. In this resolutional situation, people are at war with everyone to protect themselves and their property, because there is nothing there to protect them. If we affirm, then vigilante's are allowed to protect citizens and citizens are allowed to protect themselves. From this we see another set of impacts:
1) Affirming places a group of civil protectors in place to preven random acts of vilence and crime otherwise committed,
2) Negating leaves all citizens in a state of nature,
3) Affirming better protects its citizens, even if a vigilante acts out of proportion.

It is for these reasons I encourage an affirmative ballot.
Debate Round No. 1
heyitsjay

Con

(I copied and pasted) I really thank my opponent for accepting this debate....

Now, I will proceed with my opening statement....

I will be presenting the side CON, which is against the justification of vigilantism when the government fails to enforce the law. The main subject we are discussing is vigilantism. The term vigilantism refers to someone who is a "vigilante".

vigilante: someone outside law enforcement who takes the law into their own hands.

A vigilante is an ordinary civilian who attains the idea that they will enforce the law. This person might have taken this path for various reasons that usually include revenge, passion, or compulsion. Regardless for why they are doing it, they have absolutely no jurisdiction, code, rules, or any restrictions to follow. As for a police officer, they have a jurisdiction and code to follow and enforce the law by any means necessary. For what ever they might do, they are authorized to do it, for they are trained and knowledgeable of the law. Vigilantes are not authorized and, chances are, not aware of the dangers it can cause.

My main point here is trust. Can we trust a vigilante? By the definition of a vigilante, no we cannot. A person who is a vigilante can cause good and yet they can cause havoc. Therefore, their intentions are unpredictable. That makes it dangerous for the community since vigilantes cannot be trusted.

I will proceed with contentions and observations with more specific detail as well as my resolution and conclusion in the third round......
Charlie_Danger

Pro

Okay, this should be fun.

First, on the Affirmative side:

EXTEND EVERY SINGLE ARGUMENT I HAVE MADE
My opponent has dropped all of my arguments and since we ARE debating LD, you flow these all through. This means that you MUST vote affirmative at this point because it is against the rules for him to argue my points after dropping them.

It is the negative's burden simply to prove the affirmative's case wrong. He can no longer do this.
I always try to give some lenience and tell my opponent how they can win at this point, but quite frankly, they can't. (Since we agreed for LD debate rules)

I have great consideration to just drop what I think were negative points, but I will TRY and attack what he has said so far. PLEASE NOTE: THE NEGATIVE IS NOT PERMITTED TO MAKE ANY NEW ARGUMENTS AND/OR EXPAND HIS CONTENTIONS IN HIS LAST SPEECH.

He starts off with: "This person [vigilante] might have taken this path for various reasons that usually include revenge, passion, or compulsion. Regardless for why they are doing it, they have absolutely no jurisdiction, code, rules, or any restrictions to follow..."
You reject his first "point" for three reasons:
1) All vigilantes will follow a code. The same code every one of us follows, our moral guidelines. It is unfair and untrue to state that a vigilante acts randomly or without morals
2) Even if you didn't believe that, the definition that MY OPPONENT PROVIDED states a vigilante takes a law into there own hands. This means that vigilantes are ONLY vigilantes when the are enforcing a law, which is a guideline that was already set up in society. Furthermore, a vigilante, by definition, is no different then a police officer, since they follow the same guidelines.
3) If a person IS hurt, or abused or whatever my opponent implies in his first point, vigilantes are no more responsible for it than a police officer is when he (or she) hurts a person when arresting them. A human being is a human being, guidelines don't ever physically stop you from doing something. This alone removes the ground from the negative.

His "main point" is "trust": "Can we trust a vigilante? By the definition of a vigilante, no we cannot. A person who is a vigilante can cause good and yet they can cause havoc. Therefore, their intentions are unpredictable. That makes it dangerous for the community since vigilantes cannot be trusted."
We can turn this argument:
1) The negative states that we only can't affirm because of the definition of the vigilante. He only compares them to police officers! I've already said this but I will say it again: A VIGILANTE IS NO DIFFERENT THAN A POLICE OFFICER BECAUSE THEY: FOLLOW THE SAME GUIDELINES, ENFORCE THE LAW AND ARE AS AUTONOMOUS AND SPONTANEOUS AS A POLICE OFFICER. Just because a person is an officer does NOT mean that they will never over-enforce the law or commit an immoral act. (e.g. corrupt officers and officers who have committed crimes)

Because the negative has ZERO GROUND to stand on,
and the affirmative case is 100% secure,
and the negative can't make new arguments in his last speech,
I implore an affirmative ballot.
Debate Round No. 2
heyitsjay

Con

In response to my opponent...
Please note that you and me agreed upon stating our opening statements in the second round. That counts as my introduction. In my intro, I had no contentions and no observations. So in my defense, you are incorrect. LD clearly states an intro, contentions, and resolution + conclusion. Overall, this is irrelevant to the topic at hand which is supposed to be vigilantism. I sense that this was only a tactic used to forbid me from proving anything else. Anyway, this is not a debate of LD formatting.

I will state contentions here...

Contention 1: Vigilantism violates the constitution.
Through out the years, there have been many cases of vigilantism. After the civil war had ended in the 1800th century, many southerners grouped together and formed the KKK (ku klux klan). They were a vigilante group that caused havoc through out the south. The KKK murdered innocent African American civilians in order to perfect the American way and defend the white race. By doing this, they were held account for multiple cases of murder and for the violation of the civil rights of the people. Many other vigilantes exist today even. For example, the Juarez group is a vigilante group in Mexico who have sworn to kill a criminal a day. They have been doing so for years. Placed in ditches were the heads of their victims. Now, when a police officer kills a criminal, it is because a criminal is armed. Not to mention, they are authorized by law to do so. Vigilantes on the other hand, are not. Most of the Juarez's victims were not armed. The Juarez to have caused multiple cases of murder, violated criminal justice, and also violated the sixth amendment. The sixth amendment clearly states that a criminal has the right for a jury and fair trial. The policy for criminal justice is that you are not guilty until the court says so.

Contention 2: Vigilantes cannot be trusted.
Vigilantes are anyone outside law enforcement who takes the law into their own hands. By mentioning anyone, this is the key factor of how vigilantism endangers citizens. For example, in Tennessee, their was a man by the name of Timothy Chandler. He was already arrested for child pornography. Two of his neighbors, otherwise known as vigilantes, decided a way of scaring him by setting a fire off near his house. The fire began to grow at a serious and dangerous rate. Mr. Chandler escaped safely but his wife (who was innocent) was killed because of it. Clearly these vigilantes were not aware of the dangers and consequences who ended up with being charged for murder. Therefore, they were not able to be trusted upon. This is a perfect example of the dangers vigilantism can cause.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com...

I conclude my argument here.
Vigilantism is an unconstitutional way of handling the law. Vigilantes like said before, cannot be trusted upon. They are an unreliable source for enforcing the law. Vigilantes are a threat to the people of society. I and many others have not been able to understand how vigilantism can be justified. If professional and trained law officers have failed to enforce the law, what makes anyone think that a group of civilians would do a better job than that of an officer?

My resolution is simple, possible, and absolutely more effective than justifying vigilantism. It is the government's job to protect the people of it's country. If the government has failed to enforce the law, then they should simply act upon it. By this I mean reformatting the law enforcement agencies. Simply cops who are unable to do their job should be replaced with more highly effective officers and agents. Regardless whether vigilantism or reformation is more effective, it is fact that either way, there is always going to be crime out there. It is not up to a civilian to decide to take on the law without being trained or being authorized by the government to do so.

I conclude my argument and thank my opponent again for this opportunity....
Charlie_Danger

Pro

Charlie_Danger forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Charlie_Danger 7 years ago
Charlie_Danger
Please note everything I said in my second speech.

I still win.
AND he dropped all my arguments.
Posted by Charlie_Danger 7 years ago
Charlie_Danger
Bnesiba is right.
Unfortunately for you, heyitsjay, if you were to get up in your first speech and only say your "intro", you would loose. Any new casework is against the rules.
Posted by Bnesiba 7 years ago
Bnesiba
Usually an LD case consists of:

Intro (or not, depending on how much time you spend on your case...)

Resolutional Analysis - What the resolution is asking. (also make position of burden of proof clear here)

Value & criteria - your framework for why resolution goes to your side.
Ex:
(Value: Justice
definition- "to each their due"

Criteria: Utilitarianism
definition/explination: <goes here>)

Contentions - why value/criteria is upheld on your side.

obviously it's more complicated than this. I would recommend looking at other peoples LD cases to learn the structure. (c_d 's case is structured well)
Posted by heyitsjay 7 years ago
heyitsjay
I will change the following. But can you do me afavor and explain the LD formatting because i have looked it up and not one site has given me accurate information.
Posted by heyitsjay 7 years ago
heyitsjay
I use the united states goverment because it would be conusing involving laws outside the US. I want to simply just stick to US laws
Posted by Charlie_Danger 7 years ago
Charlie_Danger
I decline for three reasons:
1) Voting period was forever
2) "US government" = EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE = >-E
3) No LD format on LD resolution
Posted by heyitsjay 7 years ago
heyitsjay
with the LD format?
I just simply go with what ever seems like a well organized debate.
Posted by wpfairbanks 7 years ago
wpfairbanks
That makes sense. It's getting a bit absurd though
Posted by heyitsjay 7 years ago
heyitsjay
well...i am not too inormed about the LD formatt because i just joined only a few days ago. i know that it consists of an intro...evidence..and conclusion+resolution....can you inform me about anything else?
Posted by fresnoinvasion 7 years ago
fresnoinvasion
It's the LD (Lincoln-Douglas) debate topic for this month, and last I believe.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
heyitsjayCharlie_DangerTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Vote Placed by Charlie_Danger 7 years ago
Charlie_Danger
heyitsjayCharlie_DangerTied
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Total points awarded:07