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RFD for 3rd DDO Census Debate: Gun Ban

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3/7/2016 2:23:37 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
The debate

I have written this RFD over the course of a week, staying up late until around 11 to write it. Since this was done cumulative, instead of all in one sitting, I had to remember what I was thinking again, which made this hard to write. If something seems weird, unconnected, and disjointed, that's why.

This is a topic I have debated and voted on excessively, so I have more than adequate background on the kinds of arguments and rebuttals that can be made. Regardless, despite my favoring Pro"s side; I will give an objective judging on this debate.

R1 set-up is good, BoP is shared by default since it is a normative resolution. Whichever side makes a more convincing case for/against the resolution wins. As a result, the method to my madness is going over each side"s case, including the full discussion of each contention, and then arriving at a conclusion on the impact awarded. Then in the end tallying up the combined impact for each side, and explaining why the impact for the chosen side is greater. I should also note that the resolution is "should", meaning that "would" arguments such as "congress wouldn't pass the bill," are irrelevant.

Pro"s Case
SubSection-Pro"s Counterplan
Pro introduces his plan to affirm the motion. Consisting of slowly increasing gun control until we reach a complete gun ban. Pro asserts that this would reduce outrage and anger from the public as a result of the ban. The impact of Pro"s plan only comes down to a defensive argument against Con bringing up public outrage.

In order to achieve organization and comprehension, I will separate Con"s objections to the counterplan by point (1), (2), (3) respectively. Con also brings up an objection in Point G of R3, since Pro tied his rebuttal to his counterplan. Thus, since this is a direct objection to Pro"s counterplan, I will include it and address it here.

(1) Con argues that this plan would let gun owners have more time to "recruit and fear-monger" (this isn"t expounded upon and is vague, not really making much sense for me, one-liners usually don"t).

(2) That it will be met with more resistance and opposition than a straight up gun ban. This is hard to buy since it is directly the opposite of what Pro asserts his plan would do. Making this big of a claim and not backing it up or explaining it is hard to buy.

(3) It would be harder to implement a gun ban because of changing administrations (which makes sense).

(4) Con brings up the examples of an auto-rifle ban in Cleveland and Boston, and California. The compliance rate was around 1% for the first two, and 10% in the last.

Pro"s only objection to (1) and (2) were that it is speculation. Con responds that the National Rifle Association even the most common sense regulations, and the political environment is "hyper-partisan". Pro then drops (1) and (2), only focusing on (3) in regards to feasibility which I will talk about in a second. Thus, objection (1) and (2) are valid.

Pro responds to (3) by claiming that this is merely speculation; but it really isn"t. As Con points out, his argument actually is purely factual. That in 20 years 3-5 presidents will be in office, thus the chance that at least one would object to guns is large. Pro then responds by arguing that because the resolution is a "should" proposition, it is not necessarily based on feasibility, only desirability. Thus that Con"s objection is irrelevant to the debate. But, as Con points out, this is an entirely new argument that Pro brings up in the last round of argumentation. Per rules, I cannot accept this objection into my decision. Thus, Con"s (3) stands.

For (4), Pro responds by adding to his CP that the public would not be informed that the eventual goal of the increased regulations would be a gun ban. And that since the majority of the public supports gun control, this wouldn"t happen. But again, I can"t accept this since Pro is adding arguments to his CP is the final round of argumentation. He should have included this in his plan earlier.

To conclude, all 4 of Con"s objections to the CP were valid. As a result, the CP is negated.

Pro then establishes that objective morals exist. This means for me that the side that shows more lives saved wins because of the value of the individual (Pro"s individualist framework). Con responds to the objective moral framework rather convincingly by showing that by Pro"s logic, all actions are considered morally wrong. This is obviously wrong by common sense, thus I am led to conclude that Pro"s argument can"t possibly be right. Pro"s direct defense of moral realism is a bit confusing; he argues that actions like breathing aren"t considered by anyone to be morally wrong or right, thus we don"t have to substitute value X for them. But Con concedes the argument in R3, meaning the the established metric is lives.

Con also responds rather convincingly to the individualist framework by showing that Pro does not give any reason to value individualism at all since its exact opposite (collectivism) could still be satisfied per Pro"s argument. Furthermore, Con shows that concluding that individualism is valid per opinions mattering in non-sequitur. Pro responds by arguing that since Con has not provided an alternative framework, thus we must use Pro"s framework regardless of how terrible it is. Con later drops this though, thus individualism is established as framework. This basically means that lives are most important, then other individual rights such as property.

Pro then shows that there is a correlation between having a gun ban and homicide rates; and its in Pro"s favor. It follows that if guns were banned, firearm homicides would vanish, saving lives. This notion is justified by the correlation between gun bans and reduced firearm homicides evidenced in the graph.

Con points out that this relationship is merely correlation; not causation. Thus it is fallacious to conclude that a gun ban would decrease homicide rates because it is not the cause of it. Con furthers this by showing that Pro cherry-picked the countries; that Nigeria, Brazil, etc. have few guns but many murders. This shows me that there isn"t even a correlation for Pro, which basically negates all impact from Pro. Moreover, Con shows that homicide per capita has no correlation with gun ownership per capita.

Pro"s response is inadequate because it doesn"t establish why his data indicates causation, which was Con"s main objection. At best it only establishes correlation, which is still not enough. The best Pro manages to do is establish that culture may be a cause of the differences (thus explaining Nigeria, Brazil, etc. examples), but as Con pointed out earlier; "the likelihood of right wing backlash in this country as opposed to say, in Japan, may cause a ban to backfire here." Con responds by saying that many of the countries that Pro cited only have some gun regulation, not a complete ban. Thus it doesn"t support Pro"s position, as Con could still fulfill the resolution with little regulation. This also begs the question; if Pro is showing how successful gun regulation is, why not just have gun regulation and not have a complete ban? This would preserve property rights, thus satisfying individualism.

When Pro finally makes an argument against per capita, it is too late as it is R4, and Pro still fails to establish causation at all. Even if he would have proven causation, since Con won the black market argument this directly negates it. So in the end, Pro"s murder rate argument fails on the grounds of failing to establish causation, failure to explain per capita, and Con"s winning of the black market argument.

Pro also argues that guns cause lots of deaths by accidents. It follows that if guns were banned, these lives would be saved. Furthermore, Pro shows that accidental deaths also cause those involved m
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3/7/2016 2:25:35 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
ental trauma which is bad. But, this does not change lives saved, as Pro does not show how mental health results in saved lives, merely suffering which Pro does not establish in his framework as convincing; only lives. Con responds by citing a source that says that the majority of accidental deaths can be prevented by proper safety manufacturing. Showing me that the accidental deaths are not actually a result of guns itself, but inadequate manufacturing that can be fixed without a gun ban. Con also brings up that this is a small percentage of deaths, and that it can be thrown with weighing analysis. Pro responds by saying that gun accidents will still occur whether or not they are made correctly. Con argues that proper safety manufacturing reduces the already minute amount of accidental deaths. This does not totally negate the argument, but it does make the argument"s impact very small since we are talking about a very minute amount of lives. Pro responds by claiming that Con was shifting the goalposts by proposing a counterplan. But Con proposed this safety feature in R2, thus Pro had R3 and R4 to respond to it. This doesn"t entail a shifting of the goalposts fallacy since Con never proposed anything else instead, merely added it at the soonest possibility (like literally his first response of the debate). Thus, Pro"s argument accidents still stands but its impact is very minutely small as a result of Con"s CP.

Con"s Case
Con points out that a gun ban would entail loss of property (guns being property). Con asserts that taking of property is theft; a violation of a right. Con brings up the keyword "theft", which using my own knowledge seems to me to be the illegal taking of property, but when a gun ban is established, taking of property would be legal, and thus not theft. Con should have focused on right to property more. But then I am still left with taking of property which Con establishes as a right; Con should have maybe focused on this "right" more and might have been more impactful--instead of focusing on "theft". Con also furthers this point by turning Pro"s individualism argument to improve the importance and impact of property rights. This strengthens the impact. Pro"s first objection his CP. But this doesn"t change anything about theft. People"s property will still be taken, it will just be over the course of 20 years instead of right away. This doesn"t do anything to show me Con"s argument is false, except that it would reduce outrage, but this was never a point Con brought up in the argument. Pro later points out in R4 that individualism would value the person"s right to life above their right to property, thus if Pro can show lives would be saved by a gun ban, I can throw the argument out by weighing analysis. This is borderline violating new argument rule, but I still take it since both Pro and Con accepted lives saved as the metric prior. So basically, Con accepts that lives outweigh property, but if it ends up that lives saved are around equal, I will choose Con since he has the added bonus of property rights.

Con also argues that a gun ban would increase gang violence by creating a black market for guns. Con explains that supply and demand are directly correlated. When there is demand for something (no supply because guns are banned, but they still love guns, thus have high demand), people will get supplied via black market. Con also shows that because of the black market, the actual number of guns in the country wouldn"t change (citing France as an example), only give a source of revenue for gangs. Sadly, Con does not explain why increased revenue for gangs is bad. I am not given a reason for why this would be a bad thing, which is really lacking here; the argument would have so much more impact. Pro respond to this by arguing that in the UK black markets did not necessarily come about because of a gun ban and that they are only temporary. Pro"s key message is that it is not necessarily true, and is only temporary. Con responds by attacking Pro"s source, showing that he could not find any relevant data in the source that supports Pro"s view (using ctrl+f). Con also shows that the data is only collected from two years, which means it is not very conclusive, and that it is biased. Con also shows that since handguns and rifles are in high-demand (more than assualt-rifles), a black market is likely to be created (because black market is supply and demand, demand high, supply high). Con accuses Pro of dropping his gang argument, but he doesn"t since the gang argument is an extension of the black market argument. If Pro shows that the black market is negated, the gang argument is also negated in effect. Pro argues that his source showed the amount of assault-rifles in the UK, and since it was close to 0, this shows that a gun ban would not create a black market, demonstrably true. Pro"s response to the credibility of his source was insufficient though; he just says that whether or not a 2 year data set entails inconclusiveness is subjective, as well as it being biased. This almost counts as a drop, since he doesn"t explain to me why it actually is sufficient, or unbiased. Besides, Con"s source of France trumps Pro"s because 13>2 (as well as France having land borders). Con responds by explaining that the reason UK"s ban worked is because they have no borders; they are surrounded by sea. This means that border control is a lot easier, but in the US, we border lots of land; especially Mexico since they are likely to smuggle. Thus, I side with Con because of Pro dropping Con"s objections to the validity of Pro"s source. The impact of a black market funding gangs stands as well.

Con argues that if guns were banned, right-wing militias would be created. Con shows how dangerous these groups are; they have killed more than Islamic terrorist groups since 9/11. He asserts that these groups are dangerous and can unleash deadly attacks. Pro"s response is that these people wouldn"t target civilians, only police. And that the police would still be armed, and thus able to defend themselves. Con responds by explaining that the groups operate in communities, and thus disrupt them. Con also shows that attacks on police have resulted in citizen bystanders being harmed. Con points that police deaths are still deaths, and that we should count those in our calculations, which militia groups kill a lot of. Pro responds that if the militias "disrupt" communities, it doesn"t matter because "disruptions" would save lives. Thus that the lives outweigh the disruptions. But this isn"t sufficient, it doesn"t negate the fact that militia groups have killed more than Al-Qaeda since 9/11, or that it is the highest killer of policemen, or that innocent bystanders are bound to be killed during the fighting (as Con shows examples of). The lives of policemen and innocent bystanders are not negated, thus the argument stands.

Con also brings up that guns are very useful for self-defense; it reduces their chance of injury and helps the majority of the time. It follows that if guns were banned, this self-defense tool would vanish. Pro responds by arguing that guns are only used successfully in self-defense 0.16-3.2% of the time and that you are more likely to kill a family member than a criminal. The basic message I"m getting from Pro is that self-defense doesn"t work, and is very rarely successful. Con responds by pointing out that the 0.16-3.2% is only that which was reported to the police, thus the numbers are higher. Con then cites studies stressing the quantity of self-defense cases. Pro responds by showing that the sources Con used to stress the quantity of self-defense cases are outdated, or uncredible. Pro also says that Con"s data is estimations, and that his is definitive, thus more accurate. Yet this drops the point that not all cases were reported to the police, meaning that there are more than 0.16-3.2%, but Con does not specify how much exactly.
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3/7/2016 2:26:07 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Con responds by showing that the CDC actually is credible because they were biased in Pro"s favor, yet their data showed in Con"s favor, outruling any bias. That leaves Con"s CDC data intact. Pro also says that 3 years is not really out of date. And from a common sense standpoint, 3 years is not out-of-date. If Pro wants to argue that 3 years is out of date, then he should have argued why instead of merely asserting it so. Thus I side with Con based on common sense.

Con also shows that the gun ban will be disproportionately forced upon minority groups (racial profiling). This is oppression towards minority groups, which isn"t fair. Pro explains that this is because black people are simply more likely to commit gun crimes and cites a source proving that. Con shows that this statistic could be a result of racist police, or racial profiling. Con shows that Pro"s own source admits this is a possibility. Furthermore, Con shows that Pro"s source only relates to gun control, not gun ban, which would have different results. Here Con furthers the impact of his arguing by tying in that prison time decreases average life span. Thus unfairly imprisoning minorities would not only be unfair in that they are imprisoned, but also unfair in that their lifespan is shortened. The impact is strengthened. Pro"s response is just objectively false, demonstrating that he didn"t understand the argument. Pro says that racial profiling is justified and necessary because black people commit more crimes. But Con"s argument was that this figure isn"t because black people actually commit more crimes, its that they are caught doing it more often. For example, in a white neighborhood a white man has drugs in his house, and in a black neighborhood a black man has drugs in his house. The black man is more likely to be caught, because of racial profiling, but the white man isn"t because of racial profiling. Thus, with Pro"s statistic, it represents not the actual amount of people that commit crimes, but those caught. Doesn"t the white man still have drugs in his house? Yes, and Pro does not understand this, and thus does not rebut it properly by saying objectively incorrect things. Thus, Con"s point still stands. Even if the metric is lives saved, Con still shows that prison would reduce lifespan, so this argument would improve lives saved. Thus Con wins this.

And lastly, the USFG will have to pay heavy fines for those that don"t comply, which Con asserts will be many. Pro refers to his counterplan for his rebuttal. Thus the success of his counterplan determines the success of this argument. Pro"s counterplan was negated (see Pro"s counterplan), and since this was Pro"s entire rebuttal to this point, Pro"s entire rebuttal is negated and the argument stands. But, as the accepted metric was lived saves this is irrelevant.

On Pro"s side, his counterplan and murder rate argument is negated, and only his accidents argument still stands, although has a very minute and small impact. On Con"s side, I have black market funding gangs, creation of right-wing militia groups, self-defense, and disproportionate enforcement to minority groups (plus property rights). The amount of lives taken by right-wing militia groups outweighs Pro"s entire side on its own, adding all the other impacts, Con wins by a lot.

Good debate
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3/7/2016 2:31:13 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Thank you so much for your vote, and for the time/effort you invested in it. Thanks, Hayd!
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