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RFD for Gun Ban Debate

whiteflame
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1/10/2016 11:11:34 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
This is an RFD for the debate between tajshar2k and Lexus that can be found here: http://www.debate.org...

Ugh. This was a mess of a debate, guys, and I'm going to spend the next 2 hours explaining why before I come to some kind of decision from it all.

R2:

Con's Case:

Con starts out by giving a relatively usual Con case against a gun ban. It's not particularly innovative, the headings for the arguments are a little off kilter, and most of these points are pretty threadbare, but some of these are pretty solid.

Con's C1 has no impact to it. The idea that there's a lot of people who like guns is a nice start to another argument that comes in later, but standing alone, it's not particularly strong.

Con's first C4 is probably his most interesting point because it sets a role for guns in society that goes beyond personal ownership and usage. Con introduces the idea that guns are useful as a societal good, providing safety promised by society at large. Self-defense is mentioned later, but that's never really linked in the same way to a societal obligation. Not that it's a perfect point " it's not clear just from reading this that the obligation produces outcomes worthy of note. More on that to come.

Con's C2 is a pretty by-the-numbers look at gun-enabled self-defense. It's straightforward, though it deviates a little by going into CCW. The major issue I have with this one is that it's so number-centric that there's very little actual substance to it, in particular on the most important point " the black market. Illegal gun usage in status quo don't actually show that a black market will persist post-ban, nor that any ban would be incapable of eliminating the hundreds of millions of guns. Those points don't really get targeted, but they're easy points of attack.

Con's C3 is another by-the-numbers look with little to no impact analysis. Yes, jobs are important and costs matter, but I need to know what kind of impact that job/economic loss has. It takes more time to present it, to be sure, but it's a large part of the reason why Pro can dismiss the impact to this one. With only numbers to support any impact, it's not particularly strong, especially when those aren't linked to lives lost.

Con's second C4 is... well, it's actually something I thought should get a lot more attention. Pro dismisses it early and Con just kind of lets it go. Personally, I think this is one of the sources of strongest impact in a debate of this sort, and the major reason I don't personally support a gun ban. I thought the comparison to the war on drugs and the potential for insurrection had a lot of potential, but it just goes nowhere.

Pro's Case:

Feel like I have to spend some time here. Pro's case is essentially a general "let's ban guns because they represent they're tools of the patriarchy" argument. It's interesting, but I had two major problems with it.

First, I have no idea what Pro's actual case is. She tells me it doesn't have to necessarily be something we can do, and I'm forced to agree with that due to a lack of response, but that doesn't obviate the need to present an actual case. Banning guns can take a lot of forms, and depending on the form it takes, it can incur very different consequences. The vagueness of just running the case as Pro did actually offered major opportunities to Con, who could conceivably frame the ban in the worst possible way.

Second, it feels incomplete. Pro's case is a critique of guns, most of which simply assumes that the patriarchy is responsible for war and slavery, not to mention a number of other problems. Pro admittedly sites these connections, but never actually explains them, which should have been very problematic. Pro basically makes no solid link between the patriarchy and any of the major harms she cites, which left her major impacts dangling from a thread throughout the debate. In fact, despite the extensive analysis in several areas, I feel like much of this is lacking large chunks, particularly the "Suppression of Oedipus" subpoint, which I personally had a very hard time figuring out despite my knowledge of the tale (and, let's face it, not everyone who reads this will know that story). In fact, my knowledge of the story simply makes me question the link to it, as the point deviates considerably without ever clearly linking back. I feel like this is all a part of some larger argument, and it's just missing essential pieces.

So what's lacking here is chiefly a link story. Pro wants to drag my thought process in a different direction, forcing me to think about what guns represent rather than their practical application, but that requires a lot of reasoning as to why we're taking the step and why it's more important than any measure of practicality. It should have been clear, but the lack of it doesn't automatically sink Pro's case.

Pro's case comes down to the idea that the patriarchy is a bad thing, and that guns are used as tools of that patriarchy to oppress anyone who is not yet inducted into it. This leads to disastrous impacts that are never substantively linked to both the patriarchy and the use of guns. Pro's case continues with the idea that guns are used as a way to force others to submit to a certain hierarchy... which somehow enslaves individuals to the patriarchy. The link's unclear to me.

Pro's sole reubuttals this round mainly focus on mitigation of the financial point, which I buy, though it doesn't erase the argument. I also buy that macroeconomic policies burden women, though there's no impact to this beyond a general "patriarchy bad" point that's not linked ot any sort of outcome that I can perceive, so it ends up just sitting there.

Con's R3:

The start to this is not really doing anythign to affect the debate. There wasn't really a disagreement on what the definition of a gun is " both Pro's and Con's view of what a gun is are mutually compatible " a gun can both be the symbol that Pro makes it out to be and the physical object that Con makes it out to be.

Similarly, the accusation that Pro is using a Kritik is off-base, as Pro explains later. She is most certainly critiquing the mindset that is associated with gun ownership and usage, but that's not challenging the resolution. That's merely another way to affirm, creating an opportunity to attack the symbol and take the debate away from a general "what do guns directly accomplish?" mindset. It sounds like a Kritik, but it is not a Kritik.

The response to the Moti Mizrahi framework isn't particularly good because Con's just stating that Pro hasn't done everything he should do to support his framework, but that doesn't mean that Con has presented a framework that can compete with it, so this response actually does more to introduce doubt into Con's case than it does for Pro's.

When Con does get to establishing the importance of utilitarianism, it's ineffectively presented. It doesn't clash with the Mizrahi argument because they aren't mutually exclusive. I'm not given a reason to reject any of Pro's points based on utility alone.

The remainder of this round involves attempts to introduce turns and doubt into Pro's case. Con starts by saying that the male-dominated government of the U.S. taking the action of removing guns from others is actually more patriarchal. It's not clear what effect this has beyond a nebulous "the patriarchy is stronger" point. That would be fine if Pro was directly linking the patriarchy to his specified harms, but he's linking the imposition of patriarchy through guns to his harms. That means that this ends up without a clear impact. Similarly, the idea that banning guns in a female-dominated society (it's unclear that it is female-dominated) would actually increase the patriarchy doesn't have an impact, and this one lacks a clear link as well.
whiteflame
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1/10/2016 11:12:02 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
The idea that a gun is a tool that can be linked to any individual goal is important, and it tells me that a gun isn't necessarily inherently linked to the patriarchy. The unfortunate aspect of this is that Con doesn't take it to the next step and tell me why the view of the gun as a phallus is wrong. Even if I believe that the gun can be used for a number of alternate purposes, that doesn't mean that the gun itself doesn't symbolize and thus enforce the patriarchy in all instances. The concept that a gun is always going to make an individual an agent of the patriarchy is the point Pro is trying to get across, whether they take different actions with it or not. The argument that this treats individuals as lacking agency is a good one, but then I have to know what that perceived lack of agency leads to. Similarly, more time needs to be spent on the importance of ownership and the removal of guns from persons. Con asserts that it's "mass rape of the populace," but strong words aside, there's no clear harm coming through this. Nor is there a harm to the loss of freedom of choice, or the treatment of individuals as though they cannot think independently.

Con does expand a little on the on his C1 and his second C4 this round, arguing that taking guns away from people will make them upset and lead to violent protests. This point could really have used some support, because all it really stands as is an assertion + a minimal warrant + a nebulous link. It could have used more.

Pro's R3:

Pro probably spends too much time going over the top of Con's R3, which I've already explained wasn't important to the debate. The comparison to the Nazis on utilitarianism is unnecessary and, frankly, a bit of a slippery slope point. It's still a reason to dismiss utilitarianism, but what I'm replacing it with is what produces "the most good", which is still basic utility just without the "it must affect a majority" mindset. That doesn't change the debate.

Pro's counter-rebuttals unfortunately do little to expand on his own points, instead just focusing on minor holes in Con's arguments that could be addressed quite easily and, for that matter, could have been turned on him. The idea that men dominating government doesn't necessarily mean that that government is patriarchal is kind of counter intuitive, not to mention it introduces doubt into the idea that the phallic look of guns necessarily makes them tools of the patriarchy. You're lucky Con didn't jump on that.

Pro's correct that telling people they can't have guns doesn't treat them as mindless, though I honestly think that Pro made it worse by saying that anyone who has a gun is automatically afraid of their Fathers and thus incapable of combating them, but again this introduces doubt into one of the major rebuttals brought by Con.

Beyond that, Pro is correctly dismissive of the rape point, but the comparisons are a little nutty There's a difference between banning a behavior (murder) and banning an item (guns). As the atomic bomb example notes, though it's a matter not of free thought, but of autonomy. Con incorrectly set his argument around thought and not agency, and as such Pro can dismiss it.

The extension on Oedipus is well-taken. A direct response should have appeared somewhere in Con's R3.

The responses to the rest of Con's case are mostly just extensions of other points, so I won't address those.

The response to the first C4 is particularly strange because it essentially says, without evidence, that since law enforcement doesn't actually have to protect you and your family, they won't. It's an attempt at mitigation that should have utterly failed in the face of any statistics. Sadly, those didn't appear, meaning that I just have a he said/she said regarding whether or not the police are required to protect us.

Pro does mention that it's better to address systemic poverty... but a) this comes too late as an alternative means for addressing the problem (should've appeared in R2), b) there's no reason Con couldn't do this as well, and c) I have no idea how this would happen and therefore we have no reason to believe it would solve for anything. Of course, Con doesn't give any of these responses... so I'm forced to let it stand.

The source debate over self-defense isn't really all that impactful. Pro's response on illegal guns doesn't appear to me to have any significant effect on Con's point, and Con just presents more data on self-defense than Pro does.

Con's R4:

Unfortunately, while this round does introduce a good deal of doubt into Pro's responses, it does little to bolster Con's case at a time that he really needed it.

I buy that the government is a patriarchy based on the definition. It doesn't mean much since the patriarchy itself doesn't have any solid impacts associated with it.

I'm frankly surprised Con is lending any credence to Pro's Nazi Germany analogy (it didn't make sense to me), but the response just fails to address it effectively. Utilitarianism isn't solely about what's good for the majority, it's about the greatest good. One person suffering greatly is worse than three being minorly inconvenienced, even though there are more people being minorly inconvenienced. I viewed Nazi Germany as a straw man of utilitarian ideology, but Con had to hit that harder.

Con points out law enforcement's functions, but never doubles down on the impact, which is what could have made this point important. Why not discuss a society where law enforcement doesn't have guns, or where our military can only combat others with non-lethal weapons? I can think of several terrifying scenarios that would have outstripped a generalized "war and slavery" impact from Pro, but I don't see them.

Con is winning the self-defense point, but while I'm being given some numbers here, it's not clear just how many lives are saved as a result of self-defense, or what would happen if people were deprived of the ability to defend themselves effectively. The numbers by themselves tell me little.

I'm similarly surprised that Con doesn't make major hay over the economic impacts, which again could have been quantified and impacted out further. Con misses the opportunity, and had already missed the opportunity to explain why practical measures are what should be debated, something that could have turned the debate to his advantage.

Conclusion:

Honestly, I didn't like either case. I'm more than a little tempted to vote Con based solely on the fact that his impacts are something that's quantifiable and usually are connected to his points by clear links, something that's most certainly lacking on Pro's side, but I can't ignore the gigantic impacts of wars and slavery that are both pretty thoroughly dropped. Pro set up a tenuous case that only became more tenuous as the debate went on, but I can only punish her for it where Con tells me to do so. Since he didn't do that, and since Pro's impacts definitely look larger, I'm forced to vote Pro.
tajshar2k
Posts: 2,383
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1/10/2016 11:21:02 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/10/2016 11:12:02 PM, whiteflame wrote:
The idea that a gun is a tool that can be linked to any individual goal is important, and it tells me that a gun isn't necessarily inherently linked to the patriarchy. The unfortunate aspect of this is that Con doesn't take it to the next step and tell me why the view of the gun as a phallus is wrong. Even if I believe that the gun can be used for a number of alternate purposes, that doesn't mean that the gun itself doesn't symbolize and thus enforce the patriarchy in all instances. The concept that a gun is always going to make an individual an agent of the patriarchy is the point Pro is trying to get across, whether they take different actions with it or not. The argument that this treats individuals as lacking agency is a good one, but then I have to know what that perceived lack of agency leads to. Similarly, more time needs to be spent on the importance of ownership and the removal of guns from persons. Con asserts that it's "mass rape of the populace," but strong words aside, there's no clear harm coming through this. Nor is there a harm to the loss of freedom of choice, or the treatment of individuals as though they cannot think independently.

Con does expand a little on the on his C1 and his second C4 this round, arguing that taking guns away from people will make them upset and lead to violent protests. This point could really have used some support, because all it really stands as is an assertion + a minimal warrant + a nebulous link. It could have used more.

Pro's R3:

Pro probably spends too much time going over the top of Con's R3, which I've already explained wasn't important to the debate. The comparison to the Nazis on utilitarianism is unnecessary and, frankly, a bit of a slippery slope point. It's still a reason to dismiss utilitarianism, but what I'm replacing it with is what produces "the most good", which is still basic utility just without the "it must affect a majority" mindset. That doesn't change the debate.

Pro's counter-rebuttals unfortunately do little to expand on his own points, instead just focusing on minor holes in Con's arguments that could be addressed quite easily and, for that matter, could have been turned on him. The idea that men dominating government doesn't necessarily mean that that government is patriarchal is kind of counter intuitive, not to mention it introduces doubt into the idea that the phallic look of guns necessarily makes them tools of the patriarchy. You're lucky Con didn't jump on that.

Pro's correct that telling people they can't have guns doesn't treat them as mindless, though I honestly think that Pro made it worse by saying that anyone who has a gun is automatically afraid of their Fathers and thus incapable of combating them, but again this introduces doubt into one of the major rebuttals brought by Con.

Beyond that, Pro is correctly dismissive of the rape point, but the comparisons are a little nutty There's a difference between banning a behavior (murder) and banning an item (guns). As the atomic bomb example notes, though it's a matter not of free thought, but of autonomy. Con incorrectly set his argument around thought and not agency, and as such Pro can dismiss it.

The extension on Oedipus is well-taken. A direct response should have appeared somewhere in Con's R3.

The responses to the rest of Con's case are mostly just extensions of other points, so I won't address those.

The response to the first C4 is particularly strange because it essentially says, without evidence, that since law enforcement doesn't actually have to protect you and your family, they won't. It's an attempt at mitigation that should have utterly failed in the face of any statistics. Sadly, those didn't appear, meaning that I just have a he said/she said regarding whether or not the police are required to protect us.

Pro does mention that it's better to address systemic poverty... but a) this comes too late as an alternative means for addressing the problem (should've appeared in R2), b) there's no reason Con couldn't do this as well, and c) I have no idea how this would happen and therefore we have no reason to believe it would solve for anything. Of course, Con doesn't give any of these responses... so I'm forced to let it stand.

The source debate over self-defense isn't really all that impactful. Pro's response on illegal guns doesn't appear to me to have any significant effect on Con's point, and Con just presents more data on self-defense than Pro does.

Con's R4:

Unfortunately, while this round does introduce a good deal of doubt into Pro's responses, it does little to bolster Con's case at a time that he really needed it.

I buy that the government is a patriarchy based on the definition. It doesn't mean much since the patriarchy itself doesn't have any solid impacts associated with it.

I'm frankly surprised Con is lending any credence to Pro's Nazi Germany analogy (it didn't make sense to me), but the response just fails to address it effectively. Utilitarianism isn't solely about what's good for the majority, it's about the greatest good. One person suffering greatly is worse than three being minorly inconvenienced, even though there are more people being minorly inconvenienced. I viewed Nazi Germany as a straw man of utilitarian ideology, but Con had to hit that harder.

Con points out law enforcement's functions, but never doubles down on the impact, which is what could have made this point important. Why not discuss a society where law enforcement doesn't have guns, or where our military can only combat others with non-lethal weapons? I can think of several terrifying scenarios that would have outstripped a generalized "war and slavery" impact from Pro, but I don't see them.

Con is winning the self-defense point, but while I'm being given some numbers here, it's not clear just how many lives are saved as a result of self-defense, or what would happen if people were deprived of the ability to defend themselves effectively. The numbers by themselves tell me little.

I'm similarly surprised that Con doesn't make major hay over the economic impacts, which again could have been quantified and impacted out further. Con misses the opportunity, and had already missed the opportunity to explain why practical measures are what should be debated, something that could have turned the debate to his advantage.

Conclusion:

Honestly, I didn't like either case. I'm more than a little tempted to vote Con based solely on the fact that his impacts are something that's quantifiable and usually are connected to his points by clear links, something that's most certainly lacking on Pro's side, but I can't ignore the gigantic impacts of wars and slavery that are both pretty thoroughly dropped. Pro set up a tenuous case that only became more tenuous as the debate went on, but I can only punish her for it where Con tells me to do so. Since he didn't do that, and since Pro's impacts definitely look larger, I'm forced to vote Pro.

Thanks for the RFD. If you hadn't noticed. I lost all interest to debate this, which is why I didn't even try... I'm certainly a better debater than this showcases.
"In Guns We Trust" Tajshar2k
whiteflame
Posts: 1,378
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1/10/2016 11:24:39 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Thanks for the RFD. If you hadn't noticed. I lost all interest to debate this, which is why I didn't even try... I'm certainly a better debater than this showcases.

Yeah, I know you both are better than this.
Lexus
Posts: 169
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1/11/2016 2:42:38 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
I appreciate the feedback. Would explaining the link story instead of just telling you that there is a link story for patriarchy -> war lead to my impacts becoming more realised in your opinion, even if I cited some authors saying that it does so?