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RFD for Gun Debate (Hayd v. Taj)

tejretics
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8/14/2016 4:04:55 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
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There are no RFD's on this debate, so I am doing this as a favor to the debaters. In the past, both debaters have requested me to vote on their debates, so I assume that I am in their confidence as a "decent voter," or at least one sufficient to vote on one of their debates -though I am sufficiently confident in my vote to not remove it unless met with any compelling objection.

Disclaimer: My position on this issue is more akin to Con's position than Pro's, in that I do not believe that the U.S. has any obligation to ban guns -based on the strict gun culture in the U.S. and the dangers of going against the principles of democracy (especially considering the uncertainty of whether banning guns would actually decrease crime in my opinion), I would in fact propose retaining the Second Amendment as it is. I will note that I do support "common sense" gun control measures (e.g. universal background checks). I will add that I am a fairly close friend of Hayd's, though this has not affected the decision either. (If anything, it reduces bias because I am doing this as a favor to Hayd -which means I will try to be more objective for his benefit.) I am clarifying my position on this issue and my relationship to the debaters so that the debaters can assess as to whether -and to what extent- my own position has affected my decision on this debate. (Though I -like most other judges- do not think it has.) I will now move onto my RFD.

Both sides have equal burdens of persuasion, to whatever extent such burdens of persuasion can be "equal." The wording of the resolution ("The United States ought to ban firearms.") indicates that the issue is a normative one, so both sides have a positive burden to advance their position. The "official prohibition" on firearms is interpreted by me to include (1) a ban on private ownership of firearms, including a ban on buying firearms and a mandatory confiscation of firearms; and (2) a ban on retail of firearms for such private ownership; with certain obvious exceptions (e.g. the police force, military).

There is some level of clash on the framework of utilitarianism as well. Con says the value of liberty is more important and provides an example (which merely constitutes emotional appeal) to do so -but concedes that there should be utilitarian reasoning when it comes to legislation. Con fails to draw the line as to *where* utilitarian reasoning transcends liberty (should there be liberty to murder?). Pro similarly engages in emotional appeals with regard to the same, but shows that the right to life is weighed more than the right to liberty -so liberty should be a factor *only insofar* as it does not cause actual harm. Con apparently does not concede this, but that makes their "self-defense" argument, etc. irrelevant -but clearly Con isn't advocating for anarchism, so I buy that liberty should have its limits.

Pro's arguments are fairly straightforward: (1) a ban will reduce impulsive suicides (in that large numbers of such suicides involve usage of firearms); (2) affirming will reduce gun-related accidents (because lower guns means lower accidental shootings); and (3) banning guns will reduce crime, or at least rates of success of criminals (because multiple criminals effectively use firearms). But a glaring lack of explanation that covers all three arguments is the assumption that banning guns will reduce gun production or the number of people possessing guns -when the plan isn't specific enough to detail that much effectiveness. Con effectively stresses hard on this problem -which is a powerful objection, and one that I'm surprised Pro didn't notice when he wrote his argument. But Pro does have a compelling response -in that most criminals cannot afford guns when prices hike significantly. There is no doubt that illegal guns *will* exist, but the number of guns will reduce significantly. (I am left wondering to what extent that will be the case.) Con drops this response. Con does address the less compelling "factories" response -but Con concedes that factories are responsible for a fairly high amount of gun production. So Pro's impacts stand -but are mitigated to an extent.

Con's arguments are (1) Americans use guns for self-defense, with research from the CDC suggesting the same, (2) there is a correlation between gun bans and increased crime (no impact), (3) a gun ban would have negative economic repercussions, (4) the gun sale black market will increase, possibly leading to more criminal gangs and violence, and (5) a gun ban goes against what the majority wants. With regard to the fifth argument, Con does nothing to explain the slippery slope between doing something the majority doesn't believe in and traveling on a "road to tyranny." Con also does nothing to argue why we should accept democratic values. The argument with regard to judicial processes fails because of "fiat" (i.e. "should" does not imply "will"). The second argument does nothing to explain this phenomenon -there are multiple causes for crime rates and it is Con's job to explain that a gun ban *causes* increased crime. Lacking that link, the argument has no impact. So there are three properly explained arguments on Con's side.

Pro's response to the argument from self-defense is that the impact from accidents far outweighs this on probability, and therefore on magnitude as well. He cites a study from Philadelphia which found that a person is more likely to die if they possess a gun than if they do not possess a gun (read: there are more cases of accidental deaths than self-defense from death). But Con effectively responds to this by weighing the impacts -showing that, by the numbers, more people defend themselves from "violent crime" using guns than those that die from accidents. Pro could have won this point if they had any sources/impact on the argument from crime -but since there's none of that, a single study does not mitigate Pro's *own numbers,* which prove something entirely different. This is the killing blow to Pro's case -the numbers disprove the single isolated study, and I weigh those numbers with greater weight than the study because the study is *within a fixed time period* whereas those numbers are from identical time periods (I will merely assume this since the debaters did not indicate otherwise).

Even if the economic and black market impacts are "minuscule" compared to this, this is sufficient to grant Con the win -a fatal mistake from Pro for declining to argue (1) proper numbers regarding crime rates, and (2) anything other than impact calculus when it came to self-defense. The numbers are overwhelming. While I am unable to distinguish between magnitudes of "violent crime" both debaters seem fine with evaluating all violent crime equally (e.g. Pro's number of "gun accidents") -under those values Con clearly triumphs on impact calculus. I was expecting to vote Pro at the start of the debate, and Pro certainly structured their arguments better, but a few mistakes later on mean I vote Con. Con wins.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Hayd
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8/14/2016 7:09:19 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/14/2016 4:04:55 PM, tejretics wrote:
There is some level of clash on the framework of utilitarianism as well. Con says the value of liberty is more important and provides an example (which merely constitutes emotional appeal) to do so -but concedes that there should be utilitarian reasoning when it comes to legislation. Con fails to draw the line as to *where* utilitarian reasoning transcends liberty (should there be liberty to murder?). Pro similarly engages in emotional appeals with regard to the same, but shows that the right to life is weighed more than the right to liberty -so liberty should be a factor *only insofar* as it does not cause actual harm. Con apparently does not concede this, but that makes their "self-defense" argument, etc. irrelevant -but clearly Con isn't advocating for anarchism, so I buy that liberty should have its limits.

Can you expand on this? I didn't purposely make any emotional appeals, but if I did can you point out specifically where?

But a glaring lack of explanation that covers all three arguments is the assumption that banning guns will reduce gun production or the number of people possessing guns -when the plan isn't specific enough to detail that much effectiveness. Con effectively stresses hard on this problem -which is a powerful objection, and one that I'm surprised Pro didn't notice when he wrote his argument.

I was going to wait for Con to bring it up. I thought that we were going to have more rounds of argumentation, like Con was going to bring up rebuttals and his opening arguments, then I could do rebuttals and defense, etc. But it ended up not happening, so didn't work out in my favor. I guess I could've addressed it in opening arguments, but it would've been just as well later on.

But Pro does have a compelling response -in that most criminals cannot afford guns when prices hike significantly. There is no doubt that illegal guns *will* exist, but the number of guns will reduce significantly. (I am left wondering to what extent that will be the case.) Con drops this response. Con does address the less compelling "factories" response -but Con concedes that factories are responsible for a fairly high amount of gun production. So Pro's impacts stand -but are mitigated to an extent.

The production of firearms only refers to the homicide argument of my case. So the production of guns part of the debate doesn't affect the suicides or accidents part of my case. This is because this argument was on criminals getting guns illegally, whilst the other two regarded non-criminal citizens, of which aren't relevent to black market criminal stuff.

But regardless, my argument was essentially that banning guns would eliminate the mass production of firearms. Even if firearms are able to be made privately after the banning, they will be in low quantity, and low quality. I provided strong support for the low quantity due to explaining the amount of time and skill it would take to make them privately: an illegal maker would have to donate basically all of his time to making these firearms due to how complicated guns are. Since this will be the person's career and he can only make a few firearms, he *must* charge high prices for the firearms to remain afloat. It will basically turn into a private violin maker scenario, they will be extremely rare and expensive. Of which criminals cannot afford, and will *at least* be significantly deterred from getting.

But the more quantity is able to be made, the lower the quality becomes thus making criminals less effective at crime. Inaccurate, takes long time to load, not sturdy, etc.

Thus, the only guns available will be those already in circulation. And as there is no new influx, these inherently become much more valuable, and as they dwindle they become increasingly more valuable and thus more expensive. Since most criminals are poor, they cannot afford to get firearms from the black market, or at the very least are significantly deterred from doing so.

My homicide argument should still stand, and at the same impact as previously since my argument never claimed that all criminals would use other guns. My argument is that some, and as the production argument proves, *most* will use other weapons which is a powerful impact. But regardless, this only relates to my homicide argument not the suicide or accidents.

Pro's response to the argument from self-defense is that the impact from accidents far outweighs this on probability, and therefore on magnitude as well.

Whoa whoa whoa. My rebuttal to the self-defense did not tie into my accident argument at all. Actually, nothing in my rebuttal of the argument mentioned "accidents"

He cites a study from Philadelphia which found that a person is more likely to die if they possess a gun than if they do not possess a gun (read: there are more cases of accidental deaths than self-defense from death).

No no no, that evidence did not have to do with accidental death. That study just had to do with gun deaths. Actually, if you click on the source and do control + f "accident" it comes up with 0 results.

Taj's argument was essentially that firearms protect people from violence, and give people safety. So I said that although this may be true in some cases, the safety that carrying a gun provides for self defense is inherently outweighed by the harms that carrying a gun poses. And this is proved by the Phil study. If Con is right, and on balance carrying a gun provides safety, then we would see that those who carry a gun a less likely to be shot, they are less likely to experience violence. But this is flat out proved wrong by the study, and proves that I am right, and the violence that is caused by carrying a gun outweighs the safety it provides.

But Con effectively responds to this by weighing the impacts -showing that, by the numbers, more people defend themselves from "violent crime" using guns than those that die from accidents. Pro could have won this point if they had any sources/impact on the argument from crime -but since there's none of that, a single study does not mitigate Pro's *own numbers,* which prove something entirely different. This is the killing blow to Pro's case -the numbers disprove the single isolated study, and I weigh those numbers with greater weight than the study because the study is *within a fixed time period* whereas those numbers are from identical time periods (I will merely assume this since the debaters did not indicate otherwise).

Pro's number of self-defense uses is irrelevent as long as they are outweighed by the violence that it causes, and that is proved true by the Phil study. And the accident deaths vs. self defense deaths is completely irrelevent because that wasn't by rebuttal as said above. This is a huge misunderstanding.

Even if the economic and black market impacts are "minuscule" compared to this, this is sufficient to grant Con the win -a fatal mistake from Pro for declining to argue (1) proper numbers regarding crime rates, and (2) anything other than impact calculus when it came to self-defense. The numbers are overwhelming. While I am unable to distinguish between magnitudes of "violent crime" both debaters seem fine with evaluating all violent crime equally (e.g. Pro's number of "gun accidents") -under those values Con clearly triumphs on impact calculus. I was expecting to vote Pro at the start of the debate, and Pro certainly structured their arguments better, but a few mistakes later on mean I vote Con. Con wins.

Yeah I wrote up my R4 response in 10 min, I lost interest at the last stage of debate. But whatever
tejretics
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8/15/2016 3:12:05 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/14/2016 7:09:19 PM, Hayd wrote:
Can you expand on this? I didn't purposely make any emotional appeals, but if I did can you point out specifically where?

lol I don't remember.

The production of firearms only refers to the homicide argument of my case. So the production of guns part of the debate doesn't affect the suicides or accidents part of my case. This is because this argument was on criminals getting guns illegally, whilst the other two regarded non-criminal citizens, of which aren't relevent to black market criminal stuff.

That's fair.

But regardless, my argument was essentially that banning guns would eliminate the mass production of firearms. Even if firearms are able to be made privately after the banning, they will be in low quantity, and low quality. I provided strong support for the low quantity due to explaining the amount of time and skill it would take to make them privately: an illegal maker would have to donate basically all of his time to making these firearms due to how complicated guns are. Since this will be the person's career and he can only make a few firearms, he *must* charge high prices for the firearms to remain afloat. It will basically turn into a private violin maker scenario, they will be extremely rare and expensive. Of which criminals cannot afford, and will *at least* be significantly deterred from getting.

That's what I said too.

My homicide argument should still stand, and at the same impact as previously since my argument never claimed that all criminals would use other guns. My argument is that some, and as the production argument proves, *most* will use other weapons which is a powerful impact. But regardless, this only relates to my homicide argument not the suicide or accidents.

I don't disagree with most of what you've posted here. You should have brought some numbers on homicides, however.

Whoa whoa whoa. My rebuttal to the self-defense did not tie into my accident argument at all. Actually, nothing in my rebuttal of the argument mentioned "accidents"

Your argument was basically that -statistically- guns do not change crime rates significantly -- which is also especially vague because some random statistic does not show causation.

No no no, that evidence did not have to do with accidental death. That study just had to do with gun deaths. Actually, if you click on the source and do control + f "accident" it comes up with 0 results.

Okay. Not really relevant to my decision.

Taj's argument was essentially that firearms protect people from violence, and give people safety. So I said that although this may be true in some cases, the safety that carrying a gun provides for self defense is inherently outweighed by the harms that carrying a gun poses. And this is proved by the Phil study. If Con is right, and on balance carrying a gun provides safety, then we would see that those who carry a gun a less likely to be shot, they are less likely to experience violence. But this is flat out proved wrong by the study, and proves that I am right, and the violence that is caused by carrying a gun outweighs the safety it provides.

The Phil study merely establishes a correlation between gun ownership and death, without any causation to explain it. There are a huge number of factors that influence being killed, e.g. celebrities often own guns, and are often killed. You failed to explain that at all. But Con actually proves *causation* to that extent -he shows that firearm possession could save your life, and does so more often than it takes your life (the only means by which possessing a gun could forcibly take your life that was expressed in the debate was a gun-related accident).

Pro's number of self-defense uses is irrelevent as long as they are outweighed by the violence that it causes, and that is proved true by the Phil study. And the accident deaths vs. self defense deaths is completely irrelevent because that wasn't by rebuttal as said above. This is a huge misunderstanding.

No, it isn't, and I have explained that above. The Phil study was a random individual study that merely found such a correlation -and, if you read the study, the researchers *concede* that no causation is proven, and it merely says that it is unlikely that you'll be saved from an armed assault if you possess a gun. But it is *even more unlikely* to be killed by an accident based on those numbers.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Hayd
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8/15/2016 4:33:39 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/15/2016 3:12:05 AM, tejretics wrote:
I don't disagree with most of what you've posted here. You should have brought some numbers on homicides, however.

Yeah, I should've. I don't really know of any i could use though

Whoa whoa whoa. My rebuttal to the self-defense did not tie into my accident argument at all. Actually, nothing in my rebuttal of the argument mentioned "accidents"

Your argument was basically that -statistically- guns do not change crime rates significantly -- which is also especially vague because some random statistic does not show causation.

No, my rebuttal was that the argument that carrying a gun will on balance protect a citizen from violence because of self-defense is negated by research, as shown by the Phil study. Its not a *random* statistic, and Taj never brought up an argument that its not relevent because its not causation or anything. And Taj never explained why the results would be tainted due to factors, such as those you brought up.

No no no, that evidence did not have to do with accidental death. That study just had to do with gun deaths. Actually, if you click on the source and do control + f "accident" it comes up with 0 results.

Okay. Not really relevant to my decision.

Your reasoning was that I argued that the amount of accidental deaths outweighs those saved by self defense. Thats not true as neither my rebuttal nor my source mentions accidents.

Taj's argument was essentially that firearms protect people from violence, and give people safety. So I said that although this may be true in some cases, the safety that carrying a gun provides for self defense is inherently outweighed by the harms that carrying a gun poses. And this is proved by the Phil study. If Con is right, and on balance carrying a gun provides safety, then we would see that those who carry a gun a less likely to be shot, they are less likely to experience violence. But this is flat out proved wrong by the study, and proves that I am right, and the violence that is caused by carrying a gun outweighs the safety it provides.

The Phil study merely establishes a correlation between gun ownership and death, without any causation to explain it. There are a huge number of factors that influence being killed, e.g. celebrities often own guns, and are often killed. You failed to explain that at all. But Con actually proves *causation* to that extent -he shows that firearm possession could save your life, and does so more often than it takes your life (the only means by which possessing a gun could forcibly take your life that was expressed in the debate was a gun-related accident).

See above. Taj never argued any of this, and I show that underlined is false, of which Taj dropped, thus his argument is negated. Regardless, the source provided tons of causes such as escalating the situation, getting into arguments, etc.

Pro's number of self-defense uses is irrelevent as long as they are outweighed by the violence that it causes, and that is proved true by the Phil study. And the accident deaths vs. self defense deaths is completely irrelevent because that wasn't by rebuttal as said above. This is a huge misunderstanding.

No, it isn't, and I have explained that above. The Phil study was a random individual study that merely found such a correlation -and, if you read the study, the researchers *concede* that no causation is proven, and it merely says that it is unlikely that you'll be saved from an armed assault if you possess a gun. But it is *even more unlikely* to be killed by an accident based on those numbers.