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That the police should carry weapons while on regular duty

1 point
8 points
condeelmastercondeelmaster (PRO)
I am not in favor of violence. I believe that you can solve problems in other ways. However there are certain situations in which some force is required. 

I'm convinced that force is a way of guaranteeing security and safety. That being said, the police must be capable and allowed to use that force in the adequate situations. In order to achieve that, police officers should carry a weapon with them. If police officers don't do so, they can't accomplish their duties completely. And when the police can't accomplish their duty, We lose our democratic right of security.

We cannot allow the streets to become more dangerous and our peers to become more unsafe and terrified. We can't permit chaos just because we are cowards.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-01-20 10:32:16
| Speak Round
condeelmastercondeelmaster (PRO)
I don't have anything to add to my argument and since admin forfeited I can't write anything.
Hope next round you don't forfeit!!!

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-01-21 11:58:41
| Speak Round
adminadmin (CON)
First of all, I wish to apologize for forfeiting the previous round. The narrow time limit and my alarm not working this morning conspired to make this difficult for me, especially since I had a lot to say. I'll summarize a little more in this round and hopefully I can get it all in!

I'd also like to thank my opponent for offering up this challenge and welcome him to the site.

Why do we have a police force?
We broadly feel that the goal of police ought to be for the protection of the people and enforcement of the law. That is not to say, however, that police themselves are infallible. If police harm people or break the law, then there is a problem.

A basic protection that exists against this, is simply not to provide police with more resources than they need for their jobs. If police are quite capable of performing their duties without firearms, then there is no problem to solve.

What do officers do on regular duty?
While the tasks that officers do on their normal patrols is varied, it usually doesn't warrant a gun by any reckoning. If you're sitting there making sure nobody breaks the speed limit, you do not need a firearm. Or if you're door-knocking around a neighbourhood asking if somebody has seen some criminal, you do not need a firearm. Or if you're conducting a search of a former drug-lord's property, you do not need a firearm.

Much like police dogs are not taken by most police officers on regular duty, so too should firearms (in my view in this debate) be reserved for very few situations. If you will, only in irregular circumstances should police carry firearms - something like the UK model, where firearms are locked inside the police cars (so they're available if needed) but not with the officers as part of their regular duties.

Prevent corruption
The alternative to this is something like the US model, where cops become reliant on the use of firearms instead. This is wrong for two reasons.

First, it corrupts and perverts the justice that is the rationale for a police force in the first place. Police don't have it easy, but frequent force or threat of force by means of so lethal a weapon cannot be excused on regular duty. Even if this were not the case, less-lethal alternatives such as taser guns are far more useful materials to carry, as the goal is to subdue criminals as opposed to killing them.

Second, it extends natural criminological biases in that society. In America there's the whole "Black Lives Matter" movement for exactly this reason, as many feel that police are more likely to take risks with the lives of largely foreign cultures in the name of "self protection".

Naturally an officer's security is important, but guns do not achieve this.

If you want to defend against somebody shooting you, then a gun will not stop a bullet; this is why police officers often wear armor. Armor is an effective way of defending against weapons, because it is able to protect officers against the impact of a bullet. Investment into firearms is not justified by protection.

Street Unrest
As an extension of the above point, armed cops contributes to unrest, and does not prevent it. What prevents it is taking guns away from criminals.

This might seem like an obvious point, but unrest is not the result of inadequate officer firepower. Numerous protests that actually had a police presence, yet nonetheless turned violent (often against the police themselves!) are a powerful testimony to this effect. Of course, there are a few cases where the executions of warrants to seize firearms may reasonably be expected to cause a standoff, and police may need to prepare for that - but such cases are exceptions, and not rules.

While pro is arguing for the "protection" of people first and foremost, I am arguing for the protection of basic values. A peaceful and prosperous society cannot coexist with an armed one.

We don't want a corrupt government, so why place the tools of corruption directly into the everyday arms of police. After all, the everyday people they deal with are largely law-abiding. It is only outliers and exceptions where firearms are required, if ever.

As for security of officers and the social cohesion of the common people, neither are enhanced by police brandishing guns. All it does is create targets.

The resolution is negated.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-01-21 12:36:00
| Speak Round
condeelmastercondeelmaster (PRO)
I understand the worries of CON about security and corruption. But this has a more efficient solution. Instead of taking away guns from cops we should give them a better education.

If we leave policemen unarmed, they will be limited in their capacity of doing their job, and unsafe from the risk of the job. I know that a gun won't stop a bullet, but It will stop the shooter, which, at the end, es better. This mean kill whatever moves? Not at all. Policemen have certain techniques to neutralice a threat without killing it. 

To solve the problem CON proposed, and avoid the risk of having damage we must educate our police. If police officers are excellently prepared the risk of doing harm to themselves or to others is minimal, if not none. 

Also a more educated police force will have less corruption ratings. Educating will leave better moral understandings to cops, which will upgrade the police.

Lastly I believe that a pacific society can't exist without someone who is capable to ensure the pace and safety. The one who is capable of doing so is an armed police force.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-01-21 13:12:29
| Speak Round
adminadmin (CON)
First of all, we note that pro doesn't evidence this claim. Just because somebody is educated in the use of firearms does not mean the harms I have substantiated will not accrue. Even if this were the case, pro has not proven it.

Of course, any police officer handling small arms needs extensive education in their use. We agree here. But this does not have any bearing on whether officers are armed on regular duty, or armed only when required as I advocate.

Guns stop shooters?
This is evidentially false. The USA is the most armed society in the world, and yet it also has the largest number of mass killers in the world. Clearly guns are incredibly ineffective at stopping shooters or other violent criminals.

In fact the opposite effect occurs - guns create a culture of violence, and in fact normalize it. As role models, when police carry guns, so too does everyone else come to see guns as a normal fact of life. This is not only true in the USA - if you look at some of the other most highly-armed states in the world, you'll find all of them are rife with so much violence, they are practically failed states - places like Somalia, which has the second-highest gun ownership rates in the world.

Use guns safely
When pro says that techniques exist to neutralize without killing, he also needs to explain why many of the most highly trained armed offenders squads around the world routinely kill people. Almost every week a new story breaks about some person killed through police violence.

This is not to say that explicit police brutality need exist - though of course that's a given. Nations invest millions into the proper training of police right now, and yet it hasn't escaped the police psyche - perhaps part of it is human nature. But when we're actually talking about "training to shoot somebody without killing them", what we're really meaning is "aiming a lethal weapon at the parts of the body least likely to cause death". For example, chests are generally considered more durable than heads.

This assumption, like most others, is very dependant on individual physiology. Even if police had perfect judgement and training, they would still kill people using guns if those people have certain medical conditions, were below a certain body mass, or even just were plain unlucky! Numerous people have died from bullets to the chest, just as people have died from bullets to the head.

Moral understanding
Just because you teach morals doesn't mean police will always abide by them in the field. Many police like the feeling of power and authority and it's not something easily rooted out in a classroom.

Even if police were moral angels who never did anything wrong, the fact that they're armed could still cause them to appear corrupt in the eyes of the general public. I discussed this in more length in my previous round.

The resolution is negated.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-01-21 18:19:08
| Speak Round
condeelmastercondeelmaster (PRO)
Guns do stop the shooter

What I mean by this is that policemen without guns can't stop a shooter. Cops can't just say "police! freeze!" and wait for the shooter to be a nice guy. They have to use the force the y have to stop him/her. 
If we don't allow police to have guns bad guys will continue to have guns. It's a false assumption to say that if cops don't have  guns people won't have guns. I believe that it would be te opposite, people will feel insecure and will have more guns.


As studies show (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abstract/10.1080/10511253.2014.923010), policemen with better education are better at their job and produce less accidents while using force. 

What this proves is that the risk of guns can be minimized with better education, and in doing so solving the worries CON proposed. 

Corruption will always exist

There will always be someone who doesn't have the morality to do his/her job. There will always be corruption. But taking away gun won't stop It.  Police corruption isn't based on guns, but on intimidation, abuse of functions, bribes, mob connections, politics, and so on. Getting guns away won't stop corruption, proving the second argument against guns is also false.


I admit that teaching morals doesn't ensure cops to be good guy and not corrupts. But you must accept that teaching morality will decrease this. If cops understand morals better the possibility of them being corrupt is less. 
Anyway, you can't make them all be good. There will always be a corrupt one. However, as I said above, guns won't fix this.

Lastly, the image of cops being corrupt just because they have guns is very subjective. As far as I'm concerned, guns make policemen look more credible, guns make people feel safer. Again, this is subjective, people can be against guns or in favour of them, and this doesn't prove the point that guns are good or bad.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-01-22 04:43:52
| Speak Round
adminadmin (CON)
Police need guns to stop a shooter
First, this is false - I gave the example previously of, for example, using a taser to attack a shooter. There are countless other non lethal subdual weapons that have a much reduced chance of death. So much for my opponent's opening statement that he believes other ways are superior to violence!

However, this is irrelevant to this debate anyway, because one would hope police don't generally encounter shooters on regular duty. This is not your everyday sort of police activity, and should be left to either a more specialized armed offenders squad, or to extraordinary circumstance. My model in this debate, after all, is not that police will never have guns, but that they will not carry the guns (or other weapons) around while on regular duty.

People feeling insecure
Again, I am compelled to point out that the evidence shows the opposite. Police armament has practically no correlation with lawlessness.

What guns do is normalize a culture of violence. They make it seem alright to have guns because the cops do. If nothing else, the people feel like they need to be able to defend themselves just in case the cops are corrupt! And that's perhaps the most dangerous of all.

If there is no culture of violence, then people have nothing to feel insecure about - because if you decrease the prevalence of guns in society, you make it harder for ordinary criminals to become shooters.

I'll admit that education helps a little with reducing accidents, but it does not go far enough. When you're dealing with lethal force, it's not good enough that the protectors of society have even a 1% failure rate, because people's lives are at stake, and many of those people will be innocent.

Guns are the most lethal weapon known to mankind for their size. I want to question - why does my opponent insist on arming police with the one weapon most likely to kill somebody, and then expect them not to kill anyone? Education is profoundly unhelpful in defeating the whole purpose of the design of the gun, which is murder.

Police corruption not because of guns
My opponent is missing the point. Given that police corruption will exist (as he admits), guns make it a lot worse, as guns give the police ready access to the firepower required to kill people practically at will.

When people carry guns, they tend to feel more powerful. This is a normal reaction, because they are more powerful. It's easy to consider yourself above the rest of society when they carry guns but you don't. Likewise, for other people, they're going to feel relatively powerless/oppressed. It's hard to be on equal terms with a police officer while they carry weapons.

The resolution is negated.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-01-22 11:04:25
| Speak Round
adminadmin (CON)
It appears that both my opponent and I have managed to forfeit a round each! I believe this is the final round, so I wish my opponent good luck in the judging.
Return To Top | Posted:
2016-01-23 11:06:46
| Speak Round

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Sorry for last forfeit. Time problems. Good luck for the judging!
Posted 2016-01-24 02:40:15
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2016-01-24 16:41:09
lannan13Judge: lannan13    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: admin
Wow, this debate was something else. Each debater each forfeited a round, so that will not factor into my decission. Con had a great flow and made the debate easy to read, though Pro did the same, just not as well. I would have loved to see sources as many of the claims in this debate were a little far fetched for me to believe, though Pro did bring up an effective study source so I have to give him points there as that argument has more backing in itself. Con brought up a Social costs argument to defeat it though. It showed that even though it may be a good source, it doesn't save all. If Pro had another round I'm quite sure he could have flipped that argument around on Con. I have to give this debate to Con due to his arguments showing the flaws of a policemen carrying a weapon from unrest to simply not stopping the crime. Pro did not due an effective check of definding the case and ended up having to simply go onto refuting Con's case. What really won the debate for Con was his impact in the debate of the corruption leading to unrest or even a rogue cop. This was an argument that was not properly refuted and with it standing and Pro not really having an impact to uphold his case I have to give more weight to this argument. Con wins the debate and either debater is welcome to PM me if there is an issue with this vote.
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2016-01-24 23:50:40
darth_timonJudge: darth_timon
Win awarded to: admin
This was a tough decision, with both parties offering good arguments. I feel Admin shaded it - just!
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2016-01-25 12:11:40
StickJudge: Stick
Win awarded to: admin
I felt that overall this debate was average at best, and think that both debaters could have done a lot better. Both debaters had forfeits so this did not factor into my decision. Overall, stylistically, I didn't think either debater had a particularly great flow that carried through the debate, but I did think pro had some very good emotive language and con had some very nice narratives in his analysis.

Pro's model was that police officers should be armed and educated to achieve security, and con's model was that guns should not be taken onto regular police duty, only in extreme circumstances when required (referenced uk model of having guns locked in cars)

In this debate, there was no burden of proof on either debater, it was just one model against another. In support of the models, pro established 1 argument (security) and con established 3 arguments (adequate resourcing, preventing corruption, security)

I felt that this was a debate of missed opportunities where both had big chances to attack the opponent and their models.

I thought that pro's opening argument was lacking in that the strong emotive language used was not backed up by substantive causation. This round for pro was far too short and was by far pro's weakest round. On the other hand, I felt that con did a good job of establishing his position in his first (second) round with some solid arguments and good analysis.

In the second and third round I think the tide started to turn a bit. Pro elaborated on his model talking past cons arguments and directly at the model while con seemingly abandoned large portions of what he had gained in the first round to spend the round rebutting. The entire debate was reframed to almost be solely around pro's model, which made this debate much closer that the first round would have suggested. I think the saving grace for con here was the little piece at the end of each round that spoke about corruption, which seemed to carry forward from his first round, and I don't feel that this was adequately responded to by pro, and was well established by con.

I think that with the education point, pro didn't show well enough why having a reduced fatality rate is better than con's model where he was claiming to have next to none at all. Related to this too I feel that the wrong tack was taken to con's 'guns don't stop shooters' argument, that con's point really needed to be addressed in the third as opposed to pro's argument being effectively rehashed.

On the note of security, I feel that in the end it was accepted that it was largely contingent on the education and corruption points, as well as matters of perception.

In all the decision for me was clear, but it was still a reasonably close debate in the end, and I feel that if pro had have pounced on the opportunities he had to attack, this debate could have easily gone the other way.

Feedback for pro:

I felt that overall the first round was lacking and it let you down a lot in this debate, so it might be worth in future spending a bit more time in this round constructing arguments. I felt you made one singular argument about security, but could have done a lot more than that, and even perhaps pre-empted a lot of con’s arguments.

In your second round I felt you again could have done a lot more. Con was contending 5 points, some of which would not have taken much to rebut, none of which I felt you adequately responded to. In this round you completely reframed the debate and almost spoke past con, at his model to an extent but not at his arguments. This left you wide open to attack, and had con taken that opportunity and not accepted your reframing could have hugely hindered you in the debate.

With the arguments you did rebut I again feel you need to go deeper into the causation. Why are the techniques you discussed better than tasers, how does education reduce corruption etc. I feel you had an opportunity to go right to the core of tearing down pro’s model in this round but you missed a valuable opportunity. Even if it seems silly, it is always important to break down why things happen rather than just saying they do. This is what gave con the big opportunity to attack you in the third about ‘lack of evidence’, which really just means lack of breaking things down enough. Be careful about being apocalyptic about arguments and clearly explain how one thing necessarily leads to another.
When you’re debating what ‘should’ happen, avoid bringing yourself into it (personal pronouns), because this leaves you open to attack.

Feedback, con
Established the setting, model and why we are having this debate well but personally I would have liked a bit more of a lead-in introduction to get me hooked and want to continue reading. Stylistic thing, I know, and I also know I don’t do this a lot of the time, but I think it is good to do. By this I mean something similar to what you did in your summary, which I thought was good – strong, emotive, gets you hooked.

Even if argument round 2 in preventing corruption point I didn’t feel was needed as it is already covered in other arguments, if anything having it in there actually detracts from the point because it seems like an expression of doubt (or that there’s a chance that it’s not true). The even if argument made wasn’t even a true even if as it agrees with the preceding sentence, so I think it could definitely have been phrased better. There were a few syntactical things like this throughout that I am sure wouldn’t be there had arguments been well proof-read, which I do realise is hard to do in short time-frame debates, but would add strongly to your arguments

Be careful about facts, Serbia, not Somalia has the second highest gun ownership rates in the world.

Back up your own arguments. If you make an argument in the second (or first) round and it is unaddressed, or not adequately adderssed, strengthen them and use them to attack pro. I think this caused your second round to be weak because you seemingly abandoned all that you established in your first round to attack pro, and thereby weakened your overall position in the debate.

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Really good suggestion. Thanks for the feed back!
Posted 2016-01-27 10:23:46
2016-01-26 12:51:29
KetuvimJudge: Ketuvim
Win awarded to: condeelmaster
Police are ob course to carry guns, how else are they supposed to defend themselves,
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