Why Antis hate Debate

John Lott Debating Evan DeFilippis of “Armed With Reason” in a surprisingly neutral field.

It’s a rough format since both people are heavily citing data, but because of the format can’t actually give live citations. Still I have to call this as a solid win for Lott as he on several occasions gets Devin to backpedal and admit that his initial claims were not true. Also very interesting that every rebuttal Dr. Lott gave really never got a defense from Devin.

Still this doesn’t stop him from claiming victory and calling Dr. Lott a liar on his blog, when even the date he presents doesn’t make the case he’s claiming. More moving of goal posts by the antis.

Still I’m impressed that it was such a balanced forum created by the moderator. I’m not surprised by the end-result.

I am surprised that Mr. DeFilippis agreed to this debate given my personal experience with him. Early this year I was contacted by him because I expressed an interest to debate him. He asked me what topic I’d like to debate. I responded that I was really open to debating a wide scope of topics on the issue and asked for him if he was interested in any particular topic. His response was this:

My co-author and I think three potential topics would be good, and you can choose: “Do guns make us safer?”, “Resolved: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and, “Criminals don’t obey laws, so gun control won’t work”

I responded as follows:

Ok last and far from least, GREAT topics, and I think we have something to work with. I like your discussion topics but I think they’re not ideally framed. “Do Guns Make Us Safer?” is great, and maybe something to handle at a later date, as my approach to it would be almost exclusively statistical with little philosophy. Strikes me as a bit dry. “Guns Don’t Kill People”, is really a flawed topic. I mean guns are inert objects that are fueled by VERY stable chemical compounds. I think we both know that guns themselves don’t kill anybody. People kill people, and yes indeed they sometimes use guns. That one again might be a better topic if we want to do this again, but I wouldn’t accept it until you rephrased it to better match what your opening comment would be.

So that leaves “Criminals don’t obey laws, so gun control won’t work”. This is the one I’d like to focus on, still it doesn’t frame the debate at all. Any law can be ignored, and those who ignore laws is a criminal by definition. The only way I could play the gun rights side of that is to take the position of an Anarchist. I’m not an Anarchist, far from it. Might I suggest the the topic be moderately changed to “Criminals don’t obey laws, so FURTHER gun control won’t work” (emphasis only added for clarity) Feel free to refine and adapt that, but I think you get the feel for where I’m going. I feel that better fits the angle that both myself and larger groups like the NRA are debating. Also while there is a laundry list of current gun regulations I think should be either repealed or amended, this would limit the discussion to current laws being debated.

He agreed to that topic and we hashed out the format of opening comments with him going first, then a pair of rebuttals with me having the final word. I agreed to everything, and told him I was anxiously awaiting his opening statement, and started research on what studies I’d cite for mine.

And then I waited and waited. I did get an email saying he was writing several articles and would get to our debate. After a month of waiting I stopped contacting him. In the meantime I started reading their twitter feed and decided the honest debate we had agreed to was probably not in their interest.

In the end Dr. Lott is a vastly more qualified expert to debate him. I’m a scientist, but my understanding of various statistical models could have allowed him to sneak some dishonesty past me that Dr. Lott quickly picked off.

Still I must give him credit, he choose an unbiased forum to debate in, and went up against somebody who was vastly more experienced and qualified on the subject than he. The end results were as expected.

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3 Responses to Why Antis hate Debate

  1. billc says:

    On the point that shooters don’t select kill sites because of concealed carry laws but because they have a previous connection….here is the right answer….

    You can’t use most sites as an example because the law has made them gun free zones….so…you have to look at shooters who pick sites not based on a previous connection…the Theater Shooter, the santa barbara shooter, and two kids who were caught before they went on their killing spree…they both stated they were going to kill the only guy on campus with a gun, the police liasion officer, thus, making it a gun free zone….

    The theater shooter….as lott said he went where it was a gun free zone, the santa barbara killer, stated he wanted a gun free zone….the other two kids said they wanted to make their kill zones gun free…..

    Killers will choose gun free zones over areas where people can carry guns….

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Further the Newtown crazy had NO connection to the school he shot up.

      Also I love how Evan cites that super unbiased Bloomberg notes that 18 “Mass Shootings” were at places where guns were allowed…but that’s only a tiny fraction of what they consider “Mass Shootings”, so again it supports Lott. Anti’s LOVE moving goal posts. Lott says spree-killers TEND to choose gun free zones….goal posts are moved to “All spree killers kill at gun free zones”, and then Lott’s a liar!

      Also Evan cites a few instances where Lott is allegedly making an error, such as calling the city of Boston a “Gun Free Zone”, and the Florida Bar where somebody was killed. Lott of course understand the law, and Boston doesn’t issue carry permits to residents, also many towns outside of Boston issue LTC permits to residents…but restricts them from Carry, so his raw numbers are suspect. Further his note that Boston is a “Commuter City” fails to look at the reality to that situation. I’m a Boston Commuter, and when I commute into Boston I’m unarmed. Why? I commute to Boston for MY JOB, which I will be fired from if I’m armed. Given how anti-gun Boston is, many employers behave EXACTLY the same way.

      Confirmation Bias!

  2. Burnt Toast says:

    All three proposed topics seemed loaded in “Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife?” when looked at as standalone statements.

    “Do Guns Make Us Safer?”

    Who is to take which position?

    Leaving aside the grueling sleight of hand world of stats & probability and look at the topic qualitatively I would take the position that guns do not make us safer – a basic survey of history shows that since the advent of guns, especially in the twentieth century, more people have been killed by government use (military and police) of guns than have been killed by sticks, stones, steel and everything in between.

    Now how do we get to the subtext that civilian ownership of guns should be restricted because people are much less safe when governments have guns…

    /just being obtuse

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