|The Harvard team, Coulter King and Josh Zoffer.|
Sorry it has taken until May 3 to get this up here, but it's very much fun to hear debate pros discuss.
Steve Johnson on the self defense argument:
I wish we had made more clear the differentiation between the right of self defense and the tools that support that right. Wiley and Amy did a good job with it, but we could have been more clear. At the end of day, there was still space for the audience to think those two things were tied closely, if not one and the same. Had we made more clear that those things were absolutely differentiated, and that one is a tool that serves the other, I think that would have been better. That is what stuck with me after the first four speeches.
Amie Stanley on regulating rights:
I really liked the question of whether or not a right can be regulated. I thought that Harvard did a very good job of engaging with whether or not having an enshrined right restricts your ability to regulate that right in a way that is safe. And I thought that both teams engaged in kind of an example war of situations where we were either successful or unsuccessful in regulating a right, but no one really analyzed, necessarily to the depth I would have liked to have seen, whether or not the existence of a right compared to other rights they do regulate inhibits our ability to make good decisions about that regulation. And I thought that was really key, but kind of got left behind for the debate about self defense. Which happens a lot. You have to choose what you will engage with given the time you have. But I thought that was a really interesting question that I especially liked.
Steve on the floor speeches:
The floor speeches went very well. I felt like during the Stanford debate last year that the floor speeches were a little unfocused and not very clear. But, that’s OK, people learn to express themselves more clearly, so it was a positive addition to debate. It is what it is.
Given that concern I had over the lack of focus and the lack of clarity, combined with such a charged issue as the Second Amendment, this had the potential to be very emotional or very positional. I was really very strapped in, and Amy will tell you how nervous I was about the floor speeches ... but Anchorage came through for me. They were a good group of people who I think rose to the occasion. They really honored the forum and did a good job.