Recently I was chatting with another debate coach who expressed concern about the current LD resolution and the frustration of debaters trying to defeat the Affirmative position. Perhaps they are seeing a trend that Aff is winning more debates than Neg. In the debates I personally have judged, I have not seen such a bias. Clearly the idea a victim of repeated domestic violence is morally permitted to exercise deadly force is one that is difficult to overcome, perhaps because we all want to believe that given such a circumstance; such a helpless situation in which it appears there is no other option, one may use deadly force to defend oneself. Locke argues the right of self-preservation is a natural right and so maybe it is something so basic to our core beliefs regardless of ideological up bringing, we will always want to reserve the right of self-defense.
Natural rights, i.e. a victim has a right NOT to be killed, an aggressor forfeits one's protection under the social contract, i.e. "forfeiture of life" and the principle of double-effect seem, at least in our area, to be winning the day. Additionally, domestic violence is an inherently emotional issue. One that arouses sympathy for the victim and disdain for the perpetrator. So how can Neg overcome all the weight which tends to tip the balance - if indeed it does exist?
Hopefully I will be able to provide some help over the next few days. (Perhaps I am over optimistic since I not researched deeply.) But first I suggest, the Neg debater clear one's mind of their own bias in this resolution and forget about domestic violence since this is a circumstance and rather, concentrate on the universal principle of killing in self-defense. One finds there are conditions under which philosophers, judges and juries justify the use of deadly force but are the conditions themselves morally justifiable? Think about this - can one really say, there was no intention to kill the perpetrator? Can one really say the victim's life is worth more than the perpetrator's? Can one really claim proportionality can be objectively evaluated?
More on this soon.