Cover of Essays in Philosophy
>> Go to Current Issue

Essays in Philosophy

Volume 16, Issue 2, July 2015
Philosophy & Gun Control

Table of Contents

Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Browse by:



Displaying: 1-11 of 11 documents


editor’s introduction
1. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Christopher A. Riddle Philosophy & Gun Control: Introduction
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
essays
2. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Michael Kocsis Gun Ownership and Gun Culture in the United States of America
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Almost everyone agrees that gun ownership is part of the complex fabric of values and traditions that comprise American society. All sides in the gun ownership debate understand that firearms are embedded deeply in America’s society and culture. But whereas for some the right to own guns is a non-negotiable promise guaranteed constitutionally, for others it is far more an element of the American experience than is desirable. This essay examines three arguments which have not usually received full treatment in analytical debates, but which may help us to reframe the sharp polarization that now characterizes the discourse. The first relies on distinctively American ideals of liberty, property rights, and the right of protection from the state. The second considers the implications of American liberty and property across contemporary culture. The final argument captures a somewhat more obscure aspiration in American life: the freedom which can be enjoyed only when society has achieved the public good of safety from deadly firearms.
3. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Timothy Hsiao Against Gun Bans and Restrictive Licensing
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Arguments in favor of an individual moral right to keep and bear firearms typically appeal to the value of guns as a reasonable means of self-defense. This is, for the most part, an empirical claim. If it were shown that allowing private gun ownership would lead to an overall net increase in crime or other social harms, then the strength of a putative right to own a gun would be diminished. But would it be defeated completely? I do not think so, and indeed I want to suggest in this paper that even if the harms outweigh the benefits, that neither an outright ban on handguns nor restrictive discretionary ownership policies are justified as an initial reaction. In other words, given that the overall harms outweigh the overall benefits, the default position is still one in favor of reasonably permissive gun laws over a total ban or restrictive discretionary policies.
4. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Howard Ponzer Limited Government and Gun Control
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In the following, the author presents a case for federally mandated gun control regulations. Specifically, the author argues—with reference to The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights—that the principle of limited government often used against federal gun control laws actually provides legitimate justification for them. The aim is to persuade gun advocates to accept such regulations from their own point of view.
5. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Christopher A. Riddle On Risk & Responsibility: Gun Control and the Ethics of Hunting
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article explores gun control and the ethics of hunting and suggests that hunting ought not to be permitted, and not because of its impact on those animals that are hunted, but because of the risk other humans are subjected to as a result of some being permitted to own guns for mere preference satisfaction. This article examines the nature of freedom, its value, and how responsibility for the exercising of that freedom ought to be regarded when it involves subjecting others to a risk of grave bodily harm. A distinction between two kinds of freedom is put forth and it is argued that it would be wrong to sacrifice freedoms of intrinsic worth for freedoms of instrumental worth.
6. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
C’Zar Bernstein Gun Violence Agnosticism
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper, I shall argue that the evidence supports, at the very best for the anti-gun side, agnosticism about the negative criminogenic effects of gun ownership. Given the plausible proposition that there is at least a prima facie moral right (a right that can be outweighed given sufficiently weighty considerations) to keep and bear arms, I argue that agnosticism supports the proposition that there ought to be a legal right to keep and bear arms.
7. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Vincent C. Müller Gun Control: A European Perspective
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
From a European perspective the US debate about gun control is puzzling because we have no such debate: It seems obvious to us that dangerous weapons need tight control and that ‘guns’ fall under that category. I suggest that this difference occurs due to different habits that generate different attitudes and support this explanation with an analogy to the habits about knives. I conclude that it is plausible that individual knife-people or gun-people do not want tight regulatory legislation—but tight knife and gun legislation is morally obligatory anyway. We need to give up our habits for the greater good.
book reviews
8. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Steven Ross Review of Being Realistic About Reasons, by T.M. Scanlon
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
9. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Timothy Chambers Review of Debating Christian Theism, by J.P. Moreland
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
10. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Maximiliano Korstanje Review of The Next Decade, by George Friedman
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
11. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Ryan Marshall Felder Review of Cooperation and its Evolution, ed. Kim Sterelny, Richard Joyce, Brett Calcott, and Ben Fraser
view |  rights & permissions | cited by