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Social Theory and Practice


published on May 12, 2018

Donald W. Bruckner

Gun Control and Alcohol Policy

Hugh LaFollette, Jeff McMahan, and David DeGrazia endorse the most popular and convincing argument for the strict regulation of firearms in the U.S. The argument is based on the extensive, preventable harm caused by firearms. DeGrazia offers another compelling argument based on the rights of those threatened by firearms. My thesis is a conditional: if these usual arguments for gun control succeed, then alcoholic beverages should be controlled much more strictly than they are, possibly to the point of prohibition. The argument for this thesis involves developing a careful analogy between firearms and alcohol and defending the analogy against objections.

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