Ethics of Gun Control

1659 WordsApr 3, 20087 Pages
The Ethics of Gun Control The phrase "Gun Control" means different things to different people. One bumper sticker states that "Gun Control means hitting your target." However one defines gun control, the mere mention of it brings controversy. Opposing sides have for years fought over the laws that govern firearms. For the purposes of this paper "Gun Control" is defined as policies enacted by the government that limit the legal rights of gun owners to own, carry, or use firearms, with the intent of reducing gun crimes such as murder, armed robbery, aggravated rape, and the like. So defined, gun control understandably brings favorable responses from some, and angry objections from others. The gun control debate is generally publicized…show more content…
The next question that arises is, "Is it morally okay for everyone to possess a firearm for use in self-defense?" The answer to this, without allowing for other uses of firearms must be yes. To defend one's self is instinctually right, and is rationally allowable as well. If threatened with a gun, it is difficult to effectively defend one's self with anything other than a gun . Thus for self-defense, guns meet the requirements of the Categorical Imperative. The question then becomes, "What type of guns should be allowed?" The answer cannot be easily given, unless one arrives at an answer based entirely on the need for the gun in the first place. If the purpose of the gun is to protect one's self, and one's family, then the answer must be, "Whatever type of gun is needed to defend one's self and one's family." From this the question arises, "From whom am I to defend myself?" The answer of the Founding Father would have been, "From both foreign and domestic tyranny." A gun that would protect from both foreign and domestic tyranny seems to be a tall order. Protection from domestic tyranny seems simple enough, since most cases of domestic tyranny are simply crimes committed against others by common thugs with less than state-of-the-art weaponry. Thomas Jefferson, however, saw a different domestic tyranny to defend against. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last
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