Monday, December 17, 2012

The morally serious argument of the pro-gun lobby

Couple LaPierre's claim with the other staple of gun rights advocates — that restricting gun ownership would not have prevented the perpetrators of any of these violent crimes from finding a way to carry out their grisly murders — and one can begin to piece together the logic driving the opponents of regulation. Many gun owners (the loud ones and the quiet ones) fundamentally reject the premise that the government is capable of protecting its citizens, and they chafe at the suggestion that they should trust anyone else to protect their spouses, children, and mothers from monsters like the one that allegedly gunned down 20 helpless children in Connecticut. They view the world as a sort of quasi-Hobbesian state of nature in which a fellow can only rely on himself for protection.

In light of this reality, it is not hard to understand why gun owners take it personally every time someone suggests regulating firearms. Just as women feel that the government ought not be able to dictate what they do with their bodies and their health, on some level, gun owners perceive gun regulation as interfering with their right to self-determination in a similar way. They do not want to rely on someone else to save them.

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