Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (1):56-76 (2016)

Authors
David DeGrazia
George Washington University
Abstract
_ Source: _Page Count 21 Guns occupy a major—sometimes terrible—place in contemporary American life. Do Americans have not only a legal right, but also a moral right, to own handguns? After introducing the topic, this paper examines what a moral right to private handgun ownership would amount to. It then elucidates the logical structure of the strongest argument in favor of such a right, an argument that appeals to physical security, before assessing its cogency and identifying two questionable assumptions. In light of persisting reasonable disagreement about the argument’s soundness, the paper identifies two gun control measures—demonstrated need for a gun as a condition of eligibility and the requirement to pass a rigorous gun safety course—that reasonable disputants on both sides of the issue have principled reasons to accept. The paper also advances the thesis that, if anyone has an undefeated moral right to own handguns, it is precisely those individuals who have a special need and demonstrate the relevant safety-related competence
Keywords moral rights   applied ethics   physical security   guns
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1163/17455243-4681055
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References found in this work BETA

On the Nature of Rights.J. Raz - 1984 - Mind 93 (370):194-214.
The Liberal Basis of the Right to Bear Arms.Todd C. Hughes & Lester H. Hunt - 2000 - Public Affairs Quarterly 14 (1):1-25.
Gun Violence and Fundamental Rights.Samuel C. Wheeler - 2001 - Criminal Justice Ethics 20 (1):19-24.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Ethics of ‘Gun-Free Zones’.Timothy Hsiao - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):659-676.

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