Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 24 (1):1-25 (2014)
In addressing the shape of appropriate gun policy, this essay assumes for the sake of discussion that there is a legal and moral right to private gun ownership. My thesis is that, against the background of this right, the most defensible policy approach in the United States would feature moderate gun control. The first section summarizes the American gun control status quo and characterizes what I call “moderate gun control.” The next section states and rebuts six leading arguments against this general approach to gun policy. The section that follows presents a positive case for moderate gun control that emphasizes safety in the home and society as well as rights whose enforcement entails some limits or qualifications on the right to bear arms. A final section shows how the recommended gun regulations address legitimate purposes, rather than imposing arbitrary restrictions on gun rights, and offers concluding reflections.
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