Essays in Philosophy 16 (2):247-261 (2015)

Vincent C. Müller
Eindhoven University of Technology
From a European perspective the US debate about gun control is puzzling because we have no such debate: It seems obvious to us that dangerous weapons need tight control and that ‘guns’ fall under that category. I suggest that this difference occurs due to different habits that generate different attitudes and support this explanation with an analogy to the habits about knives. I conclude that it is plausible that individual knife-people or gun-people do not want tight regulatory legislation—but tight knife and gun legislation is morally obligatory anyway. We need to give up our habits for the greater good.
Keywords gun control  regulation  rights  gun legislation  knife legislation  freedom  free rider
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DOI 10.7710/1526-0569.1535
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