Even though Americans have the moral and legal right to own private guns, the government’s most defensive gun control policy should moderate their usage.
Arguments against Moderate Gun Control
- While private citizens have the right to own firearms, moderate gun control policy gives way to armed militias’ destructive acts and violates Americans’ right to security. Thus, the right to bear firearms does not prevent the government from imposing a significant level of gun control (DeGrazia 5).
- Moderate gun control is undesirable because if the policy persists with its weak implementation policies, the government may soon find it unworthy. Thus, it may put more restrictions on gun ownership, which is unacceptable and against the law.
- Moderate gun control will lead to private gun management failure, creating a basis for possible future government regimes to disregard private gun ownership as a basic moral right and impose stricter private gun ownership eligibility.
- Based on the law, private guns should only be made for self-defense and their households’ defense. Therefore, moderate gun control may lead to further restrictions on the arms strictly for self-defense, declaring most illegal uses (DeGrazia 10).
- Moderate gun control is not acceptable because it will limit the government’s restricting the firearms one can possess and the circumstances when one may possess them, thus violating our liberty rights.
Arguments for Moderate Gun Control
- DeGrazia cites many authors arguing that while private guns are made for self-defense, the presence of a gun in a household makes them more unsafe than they would be without guns.
- He gives existing evidence that a gun in a household increases the likelihood of the household members violating each other with a gun or even committing suicide.
- DeGrazia quotes relevant references that mass gun ownership correlates with mass murder cases, and thus society is not secure with more guns.
- He compares the high gun violence against high gun ownership in the US with other countries such as New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Spain, and Germany. He notes that high gun violence can only get associated with high gun possessions.
- Author: David DeGrazia is arguably a qualified writer for this article. He is Educated in philosophy, where he specialized in animal ethics and bioethics. He also has over 30 years of experience as a professor of philosophy, specifically in the field of philosophy. The author has also edited and written many books and articles, all featuring ethical approaches to contagious issues. Most of David DeGrazia’s writings feature a critical analysis of ethical considerations. His articles and books are widely used in different fields. In political science, this article incorporates the widely debated gun control issue from the eye of ethical considerations (DeGrazia 20). While the article was written way back in 2014, it remains relevant to date both in America and other parts of the world.
- Strength: This article’s main strength is David DeGrazia’s research skills. While he cited many authors from different fields of study, he was always quoted on his arguments’ legal and moral basis. He also used recent articles and avoided old-outdated reference materials in his research.
- Weakness: The article has a big weakness in that the thesis is framed under the assumption that Americans have the legal and moral right to own guns (DeGrazia 21). David DeGrazia, however, does not illustrate the moral background of the rights. Again the author is less experienced in writing about politics. Most of his works are about bioethics and animal ethics.
- Thesis assessment: A thesis statement should clearly state the problem under study by clearly defining all the research variables. However, the researcher aims to test the validity of the claim that the best defensive method of gun control in the US will be moderate gun control, assuming that citizens’ legal and moral rights to have private guns are guaranteed. The problem is tackled procedurally by first analyzing the existing gun control and the meaning of gun control before unavailing the argument, which helps determine the claim’s validity.
The thesis statement is ambiguous because it is based on legal rights and moral rights assumptions and there are no well-defined dependent and independent variables. The author thus subjects the audience to struggle to maintain objectivity since the variables are qualitative and with assumptions that change from time to time. As compared to Goldberg’s article, the thesis statement does not give a convincing argument warranting deep analysis (Goldberg 72). Again, while Goldberg’s thesis statements basis on public opinion polls to determine gun control ethics, DeGrazia does not state any scientific method of collecting data but bases it on his own interpretation of the law. Unlike Rogowski and Tucker’s article, the flow of ideas is poor or complicated to keep track of. Different from DeGrazia’s piece, it outlined a clear thesis statement with a clear variable. DeGrazia also used a philosophical approach by logically analyzing variables without citing the evidence. In their article, Rogowski and Tucker addressed their topic based on existing well-analyzed sources (Rogowski and Tucker 904). Their study is based on examining the attitude of Americans towards gun control.
DeGrazia, David. “The Case for Moderate Gun Control.” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, vol. 24, no. 1, 2014, pp. 1-25.
Goldberg, Jeffrey. “The Case for More Guns (and more gun control).” The Atlantic, vol. 310, no.5, 2012, pp. 68-78.
Rogowski, Jon C., and Patrick D. Tucker. “Critical Events and Attitude Change: Support for Gun Control After Mass Shootings.” Political Science Research and Methods, vol.7 no. 4, 2019, pp. 903-911.