The Ethics of Gun Control
March 27, 2015
Ethics: Professor Elisabeth Nicholes
The Second Amendment to the Constitution states that, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear
Arms shall not be infringed (Cornell University Law School)." The Founding Fathers of the United States felt that the right to bear arms was critical for the survival of the country. They included "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed (Cornell University Law School)." These are inalienable rights, endowed in man that the founding fathers felt were accentual. These rights define Americans as a free and independent people, separating them from European control. Gun Control, in the sense that the government sets polices that limit the rights of gun owner to own, carry, or use firearms, goal is to reduce gun crimes such as armed robbery, murder and so on. I disagree with the idea more gun control is better and will save more lives. I feel although it is legal tin the Constitution to regulate guns, it is still unethical.
In the United States there is an ongoing ethical debate on Second Amendment where many feel that do to the amount of gun related deaths, guns should be reduced or even completely eliminated. Many like myself on the other side of the debate understand that fewer firearms in the hands of responsible citizens mean a less safe country.
The Second Amendment states that, “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms, shall not be infringed (Cornell
University Law School).” The interpretation of the “right of the people” shows that it protects the individual rights of the citizens to own guns. Another debate is with the term
"well regulated" in the opening line of the Second Amendment. Many view this term as the governments power to control a militia. Another interpretation and the one I agree
with is that well regulated means that it is properly operating or properly functioning. It is properly trained and equipped. The second amendment is widely considered to be the most important amendment in the constitution for several reasons. I feel the most important is that it bestows the citizens with protection, defense, and it establishes greater hegemony for the nation as a whole.
Gun control coincides with Kant's belief, that "the morality of an act depends on a person's intentions, not the results of the act (Rosenstand, N.).” The problem here is the results of the act of controlling our individual's rights to bear arms is not always in everyone's self interest. There are two ethical beliefs that conflict with each other in the gun control debate, social utilitarianism and individual rights. These two philosophies do not mesh because you cannot have unlimited individual rights for gun owners on base on a utilitarian theory.
Mass shootings like the one on December 12, 2013, in Newton Connecticut, that left
26 dead, 20 of which were children, has stirred up a national debate on gun control. There is a current trend by some in the U.S. government as well as U.S. citizens to further restrict gun ownership. Nearly all, including myself agree that reducing crime and violence is a goal the country should strive for. I understand that guns can be and are used in some of the most heinous assaults and those individuals should be held accountable for their actions.
The Second Amendment gives citizens the individual right to be armed and that our populace will be secure against any tyranny, invasion, and crime. Our founding fathers were poets, artists, landowners, farmers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, university presidents, businessman and military men including an Army general.