Gun Control and Moral thinking
I typically don’t write a lot of politically charged articles on my website. For me, I prefer here to talk about moral issues, psychological issues, biblical and theological issues, and stuff like that.
I am certainly a political person and an opinionated one… but of all the things that I have that I want to write about, even vaguely political ones aren’t top on my list… with a few exceptions. However, I really am not writing this one as a political issue either… that one would be written very differently…
Also, I want to write this one largely just because I have these thoughts bouncing around in my head and I want to put them down somewhere.
… so, I really don’t intend for this one to be all that political either, though I am sure people will read it as such.
I do want to help people learn to think well here, and a recent political issue has given me a chance to help people learn to think. (Let me make an apology in advance to all the serious philosophers out there… I know there is a lot more to these concepts that I am dealing with here… but this is basic… )
In fact, I already did a couple that essentially had the same pattern, about taxation.
This one is about gun control laws
I want to make this point first… This is not meant to be a moral argument.
Lesson Part I – what do I mean by “moral” argument?
Some things are right or wrong.
A moral argument is NOT based on outcomes. If you think something is morally wrong, then you should refuse to do it, no matter what the outcomes are. If you believe something is morally right, you must engage in it – even if it costs you your life!
If you have a morally strong opinion on something that becomes a political argument, it would be totally appropriate to make it a single issue that determines a vote! In fact, it would be problematic to vote in such a way as to encourage something you believe is morally wrong, no matter how you felt about all of the other issues that are based on pragmatics. Pragmatics are about what works – what is effective. If, in Nazi Germany, you had voted against the Fascists because you didn’t approve of them eradicating a race of people, even if their fiscal, foreign and other policies were awesome, you would have been morally right. Even if you believe in states’ rights, and think that the Federal government was wrong to over-rule states’ autonomy, you would still be morally right to oppose slavery. All this make sense?
I might believe that killing all criminals at the moment they are arrested would be effective at stopping crime, but I also believe it would be morally wrong, so I would stand against it, even if it means I and those I love are more likely to be preyed upon by a criminal (and it does). I support due process even though it probably often releases criminals because of its moral positives.
I do not believe that gun/weapon ownership is a moral issue. I do not even believe that I have a God-given right to own a weapon. Granted, that I do believe that I have a constitutionally-given right to own one, but that does not make this a moral issue to me.
Another comment or two in advance. I am a gun owner and I am a responsible and well-trained owner and user. My children, at appropriate ages, are also trained on how to use firearms in responsible and safe ways. I see guns as tools for various tasks and one of them is enjoyment and entertainment.
However, None of this is moral in nature to me. Based on the arguments I see, this is that belief of most people on both sides of the argument… because the argument is exclusively on what problems gun controls laws should fix – thus pragmatic in nature… and that is where we will pick up next time…