I assume that for those intent on limiting legal availability to guns, it must be a moral argument. But what is it? I hope I get that feedback… if limited people’s lawful access to guns is a moral imperative to you, I would love to hear about it! I am not kidding. Remember, not pragmatic… moral.
but let me make a guess:
There are those who believe that humans are basically good… and because they are basically good, they believe that if you remove the external “evil” influences (like guns), then people will not be evil. Maybe it is simpler than evil – maybe it is just “violent”… If we take away the guns, then people will be less violent… in which case, it becomes a crusade to get rid of the evil or violent influencers.
The problem is that people are violent; more, people are evil… or at least tainted by it. Though we have a wonderful potential for goodness and greatness that I assume extends from being created in the image of God…
But we are fallen. We are bent from our original design. We are all born with the predisposition to be selfish, narcissistic liars. My children could lie before they had ever seen anyone lie – we didn’t have to teach them.
People will be violent and lethally so. Those with evil or criminal intent will accomplish these and will do it with the best weapons they can get illegally. To me it seems that for a sane society, it is vital that law abiding citizens be as well armed as criminals. This feels axiomatic to me.
Maybe this isn’t it. If someone else has another moral argument, I would love to engage with it, but I don’t think a pragmatic one is going to work… and if a pragmatic argument doesn’t work, then it isn’t sound as a pragmatic argument.
I do have one other thought that, as an American, has struck me recently as I have watched the news on these topics that I want to make note of… Again, I don’t know if I think of government endorsed freedom as a moral issue – my freedom comes from my Creator…
But one of the things that the US was originally founded on was a transcendent concept of human freedoms… that people are, generally speaking, free to choose things (like the pursuit of happiness) on their own.
One pundit after another is asking the same question about various gun components or brands or styles: “Why do you need a __________?”
What troubles me is the question itself rather than the object… or even the answers.
Everyone that I have watched has been answering this question as thought it were a valid question. As an American who likes to think of this as a free country, this bothers me.
Why do you need more than 1 car?
Why do you need to watch daytime news shows?
Why do you need dessert?
Why do you need more than 1 television?
Why do you need to own movies, computers, chairs, more than a couple changes of clothes, more than one pair of shoes…?
You don’t. I don’t.
But this is a free nation, and approximates what the early founders would have believed that government was not supposed to do.
It seems to me that one application of that liberty would mean that it isn’t my responsibility to explain to the government why I want to own something… or why I need it…
Rather, it should be the government’s responsibility to go to extreme measures to make an airtight case that I shouldn’t have the freedom to own something… and I think this was a part of the argument for our national existence.
Then why are we answering those questions? I want to see an expert, pundit, or someone make this case when asked this question. Has America changed so much that we don’t even start with the assumption of freedom?
Again, this is now still not a moral argument – I don’t know that I believe that people do have a God-given right to pursue happiness… but I do know it is a principle that the nation was founded on. Interesting to me, at least, the shift in thinking.
Ok, I hope that didn’t become too political there at the end, but again, I am looking for what the moral argument might be and maybe it is about equitability. For many, fairness is a moral responsibility… maybe I can write about fairness next.