Monday, October 1, 2012

Why You Can Carry a Gun and be Pro-Gun Control

There is a confusion in the current gun-control debates. Many persons of the pro-gun persuasion will respond to a tragedy by claiming "if the victims had guns, then this tragedy would have been prevented, hence we should allow guns to be obtained easier and so on." Against this those tempted to a gun-control view say "na, uh, they wouldn't have been safer." But there is no need for those pro-control persons to say this! What they should say is "yes, you're right, but what I am concerned about is the whole of society being better off with gun-control." What the anti-control advocate has claimed doesn't follow. The proposition "individual x would have been better off had she been armed" is consistent with the proposition "society x would be better off if guns were illegal."

This shows that contrary to popular opinion one can carry guns while being pro-gun control. Such a person may think I would be better off with a gun, but society in general is worse off with the existing gun laws.

By no means am I claiming that persons should do this, only that it is a coherent position. Perhaps even reasonable in some situations.

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