The Path to Gun Control in America Goes Through Political Philosophy

Thomas Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This essay argues that gun control in America is a philosophical as well as a policy debate. This explains the depth of acrimony it causes. It also explains why the technocratic public health argument favored by the gun control movement has been so unsuccessful in persuading opponents and motivating supporters. My analysis also yields some positive advice for advocates of gun control: take the political philosophy of the gun rights movement seriously and take up the challenge of showing that a society without guns is a better society, not merely a safer one.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Philosophy Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • gun control


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