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Thread: Gun/Open Carry Studies

  1. #1
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    Gun/Open Carry Studies

    I am working on a final paper for my college ethics class. The professor instructed us to use a topic of our choice and discuss it in terms of ethical theories. So far I have covered Kant and his concept of autonomy in-so-far as a gun defends one's autonomy against those who would infringe upon it. I have also covered intent and Kant's idea that intent factors into the ethical permissibility of an action.

    I would like to cover utilitarianism, the idea that the most ethical outcome is the one which produces the most good. For this I was looking for some studies showing that having a gun, on the whole, is better for society than an unarmed one. This could be in any capacity, from merely owning a gun to open carrying one. Have any studies been conducted, and, if so, could any of those more knowledgeable point me to them?

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    For the safety bit you simply have to look at the stats for how whenever there's been an increase in gun control there's been an increase in crime. Be sure to do the comparison in the same place, like looking at Britain before and after their gun control. Some other good places would be Australia, DC, and Chicago (DC and Chicago especially because you can see the increase when they banned guns and the decrease when those bans were lifted).

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    Regular Member Eeyore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    For the safety bit you simply have to look at the stats for how whenever there's been an increase in gun control there's been an increase in crime.
    The limitation to this approach is that it could be argued that those studies show correlation, but not necessarily cause. You can argue that the correlation implies cause, but I don't think you could definitively prove causation. However, since this is an ethics class not a statistics class, you might not need a definitive link--implied causation might be enough to argue your case.

    To defend your utilitarian position, I think you would also need to head off counter-arguments that guns cause harm. One example that comes to mind is "more guns = more suicides". You'd have to quote studies that show the overall suicide rate doesn't change significantly in the presence/absence of guns, just the method.

    There is a town in Georgia--I forget which one--that passed a law (not enforced, from what I understand) that requires every household to own a gun. So apparently they were convinced of a utilitarian benefit.
    Guns don't kill people. Drivers on cell phones do.

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    Or look at the number of mass murders conducted in "Gun Free Zones" vs shooting ranges.
    Don't believe any facts that I say! This is the internet and it is filled with lies and untruth. I invite you to look up for yourself the basic facts that my arguments might be based upon. This way we can have a discussion where logic and hints on where to find information are what is brought to the forum and people look up and verify facts for themselves.

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Here are some selections from the paper for your (collective) enjoyment. No need to edit as I turned it in today, however feel free to tell me things I could do better in the future if you so desire.



    "A final distinct view of the ethical case for guns is as a deterrent to crime. Civilians who openly carry their firearms, as the author does, see the gun as a pre-aggression warning. It stands to reason that any person with even modest critical thinking skills and the intent to commit a crime will evaluate the situation before they act. By carrying a weapon in plain view, open carriers express to potential criminals that they will not accept any outcome which might cause them harm. This is greater than the face-value interpretation as, in doing so, the open carrier deters crime. Clearly the greatest good is not when a person kills someone attacking them, but, instead, prevents the altercation from occurring in the first place. This is the utilitarian argument for an armed society."

    I don't really believe that the greatest good is effected by not shooting a potential aggressor as I am all in favor of purging agressive people from the gene pool, however I chose the simple view of utilitarianism as trying to describe a totalistic utilitarian calculus is like nailing Jello to the wall.

    I went on to talk about gun laws and crime trends while specifically mentioning causation:

    "...In Tennessee, on average, one in ten people possess a handgun carry permit (Tennessee Handgun Carry Permits). Great Britain is a confirming example.

    [chart]

    In 1988 extremely burdensome gun ownership laws were passed. Since then, crime has skyrocketed as legal gun ownership has declined. While, from this chart, one cannot say that more gun ownership necessarily negates violent crime; correlation does not suggest causation. Without the ability to tightly control such test we can only show that there is, indeed, some form of correlation and speculate thereafter (Selick)."

    Thanks, again, for the suggestions. I'll let you (collective) know what the professor has to say.

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    Regular Member BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    That sounds good.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    You should also touch on the historic inevitability of genocide by governments that have restrictive gun laws.

    A good starting point for this topic is the movie "Innocents Betrayed", produced by JPFO.

    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    It was Kennesaw, GA that passed a law requiring every head of household to have a gun and ammo therefore. This law was passed in response to all the gun bans that were being enacted in states like Illinois.

    I do not have a citation to provide, but I believe the law has never actually been enforced.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    What does a caring, sensitive person feel when they are forced to use a handgun to stop a threat?

    Recoil.

  9. #9
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyWifeSaidYes View Post
    It was Kennesaw, GA that passed a law requiring every head of household to have a gun and ammo therefore. This law was passed in response to all the gun bans that were being enacted in states like Illinois. I do not have a citation to provide, but I believe the law has never actually been enforced.
    It has been very effective then without enforcement.

    http://davekopel.org/Briefs/07-290bs...inersAssoc.pdf Page 18 and FN [14], [15]

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    Regular Member Irish.40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    It has been very effective then without enforcement.

    http://davekopel.org/Briefs/07-290bs...inersAssoc.pdf Page 18 and FN [14], [15]

    I couldn't find a date of publication. This is a very interesting read. But without a date, the applicability is under question. Folks post all kinds of old and outdated case-law etc. I hope it is current!

  11. #11
    Regular Member MyWifeSaidYes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyWifeSaidYes View Post
    It was Kennesaw, GA that passed a law requiring every head of household to have a gun and ammo therefore. This law was passed in response to all the gun bans that were being enacted in states like Illinois.

    I do not have a citation to provide, but I believe the law has never actually been enforced.
    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    It has been very effective then without enforcement.

    http://davekopel.org/Briefs/07-290bs...inersAssoc.pdf Page 18 and FN [14], [15]
    Quote Originally Posted by Irish.40 View Post
    I couldn't find a date of publication. This is a very interesting read. But without a date, the applicability is under question. Folks post all kinds of old and outdated case-law etc. I hope it is current!
    You are joking, right? DC v Heller? The landmark case that confirmed that the Second Amendment was IN FACT an individual right.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    What does a caring, sensitive person feel when they are forced to use a handgun to stop a threat?

    Recoil.

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