Do Guns Make Us Free?: Democracy and the Armed Society

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Yale University Press, May 19, 2015 - Political Science - 296 pages
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Possibly the most emotionally charged debate taking place in the United States today centers on the Second Amendment of the Constitution and the rights of citizens to bear arms. In the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut, the gun rights movement headed by the National Rifle Association appears more intractable than ever in its fight against gun control laws. The core argument of Second Amendment advocates is that the proliferation of firearms is essential to maintaining freedom in America, providing private citizens with a defense against possible government tyranny, and safeguarding all our other rights. But is this argument valid? Do guns indeed make us free?
  
Firmin DeBrabrander examines claims offered in favor of unchecked gun ownership in this insightful and eye-opening analysis, the first philosophical examination of every aspect of a contentious, uniquely American debate. By exposing the contradictions and misinterpretations prevalent in the case presented by gun rights supporters, this provocative volume concludes that an armed society is not a free society but one that ultimately discourages and, in fact, actively hinders democratic participation.,
 
 

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Contents

ONE The Culture of Fear
1
TWO Guns Government and Autonomy
51
THREE The Face of Oppression
102
FOUR Guns and the Threat to Democracy
140
FIVE Power and Democracy
189
Notes
235
Index
263
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About the author (2015)

Firmin DeBrabander is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Maryland Institute College of Art, USA.

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