Philosophy professor Hugh LaFollette says that he was raised in a gun culture. Later, he was struck by the very different policy responses to the killing of children in Dunblane, Scotland and Newtown, Connecticut. He says “my dis-ease at having no settled view of the topic nagged at me for several years before I decided that agnosticism on this topic was neither intellectually tenable nor morally responsible. I was impelled to examine the arguments and the evidence to reach a fair and informed view.” In his book “In Defense of Gun Control” (from Oxford University Press) LaFollette says that “the public debate about the private ownership of guns is contentious, often nasty, and rarely insightful” and grotesquely oversimplified. In the book he reviews the various philosophical perspectives on gun control; explains why Americans have a culture of guns not found elsewhere in the developed world; discusses armchair arguments on both sides; and examines empirical evidence relating to guns and gun control.
Hugh LaFollette is Cole Chair in Ethics at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. He mainly teaches and writes in ethics, especially practical ethics. He is author of three other books, editor of many more, and Editor-in-Chief of the International Encyclopedia of Ethics. He is currently preparing the second edition of that eleven volume reference work.