The question of whether private gun ownership is reasonable polarises opinion, particulary in the United States. Jeff McMahan examines the arguments in conversation with David Edmonds in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
If anything has annoyed me and turned me off North American Evangelical Christianity in the last year or so, it has been the staunch refusal of many (if not most) American Evangelicals to speak up and condemn the American obsession with firearms. In fact, because so many American Evangelicals seem so hopelessly deluded in their thinking that to be a ‘Christian’ means to be a right-wing, politically-conservative, libertarian Republican voter, they seem not only unwilling to be a rational voice amidst anachronistic Second Amendment rights madness, but are in a great number of examples completely complicit with the pro-gun lobby. In the NRA’s pocket, you might say. Not surprising really when you see how the same group of American Evangelicals have been so successfully manipulated by the political right.
Hence they seem not to see the irrationality of a world view which virulently opposes the killing of children in the womb, while limply shrugging their collective shoulders about the en masse killing of children in school yards by a madman with a cache of automatic weapons. If there is anything that clearly highlights the mistaken conflation of religious belief with political ideology, it is most certainly this issue.
Pro Life yet also Pro Gun. Fail.
To me, this is not just irrational. It is shameful. Irrational and shameful enough for me to lose almost all respect I had for American Evangelicalism as a worthy representative of 21st Century international Christianity. Here, it takes a secular philosopher like Jeff McMaham to be an uncommon rational philosophical voice in the gun control debate.
Listen to the podcast episode here.