“Gun Rights and the Threat to Freedom and Democracy”

Possibly the most emotionally charged debate taking place in the U.S. today centers on the rights of citizens to bear arms. The core argument of Second Amendment advocates is that firearms are essential to maintaining freedom, providing citizens with a defense against possible government tyranny, safeguarding our other rights. But do guns indeed make us free? This philosophical examination exposes the contradictions and misinterpretations inherent in the case presented by gun rights supporters, and provocatively demonstrates that lax gun laws actually hinder democratic participation.

Prof. Firmin DeBrabander received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Emory University, and is on the faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). His specialties include the History of Western Philosophy, Ethics, Political Theory, and Environmental Ethics, and also teaches courses on Media Ethics, Economic Theory, Eastern Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, and Medical Ethics. He is the author of ‘Spinoza and the Stoics’ and has published academic articles in History of Philosophy Quarterly, International Philosophy Quarterly, and other academic journals. He has written social and political editorials for the Baltimore Sun, Counterpunch and Common Dreams. He has organized symposia in honor of Constitution Day including such speakers as John Waters, Helen Thomas, Angela Davis, Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson, Amy Goodman, Andrew Sullivan, and Cornel West.

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