Books and Book Chapters by University of Dayton Faculty



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The ethical debate about guns in America is permeated by political individualism. Public arguments for both greater gun control or more extensive gun liberty both assume the government faces it citizens fundamentally as individuals who bear rights and suffer benefits and harms. Because of the atomistic nature of individualist discourse, it is little wonder the debate does not take us very far.

In this chapter, I will interpret some central rhetorical and behavioral practices regarding guns in America as manifestations of distinct “theo-ethical visions” in contention. By a “theo-ethical vision” I intend in part the effort to bring out the underlying vision of persons in society on which these practices rest, though often in inchoate form.

Publication Date


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Understanding America's Gun Culture (Second Edition)


Lexington Books


London, England


Copyright © 2021, Lexington Books.

The document available for download following the publisher's required embargo is the author's accepted manuscript of Chapter 3, provided by permission of Rowman & Littlefield and the author. All rights reserved. Permission documentation is on file. Please contact the publisher for permission to copy, distribute or reprint.

American Gun Culture Encounters Christian Ethics: A Clash of Narratives