Social Contract Theory, Essay Example

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In Wendy Kramer’s essay, “Second Thoughts on the Second Amendment,” she  argues against people owning their own guns.  She writes that the second amendment does not confer upon individuals the right to bear arms except in a well-regulated militia and that the social contract provides no support either for personal gun ownership.  She goes on to say that “the right or power to engage in punishment or retribution is precisely what is given up when you enter an ordered civil society.  The loss of the self-help remedies is the price of the social contract.”  This student believes that Kramer is correct.

John Locke describes a case scenario that is meant to make clear the distinction between self-defense and vigilantism, thereby also indicating that it would be acceptable for people to own guns if they used them only in self defense. According to Kramer,  The Social Contract Theory’s view might be that if people needed guns to defend themselves,  a revolution was needed because  the government is no longer able to maintain order and justice.

Stretching the point somewhat, according to the Social Contract Theory, something is moral if it is in your best interests and everyone in society agrees with it. Accordingly, then, if people believe and agree that owning guns are in their best interest, there, then, exists a point within the Social Contract Theory that would make it legal for citizens/residents to own guns.

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