An earlier paper that prompted me to write this book can be found here


"This is the best book to date on issues of gun rights and gun control. While it includes history, statistics, and analysis of those statistics, it is above all a work of careful, sustained, rational argument informed by the facts to the extent that they are known. It is particularly strong in its analyses of the nature of moral rights and of what rights people actually have. This is not another polemical tract of the sort that tends to dominate discussions in the US. In developing and defending his views about issues of ethics, law, and policy, LaFollette is scrupulously fair to the views and arguments of all parties. His is a voice of sanity in this polarized but vitally important debate."

Jeff McMahan, White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Oxford

"In Defense of Gun Control is an outstanding, short, readable treatise on how an intelligent person might approach the gun control debate. The author, a philosopher, first steps back from the immediate issue and in a serious, thoughtful way provides a framework for thinking about rights, then discusses what the 'right to bear arms' might mean. Similarly, he steps back and discusses the criteria one can use to evaluate the existing empirical evidence on gun issues (or any issue). Given that much is not known, he discusses the importance of 'armchair arguments' (your own understanding of how the world works, from self-reflection, experience, as well as formal and informal education). This is a book that should be read whether you agree with the author's ultimate conclusions, and I would argue, whether or not you are extremely interested in guns or gun control. The book provides a highly useful template for how initial non-experts (all of us on most issues) can thoughtfully approach any public policy question."

David Hemenway, PhD
Professor of Health Policy
Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
Author of Private Guns Public Health 2004/2017

"No philosopher has contributed more substantially to the literature on gun policy ethics than Hugh LaFollette, as he demonstrates in this outstanding volume.  In Defense of Gun Control features exquisite sensitivity to the implicated empirical issues and a penetrating, fair-minded analysis of the ethical issues, before concluding with an array of moderate gun control proposals—some of them quite novel.  This work will be of interest to scholars, university students, and others who seek a balanced examination of gun rights and gun control in a single continuous discussion."

David DeGrazia
Professor of Philosophy at George Washington University
Senior Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health
Co-Author, Debating Gun Contrtol 2016