New York Times Guns Editorial


“Morality” or “politics”? It’s important to get the concept right. So while it was bracing to see the New York Times put up on the front page an editorial against the gun pandemic in the United States, they nonetheless got it all wrong, badly. Like so many, liberals and more hard core leftists alike, they framed the argument in terms of “moral outrage.”

On the morality of guns we lose because competing moralities are if not incommensurate then at least impossible to settle short of a political decision backed up  by a far ranging consensus. This is especially the case in relation to an environment dominated by fear.

No amount of moralizing is going to do any any good when the issue at hand is not “morality,” but public safety and national security at a time when the entire public sphere is inundated with guns and unhinged people, especially religious ones, regardless of which one.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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1 Response to New York Times Guns Editorial

  1. dmf says:

    struck me as odd (in terms of difference making) when the people used the Pope on climate change to try and reframe the issue as one of morality, as if that somehow was a higher (and somehow more powerful) ground than politics, makes one wonder what histories of governance people are drawing from.

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