Friends and Fans — I have retired from my work as a public intellectual, so Philosophy in Action is on indefinite hiatus. Please check out the voluminous archive of free podcasts, as well as the premium audio content still available for sale. My two books — Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame and Explore Atlas Shrugged — are available for purchase too. Best wishes! — Diana Brickell (Hsieh)


Self-Defense

  • Q&A: Resisting Arrest: 19 Jul 2015, Question 1
  • Question: How should the police respond to people resisting arrest? Recently, Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York City have made headlines because they were killed by police officers who, many feel, used excessive force during their respective encounters. While the two cases were quite different, they did have one thing in common. In both cases, the officers were compelled to use force which resulted in lethal injury when the men, Brown and Garner respectively, resisted arrest. Brown attacked officer Wilson and then ran away, refusing to stop until Wilson chased him down. Garner refused to be arrested. Is there a more objective way to deal with an arrest in a free society? Since, in a free society, the government has a monopoly over the use of force, does that mean that the police are allowed to use brutal force when a suspect refuses to comply with the officer's demands, regardless of the charges against the person in question?

    Tags: Crime, Culture, Government, Law, Politics, Rights, Self-Defense

  • Q&A: Constitutional Carry: 21 Sep 2014, Question 2
  • Question: Should concealed carry permits be required to carry firearms concealed? In the United States today, most states have "shall-issue" concealed carry laws, whereby the sheriff of a county must issue a concealed carry permit to anyone who meets the requirements. Those requirements usually include no history of criminal activity, no history of mental illness, and some training. However, two states permit "constitutional carry," meaning that any law-abiding citizen has a right to carry a concealed firearm, without the need for a permit. Is requiring a "concealed carry" permit a violation of the right to self-defense? Or is "constitutional carry" a dangerous form of anarchy?

    Tags: Crimes, Firearms, Law, Politics, Rights, Self-Defense

  • Q&A: "Stand Your Ground" Laws: 15 Jun 2014, Question 1
  • Question: Are "stand your ground" self-defense laws proper? Should a potential crime victim in reasonable fear of of his life be required to attempt to withdraw from a confrontation when possible? Or is it proper to allow him to "stand his ground" and use a firearm to kill the assailant?

    Tags: Ethics, Firearms, Law, Rights, Self-Defense

  • Q&A: Property Owners Prohibiting Firearms: 27 Oct 2013, Question 3
  • Question: Should a person respect signs prohibiting guns in certain areas? Some businesses and government offices announce that firearms are prohibited in the building, yet no screening is conducted to ensure that firearms are excluded. In such "pretend gun-free zones," law-abiding people will disarm, while criminals and other dangerous or careless people will not. Is this a violation of a person's right to self-defense? Should people refuse to disarm in face of such signs?

    Tags: Firearms, Property Rights, Rights, Self-Defense

  • Interview: Eric Daniels on Why Small Government Isn't the Answer: 31 Jul 2013
  • Summary: Is "big government" the fundamental problem of American politics? Historian Eric Daniels will explain why this common formulation is misleading, wrong, and even dangerous to liberty.

    Tags: Activism, America, Anarchism, Crime, Culture, Epistemology, Government, History, Law, Libertarianism, Politics, Racism, Rights, Self-Defense, Sexism

  • Interview: Jim Manley on Concealed Carry on Campus: 1 May 2013
  • Summary: Many people assume that college campuses are – and should be – gun free zones. Jim Manley explains why concealed carry permit holders should be permitted to carry on campus.

    Tags: Activism, Colorado, Democrats, Firearms, Government, Rights, Self-Defense

  • Q&A: Resisting Illegitimate Police Action: 21 Apr 2013, Question 3
  • Question: When is it moral to resist police action? Last year, the governor of Indiana signed a bill into law granting protection to citizens that resist the unlawful actions of a public servant. If a police officer enters your home without your knowledge or consent – legally or illegally – and you have no way of knowing whether he is an unlawful intruder, are you morally justified in taking violent action against him? When is it moral to forcibly resist police actions?

    Tags: Crime, Ethics, Firearms, Justice, Law, Police, Self-Defense

  • Interview: Ryan Moore on How Guns Save Lives: 6 Mar 2013
  • Summary: What does the right to self-defense mean – not just in theory but in practice too? What does that require of a person?

    Tags: Firearms, Law, Politics, Self-Defense

  • Q&A: Semi-Automatic Handguns Versus Revolvers: 17 Feb 2013, Question 4
  • Question: Are semi-automatic handguns more dangerous than revolvers? In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, many of my friends claimed that semi-automatic firearms should be banned. They think that people should only be permitted to own revolvers. What are the differences between these two kinds of handguns? Do those differences matter to public policy debates about gun rights and gun control?

    Tags: Firearms, Politics, Rights, Self-Defense

  • Q&A: The Morality of Nuclear Weapons: 23 Sep 2012, Question 1
  • Question: When should nuclear weapons be used, if ever? Under what circumstances would a free society use nuclear weapons – or chemical or biological weapons? Are they so destructive that their use would never be acceptable? Or might they be used in self-defense to win a war or win a war more quickly?

    Tags: Egoism, Ethics, Firearms, Foreign Policy, Free Society, Military, Rights, Sacrifice, Self-Defense, Self-Interest, War

  • Q&A: The Legal Status of Automatic Weapons: 20 Nov 2011, Question 2
  • Question: Should it be legal for civilians to own fully automatic weapons? At present, civilians can only own full-auto firearms by special permission of the US Treasury. In a free society, would such weapons be banned or regulated, such that only members of the police and military could access them? As a law-abiding civilian, am I somehow violating someone else's rights by owning an M-16 fully automatic rifle – as opposed to the virtually identical (and currently legal) semi-automatic AR-15 rifle?

    Tags: Firearms, Law, Politics, Rights, Self-Defense

  • Q&A: The Reasons for Carrying a Concealed Weapon: 24 Jul 2011, Question 3
  • Question: Why would an ordinary person wish to carry a gun? In your July 3rd webcast, you mentioned that you have a concealed carry permit. Why? Even if a person should be allowed to carry a firearm, shouldn't we rely on the experts – namely the police – to protect us from criminals?

    Tags: Ethics, Firearms, Law, Politics, Self-Defense

  • Q&A: The Boundaries of Proper Self-Defense: 3 Jul 2011, Question 2
  • Question: Is it moral to not defend yourself if you will get into legal trouble for doing so? As I understand laws on self-defense, you must be "in immediate danger of death or grievously bodily harm" in order to use lethal force. How is this reconciled with the morality of "shooting before he shoots you" or "hitting before you get hit"? In other words, preemptive attack may be seen as assault, but there might also be a threat of force. Is it moral to not defend yourself to avoid assault charges? In the case of using a gun to defend yourself, this could mean the difference between you dying at the hands of your attacker or living, but going to jail for murder. What should you do?

    Tags: Ethics, Firearms, Law, Self-Defense

  • Q&A: The Risk of Guns with Kids: 26 Jun 2011, Question 2
  • Question: Should people give up their guns when they have kids? Many people think that having guns in the house with kids is terribly risky, if not child endangerment. They say that the kids might get to the guns, even if locked away, and injure or even kill themselves in an accidental discharge. Is that right? If parents choose to keep their guns in the house, what should they do to minimize the risk of injury?

    Tags: Children, Ethics, Firearms, Parenting, Politics, Risk, Self-Defense


    Share This Page