Analysis Of Mark Tunick 's ' John Locke And The Right Of Bear Arms '

805 Words Dec 6th, 2015 4 Pages
Mark Tunick’s ‘John Locke and the right to bear arms’ from the History of Political Thought will be the focus of this article review. The central argument that the article argues against is the frequently recurring view that according to Locke, “individuals have a right to bear arms for self-defence.” Tunick’s main response opposing this view is that the preservation of the society is the priority once the state of nature has been left and the focus is relocated on the collective. Although he concedes that there are instances in which it may seem that Locke allows the right to bear arms, such as where Locke clearly states that man may kill an aggressor when there is a lack of time to resort to the law, like in the state of war. He considers the appropriateness of turning to Locke in relation to the question of the right to bear arms, after which he supports his claims using Locke’s political theory and applies it to the issue in question. He also dedicates a section on the right to bear arms at extraordinary moments which is a vital section of this application as it can be seen as contradictory.

Tunick provides an elaborate account of Locke’s theory. Beginning with the State of Nature, he highlights the right to punish in the absence of law for the objective of self-preservation as we are to last according to the pleasure of “one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker.” Thus, the right to bear arms is justified in the state of nature. He then mentions that “The transition…

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