Popular-level writings for a general audience. See here for my scholarly work.
Using the universe of The Man in the High Castle as a philosophical backdrop, my contribution focuses on moral relativism, objectivism, the conditions for a just war, and the right to resist unjust governments.
“Why Vaccine Mandates That Fail to Respect the Right of Conscience Are Immoral” Foundation for Economic Freedom (2/1/2022)
Conscience is a moral right in that it is a precondition for the exercise of our responsibilities.
“The Lived Experience Fallacy” Minding the Campus (12/13/2021)
Appealing to lived experiences is bad statistical reasoning.
“In Defense of Eating Dogs” The Prindle Post (10/7/2021)
If there is nothing wrong with eating cows, chickens, and pigs, then there is nothing wrong with eating dogs.
“Guns Used More for Self-Defense than Crimes” The Washington Times (10/5/2021)
The frequency of defensive gun uses significantly strengthens gun ownership
“Conscientious Objections to the COVID Vaccine Should Be Honored” American Thinker (9/19/2021)
The right of conscience is an integral part of responsible decision-making and must be recognized and protected. Individuals who cannot in good conscience submit to vaccine mandates should be granted exemptions.
“Background Checks for Alcohol” Prindle Post (9/17/2021)
The same reasoning in favor of background checks for guns applies equally (and arguably with much greater force) to background checks for alcoholic beverages. I defend the following conditional: if there should be background checks on the purchase of guns, then there should be background checks on the purchase of alcohol.
“Lived Experiences Aren’t Special” Quillette (5/4/2021)
Are lived experiences really that special? No. Quite simply, appeals to “lived experiences” are exercises in bad statistical reasoning.
“A Thinking Person’s Guide to Police Shootings” Human Events (9/25/2020)
The average private citizen knows vanishingly little about the complexities involved in deadly force encounters. Self-defense is not something you can master from reading books or watching John Wick movies. It’s something you must experience, something that requires hands-on training. And yet, while looking at a screen from the comfort of their reclining chair, the average private citizen feels equipped to pass judgement on those who are forced to make split-second decisions—or risk being killed.
“It is Morally Permissible for Christians to Carry Firearms” Duke University Center for Firearms Law (8/4/2020)
Is it morally permissible for faithful Christians to carry firearms? My paper argues that the answer is “yes.” I argue that Jesus’s instruction to sell one’s cloak and buy a sword in Luke 22:36 should be interpreted as endorsing the carrying of weapons for personal protection. I then give a philosophical argument showing that a strong moral right to gun ownership can be derived from the right to life.
“A Thinking Person’s Guide to Opposing Racism” The Federalist (6/11/2020)
Racism is an evil that no society can allow to grow unchecked. In order to properly fight it, however, we need to know what it actually is.
“Why Owning a Gun Is A Rational Insurance Policy Against Danger” The Federalist (4/8/2020)
Owning a gun is like keeping a spare tire in your trunk, a first aid kit at home, or an emergency savings account. We hope never to use them, but we’re glad we have them.
“Gun Rights Don’t Depend on Statistics” Foundation for Economic Education (8/25/2019)
The ultimate foundation for gun rights is not, has never been, and cannot ever be statistics. We can use statistics to strengthen our case for gun rights, but they cannot be the pillar on which everything rests.
“I’m A Professor, And I Carry A Gun On Campus. Here’s Why“ The Federalist (8/16/2019)
Even on the most secure college campus, the police response to an active shooter is measured in minutes. But when seconds matter, it is up to students and faculty to defend their own lives.
“If Gun Controllers Followed Their Own Logic, They’d Support Banning Alcohol And Cigarettes, Too” The Federalist (8/7/2019)
If gun control advocates are really worried about fatality numbers, restrictive firearm policies are not the place to start.
“‘Let the One Who Has No Sword Buy One’: The Christian Case for Carrying Firearms” Free Thinking Ministries (4/23/2019)
In the actual world, bearing the sword in self-defense is necessary, proper, and morally required. None other than Jesus himself understood this, which is why he explicitly instructed his disciples to arm themselves for their own protection.
“Almost Everything You Know About Alcohol Prohibition Is Wrong” The Federalist (4/23/2019)
We should stop comparing alcohol prohibition to other kinds of prohibition. Yes, it did fail, but the reasons for its failure cannot be extrapolated to other forms of prohibition.
“7 Arguments For Legalizing Marijuana That No One Should Believe” The Federalist (3/7/2019)
There may be good reasons to legalize marijuana. But if there are, the following arguments shouldn’t be considered to be among them.
“The Moral Case for Corporal Punishment” What’s Wrong? (11/16/2018)
Opponents of spanking rest their arguments on the implicit assumption that punishment is justified by its effects in improving life outcomes. This assumption, however, can and should be challenged.
“Don’t Legalize It” Arc Digital (11/4/2018)
Why libertarians should support marijuana prohibition
“Natural Rights, Self-Defense, and the Right to Own Firearms” Public Discourse (10/31/2018)
We have a moral right to own guns
“The Moral Problem with Most Gun-Free Zones” Foundation for Economic Education (8/22/2018)
By taking away our means of self-defense and refusing to provide a suitable substitute, gun-free zones violate our right to life.
“Thinking Clearly About Immigration“ Public Discourse (7/24/2018)
All human beings share certain universal human rights. But I am not just a human. I am also an American, a Kansan, a university instructor, and a member of a church body. Each one of these relationships generates specific goods, rights, and responsibilities that are unique to me. The same is true for nation-states, each of which have a distinct culture and unique responsibilities to its own citizens.
“No One Has a ‘Right’ to Immigrate Into the United States” The Federalist (7/24/2018)
This is tantamount to saying that individuals have the right to use and occupy someone else’s property against his will. This is a wholesale denial of property and sovereignty rights.
“Gun Rights and Utilitarianism” Arc Digital (4/27/2018)
Gun rights don’t depend on cost-benefit analyses.
“Why Americans Have A Right To Own Guns Even If That Makes Us Less Safe” The Federalist (2/27/2018)
Our rights aren’t contingent on a cost-benefit analysis. Whether guns are risky isn’t the point, but whether guns are a reasonable means of self-defense.
“The Libertarian Case for Drug Prohibition” Public Discourse (1/28/2018)
Freedom isn’t just the bare ability to do something; it is the ability to act under the influence of properly functioning cognitive faculties. If you value freedom, then you should oppose the legalization of recreational drugs.
“Yes, abortion is a human rights violation” Eagle News (2/17/2017)
In which I argue that abortion is a human rights violation.
“The Moral Case for Campus Carry” Eagle News (10/9/2015)
In which I argue for concealed carry on college campuses.
“The Limits of Consent” Public Discourse (9/23/2015)
Consent only has value when it is used to make decisions based on knowledge of what is truly good for us as human beings.