Gun Control Changed by Customer in Comments A-Level Outline Answer

Pages: 3 (1082 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Law - Constitutional Law

Gun Control

Changed by customer in comments

Public problem: Why gun laws need to be changed

Causes of the problem

A number of recent, highly-publicized incidents involving firearms, including the shooting at a movie theater in Colorado and the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut, have brought the issue of gun violence to the forefront. Advocates for gun control have pinpointed the problem of insufficient background checks (particularly for private sales, gun show sales, and Internet sales) and the availability of high-powered firearms that have no use in legal forms of sportsmanship, such as target practice and hunting. However, the American culture of gun ownership, the lobbying power of the NRA, and a strict constructionist interpretation of the Second Amendment have all been cited as reasons why even moderate gun control proposals are so difficult to pass, despite polls that indicate that the American public as a whole overwhelmingly supports such measures.

Potential remedies

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A number of proposed solutions to the problems of gun violence have all been defeated in some form by the American political system, including the recent Manchin-Toomey gun control bill (Pickler 2013). One of the most commonly proposed forms of gun control is an assault weapons ban. The argument for banning such weapons is that they make it considerably easier for violent acts to have far-reaching consequences, given the speed with which the shooter is able to fire bullets without reloading.

TOPIC: A-Level Outline Answer on Gun Control Changed by Customer in Comments Assignment

Expanded background checks and a national database to keep track of gun owners have also been proposed, to ensure that persons who are mentally ill or have criminal records cannot have access to firearms. The defeated senate bill had a "requirement that background checks cover every firearm sold, whether at gun shows, the Internet or private sales" (Johns 2013). However, President Obama is attempting to use his powers to circumvent this: "Federal law bans certain mentally ill people from purchasing firearms, but not all states are providing data to stop the prohibited sales to the FBI's background check system. A federal review last year found 17 states contributed fewer than 10 mental health records to the database, meaning many deemed by a judge to be a danger still could have access to guns. The Obama administration was starting a process Friday aimed at removing barriers in health privacy laws that prevent some states from reporting information to the background check system" (Pickler 2013).

Some cities, such as Washington D.C. have attempted to deal with gun violence through outright bans. However, Washington D.C.'s handgun ban was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in D.C. v. Heller, and was held to be a violation of Second Amendment rights. This was not only a blow to supporters of the ban, but also meant that the Court explicitly defined Second Amendment rights to gun ownership for recreational and safety use, not exclusively to arm a 'well-regulated militia,' in contrast to the Second Amendment as it is often interpreted by gun control advocates.

Policy subsystems expected to deal with the problem

Gun control is thus an issue which involves all levels of government, as can be seen in the current controversy. The President sets the agenda by prioritizing the issue, and can use his executive powers to influence how… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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